Musician uses his craft to to upskill the youth in his community
Share this article:
Cape Town - Through the notes of music, a Grabouw-born musician is making a difference for youth.
Earl Cornelius’ love for music started in a church in the community of Grabouw where he was raised, at the young age of 17.
“That led to me owning two entities, my African brand Makena Sounds International and my music academy. I was brought up in a musical family.
“To do community work is not always easy, but has been great and was worth it. I’ve always worked with my heart, meaning the needs of humanity comes first, then business, then money follows. I really liked to see the smile on the faces of our children and youth when they are being empowered and equipped with knowledge,” said Cornelius.
He started his own academy called the Music Academy for Rural Youth (MARY), that aims to empower youth through music education.
“I saw a gap and I grabbed it. I’ve noticed that in the rural areas, our parents want only the best for their children which is to get educated of course, but because music was taken out of the school system many moons ago, music became an expensive career just to study. Unfortunately in the rural areas, our parents just can't afford to pay, hence I saw a gap, to not only start my own legacy, but I’ve chosen to make a difference in a children’s lives,” said Cornelius.
He added the music lessons and handing out of food parcels to youth and children of different communities had a positive impact on them.
Chairman of the academy, Frank Julie, commended him for his hard work. He said in a post, that eight years ago, Cornelius was looking for a weekend job to help pay for his studies at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in architecture. Then Julie, who is part of the organisation [email protected], went there to talk about his plan to earn some money.
“Earl is a very dedicated and committed music genius who strives to uplift children and youth in the rural areas of the Overberg. He suspended his studies in architecture at CPUT due to financial constraints. He is a visionary and a people’s person who loves his music and imparting his knowledge to others less fortunate in his community.
“He received training in computers at [email protected] where we met and I assisted him to nurture his dream to start a band. Makena Sounds were born followed by MARY, three years ago,” said Julie.
An instructor at the academy, Anga Adonai Mdolomba, described Cornelius as a go-getter and hard-working person. “His love for music and communities are intertwined.”