Our Story

The Jikeleza (Xhosa: “turn around”) Dance Project was established in April 2002, with the overriding aim of utilizing music and dance to add value to and improve the quality of life of children and youth from impoverished target communities by:

  • Reintegrating homeless children from the streets, as well as monitoring and supporting rehabilitated street children
  • Transferring performing arts skills to young people to improve their prospects of future employment -  developing and preparing young dancers and musicians for employment in professional companies, and as arts educators
  • Educating and raising awareness around community is sues such as HIV/Aids, substance abuse, sexual exploitation and abuse, and the environment, amongst others.

The informal settlement of Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg Harbour of Hout Bay are two of the most disadvantaged, impoverished and excluded communities of the Western Cape.

These communities are characterised by seriously under- or undeveloped infrastructure, very poor housing conditions and a severe lack of amenities and recreational opportunities. High unemployment rates, deprivation and poverty are commonplace. It is estimated that some 87% of the adult population of Imizamo Yethu is unemployed or under-employed and that the income which is secured, is generated through low-paid and insecure activities in the informal sector.

Children and young people from the targeted informal settlements, townships and street children currently access high quality, dedicated tuition in dance and music (African dance, Contemporary Dance, Spanish, Classical ballet, Marimbas, Drumming and Hip Hop).  These media provide the organisation’s young beneficiaries with developmentally based, creative and fulfilling recreational opportunities, as well as exposure to, and participation in, professional performances.