WHAT ABOUT US is a crowdfunding campaign to help the Isibane se Afrika street choir in Cape Town, who like many informal economy workers are not supported by the stimulus bailouts for business and have no source of income at all during the coronavirus lockdown to feed and keep their families safe.
PLEASE SEND A SMALL DONATION THROUGH GOGETFUNDING CROWDFUNDING TO HELP MORE THAN 20 ISIBANE SE AFRIKA CHOIR MEMBERS & THEIR FAMILIES DURING THE LOCKDOWN.
The initial goal is 100,000 rand (around $5,500 US) to keep the Isibane se Afrika members and their families safe for another month as lockdown continues, while other support options are lobbied and secured by drawing attention to this humanitarian crisis in the making.
Isibane se Afrika means "Light of Africa" in the Xhosa language. An established feature of the Cape Town street entertainment scene, choir members rely exclusively on audience donations for their livelihoods. It has also performed on TV, for royalty, and in 2018 represented South Africa at a major business event in Warsaw, Poland. It is a registered not-for-profit organisation.
The situation for them and others like them in the informal economy is getting desperate during lockdown. One day they could earn enough money singing to shoppers and workers at Cape Town's V&A Waterfront complex and occasional invitations to sing at events to feed their families, the next day everything was locked down and they had no income at all for food or even basic hygiene essentials like masks, gloves and sanitiser to protect them.
They don't know when it will end, no one does. They have no government stimulus bail-outs to fall back on, no safety net, and are in extreme danger. Whether they should or not, is not a question for now, the answer will not keep them safe or nourished. Please help to make a donation go to https://gogetfunding.com/whataboutussa
More information about the choir on their facebook page www.facebook.com/isibaneseafrika.
HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN THE MAKING
The economic and business stimulus measures announced by the government and Nicky Oppenheimer are important, but informal workers are the largest employer in South Africa and other developing countries who also bring so much joy and colour to the world, don't their lives matter too?
Isibane Se Afrika choir is an example of a talented, committed and and disciplined group of gospel and traditional African music singers that has established itself as a fixture of the Cape Town street entertainment scene, has performed on TV, for royalty, and even travelled abroad with SA rugby star Percy Montgomery to showcase South Africa to international investors. They are not unique in South Africa, as in many developing countries the number of informal workers in culture, arts, entertainment and other areas far outweighs the formal employment sector (registered, tax paying businesses). They are not tax avoiding criminals, millions of people and groups like Isibane Se Afrika have little other choice to earn their living.
But in this unforeseen crisis everyone matters, informal sector workers too. No one saw this coming, no one should be excluded from the solutions. If they are excluded, if they are not assisted, if people like them go weeks, months, without food and basics, the situation could become more and more desperate and could even become dangerous, not just for them but for everyone.
AIMING HIGHER & WIDER
If we are successful in catching people's attention to this issue and quickly reach our goal, we pledge to give any more we receive to help others like them in the Cape Town area as we stand together against this destructive virus.
We thank you for your support.