Gogos lend support to record attempt

Today is Women’s Day in South Africa, and Cape Town gogos in Khayelitsha and Langa will lend their support to attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Marimba Ensemble.

This takes place at the Food Court at Tygervalley Shopping Mall, with activities beginning at 10:00 and the record attempt kicking off at 15:00.

The current world record is 108 participants and is held by Australia.

South Africa and Cape Town, in particular, will attempt to wrestle the world record from the Australians when 300 girl learners, aged between eight and 23, jam their way to a fresh world record.

The event has been organised by Marimba Jam, in association with Imbewu Marimba Community­.

Kiara Ramklass, the 24-year-old founder of Marimba Jam, has just been named one of the 100 Young Mandelas and was a recipient of the Amy Biehl Foundation 2012 Youth Spirit Award.

“Marimba Jam’s outreach programme offers musical education across Cape Town to address inequalities within the education system regarding musical education in underprivileged areas.

“The world record bid serves to promote the importance of doing music at school, as well as to celebrate the talented young women of South Africa,” said Ramklass.

All of the activities during the event will be free to the public; however contributions will be taken toward Marimba Jam’s Outreach Programme throughout the day.

Ramklass mentions that the gogos have been supplied for the day through various connections but mainly through the Khayelitsha-based not-for-profit organisation Grandmothers Against Poverty and Aids (GAPA).

“As a result of including this group of women in our activities and offering these dignified grandmothers an opportunity to jam on the marimbas during the day’s proceedings, we are giving them an opportunity to share anecdotes from their lives with our team and all present,” Ramklass continued.

As a fitting tribute to South African women, the life stories of 18 feisty Khayelitsha grannies now have a permanent place on southafrica.co.za, a living digital archive and free-to-view online platform that showcases South Africa’s collective heritage.

“The inspiring life stories highlight the tenacity, ingenuity, grit, humour, resilience and indomitable human spirit of these matriarchs despite considerable sorrows and hardships spanning the rural and urban chapters of their narrative,” she says.