Giving back through music

One of South Africa’s live electronic bands has used its voice to “show care” towards homeless people in the Central City.

Goodluck, which consists of members Ben Peters, Juliet “Jules” Harding and Matthew O’Connell, recently teamed up with non-profit organisation Souper Troopers to perform for over 650 homeless people in the Central City and surrounding areas. This was during Souper Troopers’ fourth birthday celebration held in June at The Carpenter’s Shop – a Central City NGO which provides ablution facilities, a second-phase shelter and vocational training.

Founded in 2014, Souper Troopers started with a pot of soup and a realisation that Cape Town communities can create meaningful change through small acts of kindness. The organisation, through collaboration with volunteers, homeless individuals and corporates, organises monthly socials that include haircuts and a wholesome meal, pop-up boutique clothing spaces that allow homeless individuals to “shop” in a dignified manner, mobile showers, games and an opportunity to celebrate birthdays.

Peters, producer and drummer for Goodluck, says: “We heard about Souper Troopers through our friend, Evan Coosner who is a well-known chef in Cape Town. He told us about the concept and the amazing work the organisation is doing to engage with and uplift the homeless community and asked us if we would perform at the organisation’s birthday celebration. We didn’t think twice as we thought it would be an awesome way to kick off our involvement and it was one of the best experiences of our lives.”

Manager of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District’s (CCID) Social Development Department, Pat Eddy, notes: “It’s heartening to see individuals and organisations in the CBD collaborating and embracing the spirit of the ‘Show you care’ message which we, as the CCID, promote throughout the year. Right now, we’re in the depths of our own ‘Show you care’ winter drive campaign to help make Cape Town’s cold and wet conditions a little bearable for the most vulnerable in the CBD and surrounding communities. But when a popular group like Goodluck gets involved in this way, it brings the ‘Show you care’ message to so many more people and really raises awareness for the plight of people living on the streets of the Central City, and beyond.”

Remarking on the band’s involvement, Kerry Hoffman, the founder of Souper Troopers, explains that anyone is invited to share their talent with “the Troopers” – an affectionate name for the organisation’s beneficiaries.

“Souper Troopers is about creating moments together with people living on the streets; it’s about dignity, love and respect. And having Goodluck performing for the Troopers on the day just added something special and it’s amazing that they wanted to be a part of our celebration and to share their talent. On the day, we also had well-known comedian Nik Rabinowitz entertaining the Troopers and we handed out winter warmth packs containing blankets, scarves, socks, toiletries and beanies from our beanie project. Ultimately, we want to create a sustainable human hub and are always looking for people to not only make donations but to share their skills.”