Gran­nies help set marimba record

Cape Argus - - NEWS -

A GROUP go­gos (grand­moth­ers) from Khayelit­sha and Langa joined some 241 women and girls aged 8 to 23 years as South Africa smashed the Guin­ness World Record for the largest marimba en­sem­ble. The pre­vi­ous world record was 108 par­tic­i­pants and was held by the Australians.

The event on Women’s Day was or­gan­ised by Marimba Jam in as­so­ci­a­tion with Im­bewu Marimba Com­mu­nity.

Marimba Jam founder Kiara Ramk­lass, 24, was named as one of the 100 Young Man­de­las. She is also a re­cip­i­ent of the Amy Biehl Foun­da­tion 2012 Youth Spirit Award.

Ramk­lass said: “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 served to pro­mote the im­por­tance of learn­ing mu­sic at school.”

The go­gos were or­gan­ised via var­i­ous con­nec­tions, but mainly through Khayelit­sha-based NPO Grand­moth­ers Against Poverty and Aids.

“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 said.

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

Hans Ger­rizen, founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of, said: “The grand­moth­ers and moth­ers are the back­bone of the na­tion and this is our way of hon­our­ing grand­moth­ers, who are all too of­ten the sole bread­win­ners.”

Im­ages of South African women can be viewed at can be con­tacted at con­ or at (021) 481 2880. – Staff Re­porter

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