Crime is a depressing subject but it dare not be ignored.
Thankfully South Africans are coming together and realizing that to beat crime it is not only about high walls with spikes, guards at the gate and alarms but also about reaching out and getting to the real causes of this major problem that rips our society apart whenever a crime occurs.
We are all in the cross hairs and are prime targets for those intent on taking away that which we worked so hard for. The ultimate price to pay is when a precious life is tragically lost to crime and the repercussions of sadness and loss live on with those affected. It is the causes of crime that must be dealt with urgently in South Africa if we are to beat this scourge. No doubt our upbringing and circumstances do play a role and what we witness as young people stay with us. If we live with violence, chances are we will perpetuate violence somewhere in our lives.
The cycle of poverty must and can be broken through EDUCATION and this is an imperative and a priority for SHOUT. Years of substandard education have seen a generation of our people lost and unable to deal with the demands and the competitiveness expected in the world today. EDUCATION encompasses the teaching of ETHICS and VALUES that are critical to character development and sadly a lack of the right role models is sorely lacking. This needs to change and society dare not turn their backs on children who are born into a life of depravity, especially those with single parents.
SHOUT will be 2 years young on the 16th March 2012, and a movement born out of the love of their country and a cessation of violent crime now has millions of South Africans supporting the message for a better, safer South Africa.
The founders, Kabelo Mabalane and Danny K, explain:
Danny K: The spark of the movement truly began when our own international reggae superstar, Lucky Dube was tragically killed in a botched hijacking in Rosettenville on the 18th of October 2007. It took 3 years to assemble the cream of SA's talent to come together and, with the help of my co-founder and friend, Kabelo we decided enough is enough and we were refused to be silent about what is happening to ordinary people who live in fear of being attacked, robbed, raped and/or murdered every day in our country! It is unacceptable.
Kabelo Mabalane: I played Danny the Tears for Fears track "Shout" in the studio where I was busy recording my new album and the words resonated with what we both felt about crime in our country and the rest, as they say, is history. South Africans downloaded it in their hundreds of thousands to make it the biggest selling download of a full track in the history of SA music. We were chuffed and excited by the reaction of South Africans as they too have had enough of living in fear.
Danny K: So two years down, what have we done? We have contributed significant amounts of money - nearly R600 000 - to fighting crime and crime prevention NGO's as well as rehabilitation initiatives. We have presented the SHOUT message to thousands of learners and at every opportunity we pound away at how a better ME, makes for a better WE. It's easy to say it's the other guy's problem but until we understand that we are all in the same boat and if there's a hole in the hull, we're all going down!
Kabelo: SHOUT pays particular attention to corporate governance and we have a dedicated board of trustees and advisors who do not get paid a cent but serve because they care deeply about the future of our country and more especially about the people of SA. SHOUT is for all South Africans who love Peace and Justice and if you look at our social media influence it is evident that SHOUT is now part and parcel of South Africans finding their voices where they can express and vent about what is happening in our country with regard to crime and related issues from corruption to lack of service delivery to the injustice of police files going missing to praising the police when they do a good job.
Danny K: When we looked at a follow up to the "Shout" song we deliberated for months about how we were going to follow such a monster of a hit that to this day is so popular with audiences. We needn't have worried as the inspiration for our new song - You're the Voice - came directly from a SHOUT member who posted on our Facebook site and asked us to check out this amazing old song that she felt was perfect for SHOUT as a follow up.
Kabelo: When the track was played I was overcome with emotion and every word touched me in such a profound way with its deep meaning. The lyrics are meaningful and poignant and once again, like “Shout” by Tear for Fears, "You're the Voice" expressed what we wanted to say to the people of SA and, more importantly, what South Africans feel about their country.
Danny: When you listen to the original song you appreciate not only what a great voice John Farnham has but the lyrics are also so pertinent and palpable. Having decided on the song and given our experience with the first song and the busy schedule of the artists, we knew that it was going to take about a year from the start of the recording process to the shooting of the video.
After "Shout" blew up in 2010, we had singers, bands etc approaching us to appear on our latest song and we had no problem in accommodating those artists who had reached out and wanted to play a role in the SHOUT campaign.
Kabelo: We were privileged to get multiple SAMA award-winning producer, Crichton Goodwill to join Danny as producers of “You're The Voice.” We then assembled some of South Africa's best and brightest talent across all the music genres to come into studio and lay down their voices.
Danny: I can tell you it is a labour of absolute love to work with our amazing singers and bands. They, like us, are beyond excited to be part of “You're the Voice” and what is really special is that they do this for love and no money and all they ask is for is that South Africans will support the song by buying it so that we can truly make a difference in our country.
Kabelo: The song features the likes of Thandiswa Mazwai, Kurt Darren, Hugh Masekela, Louise Carver, Freshlyground, Karen Zoid, Liquideep, Elvis Blue, Loyiso, Jax Panik, Prime Circle, Die Heuwels Fantasties, Nicolous Louw, Judith Sephuma, Mafikizolo, Arno Carstens, Just Jinjer, Jesse Clegg, PJ Powers, Jaziel Brothers, Danny K, Kabelo, Slikour, Tumi and the Volume, HHP, Khuli Chana, AKA, Evolver 1, Ringo, Lloyd, Nne-Vida, Bala Brothers, Flash Republic, Ed Jordan, Dennis East and the Drakensberg Boys' Choir - a compelling and formidable line up which is due for release at the end of March 2012.
Danny: Our appeal to every citizen is to download the song by SMSing the word VOICE to 49300 and let folks know that YOU'RE the VOICE we can rely on when it comes to taking our country forward.