Gerald James Clark arranged a fundraiser for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome children which took place on Sunday evening at The Barnyard Theatre, Willowbridge. His passion for horses and his heart for children spurred him into action.
It is so good to see people coming together, not only for their own benefit, but to give hope to the community.
This is what Gerald had to say: “I observed the amazing results of the interaction between horses and the FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) children. The one little girl, Abigail, stood out for me in particular. Abigail was born prematurely and was so heavily affected by FAS that the doctor predicted she would never be able to walk. I was there during a session when she was put on a horse and within a few minutes I could see her orientating herself and getting interested in her surroundings. The other day I saw her running around, dancing and laughing; she is now three years old and only four months behind the developmental phases of a normal child.”
What is the FASt Forward Fund?
The FASt Forward Fund is an initiative set in motion by singer songwriter Gerald Clark and retailer Jade & Velvet.
The FASt Forward Fund’s main aim is to send young FAS-sufferers to programmes where they will be able to work with ponies and horses. These children (between the ages of one and six) are at a developmental stage where they stand to gain most from working with ponies and horses on both a physical and cognitive level.
Riding can, however, be beneficial to almost anyone with any kind of special needs. Aside from the physical benefits of improved balance, posture, muscle tone and joint flexibility, it also develops attention span, reasoning skills, memory retention and a host of other cognitive functions.
To find out more about the organization and to make a donation, please follow the link:
The Barnyard can seat 500 people and have an in-house pizza deli. Food platters are also available upon request. There is a full licensed bar available for all your thirsty needs. The Barnyard has a certain charm which cannot be denied. Despite being a large venue, it has a cosy atmosphere. To find out about events, here is the link: https://www.barnyardtheatre.co.za/default.aspx
One of the hosts for the evening was Peter Mitchell. Peter entertained the audience from beginning to end. Peter spoke with a heavy Scottish accent and not for one minute did I suspect that he was a South African! Looking around at the crowd, I could hear and see people break into fits of laughter. Old and young were enthralled by his stage presence.
Upon doing a little research on Peter, who may I add, is not just a fantastic singer, but also an outstanding comedian, I found out that he busked in Scotland for a couple of years. After being spotted on the streets he was invited to perform at various pubs in Scotland. Peter was so impressed with the pub scene that he took inspiration from this and ran with it. What grabbed me from the beginning to the end was his ability to captivate his audience with his charm and quick wit. Peter regularly gets invited to perform at various corporate functions in and around SA. Peter sang ‘The Flower Of Scotland’ to perfection and wowed all of us present with his Scottish accent. Being an entertainer comes naturally to Peter, like breathing. He was born to be on a stage.
Some of the artists were Gerald Clark, Fokofpolisiekar, Valiant Swart, Heinz Winckler, Theo Crous, Luna Paige, Natasha Meister and Guy Collins. I noticed a familiar face on keyboard, it was none other than Simon Orange who is very talented man.
Gerald Clark is a well known artist in and around Cape Town. Gerald is such a versatile artist singing both English and Afrikaans music. His song ‘Black Horses’ blew me away when I first heard it in 2011.
Watch it here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4Y7hZTfK3E
To find out more about Gerald, follow him on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/geraldjamesclark
Another biggie must certainly be ‘Right Kind Of Love’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urEr7wgh328
The song was written by Luna Paige, which she performs with him. This is a fun, catchy and soulful performance by two amazing people.
Gerald is not just an accomplished performer, but has a heart of gold. Bringing together all these artists to make an event such as this a success is evident of that.
It was the first time I was to see Heinz Winckler and I was impressed. Heinz entered Idols and was the very first contestant to win Idols back in 2002. Heinz has come a long way since. He performed ‘Chasing Shadows’, the theme song for the Disney movie Treasure Planet. Heinz was voted Number 33 in the Heat Magazine Top 100 for 2007. Heinz’s ‘Once In A Lifetime’ reached double platinum status. It is lovely to see someone take the opportunity presented to them and turn it into a success – this, Heinz has achieved in leaps and bounds. Here is one of his songs:
I was keen to see Valiant Swart as he was another artist that I had to date not had the privilege to watch. Valiant brought a calm presence onto the stage. His music made me feel a certain peace and his songs were heart-warming. ‘Kraai Braai’ is one of the most entertaining songs. Valiant’s music has a ‘feel good’ feeling about it. Thank you Valiant for bringing such fun to the evening and providing medicine for the soul.
Here is the link to ‘Kraai Braai’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVdmsjWrxIM
The lovely Luna Paige always manages to stir deep emotions with her ‘bluesy’ voice which is deep and echoes in your mind long after her performance. No matter whether it is an Afrikaans or English song – Luna has the same affect. Her voice has a beautiful lilting quality which soothes the soul. Luna is touring all around SA.
To find out more about events check out her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lunapaige
Watch her on Youtube and be get ready to be moved: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SSHDHlNkyE
Natasha Meister is like a rare bird with multi-coloured feathers, but in her case a beautiful vocal range. On doing a little research, I found out that Natasha is the only woman in Africa who is endorsed by both Fender (USA) and Lakewood (Germany) guitar makers. Natasha is certainly an exceptional performer and singer. I realized after having watched her play a couple of times, that she feels very comfortable on stage and this certainly is where she belongs. To find out about events follow her :
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meisternatasha https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RdrkvfNYYw
Guy Collins accompanied most of the artists for the night. I am sure Guy was born holding a guitar. Every time Guy gets on a stage he has the crowd spellbound. There is a certain something that I cannot quite place my finger on – Guy brings it every time. Guy has a unique sound that is hard to re-create. When I think of Guy I think ‘blues’ and ‘soul’ with an ‘African’ feel. Guy brings life and soul to his performance – like a calling or message for the people – a sharing of something greater and people respond. His music reminds me of a bygone era and to be able to make people feel so deep, well this is truly someone who knows and feels music with every fiber of his being. Guy Collins always manages to send shivers down my spine.
TO find out about events and latest news, follow him on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meanblackmamba – watch him and James van Minnen (on drums) – Mean Black Mamba is the name of their band. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdVv40vGhJE
The talented background players all played their part, so to speak, making it that bit more special. The presenters for the evening did a superb job too.
Last, but certainly not least was Fokofpolisiekar, who ended off the evening on a very high and energetic note. It was another first for me. From the moment they took to the stage I felt like I had just climbed onto a rollercoaster and was in for the ride of my life. From the beginning to the end they gripped us with their performance. The lead singer Francois van Coke has a certain ‘presence’ that cannot be denied. Holding nothing back, his passion and emotion are clearly visible on his face for all to see. At one stage he did a handstand on stage – from beginning to end they got the crowd going and for those that weren’t warmed up yet, they were certainly on fire by the end of this performance. To find out more about them, follow them on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Fokofpolisiekarband
Members: Francois Van Coke
Johnny De Ridder
Jaco SNAKEHEAD Venter
This evening was one that I enjoyed with every ounce of my being. We live in a country that has some of the most creative people and we can be proud to call ourselves South African. Get out and support our local music industry. As a community, let us strive to make the difference.