Percussionist drums up support
TALENTED local percussionist Siyabulela Sifatyi has been facilitating percussion workshops for Eastern Cape Creative Arts subject advisers this week, developing his own module to be taught in various schools around the province.
“The aim of the workshops is to help grow the arts in schools and to give learners a vast range of artistic careers to choose from,” Sifatyi said.
Impressed by the George Randell Primary educator’s teaching style, Department of Education official Thamsanqa Songabe approached him after Sifatyi facilitated African drumming workshops at the National Schools Festival in Grahamstown earlier this year.
“I always try to interact with people or learners in a way that makes them feel free to bring their opinions and input on what I’ve given to them as I believe that there is no perfect teacher,” Sifatyi said.
His unique take on performance is also part of his teaching technique as he incorporates the theory-based and practical skills of his art into his teaching, sharing his knowledge of performing arts with students and educators.
Sifatyi has incorporated the history, origins and invention of African indigenous instruments as well as how they are played into his module, while also focusing on the performance aspects.
“I wanted to create something useful for learners as they know less about African indigenous music, and to teachers who are given the task of teaching arts and culture or creative arts in schools without any knowledge about performing arts,” Sifatyi said.
“I highly respect these teachers doing a great job within education, but I’d like my module to aid and enhance the teaching and learning experience when it comes to creative arts and performance.”
In July Sifatyi, as the George Randell Primary School music teacher, travelled to the International Steel Pan and Marimba Competition in Johannesburg, where George Randell came third.
He was also recently offered a recording deal with Dolce Sounds Studio for his own music, which he last showcased at his show, Eclipse, with a poetic performance early in June.
“I have gone through the worst situations and had to make difficult decisions to survive in this industry. I have different disciplines in my hands and I make sure that I portray them perfectly every time I perform or facilitate a workshop,” Sifatyi said
“I will always appreciate Sibikwa Arts Academy for giving me tools to dig my wealth and not forgetting my lecturers and mentors, Neo Leleka, Molebatsi Mathipa, the great Tlale Makhene and Thokozani Nsibande. Without them, I would not be where I am today.”
For the duration of the year, Sifatyi’s presence will be requested in various schools across the province as he will be required to aid teachers in implementing his module into the arts and culture school curriculum.