Youth Developer. Musician. Community-Builder. Cultural Activist.
An empowerment specialist and community builder Jason, a dual citizen of South Africa and the U.S., has long grappled with the paramount issues of our globalized age and has developed powerful techniques to negotiate this terrain. In 2011, at the age of 17, while visiting his grandparents in Cape Town, he set out to do something ambitious and produced a documentary that would unite the youth-based busking troupes in Cape Town and which they could then sell during their performances.
Recognising the multiplicity of challenges these troupes face, Jason has spent the past five years investing in himself as a social entrepreneur and growing Umbiyozo into a fully-fledged non-profit organisation. In 2015, he received considerable national attention including appearances on the front cover of 'The Voice' and on the 'Expresso Show' for living in Khayelitsha for 12 months and learning to speak IsiXhosa.
AREAS WE WORK IN:
Art Culture and Music
Umbiyozo is an umbrella youth development organisation uniting and servicing 18 community-based, traditional song-and-dance troupes across Cape Town's townships. It enable pre-and early-adolescent youth within South African townships to overcome the domestic, cultural and psychosocial turbulence in their lives and set aside the self-defeating beliefs that stand in the way of their greatness by way of their mere choice to participate in a local community-based, traditional song-and-dance troupe.
The 'Umbiyozo Family', enables inter-troupe support and solidarity. Its services such as programming, merchandising and marketing equip the troupes' youth with resource and opportunity to successfully transition into adulthood and contribute to their communities.
Successes for Umbiyozo include the production of The Umbiyozo DVD (2011), a six-month pilot of a youth busking programme at the V&A Waterfront (2015), and the impending 2016 Umbiyozo Heritage Day Concert on the V&A Amphitheatre. Today, Jason espouses a vision of Volofu becoming 'through its fusion sounds and inspirational lyrics' a vehicle for Umbiyozo's growth and intercultural integration in South Africa and the world.