At a specially organised school-event on Monday morning (28 January 2019), ‘Join Bands, Not Gangs’  handed over a full scholarship to young musician Fabian Botha in order to attend The Cape Music Institute, among the cheers of fellow students. A performance by the Scottsdene School Band and Choir marked the occasion.

Camillo Lombard, principal and co-founder of The Cape Music Institute (CMI) in Athlone and bandleader of South African Jazz Act, Top Dog SA handed out the scholarship, which was generously paid for by a private sponsor.

Keyboardist Fabian Botha completed Matric last year at Scottsdene High School, where he got the opportunity to perform with ‘Join Bands, Not Gangs’ first ever show band at De Oude Libertas in Stellenbosch with Richard Cock and the Winelands Orchestra on Youth Day, 2018. (16th of December, 2018.)

Scottsdene High School Band performed with Richard Cock and The Winelands Philharmonic at De Oude Libertas on 16 December 2018 on the night he received his scholarship. 

On the evening of the performance, Karien de Waal, Berklee College of Music Graduate and founder of ‘Join Bands, Not Gangs’ shared about the work she and co-director Mario Rousseau are doing in Scottsdene amongst gang members, teaching them music and using Mario’s identity course ‘Blueprint’ as a means to help them rethink their futures in gangsterism. 

During her speech, she made a special mention of Fabian Botha and said that they were hoping to send him to a music school via a sponsorship, as he had shown extraordinary potential, character and talent and can be a future leader in his community.  At the close of the evening a man approached Fabian with the generous offer to pay for his first year of studies.     It was a dream come true for the young, budding musician. Fabian started with his studies at CMI this week.   (28 January 2019)

Camillo Lombard shakes hands with scholarship recipient Fabian Botha.

Fabian says he is very happy about his scholarship and that it came as a big surprise! “Last year this time I would have never thought I’d get a scholarship.  It has always been my dream to someday study music, but I never thought the opportunity would arrive in this way, but I’m thankful!  The Lord has made a way for me. I can now see that’s it’s actually possible for me to reach my dream.”  Fabian hopes to start his own music school one day. “I’m so grateful for this opportunity and I’m sure I will make a success of it.” 

Scottsdene forms part of Kraaifontein, rated 7th in the SAPS’ list of areas with the highest murder rates in South Africa for 2017/2018.    In a bid to curb gangsterism, the Scottsdene Action Group was formed in September 2018.   This lead to a Police “Basecamp”  tent  that  was  set  up  in  the  vortex  of  Scottsdene  and  20  police surveillance cameras having been installed.    The “Basecamp” and ‘Join Bands, Not

Camillo Lombard of Top Dog SA and Principal of Cape Music Institute (CMI) shakes hands with Fabian Botha from Scottsdene High School, as he recieves a full scholarship to CMI.   His parents, Flip and Nicolene Botha, cheers him on. 

If you have a musical instrument in good working condition that you are no longer using and you want to donate it, or want to sponsor a new instrument, please get in touch at or contact us via our website

‘Join Bands, Not Gangs’ is part of  #Pray4SA, a prayer movement calling on South Africa to unite in prayer on a monthly basis.

For more info, visit

Date published: 03/02/2019
Feature image: Shane Bezuidenhout
Article source: