Cameron teaches music to kids from his hometown

Cameron Ward Foundation, a music school band members who took part in concerts and the Summer Music Concert on the lawn at the Cullinan Square, on February 26.

Cameron Ward, 34, was a boy from Lotus River who followed his dream to be a musician and after 12 years of success he came back to help children in his hometown develop skills to realise their dreams.

He registered the Cameron Ward Music Foundation, a music school in 2019 and, more recently, his band was among those on the line-up of the Summer Music Concert on the lawn at the Cullinan Square in the city centre, on Saturday February 26.

Cameron Ward’s music experience with the late Hugh Masekela empowered him to open the gates for future musicians in Lotus River.

Mr Ward had loved music since he was a child, and learned to play the guitar. When he was 21 years old, he got the opportunity to work with the late great South African jazz pioneer Hugh Masekela.

“I worked with him for 11 years and I have travelled the world, but three years ago I decided to move back with my family with the intention to help better the lives of future musicians.

”We have now 50 students in total but welcome new students to join from 6 years old to 17.

“Last year we had a big holiday programme at the Pentecostal Protestant Church in Ottery where over 400 kids from all over came. Children from Mitchell’s Plain, Manenberg, Lavender Hill and Ottery and surrounds came to join us.”

“On December 30, last year, we had a year-end concert at the Orion International Church in Grassy Park.”

Mr Ward said they cater for all types of music but so far focused mostly on gospel, Afro jazz and piano music

Mr Ward said his aim was to teach young musicians “the formula of how it is in the music industry”.

“I would also like to inform them that they can apply for a bursary through music.”

Mr Ward did his schooling at Buck Road Primary and Zeekoevlei High before furthering his education at Athlone Prompt Music College. “I sang gospel music at the age of 14 and I was in a youth band called Inkhokeli (leaders).

“When I got the opportunity to play guitar with Hugh Masekela Youth I got to meet influential people, while travelling, such as Quinton Jones, Toni Braxton and Earth Wind and Fire.”

Mr Ward said: “Once you travel – your heart beats for your own people.”

His heart led him to “open the gates to the young people and to advise them to avoid doing drugs, alcohol and (partying) when entering the world of entertainment.

“At the music school I teach them business and life skills, and even how to go about starting a family while in the music business.”

Mr Ward said the school has “a small family who gets along”.

And there are rules, he added, “such as no bullying is allowed and they are taught the formula of how to be a person with integrity. So far we’ve worked with a lot of people, and a few children opened up to each other in the team-building sessions.”

At the school, youngsters can learn to play basic guitar, drums and piano, and they also offer singing lessons.

Open days are on a Monday and Wednesday from 5pm to 7pm, at the Lotus River Recreation Centre, in Lotus River.

For more information contact Mr Ward on 072 175 3376 or follow the CW Music Foundation on social media.