A Mitchells Plain DJ has opened his DJ school to teach underprivileged kids for free.
DJ Ron “Xrated” Petersen has been running the Underground DJ Academy since 2006.
It started out as an all-female DJ school, but Ron later invited guys to join.
Since inception, 300 students have already “graduated”.
“Often there is a link between unemployment and crime, and influences from the “wrong crowd” which includes substance abuse,” he explains.
“The aim is to give the youth something positive to focus on so that they are not drawn into the negativity that surrounds us almost everywhere.”
Ron says he wants to give Cape Flats laaities a fighting chance.
“The underprivileged students will be trained at no cost, and then eventually used at functions when they are ready and skilled enough,” he says.
“There will still be the normal class for the paying students, but they are sharing the space and have agreed to accommodate my wish to reach out to those less fortunate.”
At the DJ school, students will be taught how to set up equipment, basic knowledge of DJíng, advanced DJ skills with mixing and scratching.
He says the school will even provide these students with equipment for free should they land their own gigs, as the idea is to create sustainable jobs for the youth and keep them out of the clutches of gangsters and crime.
“This initiative will not only be for providing a skill set to the less privileged, but to an extent aid in crime prevention,” he adds.
Ron suffered a stroke in 2008, leaving him paralysed on his left side, but says this hasn’t kept him from his dream of teaching.
“I had a blood clot on my brain which caused a haemorrhage and I had a severe stroke,” he says.
“This is my life and passion so I guess I just push through it, with the help of older students.
“Students that have completed the course, volunteer to teach classes under my supervision.”
Some of them include DJs Ngamla, Robin SA, Mark Voegt aka Slim Groove, Jude Webb and Jason Spikes.
Ron says Underground pro DJs are having an open day and free DJ workshop on Saturday at 11am to 2pm at the Showhouse Lounge in Strandfontein for everyone interested in their craft.