“Kindling a Love for Music this Mandela Day

“Kindling a Love for Music: Mandela Rhodes Foundation Scholars and The Harmony Project Inspire Melkbos Kindergarteners on Mandela Day”

By Natasha Wilbert

On the commemorative Mandela Day, an annual celebration dedicated to the spirit of service and volunteerism, a unique melody of learning, sharing, and joy echoed in the hearts of Cape Town kindergarteners. The scholars from the prestigious Mandela Rhodes Foundation teamed up with consultant Teacher Tash from The Harmony Project to conduct a heartwarming music outreach at a local Melkbos kindergarten.

Mandela Day, celebrated each year on July 18th, encourages people worldwide to devote 67 minutes to helping others, reflecting the 67 years that Nelson Mandela had served his country. Embracing this spirit, the scholars and teachers decided to introduce the wonder of music to young minds.

As the sun cast a warm, welcoming glow on the wintry morning of Mandela Day – (Thanks Madiba!) The scholars and Harmony Teacher Tash arrived at the Melkbos Care Centre, their hearts abuzz with enthusiasm. Their shared vision was to create a joyful learning atmosphere where the children could explore the transformative power of music.

The day began with a song and short presentation where the scholars introduced themselves and explained the significance of Mandela Day. RMF Musicology Masters scholar, Yamkela Ntshakaza then talked about the role of music in our lives and its incredible power to connect people, evoke emotions, and inspire creativity.

This aligns conceptually with the Harmony Principle of Oneness, the interconnectivity that permeates the universe, binding everything together in an intricate tapestry of relationships and interactions. When we teach Oneness through music, we show learners there’s a rhythm to life, a balance, an inherent music that plays in every leaf rustle, every wave crash, every bird song. This natural melody, music – in its essence – is harmony. It is a unifying force, a language that transcends geographical, cultural, and linguistic barriers.

Next came the fun part. The children were split into groups and introduced to various musical instruments, gifted to the school by the foundation – from the gentle strumming of guitars, and the rhythmic beats of drums to the harmonious notes of the xylophones. Their faces lit up with awe and wonder as they had the opportunity to touch and play with the instruments, experiencing firsthand the joy of creating music.

As the day came to an end, the kindergarten resonated with the cheerful laughter of the children and scholars and the not-so-sweet notes of their first musical endeavours. The scholars and Harmony teacher left the school with their hearts full, knowing that they had planted the seeds of a lifelong love for music in these young minds.

The music outreach on Mandela Day was not just a one-day event. It was a celebration of the power of music, a tribute to Mandela’s vision of service, and, most importantly, an initiative that sparked curiosity, joy, and creativity in the hearts of the future generation.

This initiative encapsulated the aims of both The Harmony Project and The Mandela Rhodes Foundations that the gift of music and learning is a precious one, and sharing it is a service that sings to the heart.


Kwendalo, in Plettenberg Bay, is the home of The Harmony Project in South Africa. The Harmony Project is a UK-based learning philosophy and curriculum that aims to transform education to ensure it is fit for purpose in preparing young people for life in the 21st century, working with teachers and educators to reframe teaching and learning around natural laws and life principles which illuminate the world as an interconnected whole.

For more information on The Harmony Project in South Africa, click here.

For more information on the Mandela Rhodes Foundation, click here.


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