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Party with a Purpose


13 June 2006 No Comment

It is one of the trendiest streets in the Mother City – Long Street. There is just no way that you can live in Cape Town or visit Cape Town and avoid it. There are certain venues in Long Street that have gained cult status and Zula Bar is one of them. I must confess that I always wondered about the place. However the only time I paid any attention was when I heard of “Party with a Purpose”. So to find out more I spoke to Chad Abrahams (one of the founding members of Party with a Purpose Productions).

Where did the idea for “Party with a Purpose come from?

I use to share a flat with a friend of mine in Observatory. We enjoyed throwing the occasional party. But I must admit that after a while these parties just annoyed me because invariably, I was the one who had to pick up all the empty bottles and “stompies”. So when my friend suggested that we have another bash in our flat, I was reluctant and agreed only if we have a good reason for throwing a party. What normally happens at a party is that people either bring food or wine. This time I told my friends to bring soft toys instead. I hoped for the best…but the response was overwhelming. Can you imagine 150 people all cramped in a small flat? We had four DJs spinning tracks and convinced some musicians to perform for us. Everyone had a great time. But when we saw just how many toys were stacked in my small flat the next day we knew that we could make a difference. We donated all those toys to a local orphanage. We then decided to stage another party at Cafe Ganesh in Observatory. I remember that it was storming that night… I was convinced that very few people would rock up – but the place was packed. And that’s how it all started.

What role does Party with a Purpose serve?

Look, there are people all over that need help. When the younger generation think of doing something for the community – images of soup kitchens, orphanages and old age homes pop into their heads. And let’s face facts here – it is not that appealing. We created a platform where the hip and happening 20 something’s could contribute something while having a great time. They don’t have to change their lifestyle at all. We work with top local musicians, poets and performing artists to raise funds for a good cause. 

Our “Kit a Kid 4 School” party last year was a massive success. People were encouraged to bring school shirts, shoes, skirts, bags and stationery instead of paying a cover charge. Again the response was overwhelming. We were able to provide clothing for the David Christian Moravian School in Steenberg. I know what it feels like to be teased because your shirt is tattered or your shoes are broken. Learning just becomes so much harder when you have things like that to deal with. And that’s what motivates us; we know that we can make a difference. Our events have also allowed up and coming artists and established artists to share a stage. 

How can people get involved?

Right now we are in the process of hosting another festival that we hope will become an annual event. It’s called “Strike a chord” and will take place on Women’s day, 8 August at Artscape. It gives all women the opportunity to participate meaningfully in Women’s Day instead of just sitting at home and watching TV. In order to ensure the event’s success we are hosting a variety of fundraisers. The Winter’s Ball held on 10 June was one of them. And if you were not there, you definitely missed out. If people are interested in helping our cause they can attend our parties and bring as many friends as possible or visit our websites http://partywithapurpose.wordpress.com and contact us directly.

Interview by Ariel Hayes

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