To commemorate Youth Day on June 16 2017, ROCKSTART will be hosting a Creative Festival to celebrate and showcase young talent.


The festival – which will also feature established artist Casper Nyovest as well as major league DJz, Donovan Goliath, VeeDeshNee, FELXBOOGIE, DjJ, Mr. SEAN, DJ King Owee, MsKelle and DJ Divz – will be a collaborative effort between ROCKSTART and their main sponsor Standard Bank along with other sponsors; Liberty, Ogilvy & Mather, Pepsi, Vega and M&D Construction.

ROCKSTART, founded by catalyst and activist Karissa Samuel – who sadly died on 6th April 2017 and her mother, Pamela Samuel, “Rockstart is an initiative that looks to bridge the gap between bringing out the potential of young people and the key business challenges of finding, educating and keeping the best talent in the creative economy.”

Hosted at HANGOUT Jozi, the festival will feature a trader’s market, art festival, fashion show and live entertainment. The festival will also serve as a platform for collecting winter clothing and blankets for the disadvantaged.

ROCKSTART is a 24-month nose dive into the creative economy that combines formal education with hands on experience providing skills development in the areas of advertising, marketing, media and communications industry. According to arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa, South Africa’s creative economy contributed R90.5 billion directly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the 2013/2014 financial year.

ROCKSTART co-founder Pamela Samuel said the Creative Festival – to be held on the day when the entire nation is commemorating our future leaders –  was conceptualised and inspired by Karissa’s determination to allow new and emerging talent to interact with established artists in a creative space.

Ms Samuel said: “Karissa dedicated her life to empowering the youth in a myriad of ways from charitable projects involving orphaned girls to programmes such as ROCKSTART. I will continue to build her legacy in the best way possible. The world needs more of Karissa Samuel or many more like her. She rose to the occasion for her cause of teaching, educating and developing young talents, and she continues to educate them even now after her passing. This festival therfore achieves both the objectives of giving life to her wish of enabling opportunities for young creatives and ensuring her legacy lives on in a meaningful way.

ROCKSTART aims to empower students who would have not had an opportunity to enter a tertiary institution. The holistic educational interventions that have been included in the program serve to empower the students and give them an opportunity and learn to develop a sense of civic responsibility.

Third year BA creative brands student Saarah Saint, 21, who is specialising in visual communications said the programme had impacted enormously on her life.

“ROCKSTART developed me in ways that I didn’t think was possible and made me who I am today. The founders, the late Karissa and Pamela expanded on my talents, capabilities and skills by providing access to a multiple expert. They have prepared us mentally and physically for the workspace.

“Karissa was able to see my true potential and like a guiding force was able to propel me into a future that has been already seen positive change in my work ethic. “

” The festival is an extremely important platform to youth allowing them to get exposure to get the established artists out there. It focusses on the youth and allows potential sponsors to see first-hand the work of the programme which hopefully in turn lead to their financial support. This will allow more youngsters access into the programme. “

Brandon Ramsamy, a second year Strategic Management student, “Rockstart is the ultimate talent platform, aligning its students and stakeholders to one vision – empowering the youth of South Africa through business transformation and the forever willingness to paying-it-forward. It has made me who I am; innovative, creative and value driven. I am part of a family, I am part of something big, I am steadfast in my identity, I am a Rockstarter. “

Thando Duma, another ROCKSTAR benefactor said the programme and bursary to study at Vega came at the right time, shortly after her dad lost his job and she thought she wouldn’t be able to afford to study.

“The programme has been invaluable in moulding me from someone fresh out of varsity and into the work place. At the time I thought I would go insane but the lessons that I learnt were invaluable. I can honestly say that the lessons instilled in me have made the most capable employee who can communicate effectively and deliver on my deadlines. “

Abey Mokgwatsane, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather had this to say “Our association with Rockstart embodies our commitment to transforming the creative industry. The combination of Education, Inspiration and On-the-Job experience unleashes the potential of the young stars we find in the most unlikely places in our country. We are only getting started – the legacy of Karissa Samuel, the founder of the programme, will continue to manifest in this programme.”

By being a part of the ROCKSTART program, candidates are offered the opportunity to swim with the big fish and work on live briefs with massive brands.


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