Tshepang Hassen

  1. THE relationship one has with where they come from, says a lot about them. It could be the difference between good and greatness.

Queue Michael Jordan and LeBron James. The latter is now being seen as a great all-round human being, because of how much of a philanthropist he is for Akron, his hometown. Compared to Jordan who hasn’t done as much for Chicago.

Having been fortunate enough to travel the world and amass valuable knowledge, DJ Monotone is doing a LeBron, in that he’s giving back to his beloved Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality in the North West province.

Real name Pontsho Moono, the audio engineer turned DJ and producer is bringing knowledge to the youth in the province he grew up, through his project Areyeng Gae (let’s go home).

“I was presented with music opportunities at church to learn the keyboard and also the Mmabana Cultural Centre played a role in grooming my musical diversity and musical formal training. I was presented with opportunities to travel the world-Barcelona, Texas, New York- to attend musical conferences globally, and that also became a drive for me to wanna bring that knowledge home,” says Monotone.

Areyeng Gae is a movement involving a series of workshops featuring various established role players in the entertainment space and other related industries. The aim of the project is to challenge them to literally go back to the townships and villages and inspire the young talent coming after them through mentorship and community projects. Areyeng Gae was founded by Monotone and his business partner, Tshepang Hassen.

“So we started doing it last year in Joburg and we took it back home because of the demand from people that side, we went back to North West during the Easter weekend of 2018 and it has been epic ever since,” Monotone says. In April this year, the movement donated school uniform and stationery to a local primary school.

DJ Monotone. Photo Supplied

As this Saturday marks the start of a new season, Areyeng Gae is taking things a notch higher with its first annual Music & Arts Workshop. The workshop will focus on educating people on the business side of the entertainment industry about key issues such as distribution, copyright and sampling-all this free of charge for the public.

“We have brought musical rights experts from SAMPRA to explain and breakdown the complexity attached to topics such as royalties, publishing, record label establishment, etc. Acting experience from Tshepo Maseko and Mapaseka Koetle will also help with understanding that world better. Music compiler from Motsweding FM, including myself as a music mentor-as seen on The Remix SA on SABC 1.” Monotone is the resident mentor on the SABC 1 reality TV show. His sound engineering cap has seen him work behind the scenes on TV shows such as Soccer Zone, Laduma, Soccer 411 and Afro Café.“The whole idea is to motivate a black child.”

After Saturday’s workshop in the evening, a concert will take place which will be headlined by DJ Fresh and a number of other artists, including Monotone himself.

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