Music for Africa Teachers

Elias Seloane – Headmaster, Lehlake Primary, Phokwane

Occupations: Headmaster and vicar
Hobbies: Sings for church choir
Enjoys: Tea, music and a new classroom with a roof!

In 1998, on a day in March in the village of Phokwane,Elias Seloane emerged from a breezeblock hut with a leaky corrugated roof. This unremarkable dilapidated building was just like many others that make up the fabric of a typical African village school in the region. Elias was introduced to Tom Toomey, who enthused about working with the kids musically. They stood alongside the long abandoned foundations of a new school and talked of vision and the future. And the rest is history. Elias Seloane was the driving force behind making the Music for Africa vision happen. His determination to succeed is one of the biggest reasons why music remains a key motivational force for many of the people of his village.

Today, this proud headmaster continues to inspire the villagers with his spirit, improved somewhat by a new school building with a very fine roof.

Mathew Matebane

Occupation: Principal MFA guitar teacher
Hobbies: Accomplished guitarist
Dreams: Of inspiring a love of music in his pupils

In 1998 Mathew Matebane strummed his guitar whenever he got the chance, between his duties as caretaker at the Lehlake Primary School in Phokwane. He was introduced to a visiting musician called Tom Toomey who planned to make music a part of the lives of the young people in the village. With MFA backing, already an accomplished guitarist, Mathew expands his teaching skills. He is trained as a teacher and inspires those around him with his unique style.

Collen Molemane
Occupation: Teacher

Collen Molemane took music lessons with our inspirational teacher Mathew Matebane for several years. He then set the standards for students following him through the MFA school. He passed Grade 1 and 2 Trinity College of Music in classical guitar, both with distinction. Tom secured him a three month sponsorship at Yeovil College, where he studied guitar with Wendy Partridge. Collen now teaches in South Africa.

Elsie Mahloko

Occupation: Mother and teacher
Hobbies: Performing artist
Heroes/influences: Tracy Chapman

In 1998 Elsie Mahloko had a burning ambition to perform music in public, whilst working as a security guard in the local hospital and with two children to support on just 30p an hour. Tom Toomey met her, was inspired by her energy, taught her a few Tracey Chapman songs and gave her a guitar. Two years later, with the help of friends in high places, Elsie studied Performing Arts at Yeovil College. Within two weeks of arrival in the UK, Elsie sang in Wells Cathedral and played two of her heroes songs in the annual Somerset Music concert.

She’s now back in South Africa where she teaches guitar while working on the next set of dreams for her family.

Frank Magaela

Prospects: Before MFA, village occupation in Phokwane
Status today: Teacher from 2004 to 2007
Hobbies: Music especially guitar
Dreams: To fly in an aeroplane and visit the ocean

Frank was one of the first pupils at the MFA School. Much of his music and enthusiasm is inspired by his teacher Mathew Matebane. Frank has achieved distinctions in Grade 1 and 2 music and is taking Grade 3 in classical guitar. In February 2006, on graduation, he was invited to teach at the Cornerstone Faith Ministries by invitation of Herman Abraham. Frank now teaches 40 students a week in both a township and in the Church. His profound approach has inspired a student of 76 years of age to take up the guitar. He also gets to visit the ocean and think about what next.

Kopano Maloka

Occupation: Teacher

Kopano has been taught by the charity for the last five years and is the latest recruit to our team of teaching staff. Kopano went to Johannesburg to explore the possibility of becoming a nurse, but he realised his heart is in music teaching and came home to join Music for Africa