Pretoria, South Africa: we might appear harsh and prickly on the outside, but even the metalheads in society have hearts that can be touched. And so the stage is set at the popular headbangers haunt otherwise known as Wolmer Bush Lounge, and this time it is to rally Metallers behind a charitable cause. Go Ape is a live music event which will take place on 01 October, and it aims to raise funds in support of the Vervet Monkey Foundation (‘#020 694 NPO’ established in 1993).
The driver of this initiative, Tarryn Temperley, told us about how when she attended a fundraiser, she and others were moved to tears following the presentation.
“I wanted to do more to help, and especially after the success of the M.A.X Campaign last year, I knew the Metal community would come together and open their hearts to help yet again.” ~ Tarryn Temperley (Go Ape, event coordinator)
The foundation is run by Dave du Toit and his wife Josie. A rehabilitation center is located in Tzaneen, where they bring monkeys that have been trapped, poisoned, shot, or hit by cars, among other things. These monkeys are viewed by many as “vermin” and without rescue they would be left to die an agonizing death alone.
The Vervet Monkey Foundation has saved over six hundred vervet monkeys and other primates to date. They are raising funds to not only support the rehabilitation center, but also to eventually buy a hectare of land where a permanent sanctuary can be established for the more damaged animals to live in peace. Currently, the foundation relies on volunteers from all over the world to help keep the center operational.
We pursued some of the key acts who will be performing at the Go Ape benefit concert to learn what sort of mindset the metalheads have towards this cause:
“We as 11th Hour have always been known to be an angry band, but when it comes to the animals and their rights as fellow earthlings, we’re always down for the cause. Humans need to realize that we’re not the center of the ecosystem and need to get our heads out our asses about that. So the Go Ape initiative is one of many great charities out there that people need to support, so… let’s get ready to rumble!” ~ Musa “Moose” Mntambo (vocals, 11th Hour)
“It’s really great to be a part of creating awareness for our wildlife in need. It’s so important to educate ourselves on conservation and to support those who work so hard to care for our animals and planet. We look forward to all the ‘monkey business’ of the night!” ~ Robyn Ferguson (vocals/guitar, Adorned In Ash)
“Every living creature deserves an equal standing by our sides. Not because we are better, because we definitely are not. They are animals that perform their functions in their day to day lives perfectly and selflessly, in that regard, they are better than us. If we lose them, we lose ourselves.” ~ Jade Osner (vocals, Riddlebreak)
Apart from 11th Hour, Adorned In Ash and Riddlebreak, other bands getting behind the cause include Spectral Realm, Lesuth, Posthumous, Surdus, Revenge On Murphey, Zephyr Heirs and Chris Phillips. Of course it won’t be party hats for the full duration, as the Vervet Monkey Foundation will also be granted a time to present their operation. Furthermore, Go Ape t-shirts and stickets will be on sale, with all profits being donated to the foundation. For full details, visit the official facebook event page.
Tarryn extended further gratitude and credits to some of her many helpers:
“When I contacted Heine van der Walt from Wolmer Bush Lounge he was exceptionally helpful and enthusiastic. I then contacted the bands and all of them were excited to help. Demonseed Productions assisted with the merchandise and I enlisted volunteers Deon Steenberg, Chelsea Mulock-Bentley and Tamla McMahon to help with all the rest.” ~ Tarryn Temperley
Tarryn also told us about an American film maker, Kyle Salazaar, who is currently documenting the plight of the vervet monkeys in a film titled The Vervet Forest, with more information at this website.