Otherwise dubbed The M.A.X Campaign, Metalheads Against Xenophobia is a movement which has been taken up by metalheads in not only multiple South African cities, but even metalheads in other African countries have rallied to the call.
Xenophobia by definition is regarded as an irrational fear of something which is foreign or outlandish, and sometimes can result in violent actions by one group of people against another. In the South African context it refers to a series of mob-induced violence, often very brutal with resulting fatalities, against people from other countries by South African citizens which occurred largely in sudden and dramatic waves that hit the nation first in 2008, and later again in 2015. Such unfortunate sentiments of fear-based hatred are prevalent mostly in South Africa’s poorest communities and township areas where unemployment is at it’s highest, and citizens have become ill-disposed towards non-citizens of whom many have set up shops and businesses inside those communities.
Of course, heavy metal sub-culture in South Africa has it’s own endearing qualities, chief of which are: if you’re into metal, you’re a friend of mine – and defies social parameters such as race, religion, wealth class and politics. Leading the M.A.X campaign is foreign national, and fellow metalhead, Samantha Nandi Jack, alongside many affiliates including from South Africa and other African nations such as Mozambique and Kenya.
“We have one main goal with this campaign really, and that is to give back to the community that often harbours a negative outlook on us as the alternative community. We want to unite metalheads, goths, punks and the misfits, really, to have us all come together and sort of say: ‘hey, we may be seen in a negative light by society at large, but we know what is wrong, and this is wrong. Here is our contribution towards helping build up what has been broken down’. And we want to do it in the only way we know how to: through our music!” ~ Samantha Nandi Jack (spokesperson, M.A.X Campaign)
In essence, the campaign is built around three concerts dubbed Take A Stand which will take place in three cities across two countries, with contributions from local bands, organizations and businesses surrounding the alternative music community to raise funds in aid for those affected.
“In South Africa, Take A Stand kicks off in Gauteng this weekend (01 August), followed by one in Cape Town on 29 August. Also on 29 August, our affiliates in Mozambique will be simultaneously holding a concert in solidarity with our cause” ~ Samantha Nandi Jack
Samantha explains how the concerts are not only geared towards raising funds and awareness, and enjoying a great party ‘in the name of’, but also for taking in actual donations of desperately needed relief items which may often be taken for granted. Any non-perishable food products, clothes and blankets, or baby care products and even toys are welcome to be brought for handing over at the concert gatherings. Financial donations are welcomed too, with two M.A.X endorsed beneficiaries being Gift Of The Givers and Hope Farm (details here)
Image: Cape Town’s Junkyard Lipstick have already begun their collection of donations to hand over on 29 August.
Full event details for each respective concert are available as follows:
Facebook event page for Take A Stand, Gauteng – 01 August 2015
Facebook event page for Take A Stand, Cape Town – 29 August 2015
Facebook event page for Take A Stand, Mozambique – 29 August 2015
Excitement for this weekends opening is high, with participating bands including: Court Gibson, Kadawer Dialoog, Sardus, Lesuth, Envious Despair, Riddlebreak, Spectral Realm, Bleeding Spawn, Von Beck, Revenge On Murphy, Posthumous, Dirty Moonshine, Bloodbeast, Adorned In Ash, and Maximum Carnage. The event offers a sleepover option for those who wish to bring along camping essentials at no extra charge.
M.A.X extends a heartfelt gratitude to a huge list of collaborators and contributors to the cause with crediting:
Paul Bothner Music musical instrument retail outlets
Wolmer Bush Lounge music and entertainment venue
Gandalf’s / R.O.A.R music and entertainment venue
7 String Studios recording and rehearsal studios
Reigning Red alternative merchandising specialists
Perception Entertainment film and videography
Vinci Illustration & Design
VFX and video crew for promo video
Dylan Ray Thomson
The Two Declans
Subject To Slaughter
The Fallen Prophets
M.A.X team mates
Ruan Du Preez
Preston Saman (Kenya)
Seth Simon Gary (Kenya)
Sam Dunn, a Canadian metalhead, anthropologist and film maker with Banger Films (A Headbangers Journey, Global Metal, etc) supports M.A.X see his video clip here.