Inspirational. Fantastic. Absolutely magnificent.

These were just some of the comments from enthralled audience members at the conclusion of the You’ve Got a Friend benefit concert hosted at the Silvertown Auditorium on Sunday, 9 September 2018.

Presented by the New Apostolic Church Young People’s choir and the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the concert was in aid of Masakhe NPC, the welfare arm of the New Apostolic Church Southern Africa.

The programme celebrated the theme of friendship and the musical items focused on aspects such as love, loyalty, generosity and encouragement. The diverse musical renditions featured a number of songs well-known to the public, including the 1980s hit Paradise Road, co-written by Patric van Blerk, who was in the audience.

District Apostle J. Kriel handed over the proceeds of the concert (a cheque to the value of R70 000) to Jacqueline Naidoo, CEO of the Masakhe Foundation. Naidoo thanked the church for the donation and expressed her gratitude to the musicians and the audience for their support. “This is just fantastic,” she said. "Thank you for your generosity.”

In a short address, the District Apostle quoted Anglo-Irish statesman Edmund Burke who once said: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

"As Christians, we can do something. We can make a difference. Let us reach out to our neighbour,"urged the District Apostle.

Van Blerk, who co-wrote and co-produced Paradise Road with Fransua Roos in 1979, said after the performance: “I’m deeply honoured and very privileged to have heard such a fantastic rendition of our song.”

“It’s a song that is very special to me. It’s a great joy to me that it has brought so much inspiration to people in South Africa. The fact that it says there are better days before us, particularly in the times we’re living in currently, makes it a very powerful message. We never intended it to change the country or change the world all those years ago, but it’s wonderful that it has stood the test of time. And to come here and to hear such a beautiful and joyful rendition is fantastic. The choir and orchestra is just so inspirational. The New Apostolic Church has done a wonderful job.”

Masakhe NPC is the New Apostolic Church social outreach programme. The work by the organisation is performed mostly on a voluntary basis and is focused upon helping our fellow-man irrespective of race, creed, gender, age or religion.

Masakhe’s mission is to reach out to all people by building self-sustainable communities through various interventions based upon honesty, integrity, justice, non-discrimination and equity.

Key focus areas include: drug rehabilitation and counselling services; after school programmes; disaster relief; and collaboration with other NGOs.

Said Jim Devlin, who heads up Masakhe’s Coming Clean Programme: “Today’s concert was absolutely overwhelming. The quality of music performed was great. The audience participation was magnificent. But the most important thing was the cause. Masakhe is a very powerful tool that we can take forward to help youngsters in distress, children in distress and also address the problem of addiction. Having a counsellor in every home will go a long way in helping to curb this. One year ago exactly, we opened our first Coming Clean hub in Eureka, in Elsies River, and since then we’ve opened hubs in Bishop Lvais, Bonteheuwel, Wesbank (Delft) and also in Kalkfontein, and we are coming to a congregation near you. That is our vision.”

For more information about the Masakhe Foundation, visit http://masakhewelfare.co.za/