Public Speaking and Presentation Workshop: “Creative Coders”

Preparing the “Creative Coders” from Ikamva Youth.
I spent a great afternoon at one of Cpae Town’s most successful community education projects, Ikamva Youth, by presenting a workshop in public speaking: helping by coaching the speakers – refining the pitch, presentation and public speaking – in preparation for their pitch for funding from World Design Capital Cape Town 2014.

Countdown to the presentation on 27 May at the Pavilion Clocktower Conference Center, V&A Waterfront.

Participants: Marion Walton, Albert Combrink, Zukile Keswa and learners

Inspiring young people. Insipring Ideas. Inspiring dreams. Inspiring Lives.

Please visit Creative Code‘ Facebook page and support their activities.
Please visit the IkamvaYouth SA Facebook page and support them.
Also visit the Ikamva Website here:

Follow Dr. Marion Walton from the University of Cape Town

Paying it forward because I can not pay it back.

Here is an excerpt of the final rehearsal of the Funding Pitch:


Find out more about the project and how this video came about:

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 1

Ikamva Lisezandleni Zethu is a South African non-profit organization focussed on the empowerment of youth through education, e-literacy training and career guidance.

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 2

The lab urgently needs some curtains or blinds. The lighting makes it very hard to see the screen – very important when teaching computer skills! Note the portable projector propped up on a discarded Chips carton.

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 3

The sense of humour, excitement and fun are immediately apparent. Serious learning occurs here – note the older volunteer tutors in the back row helping the younger learners. I notice no “discipline” issues or inattentive learners – a topic much debated amongest educators in all the schools i which I have worked.

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 10 (1)
Always time for a smile! Even in these cramped quarters, with space- and time-allocation issues with the next door library always arising, the learners were genuinely enthusiastic about the subject content and are learning really valuable skills.

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 4 (1b)
Petrol-bombed in 2011, this insipiring mural reflects the passion and dedication of a small but brave project.

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 4 (1c)
A hub of activity as schoolchildren come to study, get tutoring, work together in groups. Such a tiny little space. Filled with volunteers, willing learners, and that energy which is the future of my country.


Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 4 (3)a
A portable data-projector propped up on a chair on a table. We are a nation of innovators. Necessity is clearly also the mother of invention. — with Marion Walton

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 4 (4)
Textbooks line the one wall. Connecting volunteers and learners is one thing. Finding and managing a dedicated space equipped with the materials for learning, is quite another.

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 4
Mission statements do not come much clearer than this…


Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 5 (1)
I made a video of the pitching-session practice and gave a quick workshop on presentation, honing the content of the pitch where I could, using my stage-experience to help the group get their message across as clearly and effectively as possible. What is humbling, is how a small intervention is so eagerly – even greedily – absorbed. More. We need to do more. Much more

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 5 (2)
Marion Walton with Zukile Keswa, branch co-ordinator for the Makhaza branch of Ikamva Youth. Refining the script and changing a word here and there can make all the difference. Zukile’s dedication and supportuve, calm nature makes him a tremendous asset in this situation. — with Marion Walton  Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 5 (3)
The four presenters of the pitch going through some final revisions before I started my work of working on the presentation aspect.

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 5 (4)
Talita Maliti is a very impressive young lady. Confident and bright, responsive to and so deserving of meaningful input.

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 5 (5)
Other members of the group were there to support and comment, even though they would not be part of the final presentation of the funding-pitch. There was a great atmosphere in the room.



Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 5 (6)

As part of the “Creative Coders” project, Talita designed a computer-game in which her self-named character overcomes obstacles such as bullying principals and lack of access to facilities, by “eating”  books and leaping over the difficulties. There was a tender moment when we realised how much of her own life-experiences, her negative experiences but also her determination to overcome them, her dreams and aspirations were “coded” into what on the sturface appears to be a bit of frivolous computergaming children’s “e-tertainment”. See an example fo some of the pixel-based artwork HERE.

Talita Maliti is a young lady with a great future ahead of her, and she knows it and she’s going out to meet it head-on!


Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 5 (7)
Vuyani made tremendous progress in the workshop. Understanding how language-differences and accents impact on the audience was a great lesson to learn. He was absolutely ON BOARD and worked so hard to implement the suggestions made. What a lovely young man.

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 5 (8)
A member of the “Creative Coders” team, amused at something his team mates did. I could not help but notice the face peering over his shoulder: With Madiba looking on at the progress being made… Could everybody please stop TALKING about “legacy” and get on with doing what needs to be done?


Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 6 (1)
Marion Walton doing a formidable gut-punching demonstration to show how firm your tummy muscles can be to help you with projection of your voice. Especially when you we are nervous do we need to activate those muscles. And believe me, when Dr Walton comes at you with those fists, you get mighty nervous! — with Marion Walton

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 6 (2)
I was so happy that my experience and ease with talking in front of audiences gave me something meaningful to contribute to this amazing group of people. All those singing-lessons and opera workshops and playing for school-productions has built and refined in me an entire set of additional skills which I now look at with different eyes. Thanks to this experience I view my life as a pianist differently. How blessed am I.
Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 6 (3)
Getting intense about presentation technique!

I found an unexpected and moving connection with the tone of the pitching session:
~Building an idea from nothing, usually with no budget and few other resources other than your own skills and creativity,
~Pitching your idea to someone in the hope that they will reward you for that idea with some money to help make it come true.
~Studying your budget, your script and making a carefully rehearsed but sincere and heartfelt presentation with the hope of a favourable outcome,

Is that not the life of an artist?

I have more in common with this group than might at first reach the eye!

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 7 (1)
It doesn’t matter where you come from. It matters where you are going to.

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 7 (2)
Boys and girls walking from school. I take a quiet resolution to be ten times stricter with my own child about the state of his school uniform.

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 7 (3)The school uniforms are all spotless. The pride of these young people in their community’s acheivements is palpable.

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 7 (4)
A man with a motorised wheel-chair. Where did he get it? Who paid for it? What does he do? Where does he live? Who looks after him? What is his life like? What is the impact of his diability on his emotional state? He waved and smiled at us later as we drove off. A great open smile and a big thumbs-up with BOTH thumbs. Clearly, all these questions had answers…

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 7 (5)
Hair. Black hair. It is a science all on its own. Thandi’s salon is 2x2feet, and the hole in the window sort-of covered by a closet of sorts, but she’s open for business!

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 9 (1)

WHERE you are does not define WHO you are.

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 9 (2)
A vision worthy of our nation.

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 9 (9)

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the most privileged of us all?

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 9 (4)
I just play the piano, I couldn’t do this math! But it felt great to be able to pass on other skills that I had learnt in my years as a performer, which did not necessarily relate directly to my musical skills.

Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 9 (5)


How to make sure that the door to tertiary education does not remain locked or remain a revolving door for many: build from the ground up.


Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 9 (6) Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 9 (7) Albert Combrink Ikamva Youth 9 (8)

Dear Old Man with your RainBowTie, do you see?