Students from the Department of Performing Arts Technology (TUT) visit DWR for an intro to product training
South Africa - Second year students from the Department of Performing Arts Technology at The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) visited DWR Distribution for an introduction to product training on 14 February 2015.

With a revamped syllabus, developed by Hardus Koekemoer (lighting lecturer at Department of Entertainment) and Wandile Mogodo (technical manager at the Breytenbach Theatre, the TUT training venue) this was the first time the 36 students were taken on a field trip, particularly to a lighting supplier to see the latest technology available.

"It's a matter of getting the students switched on," commented Hardus. Many students sign up for the three year diploma not fully aware of what the course entails. Some have never seen a live show before; others still have never stepped inside a theatre.

"That said, our retention rate is 99%, if not 100%," commented Hardus. Many of the industry's finest have trained with Hardus including Mark Gaylard (MGG Productions), Theo Rood (MJ Event Gear), Francois van der Merwe (Wizardry Group), Theo Papenfus (Stage Effects), Mauritz Jacobs (Dream Sets), Christiaan Ballot (Blond Productions) and Setshaba Moumakwe, a young technician at DWR Distribution, to mention a few.

When Hardus joined TUT 22 years ago, having worked in South Africa, Belgium and the Netherlands as a lighting designer and technician, it was the norm for the entertainment industry in South Africa to hire extra hands off the street. The TUT programme has been a mind shift, offering rental companies and theatres with staff who won't compromise on safety, who are able to rig, light shows, have product knowledge and practical training. No other institute in South Africa offers this.

Nick Britz from DWR Distribution presented the product training to the TUT students and it was "fantastic to have the demo room filled with a buzz of passionate individuals". For DWR, it's a privilege to be part of projects that influence young minds.

(Jim Evans)

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