Trip to Motown raises funds for sick teacher, and school

Celebrated SA band The Pretenders perform at a charity ‘Midnight Train to Motown’ tribute show at the Guild Theatre on Friday.
Celebrated SA band The Pretenders perform at a charity ‘Midnight Train to Motown’ tribute show at the Guild Theatre on Friday.
Image: Sibongile Ngalwa

The Midnight Train to Motown brought shimmer and shine to the Guild Theatre during their one night only show on Friday evening.

The tribute show, by SA band The Pretenders, celebrated legendary soul musicians such as Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandros, Smokey Robinson and other evergreen artists, and was held in aid of former East London teacher Roger Foster, as well as Parkside Primary.

The Pretenders have featured on Noot vir Noot with Johan Stemmet, Felicia Mabuza on e.tv and Tony Sanderson’s Chuckle ’n Chat Show, as well as Dali Tambo’s People of the South.

The Guild was filled to capacity with nostalgic spectators swaying along to familiar RnB tunes, while the theatre was decked out with glitzy backdrops and flickering disco lights, in a blast from the past.

Renowned impresario Jayson King, 73, the founder of the production, had the crowd in stitches with his jokes and swanky moves.

Foster, 59, a father of four, was diagnosed with locked-in syndrome nine years ago.

Locked-in syndrome patients, cannot move or communicate verbally due to paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in the body.

In 2006, Foster had a heart attack that led to quadruple bypass surgery. He had another heart attack in 2009, which led to his diagnosis.

Guild Theatre facilitator Faried Kop said proceeds from the concert would help towards Foster's medical expenses and to restore Parkside Primary, which had been vandalised over the years and had had school equipment stolen.

“Roger has been bedridden for nine years now and the concert is aimed to help his family with some of his basic needs, and to support Parkside Primary, ” Kop said.

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