Each year, the Mail & Guardian release a special edition acknowledging 200 young South Africans, aged 35 and under, who contribute to the diversity and upliftment of our beautiful country with bucketloads of talent, dreams and drive.
“They’re people who can do whatever they put their mind to, using the tools and opportunities granted to us by the technology-driven era we find ourselves inhabiting, and who can switch interests and impetus whenever they see the need… they inspire us to do stuff that’s out of the ordinary, even if it’s based on the ordinary.” – Chris Roper, Editor-in-chief, Mail & Guardian
Shannon Hope was named amongst the Mail & Guardian 200 Young Africans 2014 for Arts & Culture, in recognition of her passion and commitment to not only “living the dream”, but living who you truly are.
What is the true measure of success? Is it accolades, fame and riches? Durban-based pianist and vocal artist Shannon Hope believes it is not. This comes across most powerfully in the TEDx Cape Town talk she delivered in 2013 in which she speaks with rare honesty about the sacrifices in pursuing a career as a professional self-managed and -promoted musician. She has committed herself less to living a dream than to doing what she knows she is meant to do. “Music is who I am not what I do”, she says.
Her work ethic and steadfast pursuit of her own path won her a Standard Bank Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival in 2011 in recognition of artistic innovation, excellence, the exploration of new performance styles and the courage to open new conversations in the arts. Hope has continued along this path, using her performances to connect with people in a meaningful way. She considers it her mission to empower people to pursue their dreams and realise that being true to themselves is more powerful than simply following the grain. “Being a grow-up is hard enough with all the expectation we place on ourselves. You owe it to yourself to do something that makes you happy,” she says.