About Us Testimonials – Shannon

Our daughter, Grace, enrolled at Rise Academy in 2018 to do the DJ course and is currently doing the Music Production Course this year. Rise has taken our quiet, shy girl to heights that we couldn’t have dreamed of. Grace has performed 3 times on big stages, with big names at their U-PARTYs. She has been helped, guided, and mentored every step of the way. Grace is, at the tender age of 17, running a thriving DJing business. Rise Academy are always so willing to help and under the mentorship of James Verkerk, our daughter has blossomed into a rising star. We are so grateful to Rise for affording our daughter this wonderful opportunity and we can’t wait to see how far Grace can go in the music industry. We have found Rise Academy a very professional company to deal with and we would highly recommend them to anyone thinking of getting into the music industry.

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Sibusiso (Breeze) Shezi

Lecturer

Breeze aka Zulu Bass King is a musician who brings years of experience in studio, on radio, and on the stage to Rise Academy.
He has had tracks played on major SA radio stations, multiple music nominations, and has performed at some of South Africa’s largest music events. He’s worked with a huge array of top artists such as Nasty C, Soweto Gospel Choir, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, just to mention a few.

He used to dance and play rugby competitively and loves to run fitness drills with our performance students to get them ready to pull off amazing stage routines.

CHAY COOK

DIGITAL

Chay is a Public Relations practitioner who manages all of the academy’s
communications. Her role combines an enthusiasm for social media, digital
marketing, and music.
She is also on hand to help students with their marketing and PR queries by
ensuring that her door is always open, and if students are lucky there might even be
some peppermint crisp tart up for grabs since her recipe is one of the best.

CHAY COOK

DIGITAL

Chay is a Public Relations practitioner who manages all of the academy’s
communications. Her role combines an enthusiasm for social media, digital
marketing, and music.
She is also on hand to help students with their marketing and PR queries by
ensuring that her door is always open, and if students are lucky there might even be
some peppermint crisp tart up for grabs since her recipe is one of the best.

JAMES VERKERK

LECTURER


James is a DJ who got his start at the age of 16. He brings his onstage energy and
enthusiasm for music to the Rise Academy classroom where he teaches students
everything they need to know about the art of DJing. He is a skilled sound engineer
with a background in recording, producing and mixing.
James also trained as a classical pianist and is an avid surfer.

CRAIG GREEN

CO-FOUNDER

With more than two decades of experience in event organising, planning and logistics, Craig knows the ins and outs of the music world. He brings an invaluable
network of industry contacts to the Rise Academy community.
In 1998, Craig began U-PARTY, an event production and management company assisting schools to raise funds through community events and socials. He holds a BComm degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and is a self- proclaimed lego aficionado.

SUE GREEN

CO-FOUNDER & MD

Sue brings her business acumen and passion for youth development to the academy, which she launched in 2015. She is a savvy consultant who is experienced in coordinating music events that attract young audiences.
Sue’s academic background in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) piqued her interest in business ethics — a subject she ended up teaching at UCT during the final year of her Honours degree. She also loves cats and practices Jiu-jitsu.