Finding The Light has included a coordinated global fundraising campaign beginning with a fundraising dinner for 300 people at the iconic Savoy Hotel in London in March 2024, Finding The Light, a musical theatre celebration of the human spirit at Artscape Opera House in Cape Town in April; and this, our Finding The Light Appeal in which we ask all South Africans and supporters of the Kolisi Foundation to pledge their support and help thousands of South Africans to find their light.

Below is additional information including some social media grid post options. We’re asking everyone to:


To our wonderful cause.


The pledge to social media.

Thank you for supporting Finding The Light. The below provides background information on both Finding The Light Foundation and our initiatives; and the Kolisi Foundation. Please help us raise as much awareness about the Finding The Light Appeal in support of Kolisi Foundation as possible. Every donation, no matter how small matters.


Our goal is to change the stories of inequality in South Africa by uniting organisations, mobilising resources and strengthening infrastructure and learning. We partner with organisations with a pre-existing footprint in our focus areas, believing that we are always stronger together.

Our programs focus on sport and education; addressing gender-based violence; and contributing to food security primarily in communities around Gqeberha and Cape Town – though in time this may widen.

Towards the close of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Siya and I realised that winning would give us a powerful platform. So, we sat in the hotel hallway the night before the final and discussed our responsibility to try to help every person we could growing up in conditions similar to those Siya experienced – limited access to food, education, opportunity, and exposed to highly traumatic events and situations from a young age.

We truly believe that every small act of change matters and that through remembering the one – one by one – we can help to transform our nation.

In terms of what we focus on, we are motivated by Siya’s very personal experiences growing up in Zwide township and focus on areas where we feel that experience can shape our understanding of what is required: food security and sustainable food sources, gender based violence, and the potential of sport and education to inspire, uplift and bring opportunity.

We also wanted to enshrine the values we believe will help to transform our nation: integrity; authenticity; collaboration; learning through action, for excellence; and Ubuntu – recognising we live in relationships of interdependence, always respecting people, and upholding the dignity of all.

We want to see every child, every person, have the opportunity to feel safe, cared for, and with access to food, education, and someone to believe in and support them. Every child is born with incredible potential and we want to see every child be given the opportunity to realise that potential. We want to see those opportunities brought directly into the communities where we work rather than people having to leave their families, homes and cultures behind to have access to those opportunities. And by those opportunities being more available in these communities, we hope to amplify the halo effect of every person whose story is transformed – that they will go on to serve their communities in their own right.

The success of every community or nation depends on so many interdependent things, not least of which are thriving local communities. The problems we address are interdependent and no one issue can be solved in isolation. That is something we at the foundation very much believe. In addition, no one organisation can address everything. There are so many amazing people and organisations working on their own pieces of the puzzle. The more we can work together, the more individual lives we can change.

Aside from participating in the Finding the Light appeal, we also have a monthly donors club, The Kolisi Kollective, which is our community of committed donors through which individuals can directly bring light to the individuals we help – one by one.

We want to help inspire action and the desire to do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

By working together, we truly believe we can transform our nation. A core value is collaboration believing that systemic change will require widespread cooperation and everyone choosing to do what they can, with what they have, where they are.

We are the co-founders of the Kolisi Foundation, dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable and underprivileged communities in South Africa. As the CEO, Rachel Kolisi plays a pivotal role in managing the foundation’s operations, fundraising efforts, and overall strategy. Both Rachel and Siya are actively involved in raising awareness about the foundation’s work, using their platform and influence to further grow support and mobilize resources. Together, the couple is committed to leveraging their influence and resources to bring about positive change in the lives of those who need it most, making a lasting impact on communities across South Africa.


We’ve billed Finding the Light as 100% Not-For-profit fundraising events rooted in music and the spirit of Ubuntu – “I am because you are”. It is a beautiful African concept, and a principle we need to see more of everywhere.

Our goal from the beginning was to use whatever talents, networks, skills, capital and time we could spare to help those doing the hard work of running grass roots development programmes in South Africa. The events are vehicles to attract sponsorship and donor support from varied communities – philanthropists, music lovers, and those connected with the cause.

Crucially we wanted to take as much of the work involved in putting these events on off the shoulders of already resource constrained charity teams.

Finally we wanted to foster collaboration with good faith, and integrity to be at the heart of everything we did. No one group, organization or approach will move the needle on their own – it is only by connecting the work
and good intentions of the many, and inspiring individuals to take action in whatever way they can, that we can
hope to foster meaningful change.

Finding The Light is brand new. It was founded by my husband David Habbin and I in 2023.

I would love to say we had a clear idea of what we were doing when we started. The truth is we didn’t have a clue. In March 2022, we were visiting Hermanus in South Africa where my parents live and – as David is a singer – we thought it might be fun to organise a concert bringing some fellow West End performers out to South Africa to raise money for a charity. Honestly, we were thinking maybe 250 people and a pianist in a nice hall somewhere.

It was at that point I called my dear friend and much-loved South African producer, Daniel Galloway (formerly of the Fugard Theatre). The idea seemed to have legs and before I knew it we had booked the 1500 seat Artscape Opera House for 6 nights and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and were committed to selling close to 9000 tickets! I therefore blame Daniel almost entirely, and also want to thank him for his unfailing positivity, good humour, and passion for this project and our cause.

I then ran the numbers and realised that in order to reach our fundraising goal we needed a London based event as well. A gala dinner seemed the obvious option. However we got here, it began out of a desire to just get up and do something. This is often how these things start. The Kolisi Foundation itself was born in 2019 with Siya and Rachel Kolisi just deciding to get up, get in their car and get as much food as they could to people who were starving as covid prevented those on the breadline from finding their next meal.

In this our first year, Finding The Light has run two events in support of the Kolisi Foundation, with three out – reach initiatives connected to the events:
• On the 14th March we held a gala dinner for 300 at the iconic Savoy Hotel in London. Siya and Rachel
Kolisi were guests of honour and keynote speakers and imbued the evening with their special brand of
energy, wonder and magic. We raised close to R10million on the night and the relationships and
potential partnerships fostered are just beginning to bear fruit.
• Then, launching on the first night of the show – 17th April – we are running a pledge campaign, inviting every South African to pledge their support for not only the work, but the spirit of the Kolisi Foundation. You can get involved in this now by going to and also by sharing the appeal with your networks.
• Finding The Light for 2024 culminates in Cape Town with a musical theatre show at the Artscape Opera house from 17th – 21st April. Our incredible stars and host, Marc Lottering, bring their own magic and enthusiasm for the Kolisi Foundation to the stage, and we are delighted to be working with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.
• During the run of the show we will be giving 250 children from over 20 organisations connected through Kolisi Connect & Finding The Light tickets to the matinee show on 20th March. This will be a chance for most to experience the magic of the theatre for the very first time.
• Finally, on Friday 19th March we are running a day conference bringing together almost 30 organisations and some leading academics and practitioners to share knowledge, experiences and toolkits on addressing trauma and mental health interventions in program work.

On this point, it is hard to even contemplate some of things our South African children and young people experience every day. According to a group called Waves for Change (which is funded by another wonderful organisation tangentially involved in Finding The Light, EMpower) South African youth, on average, experience 8 ‘highly traumatic’ life events per year versus 4.8 in the entire lifetime of a child living in the USA/UK. This is dramatically higher than almost anywhere and the impact of this on South African communities cannot be understated. Moreover, we need to think carefully about how to intervene as early as possible and the toolkits that will foster healing and resilience in young people

I think we have delivered on our goal of raising as much money as possible, and fostering collaboration, resource sharing and giving greater leverage to the organization we support as possible so that they can focus more on the real work of running on the ground programmes in South African communities. Moreover, it has been a gift to witness the incredible connection and passion of the individuals and volunteers who have come on board to help. We have had over 30 volunteers involved on top of the professional crew, who have largely chosen to be paid much less than they usually would be. And finally we are proud to have supported the arts and artists in South Africa through the show, and also through working with two wonderful Cape Town theatre schools, LAMTA and Waterfront Theatre School, who are performing as part of the cast.

The final total raised through the Finding The Light projects is still to be determined, but our goal is to reach between R7-8mil for the Kolisi Foundation. Maybe as important, if not more important, are the connections and collaboration that have been fostered.

The incredible creative team have demonstrated not only their abundant talent, but the same desire and commitment to – in the words of the Kolisi Foundation – change the stories of inequality in South Africa.

Expect some wonderful performances from some supremely talented lights of the West End & Broadway, and our own stars from South Africa. From the UK and New York we have Nikki Renee Daniels, Michael Xavier, Kim Criswell and David Habbin. We have some of the very best South African musical theatre performers as well including Jonathan Roxmouth; Lynelle Kenned; Tsepho Ncokoane and Lucy Tops. And of course, national comedic treasure Marc Lottering is our host and will hold it all together with his unique humour, and of course, his deep love and appreciation for musical theatre.

When we look for light and connection, we find it most viscerally through art, through music, through stories, through sport, which is why they are such impactful intervention tools. Indeed directors will tell actors to “find their light”. We intuitively know we are connected, and this is often where we go to feel it.

Some of you may know that Siya himself is a great fan of singing and music. I unearthed some wonderful footage of Siya talking about the meaning of song. In it he says: “people think we sing only for a toi-toi (celebration). No! It’s the days when we’re hungry, it’s the days when we’re cold, it brings unity – it’s connection”. Die hard Springbok fans will know that singing is an important part of the SA team’s pre-game ritual.

We hope people leave feeling connected, inspired and most of all have a fabulous time

One of my good friends has a wonderful expression: “building the plane while flying it”. I have held on to this tightly, and there has been a huge amount of faith involved. Faith and the formidable Daniel Galloway – our Producer.

With respect to the show, we needed faith that we would be able to raise enough money to fund the production, and make a meaningful impact; faith the right people would come on board; faith that the audience would want to come! As with all enterprises, the vision has to be clear and I think that the idea of bringing together the best of the international stage alongside local performers and of course the wonderful Cape Town Philharmonic in support of one of Siya and Rachel’s vision for changing the stories of inequality in South Africa resonated deeply.

We are grateful to Artscape for believing in the concept and making dates available; to the Cape Town
Philharmonic for wanting to jump on board and then there is incredible talent such as Charl-Johan Lingenfelder who just “got it” and all of the creative team have gone above and beyond their requirements to help deliver on this project. Casting was probably one of the most challenging parts as there is so much serendipity involved in bringing the right people together at the right time! But we have been deeply blessed in that respect and could not be more delighted with our line up – my husband David’s connections didn’t hurt in that respect.

We hope we can impart to our wonderful audiences a sense of the fun and goodwill that we have experienced throughout the preparation for Finding The Light.

The Kolisi Foundation as a charity partner came relatively late in the game. And I have to tell you that when I first suggested to David – a fanatical English rugby supporter – that we support the Kolisi Foundation, he looked at me incredulously and said: “so let me get this straight: you want us to commit tons of time, energy and money to help support programs that might one day produce more Siya Kolisi’s?!”

But that partnership has truly been an inspiration. We were looking for an organisation who embraced
collaboration, and a holistic approach to the work they were doing. With Siya and Rachel Kolisi living in Paris, the Kolisi Foundation were at a point at which they were looking to increase their fundraising capacity in Europe. We came along at the right time for them, and they for us. Their profile has obviously been a key factor in making a success of the London gala dinner in particular, though it has been completely mutually reinforcing. We have certainly. been “stronger together” – another key principle of the Kolisi Foundation.