Last year Eugene Viljoen came to us with a project. Alarmed by the rhino poaching, increasingly front page news in our neck of the woods, he decided to do something about it in his personal capacity. Most of us don’t have the opportunity to fight on the conservation front line but we all have unique skill sets which can be mobilized for greater good, to demonstrate support, spread awareness and maybe make a difference. In Eugenes case this skill set is his music and he learned and released a remarkable instrumental piece by Jon Gomm called “Dance of the Last Rhino”. He asked us to record this for him with visuals and pictures and an idea was born which has grown into the broader ROOT project.
Jon is an English singer songwriter who uses an acoustic guitar to craft an amazing range of acoustic and percussive music. In 2014 he came to Africa for the first time and was so impressed with our unique yet vulnerable beauty, he wrote the “The Dance of the Last Rhino.” He recognizes music as a powerful tool and platform for change. Music can and does change the world. I think we can all relate to this. Certainly this is one of the inspirational principals behind Under the Marula Tree.
Jon dedicated his song to the bravery and resilience of the South African people as the protectors of the rhino and he publicly derided the beliefs in the magical properties of rhino horn which have led to the exploitation, and near extinction, of a whole species. After all rhino horn is essentially made of the same material as hair and fingernails.
But ‘Dance of the Last Rhino’ isn’t a sad, mournful piece. It’s a war dance. It starts with the rhino scraping it’s massive hooves in the dirt, preparing to charge. This is what we all still need to believe and fight for. It is a war and we can still win.
10% of all proceeds from the sale of Jon’s song are donated to Save the Rhino. We need more people like Jon supporting this cause.
Visit jongomm.com to see more or YouTube https://youtu.be/