Parties and events generally have one goal in mind; to create a fun environment for people to enjoy themselves in. And between the door sales, drinks and food, and even merchandise, there’s a lot of money to be made in the entertainment industry.

But in a world where personal gain seems to drive most things, we need to take a step back and consider how else this money could be utilised. While we’re out having fun there are those who don’t have the opportunity to enjoy a night out. And especially during this festive season—it’s a great chance for promoters to use their parties to give back to those in need.

Taking a stance with this outlook is Mavhuthu Dzege, affectionately known as Dadaman.

Just this year he ran the 42.2km Soweto Marathon in order to raise funds for his food parcel drive over the festive season, with the excess funds going towards giving underprivileged children school shoes.

To continue in his stride and end the year on a high, Dadaman has teamed up with the Smiley crew to host a charity shindig of note. Featuring DJs like Ady Fleming, Keegs Bantom, The Rudeman and Travisto, Smiley Meets Dadaman takes places at The Generator in Parkmore, Johannesburg this Saturday—with all proceeds going to Dadaman’s feeding fund.

We chat we the Dadaman himself to find out more about his selfless ethos and how to use fun parties to benefit the lesser privileged,

Where did name Dadaman come from?

The name was given to me ages ago by the people in my hood because I stutter. Someone once called me that because of the character in New Jack City, then the name got more traction when there was a character called Dadaman on the Phat Joe Show. So I just took the name and made it mine.

What inspired you to start creating awareness around ways to help the less fortunate?

There is no real inspiration per sé, I just didn’t like how people are forever expecting those in power or in a position of power to be the ones who are forever responsible for the less fortunate members of the community. So, I just decided to be the difference and be counted.

What spurred the idea to collaborate with Smiley for the upcoming event?

Smiley does great work for the community and spreading a smile is what I love doing, so collaborating with Smiley was a no-brainer. Plus, I also see that Travis has a following of people who are into giving, so why not bring a group of givers together.

The school shoe drive is a great and simple way to make an impact in the lives of our impoverished youth. What other avenues do you use to raise funds for causes like these?

I sometimes participate in races barefoot, just to put myself in the shoes of those kids. I spread the word on Facebook and once people pick up on it, they offer donations, which brings the cause to life. I also gooi parties where people pay a fee (donation) at the door and all the proceeds go towards a specific project that makes a difference within the community.

You ran 42.2km Soweto Marathon last month, raising R4000 for your food parcel drive. What was it like running the full-marathon and will you be running the race again next year?

The Soweto Marathon is a special race because you get to see the people of your community showing you love on the road as you are running. They come out in numbers, cheer you on, share water, oranges, bananas, beer, salt and whatever they have with you. You can see that some of these people barely make ends meet, but they share all they have with you. They do all that out of love! I plan on running the Two Oceans Marathon, Om Die Dam and the Comrades in the future. I will use one of those races to continue to make a difference in the lives of people.

What has been your favourite memory of giving your charity to those in need, so far?

I have two. There is a woman who was in her late ‘90s (she passed away this year) who I always gave groceries to. Whenever I went to see her she’d have this warm look on her face, a big smile, and she’d always bestow blessings onto us (the people who drop off the food parcels). She would always want us to hang around for longer because she appreciates our efforts and loves being in the company of those who care. The other moment was when two kids came running towards my car after dropping off school shoes off, they stopped me, hugged me through the window and thanked me. This reminded me that, the little we do, is appreciated.

Music is a great conduit for bringing people together. Why do you believe it’s important for people to lend a helping hand to those in need, and to use parties to do so?

When we party, we spend money that could make a difference in a family’s life. Tthe money we spend could feed a family - regardless of the number of days. Using entertainment as a way to generate funds is much easier that doing a door-to-door campaign asking people and corporates for money. You are not inconveniencing anyone but rather keeping them in their comfort zones to make a difference. It’s important to lend a helping hand because you never know the ripple effect you can create, you could also save a life – directly or indirectly.

How can people get involved with your causes beyond attending the party?

People can always hit me up via Facebook or WhatsApp to get further details about the causes that I am pushing, and they can also get banking details should they choose to make a contribution. Others who may need help, can hit me up and I can also see what I can do.

What can we expect from the event this weekend?

Loads of smiles, great vibe, a beautiful atmosphere with awesome people and FUN!

Tell us something people don’t know about you.

I am an open book.

Smiley Meets Dadaman takes place on Saturday, December 15th at The Generator. Tickets available here. Visit the event page for more information.

Image by Untainted Creatives