This piece was commissioned from Kristi Boonzaaier together with the Music for Children’s Mental Health concert organising committee as part of raising awareness of child and adolescent mental health issues.

Programme note

As part of raising awareness of child and adolescent mental health issues, it is important to listen to the lived experiences of young people facing mental health difficulties. Communal music-making is a powerful tool that can be used therapeutically, as a means of expression, and as a platform to emphasise young people’s strengths. In light of this, the Music for Children’s Mental Health concert organising committee in partnership with VOX Cape Town, commissioned a new choral work by young South African composer, Kristi Boonzaaier, as a way to share some of the adolescents’ messages of hope.

The lyrics for the piece Find the Light are taken from poems and original song lyrics written by adolescent mental health care users taking part in music therapy sessions. Through creative therapeutic processes, the adolescents were able to express themselves about the significant challenges they face. The consistent theme that emerged, however, was one of hope. Despite the darkness they find themselves in, there is resilience and a determination to find the light. No identifying information was collected in this process and the adolescents consented to having their words included.

Kirsten Rowe and Kate Farquharson



Darkness holds my heart,
The Moon my only company,
Out of chaos comes
The birth of a star.

Don’t be afraid,
It’s not this that will change my heart,
But the courage to face,
The long walk, that long walk,
Or even after I’ve come apart,
I am worth it, I am strong.
I will fight to find where I belong.
You are the light of this world we live in,
So find the light.
Find the light.

Oh, I heard a voice, it calls to me.
I long for the day to be free,
Speak free.
Freedom, freedom.