From a young age, Ethan Palagangwe (10), a talented singer from Mitchells Plain, Cape Town has been drawn to music.

Inspired by his songstress mom, he could often be heard around the house, singing songs by his favourite musicians such as Chris Brown, Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber.

“Ethan started singing around the house at the age of 8. When he started singing for our friends and family at gatherings, we realized that he has a God given talent that we needed to nurture.” says Ethan’s mom, Candice.

The Palagangwe family from left are Cade, Kagisho, Ethan, Candice and Kaycee. Picture: Plainsman

When Ethan’s parents saw that the prestigious Drakensberg Boys Choir School in Kwa-Zulu Natal was having an open call to auditions, they signed him up, in hopes that he would be given a once in a lifetime opportunity to sharpen his singing skills and receive a world-class education.

Performing one of his favourite songs, “Ben”, by Michael Jackson, Ethan soaked up the spotlight and was one of only 30 students, out of 1600, to receive an acceptance letter to enrol at the private school.



Unable to cover the cost of his schooling, which amounts to approximately R 175 000 for his first year, Ethan’s parents launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy that has thus far raised over R113 000. 

With support from 48 donors both locally and internationally, Ethan has been able to attend the prestigious Drakensberg Boys Choir School in KZN and has been excelling in his studies.

“Being accepted at the school has also driven him in aiming high and to excel in all the academic and social activities that are being offered at the school. I am pleased to say that despite all the challenges he and his parents have faced, he still gives his best to achieve academic excellence for himself.”



Unfortunately due to the unforeseen Covid-19 pandemic, many of the individuals and businesses that pledged to contribute to Ethan’s education have experienced financial hardship, leaving Ethan’s family with over R53 000 in outstanding school fees.

Unable to come up with the funds, Ethan will unfortunately need to return home to Cape Town and put his dreams of becoming a singer on hold.

“We as a family have witnessed Ethan’s personal development, education, and musical growth to be phenomenal, and we would not want to deprive him of this chance. Since it is mid-year and amid the pandemic, many schools are restricting their enrollment, so we are in a tough position to secure Ethan a new school.” 

Needing additional funding for the remainder of his fees for the school year, Ethan’s parents hope the public will continue to support his dreams.

If you would like to continue supporting Ethan on his educational journey, you are welcome  to make a donation on BackaBuddy.

Make a donation to Ethan’s campaign here:

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*As per the campaign creator’s request, funds raised will be paid directly to the school*

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South Africa’s leading crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy has supported more than 10 000+ individuals and charities in setting up fundraising campaigns for medical fees, tuition and various causes in South Africa. The platform has thus far risen over R260 Million.