Ross Johnson

Managing director, amaAmbush

Managing director of amaAmbush Productions,Ross Johnson, has successfully combined his musical talent and his aim to "make a difference to as many lives as possible for the better� into a serious business proposition. The company, through its three arms � the academy, the band and amaAmbush products and services � promotes and teaches African music, specifically the music of African marimbas; performs to a global audience; and finally makes and manufactures the instruments themselves. Passionate about Marimba music, Johnson believes wholeheartedly in its ability to transcend the cultural boundaries that divide South Africa, calling it a "catalyst for unification�. Johnson began busking with other musicians in Cape Town as a 10 year old and it was during his five years of street performing that he was exposed to the marimba. By the age 16, he had formed the band amaAmbush and by his matric year he had begun teaching marimbas to schools around Cape Town. He has since expanded his work to include courses for teachers. Johnson graduated with a degree in music from the University of Cape Town in 2006 and has travelled to Malaysia, Italy and the United States to lecture on music teaching techniques and African music. amaAmbush has played with the likes of the Soweto String Quartet and SnowPatrol, as well as performed for international celebrities such as Jamie Oliver and Richard Branson. In 2008 he received an award for his contribution in the field of Youth in Arts and Culture from the premier of the Western Cape and was a finalist in Cape Talk/ Nedbank Small Business Awards. Being young in South Africa "means you are excited about the country and aware of the opportunities created by the fluidity of our current state rather than put off by the challenges,� says Johnson. � Lynely Donnelly

Lunch spot: The Foodbarn, Noordhoek