Nik Rabinowitz making waves for mental health awareness

Comedian Nik Rabinowitz will host a standup event in support of Waves for Change

Nik Rabinowitz and Friends invite the public to join them at their Comedy Night on Tuesday 31 October, at  the Wave Theatre, 44 Long Street in Cape Town to raise funds for Waves for Change (W4C). W4C is an organisation dedicated to providing mental health prevention/promotion services for at-risk children from 43 under-resourced communities through the power of Surf Therapy to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Month. Waves for Change aims to raise R600 000+ to give over 2500 children (10-16 years old) access to free weekly Surf Therapy sessions for a year. The evidence-based Surf Therapy uses trained community surf coaches to create a safe space where vulnerable children are referred to find belonging, learn new skills, build confidence and create positive behaviours to improve their mental wellness.

“The 2023 global theme for World Mental Health Day is ‘Mental Health is a Universal Right’ and we want to support our local community who are doing incredible work in promoting universal access to mental health,” says Rabinowitz who has supported Waves for Change actively for the past three years . “By purchasing a ticket to our Comedy Night, you can help us make a change. It’s one night only and the R250 ticket price is the same price as it costs to get a kid in the water for a session.”

“Children who grow up in South African townships have an eight times greater exposure to traumatic events than children growing up in affluent areas. Constant or prolonged exposure to trauma and adversity develops into toxic stress[1] which has negative implications on a child’s development; they need urgent support to be able to overcome their circumstances,” says Tim Conibear, co-founder of Waves for Change.

“We need to find ways of making it easier for people to say ‘I’m not ok’ and we need to find ways of making it easier for people to get the help that they need when they’re at their most vulnerable.” adds Conibear. 

Waves for Change began in 2009 as a small, informal weekend surf club for a handful of children from Masiphumelele Township in Cape Town and registered as an NPO and public benefit organisation in 2011. “It was evident that children were coming because they felt safe, heard, and connected,” says Conibear. Since then, Waves for Change has developed a solid scientific evidence base for Surf Therapy as a low cost, feasible way of supporting children experiencing toxic stress along the coastline of South Africa.

Rabinowitz promises a night of laughs and goodwill and will be keeping the audience entertained with fellow comedians Mel Jones, Kate Pinchuck, Thato Mabelane and Yaaseen Barnes.

Laughter Therapy with Nik Rabinowitz & Friends will be hosted at Wave Theatre, 44 Long Street in Cape Town on Tuesday 31st October at 7.30pm. Tickets are R250 at Quicket:

[1]; Grand challengers grant application, page 3.

Beranbaum, S., Kouri, N., Van der Merwe, N., DePierro, V. K., & D’Andrea, W. (2022). Behavioral and Biological Indicators of Risk and Well-Being in a Sample of South African Youth. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 1-10.