The one-time social worker uses her knowledge of two completely different fields to achieve a single universal goal.
She said: “Those of us who speak the language of music can break boundaries if we do it with integrity. Once the right emotional state has been induced, you can start discussing important things.”
Her message is about peace and justice for all. In speaking about the violence and abuse in South Africa and the world, she said, “I think we have become numb. Only when it’s close to home and it happens to someone you love does it suddenly become a reality. But opening the newspaper and reading about it on a daily basis becomes infuriating. Individuals feel helpless. What can one person possibly do?
“Talking about it is a good start,” said Paige.
“Talk usually leads to action, and action is what is needed.
“Stop thinking that you as an individual cannot make a difference. I took one very valuable lesson from my experience as a social worker. It is something I noticed in many communities. There is always that one person who decides enough is enough and starts doing something. These people become beacons of hope in their communities and many times before they know it, they have a community centre and they are making a difference.
“A second lesson I learned is that while money is important, your skill and your time are more valuable. Become involved. You might be the one who gains most from it.”
Paige reflects on the situations in her life and how they have shaped the person she is today.
“I was a social worker for five years,” she said.
“It opened my eyes to the realities of our country – both positive and negative. It gave me perspective on my own life and how I fit into the bigger picture.” Paige’s new release Beyond Borders, from her album Borders & Beyond, is a reflection of this.
“I’ve been struggling with the fact that so many of us still live segregated lives,” she said.
“We all need to get to know each other. We need to start focusing on our similarities rather than our differences. If you put a group of people from different ethnic groups around a table, give them dinner and wine and ask them to share stories about their grandmothers, what would happen? I think you will have a night of laughter, tears and unexpected insight – and subsequently a little more respect.”
When asked why the singer quit as a social worker, Paige explained, “The main reason was that my music career was starting to make more demands on me. Social work is not something you can do in half measures. You are working with people; families and children. Skip a day at work and it can have serious consequences for the family who are depending on you. But you don’t need to be a social worker to make a difference; we all have our roles to play, whether it’s in music, community development or politics.
“Music has and always will be used across the globe to unite people, to protest and to share a common message of hope,” she concludes.