Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time, but in the case of Vincent Joubert, owner of Vibe Audio & Backline based in Springs, Johannesburg, it was a fader finger he needed. Family, friends in the industry such as actress and writer Lizz Meiring, and the SOS Charity Fund, rallied around Vincent to help carry the unexpectant medical costs for his little finger which was very nearly amputated.
From a young age, Joubert had a passion for the industry and having used his DJ skills at school, continued working on events on a part-time basis. Four years ago, Joubert decided to give his blossoming lighting and audio rental company his undivided attention. With a focus on music, Joubert’s career has seen him work at festivals and alongside South African artists such as Jo Black, Ray Dylan, Liezel Pieterse and Deon Groot amongst others.
The entertainment industry is rewarding but has a few challenges – hard work not the least of them. Weekends away from home, carrying heavy gear and needing your hands to program the audio are natural parts of the game. Like all of us, one only realises the impact of disability once it happens to you.
“Ten years ago, I hurt my finger and the joint was damaged,” Joubert explains. Not thinking it was serious, and not experiencing discomfort, he never had it seen to. Then, four weeks ago, alarm bells rang as the throbbing finger doubled in size and Joubert was diagnosed with septic arthritis in the joint. “Initially the doctor was going to amputate, and I was actually relieved as I was in such immense pain,” said Joubert. “It was difficult to function.”
A specialised operation, which could not have taken place in a government hospital, saw the medical team cleaning out the debris. “There is a wire in my finger, but it will never bend again,” he explains. “That is why the doctor thought he would remove it. The cost of an amputation, however, would be an additional R29 000, excluding the aftercare and medication. For now, that’s just too expensive,” he explains.
While Joubert has been forced to take it easy for the next eight weeks, and thankfully the healing process is coming along nicely, it’s business as usual. Two staff members help him set up, while Joubert continues to run the audio.
“People in the industry including artists I work with and the SOS Charity Fund have been wonderful and assisted me with the initial operation costs,” said Joubert. “They have all been amazing – thank you very much!” As a single dad, kind gestures have gone a long way.
The SOS Charity Fund have donated R7 000 towards the operation and will also supply monthly grocery vouchers, each to the value of R3 000, for the next three months.
“In the entertainment business, it is all about the people. I love my job, meeting new people, having fun and creating something nice for people with music they love. Thank you to everyone for your support,” he concludes.