Irish pop star raises money for Red Cross

Ronan Keating, in the middle, flanked, on the left, by Dr Helder de Quintal and children’s hospital CEO Dr Anita Parbhoo, and, on the right, by head of the paediatric haematology-oncology service Professor Alan Davidson.

Irish pop star Ronan Keating will donate R1 million towards Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

The money was raised during a benefit concert and charity auction, for 150 guests, at the Zeitz MOCAA museum on Saturday.

The Irish singer joined South African golfing legend Gary Player for the fund-raiser, A Night with Ronan Keating, which brought in a total of R2 million.

During the event, Keating sang some of his classic hits, including When You Say Nothing At All and If Tomorrow Never Comes. And both Keating and Player spoke about their charities, while comedian Nik Rabinowitz was the auctioneer.

Earlier, Player and Keating had a closed golf day at the Metropolitan Golf Course in Green Point.

Keating and Player have been hosting these charity events since 2018, but Keating performed virtually last year because of the pandemic.

Player will donate R1 million, as part of the Gary and Vivienne Player Foundation to Blair Atholl Pre-Primary School in Johannesburg, which funds educational materials to underprivileged children, while Keating’s R1 million, raised as part of the Marie Keating Foundation, will support the children’s hospital oncology unit.

Keating visited the hospital on Monday and was given a tour of the oncology unit by head of the paediatric haematology-oncology service Professor Alan Davidson and hospital CEO Dr Anita Parbhoo.

Keating said it was an honour to raise funds with Player who is one of his heroes and now a friend. “I lost my mum to breast cancer who was 51, so if I can raise cancer awareness anywhere in the world and spread the word that early detection can be a great form of survival then I will do it,” he said.

Dr Parbhoo thanked Keating for supporting the hospital’s oncology unit. “We have seen during the pandemic, children’s rights have been pushed to the side. The focus was mainly on adults with Covid-19. Despite that, we had to continue treating patients with cancer and other diseases.”

Keating’s Twenty Twenty album, released in 2020, was followed last year by Songs from Home. He is planning a world tour from June to August, in the UK, Ireland and parts of Asia. He said he would like to perform in South Africa.

Irish pop star Ronan Keating and South African golfing legend Gary Player at a golf day at the Metropolitan Golf Course in Green Point before the benefit concert and charity auction.