hits the right


The name says it all: Self Direction. It was Prof Christo van der Westhuizen’s idea to name the band after the Self- Directed Learning research focus area to which all four band members belong. It also speaks to their commitment to doing what they enjoy most.

Members of Self Direction are from left Aimee le Roux, Dr Roxanne Bailey and Prof Christo van der Westhuizen. Gareth Bailey (far right) sometimes plays the drums for Self Direction. At that stage, Dr Dorothy Laubscher was not yet a member of the band.


Enjoy an original song called "Worst case scenario" by the group Self Direction. At the back is Gareth Bailey who sometimes plays the drums. Dr Dorothy Laubscher joined the band after this video was made.


How to tune up for success

Christo and Aimee have some contrasting advice for aspiring musicians hoping to start a band.

“I’ve always wanted to be part of a band, but it never worked out. In the music environment the phrase ‘let’s start a band’ has become so commonplace, it’s like saying ‘we should go for coffee sometime’ to an old high school acquaintance.

“What I’ve learned from our band is that you shouldn’t force it. When you find people who love the same music and share the same dreams as you, it will all work out. Keep searching for these people and when you find them, cherish and prioritise them,” says Aimee.

“Don’t start a band… it’s too much fun!” warns Christo.



Christo, Aimee le Roux, Dr Dorothy Laubscher and Dr Roxanne Bailey make up the talented quartet of musicians who have taken their different passions and approaches and turned them into a well-oiled music-making unit.


Comparing notes


“I am the youngest of the band members and normally the one who plays a false note or whose rhythm is off,” says lead singer Aimee who also plays the ukulele and piano. “But I enjoy the music immensely and we are very energetic when we play. I’ve never heard as much good music as I have this year, and that is thanks to the other band members’ influence.”


“I think I bring some wisdom, a critical ear and a bit of composure to the youngsters,” says Christo who strums the guitar.


Dorothy, who plays the keyboard, shares some of Christo’s characteristics: “I’m a very calm person and sometimes I bring this calmness to the band. I think I contribute a trained ear and a feel for music.”


Then there is the self-confessed “strict” guitar player and bassist Roxanne: “I’d say I bring a sternness to the band. In fact, I’m often told to ease up a bit!”


Sharing their music


The group came together this year after they decided to enter the Pukki Talent Festival in the staff category. They started rehearsing in March and when it turned out there was no such category in 2019 after all, the group enjoyed playing together so much that they decided to continue.


They practise every Monday and play at the Snowflake market in Potchefstroom every two months, and can also be seen at numerous other events including house concerts.


Their favourite music to perform is folk-rock, playing covers of artists such as Amy Macdonald, Brandi Carlile, Tracy Chapman, Laurika Rauch, Melktert Kommissie, The Cranberries, Fleetwood Mac, Passengers, Edith Piaf and Adele.


Fortunately for music lovers, it seems Self Direction is heading in the right direction, hitting the high notes time and again.

Dr Dorothy Laubscher (above) joined Self Direction recently. “Dorothy is a real asset to the band and her presence makes a big difference,” says Dr Roxanne Baily, another band member.