Fiddling pupil takes on a busking gig

2013-05-04 00:00

A PLUCKY nine-year-old Hilton school boy has taken up his fiddle to earn some pocket money and help those less fortunate than himself.

Mitchell Francis was inspired by seeing the local sight of “The Fiddler” at functions.

Musician Brian Bedingfield, also a member of the Hairy Legged Lentil Eaters, is a common sight around the Midlands, busking to entertain. He also performs at weddings and is often at the Karkloof Farmers’ Market.

Mitchell watched the musical maestro and was fascinated as fans dropped money into the fiddler’s empty fiddling case.

The astute boy hatched a plan ... with barely a year’s worth of violin lessons under his belt, the Laddsworth Primary pupil decided that he, too, could take on the busking circuit and earn money, and he would also give some of his takings to a good cause.

His parents struck a deal with the manager at the Hilton Quarry and the boy was allowed to busk for a short while when they did their shopping on a Sunday.

His mother, Penny Francis, explained: “We wanted to encourage him to play and develop his confidence, but we were quite amazed at how generous people are.

“I sometimes get R2 or R5 from people, but some people have even given me R10 or R20, and that is great,” he said with a smile.

Mitchell decided to share his takings with the Ndabezinhle Crèche that is supported by the Crossways Church. The crèche is situated in Sweetwaters and is always short of necessities.

“My mother contacted Nelly Ngubane at the crèche and she said that the little kids only have one of those scooters to play with and they fight over it, so we decided to buy some for the kids.”

Crossways Pastor Paul Hemming said he is proud of Mitchell as the boy was very keen to buy a radio- controlled helicopter from a nearby toy shop, but later decided to share his earnings with the church charity.

“I wish more children would follow Mitchell’s example and think of the other children who are less fortunate,” he said.

Dressed in his casual clothes, often barefoot, Mitchell is not dressed up to the nines like his fiddling rival, but he definitely charms the Sunday shoppers who admire his passion.

Belting out the tunes his violin teacher has drilled into him, he earns up to R250 a month. Mother Penny said she is trying to encourage him to save his earnings.

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