Musician spreads joy

2016-12-14 06:03
Lerato Kobo with his self-made one string music instrument. Watch the video on the Express Facebook page.  Photo: Teboho Setena

Lerato Kobo with his self-made one string music instrument. Watch the video on the Express Facebook page. Photo: Teboho Setena

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It is amazing how little things make us happy, as is the case with Lerato Kobo (48). He finds joy in playing music with a self-made one stringed guitar and making others happy.

Kobo originates from Teyateyaneng in Lesotho, a small town near the capital of Maseru. During an interview with him, it was fascinating to discover that there are still people playing African music in the streets of Bloemfontein.

Also known as Lesilo, his stage name, Kobo plays the one stringed guitar which he said is called Mamokgorong.

This violin-like instrument is the ancestor of the original violin.

Kobo explained his association with the self-made guitar. “I have been playing this instrument for as long as I can remember. It is over 15 years now that I learnt from my late grandfather, Ramahetlane Kobo.”

Kobo plays the instrument to make a living and to provide for his family in Lesotho.

One problem he has is the earnings he makes on the street corners of the Free State capital. He said it is not enough to see him and his family through the hard times we are living in. His family includes two children, a daughter, Palesa (15), and a son, Lebohang (8), who are now both attending a local school in Teyateya­neng.

With his Sotho instrumental music, he strives to pull through with the little earnings he makes playing on the pavements on the corner of President Brand and Elizabeth Street, on the northern side of the National Afrikaans Literary Museum.

He has recently received a breakthrough, as he was nominated to feature in the African Footprints at the Civic Theatre held as part of the annual Mangaung African Cultural Festival (Macufe).

Besides Macufe, he plays at schools and other events. When he is called to come and play, he seizes the opportunity with both hands.

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