Pietermaritzburg’s self-taught musical muse

2015-09-10 06:00
PHOTO: nicole john

Len Sooklal has been entertaining for more than 50 years.

PHOTO: nicole john Len Sooklal has been entertaining for more than 50 years.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

SELF-TAUGHT musical muse, Len Sooklal (70), has been in the music industry for more than 50 years entertaining in PMB, Durban and Johannesburg.

Inspired by his uncle, Rabin Heera, Sooklal learnt how to play the clarinet because he was attracted to the sound. Since then he has learnt to play the saxophone, accordion, keyboard, harmonium, thabla and drums. Sooklal cannot read music and plays purely by ear.

In 1962 he joined the Nadhaan Orchestra and served the Indian community by playing in various community services and events. The band became very popular and cemented itself in the homes of many.

After 20 years in the band, Sooklal had to leave due to work challenges. However, his love for music continued to burn inside of him and he quickly got back into the industry when he became a part of Soor Sungeeth that played mostly in the city and Durban and was contracted to various Hindu organisations where they played for different events.

His most memorable experience in his illustrious musical career was leading Nelson Mandela from the city hall to the statue of Mahatma Ghandi in Church Street in 1995 when the statue was unveiled.

“This was, and will always be, the highlight of my career. It was an honour to lead Mandela and meeting him. This isn’t something that everyone can say they’ve done.”

In 2000 he began dabbling in a different musical area - playing for weddings and leading bridal couples into the venue. Nine years later Len Sooklal’s Music Productions and his son, Naveen, joined him. This brought a whole new element to Sooklal’s music. He was now able to experiment more and record music. He also began to play Indian, Western and Spanish music.

“With God’s grace I am still well and able to play music and continue my passion of entertaining others,” he said.

Sooklal said he wants to pass on the skill of playing the clarinet and other instruments to the younger generation so they can continue the traditions in the Indian culture.

For more information contact, Naveen at 072 518 2820 or Len at 073 388 5365 or email nsooklal@rocketmail.com

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.