A ‘godsend’ for local shelter

2018-09-18 06:01
Meiko Tsurusawa during one of her performances at Beth Uriel home in Salt River.PHOTO: luvuyo mjekula

Meiko Tsurusawa during one of her performances at Beth Uriel home in Salt River.PHOTO: luvuyo mjekula

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A small local organisation housing previously homeless young men had the privilege of hosting world-renowned opera singer Meiko Tsurusawa on Saturday.

Managers of Beth Uriel boys’ home in Salt River say they were honoured to welcome the Japanese star and grateful for her contribution and captivating performances.

Tsurusawa says God sent her to the home.

Famous for her ability to sing national anthems of 45 countries, Tsurusawa performed a string of songs and national anthems, including a rendition of “Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika”, which excited South Africans in the audience.

Tsurusawa has travelled to over 30 countries encouraging world peace and social change through her talent. She is currently touring South Africa and stopped at Salt River on Saturday.

Management of Beth Uriel are looking to raise funds to improve the state of the facility­.

In particular, they are seeking R40 000 to purchase 50 20F tins of paint to improve the appearance of the facility. “This will be used to carry through the new colour style on the front of our building, which was donated by Jubilee community church,” says coordinator, Melvin Koopman.

He says donations will help “inspire our young men with a dignified home as we launch them as whole people into the big world”.

Most of the 26 men, aged from 18 and 24, are South Africans and had no place to go after leaving children’s homes. Others are refugees who separated from their families and lived on the streets.

Having Tsurusawa perform at the home, management hoped, would create awareness about the 31-year-old home and thereby get them funding.

Between performances, Tsurusawa shared her life’s story with the audience. She has received praises for her opera singing from international first-class musicians­.

She told the audience that despite her adversities, including illness, she did not give up. “When I was six years old, I suffered from severe sickness and my half body was almost paralysed,” she said. “That time I heard a voice from heaven telling me that my mission is to sing. Since then I have considered it to be a spiritual connection and have embarked on my journey of making a difference.”

Beth Uriel’s board chairperson Eric de Kroon was optimistic after Tsurusawa’s performances. “I’m feeling very positive about her input, not only her singing, but the character-building story of her life,” De Kroon explained.

One of the young men, Michee Mavungu (21) said he wants his “second home” to be presentable so that he can take pride in it. He was impressed by Tsurusawa’s singing. Mavungu, originally from Namibia and currently a college student, says physical training are just some of the activities they take part in at the home.

V For donations, call the home on 021 447 8727

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