Only 9 and the world’s at his fingertips

2015-06-04 10:00

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A NINE-YEAR-OLD guitar maestro is pulling all the right strings in ­Pietermaritzburg.

Luthando Jackson, a pupil at ­Merchiston Preparatory School, ­appeared on SABC 1’s prime time news bulletin on Monday where his performance at the Tatham Art Gallery the day before was aired.

His father, Oupa, said Luthando picked up his first guitar at the age of seven after he’d asked his mother Thandeka to buy him one for his birthday.

“She went and bought him a no-name-brand guitar and he started playing from the first day he received his present. He started listening to music and repeated what he heard on his toy guitar,” recalled Jackson.

Luthando would practise every day after school, playing songs he heard on the radio, Jackson said.

“No day goes by without him playing his guitar, unless he is ill. Every time he plays we have mini concerts with my wife and his two sisters Andiswa and Mandisa. Sometimes they join in and sing along to what he is playing.”

Jackson realised six months after Luthando received the guitar that he was talented.

A family friend, director of the Msunduzi Music Centre Nhlanhla Mnikathi, who is also a guitarist, recognised Luthando’s talent and bought him his first professional guitar, a brown Yamaha instrument.

“So many people have come to me and said some of the songs he plays are really difficult.”

Jackson said his son loves playing Spanish and classical music.

“Last year we received a scholarship from the school because he is so talented. They told us that even though they were not a musical school, he deserved the scholarship.”

Luthando said he loves the guitar ­because it challenges him and it is good exercise.

“My favourite artist is James Brass. I love his music. I love playing Isaac Alberniz’s version of Asturias, it’s my favourite song, I love playing it.”

The self-taught guitarist has hopes of becoming a music teacher one day.

“I want to teach other children how to play the guitar because I love music.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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