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9year old Guitar maestro turns celebrity in PMB

Luthando in action with his favourite musical instrument. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Luthando in action with his favourite musical instrument.

(Amanda Khoza, News24)

A 9-year-old guitar maestro is pulling all the right strings in Pietermaritzburg.

Luthando Jackson, a pupil at Merchiston Preparatory School, has caught the attention of his community in Mountain Rise.The talented young star 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, 47, said Luthando picked up his first guitar at the age of 7 when he asked his mother Thandeka to buy him a guitar 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.

Family concerts

Luthando would practice 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.”

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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 guitar.

“We take him very seriously. He always gives me a list of songs to download for him so that he can play. 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.”

Jackson said he would not push his son into a career in music and would rather have him choose his own career path.

“He can be whatever he wants to be. To us he is a normal child with a special gift. At school he participates in all the activities. He plays rugby, cricket and basketball,” said the businessman.

‘A phenomenal guitarist’

The school’s principal, Dave Beetar, said they were very proud of their little musical maestro.

“He has shown an interest in music. I don’t think the family realises read more

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