Music makes it happen

Neo Motsatse
Neo Motsatse

A YOUNG Nelson Mandela Bay-born violinist, who began playing the instrument when she was just six years old, will “make things happen” when she takes to the Athenaeum stage on Freedom Day next weekend.

Neo Motsatse, 14, who now lives in Johannesburg with her family, was born in KwaMagxaki and left when she was about a year old. She is set to perform in the self-titled Neo Motsatse: Make Things Happen Concert on Sunday April 27, following successful concerts in Johannesburg.

Neo’s mother, Fezeka, who manages her musically, said: “Neo will perform her favourite tunes from different classical periods to modern pieces ranging from gypsy music, tangos and contemporary music.”

This not-to-be-missed performance will also feature Neo’s seven-year-old pianist sister, Teboho, and local musicians including a group of Booysen Park primary pupils, a four-member string quartet and pianist Hanlie Young.

Neo will also share the stage with Cape Town-based violinist Anele Mhlahlo. Manager of the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (ECPO) Gill Barnett said the local pupils participating in the event were part of the orchestra’s Music Investment Project (MIP).

“ECPO is immensely proud of MIP, which was started three years ago.

“We have trained 750 pupils from disadvantaged and impoverished communities from four designated teaching centres – Khulile Primary School in Motherwell, Booysen Park Primary, Palm Ridge Centre in Bethelsdorp, and St Teresa’s School in Schauderville – who are taught choral skills and orchestral instruments by instrumentalists,” Barnett said.

Neo has over the years participated in a number of competitions, concerts and private performances and has shared the stage with the likes of violinist Samson Diamond and cellist Kutlwano Masote, accordionist maestro Sergio Zampolli, bassist Victor Masondo and singer Sibongile Khumalo.

“This whole concert is about encouraging young people. The sky is not the limit: you can achieve anything you set yourself to do. Anyone can be a musical genius,” the young musician said.

“I’m blessed because my parents have been very supportive and have helped me throughout the way. Playing an instrument and mastering its art requires work, determination, focus and practice.

“It doesn’t matter how talented you are, if you don’t practise you won’t go anywhere,” said the home-schooled teenager, who also credited “guidance and passion” as contributors to her success.

Neo, who also enjoys swimming, reading and listening to music, has for the past four years hosted an annual pre-Christmas music concert titled Neo Motsatse: The Concert at various venues in Johannesburg.

Tickets for the Freedom Day concert at 3pm are at R80 for adults and R50 for children under the age of 12. Drinks and refreshments will be free during interval.

lFor tickets, contact Fezeka Motsatse on 082-784-2585 or e-mail – Balisa Ntloko


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