WATCH | South African tenor performs for neighbours from his balcony during lockdown
Music has a way of connecting us. Or in the words of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato: “Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.”
For South African-born international tenor Pierre van der Westhuizen, who lives in Somerset West, his passion is to “sing music of all different aspects of life”.
Born into a family of six musicians, Van der Westhuizen said he had been singing since the age of three.
“I've been involved with various music groups, but my solo career is professional for the past 20 years,” said Van der Westhuizen, who has travelled all over the world on concert tours.
During the lockdown, Van der Westhuizen said he has been practising music and spending time with family.
“Good food, good coffee and Netflix.”
With everyone behind closed doors and in an attempt to boost the morale in his community, Van der Westhuizen’s landlord suggested he perform to the Die Wingerd suburb.
Mic in hand, the father of three performed songs including Love Changes Everything, When You Walk Through a Storm and many more.
“It was truly a wonderful experience to sing for the suburb - only seeing a few neighbours across the road, but hearing lots of people cheering all over - it was fantastic, uplifting and inspiring ... a great reminder that we should be there for each other and complementing the two greatest commandments - love God with all your heart and your neighbour as you love yourself.”
On Friday morning, the country was on day eight of the 21-day nationwide lockdown.
Health minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Thursday that the confirmed coronavirus cases in the country had passed the 1,400 mark.
The country has also reported five deaths from Covid-19.
Van der Westhuizen urged South Africans to refrain from panicking or living in fear, and to stay calm instead.
“Prevention is better than cure. Live responsibly, stay safe and stay indoors. Let us truly look out for each other.
“As a full-time artist, singer, this is my mission through good, inspirational music, to make people aware of this,” he said.
His sister, Nella de Waal, who is a pianist, praised him for his act of kindness.
“In this time of uncertainty and vulnerability, people need comfort and encouragement. We need to know there is someone who cares.
“I am so grateful that Pierre did not hesitate to perform this act of complete kindness and compassion, uplifting the community around him.
“ I am sure this will become a regular performance. It is such a selfless example to other performers,” De Waal said.
Comments on Facebook included, “thanks for blessing us with [your] talent, Stronger together” and “Thank you we need it”, as well as, “This should wake everyone with a good spirit."
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