Growing up as a little boy I discovered that my father could play instruments. We could never afford to own any instruments, but when my father’s friends would walk down the road with their guitars, they always allowed him to jam a song or two.
When I was 12 my father kinda force-taught me to play the guitar. The first day it was so exciting, but it sounded terrible. It took me a while to get use to the strings. It was really painful, the strings left marks on my fingertips.
I continued practising and this led to me playing at church and school assemblies. Because my parents saw how interested I was in playing the guitar, my father bought me the only guitar he could afford. A year or two later I met new friends who were also musicians and after a few months of jamming… We started a band baby, we started a band.
Our first gig was a 50th birthday party and after that, we entered a battle of the bands competition. It was an interschool competition where the organisers would go to 10 different schools in Cape Town and choose a winner at each school. After the 10 winners were chosen, there would be a big event where all the winners battle it out to crown the champ of champs.
We entered the competition at South Peninsula High School. I remember we had to take a train with our instruments for the audition. During the audition we played an original song and the judges were blown away. We were accepted to be part of the competition. Two weeks later, we were crowned the champs of the school. I remember after the show about 8 girls asked for my mxit contact because they wanted to be in touch…
I didn’t stay with the band for long because I lived far away and I couldn’t always make it for practises or gigs. I didn’t play for about a year after I quit the band. The year after I quit the band was my matric year. We went on our matric camp and one of my classmates sat down behind the piano that was in the hall and played so well that everyone in the hall paused for a moment. At that moment I knew music had come to knock on my door again.
Together we started another band, but this time it was different because we were getting paid. We were asked to perform at talent shows, carnivals, public holiday events and many more. At one of the talent shows, one of the celebrity judges asked us to do an event with him. And it just went on from there. We had various gigs, other groups would ask us to accompany them, and we shared the stage with some of the biggest divas and divos in Cape Town. Some of the people we played with won Idols and other competitions. It was a party every weekend. Oh and did I mention the girls!!!
I remember one Thursday evening we had a double booking. We performed at a carnival, and from there we played at a club. One of the lead singers from the other band kept smiling at me. She ended up buying me drinks and she sat down next to me with their bass guitarist next to her. He was a very big guy and you could see he worked out quite frequently.
At around 1 the morning I was really drunk and I just remember the two of us kissing. The weirdest thing happened during this time. He was holding her hand while she was kissing me. I however only realised this about 40 minutes later. I went outside for a smoke and this guy came from behind me and smacked me to hard, I almost fell. I ran for a beer bottle but when I came back, our managers were outside and they told me to let it go. At this point I realised how dangerous it could become in this industry, especially when it came to alcohol and drugs, and this was not the person I wanted to be.
I never played at a club again after that, but I did some shows at the V&A Waterfront amphitheatre, Luxurama and other theatres around Cape Town. During this time I decided to learn how to play the keyboard. I started downloading videos on Youtube and I started playing. After a year, one of my friends asked me to help him with a gig and this was where I met a girl who really had one of the most beautiful tones in the world.
I didn’t speak to her, but it turned out that she frequented this place. I forgot my leather jacket at the event and when I went back the following day, turns out she took it home with her and said she will keep it for me. I contacted her on Facebook and we started chatting. I went to fetch my jacket by her and told her about the talent show I was working on. She came to the auditions and I noticed that she noticed me. She auditioned with a song I’ve never heard before. I didn’t know that it would be the beginning of the love song that is still playing. During her performance we couldn’t keep our eyes off each other. Then it hit me, she’s got good taste in men.
This was a week before Valentine’s Day – I decided to throw in my CV! I asked her what her plans were and she told me she had to work. I surprised her with a bouquet of red roses at work. From then on we were in love. We got married about four years later and on our wedding day she sang a song for me, and I played a song for her on the keyboard.
This article forms part of the new #Todalavida Mindspace series in which writers reflect on their personal experiences.
Tell us: has music played an important role in your (love!) life?