17 March 2017

South Africa: I Was Born Blind for a Purpose, Says East London Accordion Player

East London resident Siphe Mditshane, 42, was born blind. But that did not stop him from following his dream to play the accordion and teach others.

Mditshane was born in Ngqeleni, one of eight children. His father was an accomplished piano accordion player, and Mditshane started playing by ear when he was 13 years old.

"Since I am blind, I would listen to my father every time he played, and that is how I learned to play. No one taught me; I just listened," says Mditshane.

"The fact that I was born blind does not mean I cannot play music. I don't use my eyes, but my hands."

Mditshane completed an 11-track CD in 2014, which he sells for R50. His great joy is teaching others to play accordion and keyboard.

"Being blind does not mean I cannot help other people," he says. "God has his reasons for making me this way, and now I am helping people who are perfectly able, so I guess I was born blind for a purpose".

Two of his siblings, who were also born blind, also play the accordion and the keyboard.

He is often asked to play for free at weddings and funerals. He says, "I would appreciate it if people could take what I am doing seriously, because I am a family man and playing the accordion is my job." Mditshane and his wife Nonkulu have seven children to support.

One of the young musicians Mditshane is mentoring, 28-year-old Luthando Ntoziyatsha, says, "I can see, but I didn't know how to play the accordion." He says Mditshane is proof that disabled people can often do things people without disabilities cannot do.

South Africa

Why Zuma's Eventual Departure Won't Solve the Country's Woes

President Zuma is uniquely bad, but he hasn't just enriched himself. Many people now have vested interests in the… Read more »

Copyright © 2017 GroundUp. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 150 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.