An 11-year-old musical prodigy tugged at the heartstrings of the audience at a national songwriting competition, today.
The Manor Gardens Primary School child's winning song at the South African Siyakanya Song Writing Competition, drew an audience of note. Leah Mari's song hit a sweet note with the judges. Her lyrics carried a message of hope, "we shall leave the past behind us and lead a brand new future".
The nightingale from KwaZulu-Natal says she seeks inspiration from Nelson Mandela. "Thinking of all the great achievements he has done for the country, its amazing. Even though he spent 27 years in jail, he came out not angry, but tolerant for many people in South Africa."
The competition saw several hundred youngsters gather together to try and change South Africa, one song at a time. Crowds came out en masse to hear the young singers who debuted with an orchestra and internationally-renowned choirs.