His song began with the will to survive


Doctors gave up on Reynhardt Smit the day he was born. He had hydrocephalus, or excess water in his brain. The verdict? Smit would only live for five months. But physicians had underestimated his fighting spirit. Today, Smit is 25, a successful musician and committed teacher. He’s inspired to share the harmonies that have guided him through life. “There were many challenges that I had to overcome,” Smit says. “Music has always been there for me.”

Growing up, Smit observed his father’s band practices, the sounds echoing through the house. At the age of seven, the curious child picked up his first guitar. Having never learnt to read music, Smit taught himself to play the guitar, piano, and banjo simply by listening. He acquired his skills on the saxophone from his father, continuing a family legacy after he passed away.

Along with the sax, the keyboard is one of Smit’s preferred instruments. He performs his forte, gospel, to amplify the hope it brings him. In 2012, Smit started a music school. “An instrument isn’t as difficult as maths,” he says. Smit imparts his wisdom and life lessons while tutoring. With every song, he demonstrates the resolve to keep playing. Soft notes fill the air, reverberating through the room. They sound like courage.