- Tshepiso Ledwaba came from humble beginnings in Soshanguve
- The musician got his first taste of classical music in 2004 and started teaching in 2010
- Through hard work and maximising his opportunities, Ledwaba is now one of the most highly skilled and sought after piano technicians in the world
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Tshepiso Ledwaba's story serves as another reminder that all things are possible through hard work.
The 29-year-old came from humble beginnings, but has become one of the best piano technicians in the world.
Ledwaba grew up in Soshanguve and his love for classical music started in 2004 after a former teacher introduced him to it.
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Unisa's Music Foundation recognised his aptitude for the art and offered him a teaching contract in 2010.
While working at the foundation, Ledwaba realised that maintaining the musical instruments turned out to be a costly affair for the university.
He approached the foundation’s director, Professor Karendra Devroop, with the innovative idea of acquiring the necessary skills to perform the maintenance and tuning in-house.
Devroop admired Ledwaba's idea and reached out to the Director of the Artist Diploma in Piano Technology at the Oberlin Conservatory John Cavanaugh.
Cavanaugh obliged and personally trained Ledwaba to become a Steinway Piano Technician.
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Ledwaba honed his craft in Ohio in the United States under the tutelage of Cavanagh.
Briefly.co.za learnt that he has emerged since then as the first black trained and certified Steinway technician on the African continent.
A feather in Ledwaba's cap is that he has been regularly chosen to work as the technician at The Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, USA.
Despite Ledwaba's success and experience in the US, his initial idea has recently come to life as the Unisa Piano Repair Centre has been approved.
A humble Ledwaba said, "As part of my contract I will train three students to work in the repair centre as tuners. I relish this opportunity to pay it forward and to extend the good fortune that I have enjoyed to deserving and talented students."
Ledwaba left quite an impression on the veteran mentor Cavanagh.
Cavangh said, "Tshepiso is undoubtedly the best student I have taught in a career spanning over 35 years."
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