‘Ev­er­green Tenors’ ben­e­fit con­cert

Cape Argus - - News - Okuhle Hlati

DE­TE­RI­O­RAT­ING health, old age and fi­nan­cial com­pli­ca­tions will not stop a well-known Cape Town opera singer from daz­zling au­di­ences.

Fuad Sawyer, 61, and other mu­si­cians will host The Ev­er­green Tenors ben­e­fit con­cert, with all pro­ceeds go­ing to­wards the So­ci­ety for the Blind and to pay Sawyer’s med­i­cal bills.

Sawyer was di­ag­nosed with type 1 di­a­betes in 2015. Prior to his leg be­ing am­pu­tated the bills stacked up. This will be the sec­ond ben­e­fit con­cert for Sawyer.

“With the as­sis­tance of well-known opera diva Aviva Pel­ham, I was able to raise a ben­e­fit con­cert to cover a per­cent­age of the bill. I looked life straight in the eye and thought to my­self that I needed to go on. Life for me has not ended yet,” he said.

Sawyer said he was wheelchair-bound and slowly los­ing his sight.

“Mu­sic is part of me. I can age and go blind but the voice will still be here, so I don’t see the need to stop. I could have eas­ily ac­cepted my fate and just re­mained in a wheelchair, but that is not me,” Sawyer said.

At a young age, Sawyer ex­pressed a love for singing, and at the age of nine he joined the Eoan Group’s ju­nior choir, where he was clas­si­cally trained. He sang all over South Africa and in­ter­na­tion­ally.

“Au­di­ences will rub shoul­ders with lo­cal artists, in­ter­na­tional and ex-Eoan group artists,” he said of the ben­e­fit con­cert.

The Ev­er­green Tenors ben­e­fit con­cert will be staged on Novem­ber 11 at the So­ci­ety for the Blind, Salt River, at 2pm. The venue is wheelchair friendly and eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble,” Sawyer said.

The au­di­ence will see Ni­cola Cencherli, James Bhemgee, who won SA’s Got Tal­ent, Ivan Mered­ith on the pi­ano, Bienyameen Cam­roo­d­ien and many more.

Cencherli said: “Sawyer is a good friend. This re­unites the group again, and I am look­ing for­ward to per­form­ing.”

PIC­TURE: PHANDO JIKELO/ANA

DE­TER­MINED: Wheelchair-bound Fuad Sawyer is try­ing to mo­ti­vate phys­i­cally chal­lenged peo­ple not to give up on them­selves.

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