Tokai teen wins a lifetime award from ex-US prez

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July 4, 2017
Tokai teen wins a lifetime award from ex-US prez

WUNDERKIND: Daniel Petersen, 14, of Tokai has a degree in music already

He was dubbed the “little drummer boy” and crept into the hearts of millions of South Africans when his kwaai drumming abilities made him the youngest music graduate.

Now 14-year-old Daniel Petersen, who used his talents to reach out to underprivileged laaities, has been recognised by former US president Barack Obama, receiving the prestigious Barack Obama Lifetime Achievement Award in the US.

Daniel received the award at a ceremony in New Orleans over the weekend.

In 2014, he became the youngest person to obtain a degree in music at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

He has been playing drums since he was three, and has since toured the world doing gigs.

Daniel, from Tokai, received the award for his commitment to community work and nation-building.

He started the Daniel Petersen Foundation for underprivileged children who do not have access to musical instruments.

He also assisted Nosaconn, a non-profit organisation in New Orleans, to raise funds for an after-school music programme which helps youngsters get music lessons and access to instruments.

Daniel called on the public to donate any unused musical instruments to his foundation.

Speaking from New Orleans on Sunday, he said: “Even though Barack Obama could not make the awards ceremony, it was an honour to be recognised by his foundation.

“This award is also for South Africa, our new democracy and the youth of 1976 who paid with their lives.

“I was only 14 months old when my dad (Daniel Petersen Sr.) came home one day and heard me playing (the drums).

“From then onwards he taught me how.

“I will soon be leaving for Kazakhstan, to be part of the Nelson Mandela Day Celebrations. It is my dream to obtain my PhD by the age of 22.”

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