Reynhardt Smit, 25. Photo: Jack Lestrade/Daily Voice
A 25-year-old Grassy Park man, who was given just five months to live the day he was born, has not only survived but teaches kids to play the five musical instruments he has mastered over the years.

Reynhardt Smit, who runs his school Music Lessons For Beginners, plays saxophone, piano, organ, accordion, guitar and banjo.

He was born with Hydrocephalus, a life-threatening illness where a baby is born with large amounts of fluids on the brain resulting in an abnormally big head.

Reynhardt had a shunt fitted to relieve the pressure and drain the fluid from his head but the illness still has a heavy impact on his spine, back, and affects his mind, speech and his eyes.

Photo: Jack Lestrade/Daily Voice

This young man was, however, determined to succeed at life and was playing the piano, banjo and guitar before he was 10 years old.

He says his love for music started with his now deceased dad, Frans, who taught him the saxophone, but he learnt to play the other instruments by ear.

Reynhardt and his mother Felicity Smit. Photo: Jack Lestrade/Daily Voice

He was never taught to read music but says that once he hears a tune, it stays with him and he is able to play it from memory afterwards.

Reynhardt has played in various bands like the Sons Of Zion Outreach Band, the Redeem Gospel Crusaders Stage Group and the St. Joseph’s Christmas Band.

“I went to Eros School because of my special needs, and we were taught, ‘do not let it take over your life’,” he says.

Along with teaching kids since 2012, he also performs at weddings, funerals and any special occasions.

Recently he had to start using crutches to help him walk, but says this does not get him down.

Reynhardt Smit, 25, playing the sax he teaches. He was born with severe hydrocephalus and given 5 months to live. He plays five musical instruments. Video: Saafia February/Daily Voice

He got married seven months ago to his wife Anneline.

“I cannot expect my wife to work for me. I must be the provider and this is what I know how to do. Let me teach your kids the value of music. It gave my life new meaning,” he says proudly.

To become part of Music Lessons For Beginners, contact with Reynhardt on 074 6307 353.

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