One Talented Family!
Seventeen-year old Sheku Kanneh-Mason won the BBC’s (British Broadcasting Corporation’s) prestigious Young Musician Award for 2016.
It’s a big deal in general but he’s also the first black youth ever to win the award.
He plays the cello and you can see how amazing he is in the video below as he performs with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the final round of the competition.
His parents were obviously very proud. But, incredibly, it’s not just that the competition was tough in general, it’s that just about any one of Sheku’s six other siblings could have won it, according to Sheku’s mother, Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason! In an interview with the UK’s Daily Mail she said, “I don’t want to take away from Sheku’s achievement because I know how hard he worked for it. But it could really have been any one of them.”
Sheku is the third oldest. And all but the youngest play classical music at a very high level. The six-year old is just starting to play an instrument.
The kids made it to the semi-finals on Britain’s Got Talent in 2015.
They’re often referred to as prodigies (when someone has natural exceptional ability), and neither parent is a musician. But Mrs. Kanneh-Mason says that while her children are talented, she thinks their hard work and how well they manage their time has a lot to do with it too.
When they get home from school, they eat, do their homework and then practice for hours. There are a few pianos in the house and they have to find space wherever they can to practice. The parents have had to make sacrifices too. Mrs. Kanneh-Mason told the New Statesman : “Every penny of our money goes on music. We haven’t decorated for years . . . The tiles are coming off the roof. We never buy new clothes. I do the girls’ hair myself because it’s too expensive to take them to a salon. Our car is a wreck.”
The kids seem to understand their parents’ sacrifice as well as their own. They also seem to love each other and what they do.
Congratulations to Sheku and to all the Kanneh-Masons!
To learn more about the Kanneh-Masons you can visit their website by clicking here .