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MOST, if not all superstars, have unique life stories. The beginning of their careers are mostly humble and in most cases they emerged out of adversity.
Other stars were discovered and nurtured by people who have an eye and an ear for talent. Fortunately, these talent seekers also have a route that the aspirants have to traverse before realising their dreams.
Oftentimes these are no ordinary people. They are selfless people who expect nothing in return. They recognise talent and are ecstatic when creativity blossoms.
One lucky person who has been touched by one such benefactor is primary school pupil Lerato Mashao.
One day, when she becomes famous, little Lerato will undoubtedly speak about her origins in the performing arts and also about the people who helped shape her career.
Lerato is a budding actress who has auditioned for various roles and has appeared in several commercials. It is her potential as a singer, however, that grabbed the attention of Addi Lang of Caitlins Castings, who leads the Return to Roots Foundation.
Lerato is one of Lang's many students. Lang enthused about her promising singing talent to international singer Rob Rodell.
Recently Rodell was helped through this licentiate in singing by the highly respected Ina Wiegland at no cost.
Rodell, who has just started a music scholarship, is paying for Lerato's music studies.
The lucky little girl is the veteran music tutor's youngeststudent.
Wiegland is also one of the leading lights of Respiro Studios. One of the specialist singing styles taught at the studio is the bel canto, which the institution's website says is Italian for beautiful singing.
Used by seasoned opera singers to charm audiences, the bel canto technique emerged way back in the 16th and the 17th centuries. The technique began in the singing instruction that Italian masters provided for theirstudents.