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Johannesburg’s Modern Day Mozart

By Victor Trammell

A child prodigy from Johannesburg, South Africa is wowing the world with his skills as a superior violinist.

Pendo Masote (pictured), 12, has made headlines on CNN and other major media outlets for his exemplary skills on the violin. The Daily Sun called Pendo the “King of Strings.” His renditions of classical music pieces have been recorded many times and are in videos all over the internet.

Pendo comes from a family with a long history of musical prominence. His father is Kutlwano Masote and his grandfather is Matlhaela Masote. Pendo’s father and grandfather were well-known all over the African continent and the world for their work as musical composers.

Pendo’s father said the following about him in a late 2015 interview with The Sun:

“Pendo loves music. Even before he was born, he would move each time the violin was played while he was in his mum’s stomach. I think the fact that there are so many musicians in the family also pushes him. Our aim is to support him so I don’t think there’s any pressure at all.” (

Pendo also spoke to The Sun about when he began playing the violin. ““I started playing the violin when I was five years old. I love the violin and watching my grandfather, who started his orchestra. He inspired me and taught me how to play,” Pendo said.

Pendo has also won a number of awards for his extraordinary talent, including the Best Violinist in the 12 years and under category at the Joburg Festival for the Advancement of Music. In 2014, he won second place in his age group at the Philip H. Moore Competition, which is a contest for specially trained children who play classical music as soloists.

Pendo once played with the Soweto Junior Orchestra. He aspires to one day play on a global stage alongside some of the best child musicians in the world.

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