A passion for music

Leslie Kaiyatia (front) with friends outside The Fiji Times office in Suva. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

FOR just a few minutes, Leslie Kaiyatia captured many passerby’s attention with his soothing ukulele gospel beats while sitting outside The Fiji Times office in Butt St, Suva.

Even with the passer-by busy schedules many stopped to look and listen to the calm music that Leslie played.

Being from Naiiviivi Village in Qamea, Leslie uses his talent to capture and motivate souls who are in need of a quick break from the hustle and bustle of life.

“I’m a Seventh-day Adventist church member and I play gospel music,” he said.

“I’ve always loved music, but I didn’t have anyone to guide me with learning the basics of playing an instrument particularly the guitar or ukulele.

“Even though I had the passion to play I didn’t have anyone teaching me how to play better music. I started to pray about it and I asked God to give me the knowledge to understand playing these instruments.

“God blessed me with making me understand good music, particularly using these instruments. Just by watching people play I learned a few things about guitars and ukulele.

“I love listening to my children sing gospel songs and every time I hear one of them sing I would quickly try to play my guitar.”

He said he often tells his children to write down the lyrics of a song they know so he can familiarise himself with the tunes.

“After listening to the tunes I would try to play the guitar or ukulele with it and this can take the whole day, he said.

“Last year, I met a gentleman from Yasawa who realised the talent I had and he would ask me to accompany him during his trips around the country, especially visiting areas in the Western Division. When there was a special occasion he would call me up and ask me to go with him and he would request me to play him gospel songs.

“I like to think that my purpose is to help people through my music. For example when this friend of mine gets weak from walking around he would sit and ask me to play him a gospel tune so he can gather his strength before we can continue on our journey.

“It even helps him in overcoming stress at times, so I continue to pray about it and how it’s having an impact on someone’s life.

“I’m not ashamed to play gospel songs out in public because in some way I’m relaying the message of God to people who listen to me play.

“Like Jesus says ‘But whoever denies me before men, I will also deny him before my Father in heaven.” I pray that I will learn to play more instruments in the future and if its God’s will then I will love to.”

He said he started playing music when he was a young man and continues to share his passion with his children and even close friends.

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