Recently, during a farewell party hosted for the Belgium consul at the Sarakasi Dome, a young performer sent attendees into wild cheers with his courageous presentation of a Hebrew song, Erev Shel Shoshanim, and his composition about refugees titled Inside A Refugee’s Heart.
Luca Berardi, 12, a Year Eight student at Nairobi International School is a multi-talented young man; he is not only a composer and performing artiste, but also an actor and author.
Born to Kenyan Mary Muthoni Berardi and Italian Giorgio Berardi, Luca’s star, according to his mother, shone publicly when he participated in a music festival in Bangok, Thailand, in 2009. Marjarie Mullings, a Bangkok-based British jazz singer, was drawn to Luca’s melodious voice and offered to be his voice coach. Soon after the festival, Luca was invited to perform for the prime minister of Thailand.
“At the age of four, he would sing along songs of Toto, a rock band, and other international artists without difficulty and even try his hand at the piano. He was so attached to music that he would not eat if music was not playing,” his mother says.
His father agrees, “It’s a joy to work with him when making his music, because it comes out naturally. He doesn’t get scared by the audience, but gets excited instead.”
Luca’s music talent has seen him perform at numerous events and curtain-raise for popular artists. He says he draws his inspiration from the late Michael Jackson, America’s king of pop music.
“I often listen and sing along to 60/70s music,” he says. “My favourite genres are pop and dance music. I also perform other people’s music as well as write my own music. To this end, my first single, A Better Place, recorded at Grandpa Records, which is a call to action in making this world a better place for every living thing, is available to the public.
“What gives me the courage to go on stage is the mentality and passion that I will always excel.”
He is full of gratitude for his teacher, Mrs Winnie Muriithi from Wynton House of Music-Yaya Centre, and his parents for nurturing his talent.
Away from music, Luca is also the host of Know Zone and Big Minds, which air on Citizen TV and KBC TV. He has also acted in Ondieki The Fisherman, the first Kenyan opera, where he played the part of the witchdoctor.
When not acting, hosting TV programmes or performing, Luca writes. The first work of this budding writer currently awaiting consideration from a publishing house revolves around poaching and Young Animal Rescue Heroes (YARH), of which he is chief executive. YARH creates awareness for endangered wildlife and environmental conservation.
Just like his role model, Michael Jackson, Luca also has the desire to give back to the society through various initiatives. Currently, he has a campaign through hashtag, #GiveKotooroAclass that helps donate books to Kotooro School in Turkana County, which is in dire need of books and permanent school structures.
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