Man armed with pipes blows awa

Image: Facebook/East Coast Breakfast

Man armed with pipes blows away the riot blues in KZN [watch]

A video of a man playing bagpipes in Durban while community watch group members stood guard throughout the night during the unrest, went viral for all the right reasons.

Man armed with pipes blows awa

Image: Facebook/East Coast Breakfast

Amid the chaos of ongoing looting, riots and public violence in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, there are also stories of hope. One of these stories includes that of a man playing the bagpipes in La Lucia, a suburb in north Durban, as community watch group members stand guard.

Playing bagpipes amid the chaos

According to East Coast Radio, this local man, Michael Cairns, was documented by one of the men from a La Lucia community watch group on the night of Wednesday 14 July 2021.  The video was since uploaded to Facebook and subsequently went viral.

During an interview with the radio station, Cairns said:

“This is our pipe band. Lots of people call me Mac-atini (from the old lunch bar advert) but the band calls me MC (because initials but also we have so many Michael’s in the band). I’m not a public speaker but if the message could be about positive change and bring the community together. That would be great. I was asked at the watch if I was armed, I said no but I brought some entertainment.”

Mzansi reacts to bagpipes player

“This really made me smile last night, well done to the community and to our bagpipes man,” one Facebook user commented on the video that clocked in over 28 000 views. “Wonderful such positivity….we need posts like this!!” said another.

The story behind the bagpipes

It is said that one of the symbolisms of the bagpipe is that of mourning for fallen heroes, especially firefighters and policemen. 

The pipes were a comforting and familiar tribute to immigrants who arrived in the US back in the 1800s and had to do more dangerous jobs due to a lack of employment opportunities. When they passed while on duty, the bagpipes would be played at the funerals. 

Most people have related that the sound of the bagpipe music started a release of memories and emotions that began the healing process.