Whistling for pennies: Boy, 11

Image: Good Morning Angels/JacarandaFM

Whistling for pennies: Boy, 11, supports family with his penny whistle [watch]

After his parents lost their jobs, 11-year-old Marnus has been supporting his family by busking on the streets with his penny whistle.

Whistling for pennies: Boy, 11

Image: Good Morning Angels/JacarandaFM

Good Morning Angels recently contacted an 11-year-old boy who has been supporting his family by busking on the streets of Parys in the North West Province of South Africa.

Penny whistle to the rescue

Marnus plays the penny whistle and his story tugged on the heartstrings of people all over South Africa. It all started when a person only known as “Marc” struck up a conversation with Marnus who spoke about his love of music and how he came to play such a unique instrument

According to JacarandaFM, Marnus told him that his father, Tienie, taught him to play the penny whistle. His father is also a musician who plays the drums and guitar in a church band.

“Marnus also disclosed shyly that his family had fallen on hard times and that they use his busker earnings to buy food,” the story reads.

“Both his parents had lost their jobs before the COVID-19 lockdown and moved from Rustenburg to Parys for a cheaper cost of living and possible job opportunities. The family had sold all their belongings of value and have now hit rock-bottom. They also have to move out of the room they’ve been renting.”

Reaching out to Good Morning Angels

The next day, Marc went back to find Marnus in order to make arrangements for a new penny whistle and to speak to his mom, Rianda. He also asked them if he could take a video and write to Good Morning Angels on their behalf… which he did.

With her permission, they filmed the young boy’s pennywhistle talents and reached out to team in the hopes that they could help further.

Life-changing support

On Breakfast with Martin Bester, the family was informed that they will receive a weekly R500 food hamper, delivered to Parys, until the end of the year. A team will also financially assist Tienie to renew his PDP licence with a view of assisting him to find a job as a truck driver. The Good Morning Angels Fund will also assist Marnus and his family with rent for three months.

Watch Marnus play his penny whistle

Employment losses

Economist Jeff Schultz told the SABC in November 2020 that it will take several years for the local economy to recoup employment losses triggered by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Figures released by Statistics SA at the time show that the country’s unemployment rate jumped from 23.3% to 30.8% in the third quarter.

South Africa’s unemployment rate increased by 7.5% points in the third quarter of the year compared with the second quarter. This is the highest unemployment rate recorded since 2008.