This South African Flautist Became The First African to Get This Prestigious Scholarship


A young woman, Khanyisile Mthetwa from Soweto has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Myrna Brown International Scholarship and is the first African to receive this prestigious honour.

The award was given by the National Flute Association of America, which is the largest flute organisation in the world. Every year the organisation chooses a flautist that they feel exemplifies excellence. The recipient wins a cash prize and travels to Salt Lake City in Utah to showcase music from their country.

In an interview with News24, Khanyisile said that she started playing the flute when she was 15 after watching a performance by the National Symphony Orchestra in Johannesburg while growing up Orlando West, Soweto.

Now at 33, she is the principal flautist for the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. She also teaches at the University of Witwatersrand and her Alma Mata, Waverley Girls High School.

About learning to play an instrument, she said: ‘When you play an instrument, you use every part of your brain. You have to count and then you have to… take all of that mathematics and turn it into a wonderful painting that someone listens to and says: ‘Oh wow, that is beautiful’.’

Watch her interview with News24 here:

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