Mentally challenged teen wows crowd

In unison: Tunku Azizah (front, second from left) joining Dr Yu (front, left) and the Kiwanis Club of Kuantan members for a sing-along to Sayuri’s (front, right) rendition of ‘Hana wa Saku’ (Flowers Will Bloom).

KUANTAN: It was an evening of musical wonderment at the Kiwanis Club of Kuantan’s charity dinner when a Japanese teenager with Down Syndrome wowed the crowd on the marimba.

The marimba is an instrument consisting of a set of wooden bars struck with mallets to produce musical tones.

The dinner, held to raise funds for the club’s planned resource centre saw Sayuri Shirai, 17, playing the percussion instrument in front of Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Iskandar.

Among the tunes struck out by Sayuri were theme music from Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, Chariots of Fire and Super Mario Bros.

Kiwanis Club of Kuantan president Dr Yu Siew Hong said Sayuri’s parents had shown that there were ways to help a child no matter the conditions they were born with.

The event organised in collaboration with Universiti Putra Malaysia, Kyushu Institute of Technology and Khoo Academy of Music and Art also saw Sayuri joining the UPM dikir barat and zapin troupe for a one-of-a-kind performance of the traditional song and dance.

The evening was closed by Tunku Azizah when she joined the club’s members on stage for a sing-along to a song rendition by Sayuri.

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