By Danielle Kennedy
It’s a crisp, chilly Saturday morning on Columbia’s Main Street at the Soda City Market. Vendors with an array of goods from beaded necklaces to creamed blueberry honey line the streets seeking to lure shoppers over to their tents and tables for a sell.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of people, well-manicured canines and playing children, the sweet sound of a violin breaks through the cheerful noise of the weekly market scene.
A small, 11-year-old girl launches into a sonata by Handel and runs her bow expertly up and down her instrument.
Danka Ndubuisi, who has been playing since the age of five, stands on the median, slightly elevated above the passersby, completely focused on making sure the vibrations sent through her violin are perfect. One hand strums and plucks while the other draws the bow across the strings. Tippers bow before her to place money in her violin case, behind the sign "For our music lessons."
“It sounds like she’s playing staccato,” said Melodik Rukus. “She’s good,” as he passes Danka playing her violin. Others passing by either remain silent and enjoy her playing or let her know how great she sounds.
“Wow, that’s beautiful.”
She performs at the weekly Soda City Market because she wants to raise money to continue her lessons at University of South Carolina.
Her mother, Malgorzata Ndubuisi, (pronounced Dew-BU-see), stands a few paces off under a large tree just to the right of Danka to watch and listen to her daughter’s lovely sounds.
“Danka started lessons at USC in the Suzuki Strings,” said Malgorzata Ndubuisi. “I was looking for a place for my kids to learn music and USC offers this program for very young children with private lessons.”
Danka, whose mother is Polish and father is Nigerian, is the third of six children — 12-year-old twin brothers Milka and Slawka, 9-year-old Eliasz, seven-year-old Izaisz and four-year-old Bozenka. All are home-schooled and attend the Suzuki Strings program at USC.
Danka can be seen performing in the midst of a crowd of strangers at Soda City sometimes twice or three times a month depending on her schedule.
When she grows up, Danka said, "I want to be a violin teacher, anywhere."
Here's a video of Danka performing.