Born, Nicolaas Cornelius Carstens on 10 February 1926, in Cape Town of Dutch parents, Carstens got his first accordion at the age of 13 and won an adult music competition six months later. He composed his first music piece at the age of 17, and went on to found a band of his own at 24 years of age,. Working primarily in what is known as boeremusiek genre in the earlier years, but also doing much crossover, inter- and cross-cultural work later, inter alia composing and performing what he referred to as boereqanga music. He eventually composed over 2000 songs and musical pieces. His more than 90 albums have sold over 2 million copies in South Africa and his most popular work, "Zambezi" became a worldwide hit, covered by numerous famous musicians.
He made guest appearances in a number of films and TV programmes, often also contributing music to the production.
He died in Cape Town on 1 November, 2016.
His contribution to South African theatre, film, media and performance
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