I am Guru Sadha Munien who hails from a musical family in Durban. I studied a BMus Degree at Annamalai University in South India. Upon Graduation, a title ‘Thamizh Isai Perunthagai’ was conferred on me for my outstanding achievements by the central government of India.
My father founded an organisation in 1961, Saraswathi Padasalai, where cultural music, language and dance was promoted within the community on a daily basis. Children were exposed to and excelled in various levels of live performances and competitions in the Natal Province.
Upon my arrival from India in 1996, I founded The Saraswathi Padasalai School of Fine Arts, where I teach Vocal, Miruthangam, Thabla, Harmonium, Ganjeera, Gatham, and the Tamil Language. My vision was to expose my students to perform on an international platform in our motherland for the annual music festival. I have achieved this goal, and taken many of my students to perform for the music festival in India every two years. The current Student enrolment is 570.
My artists for the Makhanda National Arts Festival are my family. On the percussion is my wife, Mrs. Theertham Munien. On the Keyboard is my eldest daughter, Vadhini Munien.
Vadhini is a 19 year old, 2nd year Bjourn Student at Rhodes university. She has been exposed to music since birth. She has performed in India, three consecutive times, and throughout South Africa. Vadhini is the Music Director, Composer, and also tutors at the Saraswathi Padasalai School of Fine Arts. She is also trained in the harmonium.
On the Thabla is my second daughter, Dhamini Munien.
Dhamini is 17 years old, matric student studying at Arena Park Secondary. She has been exposed to music since birth. She has performed in India three consecutive times and throughout South Africa. Dhamini Tutors at the Saraswathi Padasalai School of Fine Arts. Dhamini is trained in the Thabla, Miruthangam, Gatham and Ganjeera.
On the Octapad and Harmonium is Virani Munien. Virani is 13 years old, and is a grade 8 pupil in Arena park Secondary. She has been exposed to music since birth. She has performed throughout South Africa. Virani plays the octapad, harmonium, and thabla.
The Munien Sisters have accompanied many International Indian Artists.