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Piet Smit se openbare betrokkenheid in musiek het in die laat 70's begin as agtergrondsanger in Pretoria se kroeë en restaurante. In 1989 kom hy tot bekering en begin hom toespits op die skryf- en uitvoering van geestelike liedere.
Sedert sy toetrede tot 'n voltydse sangbediening in Mei 1994 het Piet al verskeie albums die lig laat sien - insluitend drie Nederlandstalige CDs. In Augustus 2016 het sy 34ste CD verskyn. Vyf van sy produksies het reeds goue status bereik. Sy tweede album 'Heer U maak my nuut' het in 1999 Platinum status bereik - 'n prestasie wat nog deur geen ander oorspronklike, geestelike solo album in Suid Afrika nagedoen kon word nie.
Piet se bediening fokus op innerlike genesing en hy het 'n passie vir stukkende mense wat uitgesak het in die lewe. Op die verhoog put hy uit sy eie persoonlike geestelike neerlae en oorwinnings en verweef dit, saam met sy liedjies, in 'n storie waarmee die meeste luisteraars kan vereenselwig. Al sy liedere word gebore uit eie ervaring sowel as uit sy eie verhouding met die Here Jesus. Sy opregte begeerte is om sy talent uitsluitlik tot eer van God te gebruik.
Piet se musiek is gewortel in die 'Country & Folk' style van die '70s - met 'n baie rustige, een-stem-een-kitaar klank in die 'Vertellende-Luisterliedjie' genre. Soos sy talent egter deur die jare ontwikkel het, het sy musiek met verskeie ander style vermeng. Soms bevat dit sterk tradisionele Afrika ritmes of meer kontemporêre klanke. Met sy ryk bariton stem het Piet selfs ook al op ligte opera-materiaal geleun.
Piet Smit het reeds in die oorgrote meerderheid van stede en dorpe in ons land en ook in Namibië opgetree. Hy het ook al vele toere en optredes gehad in Engeland, Europa, New Zeeland, Australië, die VA Emirate, Kanada en die VSA. Sedert 2004 besoek Piet Nederland en België elke jaar en het hy ook daar 'n huishoudelike naam geword - veral oor die Nasionale Nederlandse Christelike Radiostasie - EO (Evangelische Omroep). Sy CDs word al jare lank, amptelik in Nederland versprei.
Piet is reeds sedert April 1978 getroud met sy vrou Elmarie en woon vandag in Moreletapark in Pretoria. Hulle het twee seuns : - Johan en Leon. Johan is 'n Elektroniese Ingenieur en is getroud met Nienke. Hulle het een dogter - Leandi. Leon is 'n Jeugleraar en is getroud met Sunette. Hulle het twee kinders - Juan en Marli.
Piet is 'n ywerige en ervare SCUBA duiker en 'n gereelde besoeker by sy plaaslike 'Gym'. In sy vrye tyd skilder hy graag Afrika se wilde diere. Hy verkies olieverf - maar werk ook gereeld in houtskool.
(Klik op SKILDERYE vir die skakel na 'n versameling van sy werk.)
Piet Smit - TESTIMONY
I was born on Christmas morning 1956 in Lydenburg - in what used to be called the Eastern Transvaal in South Africa. One of the earliest ambitions that I can recall having, was to be a singer - dressed in cowboy attire, really very rich and singing love songs and ballads to crowds of screaming girls. However, I somehow knew this was never to be because I was a seriously normal, average child. Never came first in anything - never stood out from the rest. But, on the other hand, fortunately, never sank lower than average either - or stole anything - or wrecked my father's car - or did drugs.
At 16 I was "processed" to become a member of the Dutch Reformed church - the same as virtually everybody else my age. I recall saying 'Yes' to the all the questions and going through all the motions, but I really never had a clue what it meant to follow the Lord. My parents never attended church and although there was a time when I really had the desire to be a christian, I guess I just drifted away down the same stream and out of the church as most of my peers.
Although I never had one single music lesson, I started playing on my brother's guitar when I was twelve. I worked very hard on my life's dream but, no matter how hard I tried, the one thing that I never could achieve, was to write songs. To me, music notes were like little golf clubs stuck in between lines.
With my very first pay cheque from a holiday job after school, I bought my first guitar : A twelve string Ibanez. And, through endless hours of practising the folk songs of the era, I did well with it. In later years I did the restaurant & pub circuit in Pretoria. The pay was R50 and two beers for the night. Sometimes you got tips as well.
Then, somewhere in the late 80's my lucky break came. A man, who was a trumpet player in the, then, SABC symphony orchestra heard me playing in a restaurant one night and, subsequently, set up an audition for me at the SABC. The audition went very well and one week later I had a real-life, black-on-white recording contract in my hands. The only two conditions were that I had to sign the contract and that I had to submit a few of my own songs for approval.
Right there I saw my dream slip through my fingers because after 15 years of really trying hard, I did not have one single song to show. I simply just did not have the talent or knowledge to write songs.
In my early 20s I got married. At the time I was spiritually at a low because of the living testimony of so called "church people" around me. In one of the first jobs that I ever had, I worked with some of the older people in our church. And what they did and said at work, really did not tie in with the 'front' they kept up at the church. I made the mistake of judging God on the performance of His people. And that made me turn my back on Him. I remember thinking that if thís was christianity, I want no part in it.
The next few years of my life were spent searching for some kind of spiritual meaning and something to believe in. I looked into all sorts of strange philosophies, Eastern Religions and even New Age. But somehow, deep down, nothing really made sense. Later I fell into a period of just believing nothing. I was too busy, anyway, to try and make financial ends meet.
This all changed in early 1989 when, out of the blue, the Rev. Dirkie van der Spuy of the Moreleta Park DR Church called me one day. He said that the church's worship leader had left the congregation and that he had heard that I could play the guitar. And would I not consider leading the praise-n-worship in the church during the upcoming week of prayer. I can clearly remember thinking : 'Dominee you must be crazy. I haven't been to church in ten years. I would rather die … '
However, at the time I had just started a small business and I knew there were many engineers in the congregation. I figured that if I could become a prominent figure in the church, some of them are bound to become new clients. Today I am not proud to say this, but I learned a few songs by heart and I went and lead the singing in that church that week with the sole purpose of marketing my business.
At the time the church gatherings were held in the local primary school hall. That first Sunday night we started singing at a quarter to seven. At seven o'clock, when the sermon began, I sneaked out the door and went home. The miracle of God's grace happened in my life the second night. Somebody had closed the 'escape door' and I could not get out. There I was - in the front row of the Dutch Reformed church - for the first time in about ten years. I was forever trying to peep from the corner of my eye, without turning my head, to try and see when the people were getting up or sitting down. It was a nightmare.
The Bible reading came from Ezekiel 47. Dirkie read about a stream of water, flowing from under the temple door, getting wider and deeper as it went. There was this guy walking along the river together with some angel - first ankle deep, then knee deep until, eventually, it became so deep he had to swim. On the banks there grew trees, bearing fruit every month and with healing in their leaves. And when this mighty river flowed into the dead sea it became fresh again - sustaining all kinds of life. Only small parts of the sea stayed salty and dead.
I did not even hear the rest of the sermon. The picture of the stream just kept turning and turning in my head. I was so intrigued by this river that I chose to stay for the sermon on the third night.
Two or three days later I realised that to me, the stream was a symbol of God's love, grace and truth. It would start with God Himself and flow out into the world. His saving grace would become deeper and wider as it spread around the entire globe. The trees became symbols of the fruit borne by the people touched by His love. I was part of the salty dead sea. Sooner or later this river would reach me. And, somehow, I just knew that I was the part that was going to be left salty.
I just knew for sure : I was on my way to hell.
During he following few days I was a living conversion, looking for a place to happen. Nobody led me to the Lord. One night just before twelve, in late January 1989 I just knelt down in my living room and said : "Lord, I don't know what to say. I don't know what to do. I don't know what is going to happen to me but I want to turn around and start following you right this moment." Absolutely nothing happened. No warm feeling. No goose bumps. No flashes of lightning. No angels appearing to me. I simply just said those words - without getting any response. A while later I got up and went to bed.
The next morning I got to my office at about eight. I simply switched on my computer and wrote my first song : 'Herlewingslied' (Song of revival) I did not even have my guitar with me. The words, the melody were all there in my head. I sang the song in church a day or so later. One week later came 'Die man in die middel' (The man in the middle) and a few days later 'Soos die arend'. (Like the eagle)
Overnight, God gave me the ability to write music. Despite the fact that, to this day, I can not read a single note, songs started pouring out of me and I sang them in my church. I sang them at small meetings of sometimes five or six people. I sang them to everyone who cared to listen. Later the neighbouring church invited me to sing them my songs. And later another and another. About a year later the Maranatha Record Company contacted me with a recording contract. This time, however, I did have a few songs to submit for approval.
Today, after 3 decades in full time music ministry and over 30 CD productions later, I can testify that God has realised my childhood dream. Only now, I have no desire any more to dress up in cowboy boots, be really very rich and sing love songs to screaming girls. My only desire is to sing to my Lord and Saviour - Jesus Christ - and in so doing, perhaps move somebody else's hart to get to know Him as well.
TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY !