Hendrik Barry Bekker was born on 13 December 1955 in Mufulira, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and, as a child, moved to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) with his parents, Hennie and Erica Bekker who were divorced shortly thereafter. As a scholar in Salisbury he attended David Livingstone Junior School and Alan Wilson High School. His passion for music and obvious talent first emerged as a young teenager when he started to teach himself acoustic guitar on his mother’s instrument. Encouraged by his mother, who had since remarried, Barry attended the Rhodesian College of Music where for a short time he was tutored on classical guitar.
In 1972 Barry’s father, Hennie Bekker, who was already an established figure on the Rhodesian and South African music scene that would lead to an international career in the industry, came up from South Africa to attend his daughter’s wedding following which the 16 year old Barry join Hennie in Johannesburg. In Johannesburg Barry worked at several jobs, all the while honing his guitar skills, until he and two partners, one of whom was Colin Shapiro, opened a music school at which a variety of disciplines were taught – piano, flute and guitar. Subsequently he and Colin started a music recording studio, enjoying a very successful partnership, which was to last for over 20 years. Married to Karen, the couple had a son, Jonathan, who is also artistically talented, and in 1995 the family immigrated to Toronto, Canada, as his father had also settled there. In 2002, whilst living in Toronto, Barry suffered a heart attack and died.
During the course of his lifetime, Barry won acclaim as a composer and musician, his work being widely used in television and film productions, the film, “Fiela Se Kind”, being one of his earliest. While in Canada Barry wrote and produced from his own studio for the commercial market a variety of compact discs of different musical tastes, and shortly before his death he was awarded a gold disc for his compact disc entitled “Kikuyu.”