Rosemary Nalden was born in England and educated in New Zealand, where she studied the viola and singing at the Royal College of Music in London. She had played and recorded for years when her life changed path after hearing a BBC radio program. The program which talked about difficulties faced by young string players from Soweto in South Africa, prompted her to create the BUSKAID Soweto String Project. The project started with about 15 members. Today the project comprises approximately 115 students ranging in age from six to thirty-four, all of whom are drawn from the less privileged local community.