Leon Menkshi was born in Korca, Albania. He spent his childhood and adolescence in his home town where he was quickly spotted for his artistic talent and creativity. Leon started singing at the age of five -while attending kindergarten- and later on during school competition concerts, he sang as a soloist with "Asdreni" and "Mesonjetorja" secondary schools' choirs.
Leon studied accordion for four years while his father taught him how to play the guitar. At the same time Leon was very active as a soloist singer with "Shtepia e pionierit" (Korca's artistic childrens' home).
Between the age of 7 and 13, Leon sang in all editions of Korca's Childrens' Song Festival, and he also represented his home town several times at the annual Childrens’ National Song Festival,which was held in the city of Shkodra, and he was always the first or second price-winner.
Leon comes from a middle-class family. The family ancestry is cross-rooted in the far past, when one of Leon's great-grand fathers happened to be German; he married an Albanian woman and gave birth to Leon's great-grandma. Leon’s father was an outstanding Veterinarian who worked for over 35 years in one of the biggest farms of Albania (NB Maliq - in Korca district). He was highly valued as a vet and was sent to Germany in 1973 in order to fetch and bring/introduce for the very first time in Albanian farms the Nordic cows.
Leon remembers how his father used to take him on his Jawa Motorbike and bring him to the farm to visit the animals. This way the love and respect for the animals was cultivated. Sensing that, the father would sometimes bring home a young rabbit or a small puppy from the farm; Leon would play around and keep them for a few weeks, until -sadly- they had to be brought back to the farm, as mama's 'policy' in the family apartment was : " No pets at home!".
Leon's mother is a lovely woman. She used to work as a clothe designer. Leon remembers how his mother carefully designed and realized all range of beautiful clothes for him and his sister, for every season of the year (from bathing suites to winter coats).
His mother (from Kondilis family) is a hard working woman; she never gave up working even when she had to quit her profession because of getting allergic reactions from the clothe-textures. However, she was always able to cure a nice image for her husband and kids. She still is capable of designing and realizing wonderful garments - knitted or sawed - even nowadays.
Leon felt always close to his mother and he considers her as the best friend for a good advice. Anastasia and Leon have a very good and close relation although in a distance since summer 2004, when Leon moved in his own apartment in Tirana, while his mother still lives in their house in Korca.
As Leon says: “The adolescence ended with the disappointment of having to study Mechanical Engineering”- a university branch to which Leon was appointed out of choice, by the structures of the communist regime of that time.
But soon after that Albania was swiped by the wind of changes, and in 1990, while studying in Tirana, things were about to change for Leon. He was spotted as a talent by the famous musician and conductor (choir master) Suzana Turku and the Television director & producer Osman Mula.
The annual National Song Festival held in Palace of Congresses in Tirana in December 1990, marks the start of Leon’s career on Television. That would be the beginning of a long and interesting journey that would take Leon in different countries, as part of his desire and motivation to accomplish himself as an outstanding journalist, communicator and artist.
This is a video insert, from the post-festival reception (December 2004), where Leon appears together with his "god-mother" -as he prefers to call Mrs. Suzana Turku Kashara, the famous choir master and conductor which paved the way for Leon to enter into the world of Television. She was the one who spotted
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