Musa Manzini, who has won awards in his native South Africa, showcased his musical abilities while under the knife so surgeons were better able to preserve his talent.
He can be seen plucking away at the instrument while lying on an operating table at the Chief Albert Luthuli hospital in Durban last week.
Dr Basil Enicker, who co-led the surgery, said that by playing the guitar the medics were able to ‘test regions of the brain before they were removed’. This enabled them to take out as much of the tumour as possible without causing damage.
Mr Manzini is recovering well and looking forward to recording another album.
Mr Manzini, who is married, underwent a craniotomy – surgery to cut open his skull to access the brain.
Speaking from his hospital bed yesterday, the musician told news24: ‘They put me to sleep and then drilled my skull open. Once my brain was exposed, I woke up and played my guitar.’
Dr Enicker, who led the surgery along with Dr Rohen Harrichandparsad, encouraged him to have the rare procedure so his finger movements could be monitored.
This enabled the doctors to avoid damaging the area of the brain that controls voluntary movements, known as the motor cortex, which can lead to speech problems and even paralysis.