Tag Archives: Soweto Gospel Choir

Soweto Gospel Choir

South Africa is a country that will unfortunately only ever really be known for one major thing. Apartheid. Whatever else good, musically or otherwise, that comes out of the country will always have that stigma attached, and it refreshing to see a musical outfit that not only stands defiant in the face of its nations’ terrible recent history, but who also embrace it and revel in the few positives to come out of it.

That outfit is the Soweto Gospel Choir, a collection of 24 of the best talent and voices from in and around Soweto. Since forming in 2002, the Gospel Choir has touched the hearts and ears of everyone who has come in contact with them, winning an Emmy and performing for the likes of Bill Clinton and the Queen as well as sharing the stage with musicians of the caliber of U2, Stevie Wonder, Robert Plant and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but according to drummer Mandla, the choir and its members are unconcerned by the lashings of fame, as long as their message gets out. “Previously Soweto was known as a pretty rough and dead end place but now we have shown the people of South Africa and the world that our people can do things for themselves. We have brought joy and hope to many young people out there while also giving them a sense of pride and triumph in life,” he said.

“The Emmy’s and awards are great on the world stage but in terms of changing someone else’s life and heart that is an everyday endeavour for us.” “I think because we are positive and we have stuck to what we know and do well that people have accepted us. We don’t go out and copy other people, instead we come out as ourselves so I think the world appreciates that and it helps to take the South African Gospel to more people.”

The current tour is being touted as a tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, a man who needs no introduction, but a man who helped shape the future of a nation. Mandla says the entire choir is delighted to showcase their culture and belief to the masses, and hopes to bring awareness and understanding to the man behind the myth. “This tour is not only a celebration of Nelson Mandela, but also a celebration of freedom and what can be achieved through belief,” he explained. “In life and music you always aspire to be successful but when you achieve that it melts the heart. Every time is different, it humbles you more.”

“My inspiration with music is to focus more on talent and to give back to the audience and to hopefully change lives and impact them with the things I have received and learnt through music so really this tour is a celebration of life and hope and freedom and love.”

Kris Peters

The Soweto Gospel Choir play at The Tanks this Friday, August 22
Tickets are available at www.ticketlink.com.au or phone 1300855835