Soweto Gospel Choir is in demand

Soweto Gospel Choir is in demand

Gospel ambassadors: Soweto Gospel Choir raises the South African flag higher and higher

Did you know that Soweto Gospel Choir is so big and in demand that it had to split itself into three groups to cater to the needs of its fans worldwide? The late David Mulovhedzi founded the choir in 2002, and immediately after auditions, they toured Australia for three months. Its choirmaster, Shimi Jiyani says: “We are away for about 11 months in a year.”

They have never stopped touring since their formation. They are already sold out for 2020. The time Soweto Journal met up with the choir, they were preparing to tour China. This is the choir that five of its eight albums were nominated for the Grammy awards, and won three.

Jiyani is adamant that they are the South African ambassadors. “We are proudly South African. We need to dazzle the audience out there and show them what our country is about.  We are not only representing Soweto Gospel Choir; we represent the country and its culture,” he elucidates.

The name, Soweto, on the choir’s name carries a heavyweight; it can’t be changed to anything else. “This choir was founded in Soweto, and you must also understand the rich history that comes with the name, Soweto. The choir itself has a rich history. Our first album in 2003 was number one on the World Billboards Charts for four weeks. Jay-Z was on 13 position and Ladysmith Black Mambazo ranked 9,” he says confidently.

Beaming: Life has never been the same after Nobuhle Dlamini joined Soweto Gospel Choir

Nobuhle Dlamini from Kagiso joined the choir in 2015. She was trained as a teacher but doesn’t regret the day she became a member of the choir. It changed her life. “The exposure is amazing; the teachings and the knowledge you gained and meeting prestigious people, who inspire you to be better in the industry and music and in art as a whole, is just phenomenal,” declares Nobuhle appreciatively.

Shimi attests to that: “Life has changed since we joined the choir. It has played an important role in our lives. This is our fulltime job.”

SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR AWARD SUCCESSES:

2005 – nominated for the Soul Train Awards.

2007 – won their 1st  Grammy Award.

2008 – won their 2nd Grammy Award.

2010 – won their 1st Emmy Award.

2019 – won 3rd Grammy Award.

Back home, they have won three Metro Awards, and three MTN Summer Awards. Shimi promises that soon they will be performing home. He also desires that local gospel choirs be recognized. “We need to see the choirs invited to perform at big events at stadia like other musical groups,” he says wistfully.