By Musa Beren
From the dusty streets of Soweto, to become a well-known and award winning choir, who became the first one from the African soil to reach the No. 1 spot in the Billboard?s World Music Chats. That was achieved within three weeks their debut album ‘Voices from Heaven’ was released. You may be asking yourselves questions, what is the name of this choir?
It is 30 plus member ensemble, with blending elements of African gospel, reggae, and American popular music, sung by the harmonious voices. This choir is the one and only Soweto Gospel Choir from South Africa. A two times Grammy Award winner with their albums ‘Blessed’ and ‘African spirit’ respectively in 2007 and 2008. Soweto Gospel Choir is well known all over the world for bringing up faith peace and love to the people through their marvellous music.
The best song that created a Soweto Gospel Choir inside me was ‘Hosanna’ from their award winning album ‘African Spirit’. It contains a very powerful message about life’s circumstances that people can rise from each and every situation they find themselves under. The lyric of the song goes like this:
‘Let the weak say I am strong
Let the poor say I am rich
Let the blind say I can see
What the lord has done in me
to the lamb that was slain
Jesus died and rose again.’
This is a truly blessing and inspiring message, from the choir that helped me rise from situations that I found myself. This song also states that life is not about those situations it is about what the Lord has done in me.
Soweto Gospel Choir has not stopped shinning, with their recent album ‘Grace; the received a nomination for ‘Best Traditional World Music Album’ in the Grammy Awards. The album ‘Grace’ consists of songs like ‘Calvary and Jerusalem‘ traditional worship songs in South Africa. They turned a traditional song Calvary into a meaningful and fresh and vibrant song that the youth can be able to enjoy.
According to Billboard?s article about Soweto Gospel Choir’s latest album ‘Grace’, they refer to the album as easily as exuberant and inspired as any of its past efforts. The aptly titled 19-song set-the South African group’s fourth release on Shanachie Records-is a creative blending of traditional South African gospel numbers with elegantly conceived arrangements of contemporary tunes.
The choir is directed by Beverly Bryer and David Mulovhedzi. Soweto Gospel Choir’s role does not end at the stage or studio, they also started and initiative for HIV/Aids orphans’ foundation, Nkosi’s Haven Vukani to assists organisations receiving little or no funding. To date they have collected more than R4 million for this foundation