Soweto Gospel Choir: A brilliant representation of South African Life

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The Soweto Gospel Choir performed for the first time in Paris between the 4th and 7th of November at the Théâtre du Châtelet. With its unique vocal skills and traditional dances, the South African choir continues to magnetize audiences from every corner of the globe.

Coming straight from the townships of South Africa, The Soweto Gospel Choir in its seven years of existence has become an overnight, multi award winning sensation, renowned and highly respected the world over. The 26-strong choir, which performs joyful and powerful gospel songs in eight out of eleven South African languages, represents the rich cultural diversity engraved in South Africa by combining its unique vocal skills with inspirational traditional dances.

After its fourth performance in the UK, and many others around the globe, The Soweto Gospel Choir gave a heart-felt performance in Paris between the 3rd and 7th of November at the celebrated Théâtre du Châtelet. While the group conveyed ingeniously, it still apprehended its first show in Paris due to the language barrier, “we want the audience to feel blessed and the only things we want them to receive is our blessing, that is all that matters,” explained choir member, Jeho Fata.

Created in 2002, the choir and its four musicians originally performed in churches in the Townships of Soweto, a place marked in history for the severe violence and riots that took place during the Apartheid. With this history in mind, The Soweto Gospel Choir offers a rich and colorful repertoire inspired by South African daily life. As Honey explains, “during my upbringing, I leaned everything in rhythm, dancing and singing, so performing on stage is just a repetition of life in South Africa.” As a result, the choir has been described as an ambassador for South Africa, “which proves we, South Africans, can make it through” expressed Honey, who considers himself lucky to be part of the choir.

With two Grammy Awards in the category of Best World Traditional Music for its second and third album titled “Blessed and African Spirit” and many other international distinctions in hands, The Soweto Gospel Choir continues to leave its audience breathless wherever it leaves a footprint. From the Carnegie Hall in New York, le Royal Festival Hall in London, the Opera in Sydney, or the Hong Kong Festival, the choir offers one of the best vocal creations ever heard.

Along with its dedication to sharing joy and faith through music, The Soweto Gospel Choir stressed that its main goal is to send a message of hope. “We want to promote peace in Africa and everywhere else in the world. We pray for peace and unity,” explained Shimy Jiyane, the show’s choreographer. On tour for the next few months, the Netherlands will be the choir’s next destination after Paris.

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