Grammy-Winning Soweto Gospel Choir Ready for New CD and North American Tour

Hope is the very thing that fuels dreams, spurs innovation and ignites perseverance. It costs nothing but yet it is worth everything. Critically acclaimed South African world music sensations Soweto Gospel Choir will release their highly anticipated first new recording in four years, HOPE, on Shanachie Entertainment September 23, 2022 on the eve of 53-city North American tour.

The three-time Grammy-winning Choir, whose staunch supporters have included both President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has performed for everyone from President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey and collaborated with Peter Gabriel, Bono, Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé and John Legend, among numerous others.

“Both South Africa and America have experienced the same type of segregation and oppression,” explains the charismatic Choir Master Shimmy Jiyane. “Music was and continues to be a way that the people protest and express opposition. It can express suffering and reach the soul with a message of freedom and hope like nothing else. Through the universal language of music, people are unified globally and they are healed and given hope through the power of songs.”

The diverse material on HOPE speaks to the extraordinary range and capabilities of Soweto Gospel Choir, who has scored two #1 Billboard singles on the World Music Chart. Singing in English as well as five of South Africa’s eleven official languages including Sotho, Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi and Tswana, Soweto Gospel Choir creates a riveting tapestry of lush harmonies and glorious rhythms.

Jiyane explains, “Many school children died. The song “Mbayi Mbayi” which opens the album is one of the songs that was sung that day. It is a very personal song for us all but especially for people who live in Soweto. We all have families that died on that road. We have families who went out and joined the march and they never came back.” The cover of Hope is designed by the sensational South African illustrator, graphic designer and street artist, Karabo Poppy. Poppy has an impressive list of credits that includes work for Nike where she designed Air Force 1 sneakers worn by Lebron James.

HOPE also features a dazzling version of Al Bell’s Stax classic sung by the Staple Singers “I’ll Take You There,” Stevie Wonder’s poignant “Heaven Help Us All” sung in English, Zulu and Sotho and Hugh Masakela’s “Sechaba,” from the hit musical Sarafina! which premiered at the Cannes film festival in 1991.

A particularly breath-taking moment on HOPE occurs on the Xhosa hymn “Bawo Xa Ndilahlekayo,” which means “Lord if I get lost, please lead me back to you.” The song is dedicated to the Choir’s beloved friend and leader, Mulalo Mulovhedzi who passed away in early 2022. Mulovhedzi, was a founding member and the General Manager of the choir. This was his favorite hymn. “We deeply feel his loss and are touched whenever we now sing it. It is as if Mulalo were still with us, taking his place beside us,” collectively shares the Choir.

Sarah Hearn
the authorSarah Hearn
PositivelyGospel.com is a music news magazine that is quickly becoming the premier destination and trusted source for gospel music, news and information. The site covers all genres of gospel and inspirational music, including Contemporary Christian and Christian rap/hip-hop. The mission is to provide news and information on a positive note. Sarah Hearn CEO and Editor in Chief Sarah Hearn is founder/Editor-in-Chief of PositivelyGospel.com. She is a dedicated journalist, who believes her audience deserves more original reporting than repetitive content, Sarah founded PositivelyGospel.com to provide readers with the latest music news, concerts, reviews, and interviews with top ranking Christian/Gospel artists and emerging artists. Widely known for her on-the-scene reporting, her coverage includes the GMA Dove Awards, the Stellar Awards, Grammys on the Hill, Gospel Music Heritage Month Celebration Concert, McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, St. Jude Celebration of Hope, Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference and many more. Sarah participates in weekly White House Faith and Community Engagement calls where she gathers information relevant for dissemination to the Gospel and faith community. She recently launched the podcast, “On A Positive Note with Sarah Hearn” available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other platforms. For more than five years, Sarah served as the DC Gospel Music Examiner at Examiner.com where the site garnered more than 150,000 readers in the US and around the world. Sarah was named one of the Top Ten Heroes in Gospel Music in the Washington, DC area in 2012 for her extensive coverage, support and commitment to artists within the D.C. metro region. In 2016 she was named Person of the Month by IndiMogul Magazine. The site was recently named among Feedspot’s Top Gospel and Christian Music Websites. Sarah is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Gospel Music Association. Sarah resides in a suburb of Washington, D.C. Follow her on Facebook @PositivelyGospel.com, Twitter @PositiveGospel and readywriter on Instagram For coverage of your next event or to submit a press release for posting consideration, contact Sarah.
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