By KUTLWANO TSHEKOSO KEPADISA
The Grahamstown KWANTU Choir is a young choir started in 2017 by a group of mostly students from Rhodes University and the youth and community of Rhini and Joza townships, from the Makana Municipality, in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.
The Choir was initiated by Kutlwano Tshekiso Kepadisa, a student at the university, at the age of 21. This was after realising the lack of cultural activity and interaction among the students and the community. As an experienced singer and conductor in choral and chamber music while a high student, he resolved to use music as a platform to build community and social cohesion for the people of Grahamstown.
The Choir has been accepted to participate in the 10th Word Choir Games “ the Olympics of Choirs”, taking place in Tshwane, South Africa from the 8th – 10th July 2018. The organisers of the World Choir Games have waived the registration fees for the choir after realising our passion and commitment to participate and compete in the competition.
This is a remarkable achievement for a young choir as ours. The Grahamstown KWANTU Community Choir has also received many commendations and endorsements since its formation, including from the National Arts Festival Committee, and it is now part of the Creative City Project of Grahamstown.
The strategic goal of the choir is to become the Ambassador Choir of the City of Grahamstown by being the epitome of what democratic South Africa stands for: providing a positive recreational activity for the residents of the town that is inclusive, multiracial, multicultural and intergenerational. This is fitting to the motto of the World Choir Games (WCG) “Various Voices – One Harmony”, as our current choir is comprised of people from different ethnic backgrounds, cultures and ages.
As our choir is composed mostly of students and youth, and is a young choir formed only about 12 months ago, based in a city and province that is largely economically depressed, with high unemployment and poverty. We are putting out an appeal to our friends, family, supporters and all those who love music and culture, to help us to realise our dreams of participating in the World Choir Games.
Our target is to raise R100 000, 00 which will go mostly towards securing our transport and accommodation during our participation at the World Choir Games.
Our choir has just completed three wonderful shows at the National Arts Festival currently underway at Grahamstown, where we performed some of our repertoire for the World Choir Games, to great appreciation and applause by the audience.
It is our wish to share this, our united and diverse South African culture, with other choirs and audiences at the global stage during the World Choir Games, and to become cultural ambassadors for our people and our country.
Kindly visit our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages to witness the amazing story and the wonderful musical talent, passionate singing and hard work of our choir members.
We are a youth and community development organization. The effect and contribution of experiencing the World Choir Games by members of the choir will positively affect the choral culture of Makhanda City for the long run, the province and the nation.
Please donate to realise the dreams of our choir, and for the continued hope and power of choral music to build community, and for the sustainability of Grahamstown KWANTU Community Choir.
Enkosi, Re a Leboga, Baie Dankie, Thank You.
If you’d like to donate something towards the Kwantu Choir’s World Choir Games trip, please call Kutlwana at 078 869 0880. Meanwhile, here is a beautiful recording by the group for you to listen to!