Nigerian superstar D’Banj was a feature act of the Global Citizen Festival with the Mzansi Youth Choir from Soweto, wowing the capacity crowd at the Mandela 100 Global Citizen concert on Sunday at the FNB Stadium.
The Global Citizen concert was a free-ticketed concert to celebrate the centenary year of Nelson Mandela, honouring his legacy in the fight to end extreme poverty. Numerous local and international acts took to the stage in support of taking action against global concerns of poverty, gender equality and education.
The highlight was undoubtedly the opening of D’Banj’s performance in which he surprised the audience with his harmonica-playing skills, performing the national anthem with the choir while Mzansi Youth Choir chorister Ruby Masooa delivered a rousing rendition of the iconic Madiba speech from the movie, “Sarafina!”
Performing at the Mandela 100 Global Citizen concert was a highpoint for the Mzansi Youth Choir, which has performed all over the world, most recently at International Youth Choir Festival at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
The Mzansi Youth Choir was established in July 2003 with the aim of affording talented, underprivileged teenagers and young adults (14-24 years) the opportunity to proficiently perform locally and abroad. Their vision is also to package, re-package and create new African Music. The choir consists of 60 choristers from Soweto and other areas in and around Johannesburg. The choir recently celebrated 15 years and are proud to have over 645 children pass through their hands. Many have gone onto be professionals in their own right.
With passing so many choristers through their ranks, Mzansi Youth Choir is providing a positive and lasting change in their lives and opening doors to the world of the arts is starting to take off. Packaging, re-packaging and creating new African music to introduce to the world is their passion. The choir has given many choristers’ a chance to improve their lives and many have gone onto have careers thanks to the mentorship and encouragement of being part of the choir. “We are so proud to see our choristers becoming international Opera singers, attorneys and chartered accountants, retail stores’ managers, corporate marketers and successful choral conductors in their own communities.