South Africa is set to become the first African country to host the 10th World Choir Games from in July this year.


Described as the world’s largest international choir competition, the World Choir Games comes at a time when South Africa is commemorating the centenary of former President Nelson Mandela's birth. Madiba, who passed away on 5 December 2013, would have turned 100 on 18 July 2018.


Ali Mpofu, member of the local organising committee, and CEO of the African Cultural Development Foundation, said the competition presents a golden opportunity for choristers young and old to compete with their counterparts from around the world. There are over 21000 singers that have registered to compete in this competition and there are over 48 countries that will be represented in this competition across the globe,


“It is a great pleasure for us as South Africa to be hosting this coveted competition, as it provides our choristers of all age groups with an opportunity to go up against the best in the world. This competition will showcase to the world our country's talents in choral music. It will be a wonderful platform for both those who are established and those who are up and coming. It really is a special and exciting time in the history of choral music in Africa and South Africa," said Mpofu.


The World Choir Games invites all non-professional choirs globally to participate. The competition offers a platform for competitive choirs as well as choirs with relatively little international experience to compete.

Mpofu said the World Choir Games are divided into two competition categories, namely “The Champions Competition” and “The Open Competition”. These two competitions allow choirs the opportunity to participate at the appropriate level. Also there will be a lot of friendship concerts and special performances by renowned artist who will be surprise acts.


Choral music is arguably the greatest ‘common denominator’ among South African communities, as it is widely loved and enjoys broad support and participation. It is a unifying activity, bringing together choristers from across the country’s socio-economic landscape, regardless of age, gender, education, religion, sexual orientation, social standing.


The World Choir Games will also offer workshops, seminars and open rehearsal sessions. During these workshops, choirs, conductors, and individuals will be introduced to international choral literature, singing styles, and performance practices.


The competition takes place in Tshwane from 4 to 14 July.