Soweto Gospel Choir: members, songs, best collaborations, awards, story

Soweto Gospel Choir: members, songs, best collaborations, awards, story

Soweto Gospel Choir is a South African gospel group that was formed in 2002. The music group consists of more than 30 members and is one of the most influential ensembles in the African entertainment industry.

Soweto Gospel Choir
Image:, @sowetogospelchoirlive
Source: UGC

Here are interesting details about the choir, including its history and different facts about its members.

Origin story

Who owns Soweto Gospel Choir? The group was formed in 2002 by choir directors David Mulovhedzi and Beverly Bryer.

The group has gained international fame because of its fusion of Afro gospel, traditional hymns, Jamaican reggae, and American pop to create amazing South African gospel music that many people can relate to.

What languages does the Soweto Gospel Choir sing in?

The choir sings in English and eight South African languages, one of which is Xhosa.

Who is the founder of Soweto Gospel Choir?

David Mulovhedzi and Beverly Bryer formed the band.

Soweto Gospel Choir members

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The choir members are:

  • Anele Bizane
  • Matshepo Chapole
  • Nombuhle Dlamini
  • Sibusiso Dube
  • Shimmy Jiyane
  • Mlungiseleni Jones
  • George Kaudi
  • Katlego Khasela
  • Bongani Khumalo
  • Thembisa, Khuzwayo
  • Bongani Mabaso
  • Warren Mahlangu
  • Lebo Mahlatji
  • Sibongile Makgathe
  • Victor Makhathini
  • Cecelia Manyana
  • Thuli Mazibuko
  • Gugu Mbongwa
  • Lukas Mello
  • Thabang Mkhwanazi
  • Sophie Mofokeng
  • Thabiso Molefe
  • Semangele Mongatane
  • Phumlani Msibi
  • Hlengiwe Msomi
  • Lungi Mhlongo
  • Mandla Modawu
  • Ipi Moshe
  • Ori Msimango
  • Mary Mulovhedzi
  • Mulalo Mulovhedzi
  • Maserame Ndindwa
  • Milton Ndlakuse
  • Sipho, Ngcamu
  • Phumla Nkhumeleni
  • Clarissa Nchabeng
  • Zanele Ngcamu
  • Duduzile Ngomane
  • Zanele Ngwenya
  • Sipokazi Nxumalo
  • Linda Nxumalo
  • Jeffrey Nzuza
  • Linda Sambo
  • Mazwe Shabalala
  • Surprise Sidumo
  • Portia Skosana

In addition to these, there are other categories of people who play a huge part in the group’s success. They include the following personalities:

  • Shimmy Jiyane is a choirmaster, choreographer, and dancer as well. He is a founding member of the band.
  • Mulalo Mulovhedzi is the band’s general manager and bass singer.
  • Diniloxolo Ndlakuse is a musical director, tenor, keyboard player.
  • Mary Mulovhedzi is an administrator.
  • Beverly Bryer is a producer/director.
  • Mazwe Shabalala is a local company manager, associate choreographer, and choirmaster, bass, dancer.

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The band has collaborated with so many artists, including:

  • Akon
  • Andre Rieu
  • Angelique Kidjo
  • Annie Lennox
  • Baaba Mal
  • Bala Brothers
  • Bastille
  • Bebe Wynans
  • Be
  • Bono
  • Celine Dion
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Chris Martin (Coldplay)
  • Corlea
  • Danny K
  • Darey
  • Denim
  • Die Heuwels Fantasties
  • Diana Ross
  • Dorothy Masuka
  • Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam)
  • Elvis Blue
  • Eric Wainaina
  • Freshly Ground
  • Harlem Gospel Choir
  • HHP
  • Howza & Omen
  • Hugh Masekela
  • Jamali
  • Jennifer Hudson
Soweto Gospel Choir songs
Image:, @sowetogospelchoirlive
Source: UGC
  • Joepraize
  • John Legend
  • Johnny Clegg
  • Josh Groban
  • Judith Sephuma
  • Karen Zoid
  • Kylie Minogue
  • Kwela Tebza
  • Kwesta
  • Keri Hilson
  • Kirk Franklin
  • Kurt Darren
  • Liquideep
  • Lira
  • Lloyd Cele
  • Loyiso
  • Majozi
  • Paul Ruske
  • Peter Gabriel
  • P J Powers
  • Papa Wemba
  • Pharrell Williams
  • Proverb
  • Ray Phiri
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Robert Plant
  • Salif Keita
  • Simphiwe Dana
  • Sipho Mabuse
  • The Soil
  • Vusi Mahlahsela
  • Yvonne Chaka Chaka
  • U2
  • Wizkid
  • Zahara

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  • In 2003, the choir won its first award, a Helpmann Award for Best Contemporary Music Concert. That same year, they won the American Gospel Music Award for Best Choir and Best International Choir.
  • In 2007, the group won a SAMA Award (South African Music Association Award) in the Best Live Performance DVD category. They also won a Metro FM Music Award for Best Gospel Album for African Spirit.
  • In 2008, the band won the PanSALB Award for Multilingualism and Nation Building for Album of the Decade.
  • During the 61st Annual Grammy Awards (2018), the choir won the Best World Music Album for Freedom.
  • In 2009, the group won a SAMA (South African Music Awards) Award for Best Duo or Group.
  • During the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards (2010), Soweto Gospel Choir was nominated under the Best Contemporary World Music Album category for Live At The Nelson Mandela Theater.
  • In April 2012, the group was honoured with the inaugural International Achievement Award at the SAMAs.
  • In 2011, the choir won an Emmy Award for ESPN’s 2010 FIFA World Cup music promos.
  • In the 50th Annual Grammy Awards (2007), the group won the Best Traditional World Music Album for African Spirit.
  • In 2018, the group won its 5th SAMA (South African Music Award) for the album Symphonic Soweto.
  • During the 49th Annual Grammy Awards (2006), the group won the Best Traditional World Music Album award for Blessed.

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Soweto Gospel Choir songs

Just like Simunye Male Chorus, the group is famous for releasing some of the best SA gospel songs. Some of the choir’s most popular songs include:

  • Umbombela
  • Siyabonga Jesu
  • Ke Na Le Modisa
  • Amazing Grace
  • Modimo - The Soweto Gospel Choir Modimo song has impressive lyrics that uplift the soul. The song is part of the band’s African Spirit album.
  • Khumbaya
  • Avulekile Amasango / One Love
  • Hallelujah
  • Nkosi Sikelel'iAfrika
  • Ndikhokhele
  • Shosholoza
  • Seteng Sediba
  • Bayete
  • Emlanjeni
  • Hosanna
  • Noyana - The group performed the Soweto Gospel Choir Noyana song as part of their Blessed concert in 2005.
Soweto Gospel Choir albums
Image:, @sowetogospelchoirlive
Source: UGC

Soweto Gospel Choir albums

The group is popular in the gospel music South Africa industry, and this is due to its consistency, catchy lyrics, and fantastic rhythm. All these elements are evident in their songs. Here is a list of the group’s popular albums:

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  • Voices from Heaven
  • Blessed
  • African Spirit - The Soweto Gospel Choir African Spirit album is a 19-track album that was released on January 30, 2007.
  • Live at the Nelson Mandela Theatre
  • Grace
  • Divine Decade: Celebrating 10 Years
  • Freedom - The Soweto Gospel Choir Freedom album was released on 14 September 2018 under Shanachie Records.
  • Symphonic Soweto: A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Soweto Gospel Choir tour 2020

The choir’s New Zealand Tour 2020 was cancelled. The tour, which was dubbed Freedom 2020 NZ Tour, was set for March 2020, but it was cancelled due to the travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Soweto Gospel Music Choir is a highly talented group whose members have diverse abilities. When all their strengths are put together, the result is a culmination of pure joy in the form of excellent music and beautiful lyrics.

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