The Kgoši Mampuru II Management Area choir, known as Unitas, will compete with choirs from around the world at the World Choir Games competition to be held in Pretoria from 4 to 14 July 2018. The World Choir Games was previously known as Choir Olympics and is the biggest choir competition in the world. It is organised for choirs of all genres the world over. The contest will be held on the African continent for the first time.
The 55-member choir paid a non-refundable R11 000 in application and accessories fees to be considered for this world competition. The executive committee member and public relations officer (PRO) of the choir, Ms Patricia Mothapo, said she screamed at the top of her voice when she received an email that read, ‘you have been accepted’after a long wait.
“Our Area Commissioner Tlabo Thokolo, Director Corporate Services Rudie Koekemoer and the rest of our management give us unwavering support. Their doors are always open. That is why we were able to pay the registration fee,” Mothapo said. But this is not the end of it. The choir still needs to raise a participation fee that amounts to R45, 700 to seal the deal.
The choir conductor, Mr Zwelithini Molopyane, said the choir members contribute monthly, yet it cannot cover all the costs. “We are organising sponsorships to support the choir,” he said. He added that more financial support will be needed. Mothapo said the choir will need catering, transport, attires for the different performances and accommodation for the 11 days of the competition.
The choir will render four songs in the open competition meant for first timers and eight for the friendship concert. Their participation in the World Games will be a highlight among many other proud moments. Some of these are when they shared a stage with renowned artists Zahara, Sibongile Khumalo, Hugh Masekela, Busi Mhlongo and Jonas Gwangwa. They have sung at President Jacob Zuma’s birthday celebration in Luthuli House. They were also the first choir to sing the African Union anthem during the prison commissioners Africa summit.
The choir is preparing for the competition through daily rehearsals, vocal training by technical experts, and engagement with choreographers for stage presentation.
The games aim to bring people together through singing, and to show that it is possible to achieve unity among nations through the arts. The motto of the competition is, “Singing together brings nations together“. It is organised by the Interkultur Foundation, an international organiser of choir competitions and festivals and the focus is participation rather than winning.