May 09, 2008
The touring Soweto Gospel Choir will rock Fiji tonight and tomorrow with their religious music, but they also have a sports message for the people of Fiji.
Choir leader and choreographer Shimmy Jiyane, 34, said rugby in Fiji cannot prosper without unity.
“I follow Fijian rugby very closely because you have a unique style of play,” he said this morning.
“This is a peaceful country but political differences are affecting your rugby. You have some very
good and world renowned players like Waisale Serevi and Rupeni Caucau but it seems they are not in the team because your rugby people do not want them. I read about Serevi and I am very sad because I am also a fan. He is a very gifted player. God makes special people like him and Fiji Rugby Union should stop fighting against each other and play with unity to help win in the world.”
“Fiji almost beat us (South Africa) in the World Cup last year and that shows that you are a strong side. You have to work together to win.”
The Soweto native said his group is in the country not only to sing but to spread the gospel of hope and unity.
“We have changed into a country of peace. It is full of loving people. We are the Rainbow Nation and that signifies the love we have. Fiji should be like that and only then God will reward you,” he added.
The choir will perform in Suva tonight before travelling to Lautoka tomorrow.
They fly to Australia on Sunday for their concert in Melbourne next week.
Jiyane is expected to lead his choir in front of former South African president Nelson Mandela during his birthday in South Africa in June.
“I have performed in the United States, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, Singapore and Australia, but no one can beat the friendliness and ever smiling faces of the people of Fiji.”