April 23, 2010
City of Joburg Release
The Soweto Gospel Choir will collaborate with seven other African musicians to produce a song highlighting the importance of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The song will be performed and released in June during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
The Millenium Development Goals were drafted nine years ago by the United Nations, international governments, development organisations and civil society groups concerned about global poverty.
The song is called “8 Goals for Africa” and forms part of the UN’s campaign to urge governments to recommit themselves to achieving those goals. It also aims to entrench and expand awareness of the importance of the MDGs.
Eight African musicians – one for each development goal – have been contracted to record and perform the song. It will be produced by the renowned producer, Arthur Baker. The melody was composed by Jimmy Dludlu and the lyrics were written by Eric Wainaina.
Apart from the Soweto Gospel Choir, the other musicians include Yvonne Chaka-Chaka, Hip-Hop Pantsula, Oliver Mutukudzi, Mingas, Wainaina, Baba Maal and Angélique Kidjo. South African jazz maestro, Hugh Masekela, will be playing his signature trumpet. The organisers say a score of other African artists will also be involved.
Recording began on the 1st of April in Cape Town and other parts will be recorded in Joburg, London and New York. The song will then be released worldwide during June.
A music video will be made for the song, which will be performed at the World Cup in June. The performing artists will attend the football tournament, promote the MDGs and galvanise more support.
This is the second time this year that the Soweto Gospel Choir has featured on a music project of this stature. It recently performed on a collaboration track with rhythm and blues singer Akon and newcomer Keri Hilson, to raise funds for African children.
The choir has also collaborated with numerous other famous musicians, such as Celine Dion, Peter Gabriel, Thomas Newman, U2’s Bono, Vusi Mahlasela, Johnny Clegg, Diana Ross, Josh Groban, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Jimmy Cliff and Bebe Winans, to mention a few.
A 26-member ensemble, the choir has an international appeal because of the nature and arrangement of their songs in diverse African languages. They have a vast repertoire and have bagged a number accolades and reached several milestones. Their latest album, Grace, was released in the United Stated in early January and is receiving rave reviews.