Two-time Grammy Award winning Soweto Gospel Choir have committed themselves to Earth Hour, the biggest mass action event in the world, and to going “beyond the hour” by reducing their environmental footprint.
In addition one the country’s biggest names in music the Bala Brothers as well as Vicus Visser the so-called Bieber of Bloem, are showing their support for Earth Hour by headlining Saturday night’s free Earth Hour concert in Soweto.
Bongani Ncube, spokesperson for the Soweto Gospel Choir, affirmed the choir’s commitment to the environment: “ We are excited to be part of such a global outreach to promote environmental awareness. We understand that we don’t inherit the world from our parents, we borrow it from our children.”
The Soweto Gospel Choir will be mentoring newcomer Vicus Visser and have invited him to perform with them on stage. “Young people must be encouraged to take the lead and highlight the need for action on crucial issues such as climate change,” Ncube adds.
Speaking at a rehearsal for the event 5FM DJ Gareth Cliff says that the concert is exciting for a number of reasons: “ It’s always great to discover new talent and it is brilliant that an event like this can be used not only to promote rising young talent, but also to promote environmental awareness.
“We can all make basic, easy changes that reduce our consumption of natural resources. Something as simple as switching off studio equipment rather than leaving it on standby when it’s not in use has a cumulative effect.”
Zabair Sayed, Executive Manager of Communications and Marketing at WWF South Africa, notes that Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, the global patron of Earth Hour, regards climate change as the greatest human induced crisis facing our world today.
According to Archbishop Tutu climate change is totally indiscriminate of race, culture, class, nationality or religious belief. It affects every living organism on the planet. Earth Hour provides an opportunity for us to act together and send a powerful message on climate change.
Sayed adds: “We’re delighted to see how South Africans are taking up the cause for Earth Hour in 2011. It’s exciting to see people applying their minds to this issue, from captains of industry to hip-hop musicians.
“Earth Hour is an inspirational global celebration of what we can achieve when we all work together. South Africans have again invoked that spirit, as individuals, communities, businesses and government.”
The Earth Hour Concert will be held on Saturday night (March 26). The Soweto Gospel Choir, the Bala Brothers and Vicus Visser will perform at the concert in Orlando
West Regional Park. The event is sponsored by Nedbank and supported by the City of Johannesburg.
The candle-light concert will see Soweto join more than 4 000 cities and towns across 125 countries and regions, including 14 African nations, switching off their lights for Earth Hour in an historic moment of unity.