By: Samela Harris
The (Adelaide) Advertiser
May 27, 2011
HIS mother must have known he was born to dance when she called him Shimmy.
Shimmy Jiyane can’t recall a time he didn’t feel the rhythm and by the time he was eight, the Soweto boy was well and truly at dancing school.
Now, at 36, he is one of the masters of the dance in the popular Soweto Gospel Choir.
His joy is in spreading not just the music but the feel of it.
“I put the rhythm into others, make people look good on stage,” he explains.
“They sing in unison and they dance in unison.”
Not only but also, the audience gets to dance and, says Shimmy, to smile and be happy and have fun.
There’s a strong motive among the Soweto Gospel Choir members to involve their audiences with their uplifting music. They are entertainers with a cause.
Through the workshops and after their performances, they collect money for the lost kids at home.
“We take the money home to buy clothes and food for street kids who don’t have parents, kids who are on the streets and have nothing, who smoke and drink and do drugs,” Shimmy explains. “We make sure they have something in life.”Shimmy hints at a few surprises on the stage in this new show called African Grace. “There are going to be fireworks,” he says. “We’re coming to blow you away.”
Soweto Gospel Choir performs African Grace at Her Majesty’s Theatre from June 1-3. Book at BASS