Sunday 15th September 2019,
Soweto Gospel Fans

South African Choir Feels At Home In Brooklyn

By: Cheryl Wills
March 4, 2012

They hail from South Africa and they are known for their electrifying performances. The Soweto Gospel Choir, which was formed 10 years ago, has been on a steady global tour.

The 52-member choir recently made a stop in Brooklyn to get some down home food at Madiba, a South African inspired restaurant on Dekalb Avenue. Shimmy Jiyane is one of the original members of the group and a choir leader.

“The food is nice. It’s reminding us of back home and we’ve been longing for this since we’ve been here for five weeks so this is the best day of the choir tour,” said choir leader Shimmy Jiyane.

The chefs at Madiba – a nickname for Nelson Mandela – served up authentic South African cuisine like beef sausage with tomato onion and gravy with a side of wild greens.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz even popped in to sing the choir’s praises and roll out the welcome mat.

“So many of their countrymen live here and have chosen to live here and in New York City and also visit here regularly and they’re well known to say the least. And so they do us the honor by spending the next few days in Brooklyn,” said Markowitz.

“The fact that this choir, gospel choir can create within freedom and be ambassadors to their country speaks volumes about the change that this country has gone through,” said Dr. Muhmmad Nurhussein of the United African Congress.

“We are trying to present to everyone in the world that we are a rainbow nation and we are striving to become one,” said choir member Bongani Ncube.

The choir’s songs of unity and hope are set to reverberate throughout Brooklyn and the entire city this weekend.

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About The Author

From the Great White North of Canada, Elaine is the owner and maintainer of SGF. Besides being a big-time Soweto Gospel Choir fan, she is passionate about world travel, technology, all sports and above all the great mangosteen fruit. Oh, and she can't sing to save her love! :)


  1. Sidney Jones March 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I can hardly wait until this Sunday. Can we all say, CHICAGO!!!

  2. Elaine March 6, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Let us know how it goes Sidney! You’re going to love it! 🙂

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