By: Christian Tatman
Frankston Standard Leader
June 16, 2014
AS RELIGIOUS man, it is not surprising Vincent “Shimmy’’ Jiyane has a heavenly voice.
And it’s a voice the choirmaster and tenor is looking forward to blending with other members of the Soweto Gospel Choir at Frankston Arts Centre this month.
In an interview with the Leader, Jiyane recalled he started to sing at church as a youngster.
“It’s something I grew up with. At the age of six I was attending church and from 10, I was singing,’’ he said.
“I get to serve God … it (singing gospel) is giving people the good news. I’m a Christian and I love God.’’
He said the choir wanted to spread a message of peace and happiness.
Part of the choir’s show involves a tribute to South African independence leader Nelson Mandela.
It’s not surprising given the choir has taken part in services around the world celebrating Mandela’s remarkable life.
These have included the televised memorial service held in Soweto attended by US President Barack Obama and world leaders, and recently at Westminster Abbey as part of the Queen’s service attended by South African President Jacob Zuma and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Jiyane said the choir wanted to honour Mandela’s service to South Africa and celebrate his life by performing freedom songs and some of the leader’s favourite hymns.
“We were close to him and we feel it’s good to do a tribute because of what he has done for the country,’’ he said.
“He is the father (of the nation), he is an icon … for us, it’s an important part of our life.’’
This tour will Jiyane’s eighth trip to Australia and he is looking forward to catching up with locals and spreading the gospel message.
“Australian people are very loving … I look forward to being there again,’’ he said.
“Come and enjoy beautiful music from South Africa.’’
See the Soweto Gospel Choir at Frankston Arts Centre on Sunday, June 29 at 5pm. Tickets $39 to $79. Bookings, phone: 9784 1060.