Summer Gospel Festival beckons

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Mohalenyane Phakela

MEMBERS of popular South African choral group Joyous Celebration will on Saturday headline the inaugural Summer Gospel Festival at Lehakoe Recreation Centre in Maseru.

The show is the brainchild of Braykthru Media and Slash Events, with sponsorship from Lesotho Post Bank and Data Deal Security.

The music extravaganza is set to become an annual event.

Seven artistes from popular South African Gospel outfit, Joyous Celebration, namely, Andiswa Mbantsa, Zofo Nhlanhla, Mercy Manqele, Xolly Mcwango, Ayanda Shange, Sbusiso Mthembu and Vuyelwa Oke are expected to perform at the event. They will share the stage with local acts including the likes of Tehilla Africa, Makoanyane Ntlama, Tšepo Kherenchane, Yadah Praise Family and Oasis Praise Family.

Braykthru Media representative Benedict “Benny B” Mokhatla this week told the Weekender that the aim was to host the biggest gospel show to give exposure to local acts.

“We have so many talented local musicians that need to be heard by people capable of helping them flourish,” Mokhatla said, adding, “Massive shows like this can attract prominent figures that can help achieve that goal.

He said they had chosen local acts on the basis of their “hard work and potential of going places”.

The multi-award winning Joyous Celebration choir was formed in 1994 and has released 20 albums to date.

It is seen as a perfect platform for grooming solo South African artistes as from time to time, the founders (Lindelani Mkhize, Jabu Hlongwane and Mthunzi Namba) change members to offer others the same platform and exposure. The choir has 35 members.

“Joyous Celebration is one of the groups whose hard work has been witnessed throughout the entire world with its other members also making names for themselves as solo artists,” Mokhatla said.

“We believe local acts will be able to learn a thing or two from sharing the stage with them.

“The other reason is that the group has never been in Lesotho although it is loved by many. We could only bring a few members this time but the aim is to host the whole choir at the second edition next year,” he said.

Event coordinator Peter Mahase said the festival testified to the growth of the country’s Christian entertainment scene with shows attracting well established acts.

“This event will be a massive worship and praise celebration that Lesotho has ever seen. It is the first time our Mountain Kingdom will host a great number of members of such a profound and well-known gospel group,” Mahase said.

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