UWE Bristol Zulu Choir raises funds for South African township schools

A children’s choir from South Africa has arrived in the UK for a three-week tour and cultural exchange.

Project Zulu is an initiative of the University of the West of England (UWE), which works in partnership with schools in South African townships.

The choir’s first performance was in Bath on May 27, where they raised £1,600 in under an hour.

The money will be used to build new classrooms in two schools in Madadeni township.

The choir of nine boys and 11 girls hails from Madadeni Township in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

They attend primary schools in Mntimande and Jobstown.

UWE staff and students volunteered at both schools in February to help support educational development projects.

Both schools currently have more than 60 students per class, making effective learning a challenge, said Ben Knight, Zulu Project founder and senior lecturer at UWE.

Mr Knight said: “There is no doubt that the choir’s extraordinary musical talent will draw large crowds, but the success of the tour is also vital to the continued development of all children’s schools and their education.”

It is the children’s first time traveling overseas and they are staying with host families in Bristol.

Sinaye Phakathi, a member of the Jobstown Primary School Choir, said she loves singing in the choir because it makes her feel comfortable and gives her hope.

“My favorite song is ‘Ngiyakuthanda Jesu’ (I love you Jesus),” she added.

Ndomiso Zungu works at Mntimande Primary School and said the choir was delighted to show Bristol its culture.

“They want to go sing, they want to go show people how we sing, how we dance.

“They want to show them our music,” Ms. Zungu added.

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