President Ramaphosa has lauded the Soweto Gospel Choir as South Africa’s best export after the ensemble won its third Grammy Award at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in February.
The Soweto Gospel Choir won the Best World Music Album award for their album Freedom, which was recorded in 2018 as tribute to the 100 Years of Mandela celebrations. The president met the choir at the Market Theatre Square, Johannesburg, on Thursday, 14 March 2019, to congratulate it on its third Grammy nod. He was overjoyed and full of pride as he showered the choir with compliments.
“You are certainly the most colourful export we have, not just in the clothes, but also the most active export that we have because your name reverberates throughout the world.
“You have become extraordinary. You are jovial, dynamic and a valuable export. May you continue to make your nation proud. You are outstanding in what you do,” he said.
He added that the choir’s accomplishments rang bells of joy for the country and hailed them as the country’s heroes.
“It’s a real pleasure and a real joy to be standing here before the real heroes of our nation. People who have gone out into the world and showcased what South Africa is all about and came back having scooped their third Grammy award, so I congratulate you many times over and thank you for being as successful as you are.” he said.
President Ramaphosa was accompanied by Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, who also sang the choir’s praises.
“The achievements of The Soweto Gospel Choir demonstrate what happens when our people, from all walks of life and professions heed the #ThumaMina call and use their gift to be outstanding citizens and ambassadors of this country,” said Mthethwa.
The choir’s manager, Mulalo Mulovhedzi, said it was a special gift to be honoured at home. “Normally we get all [these] things overseas but to be honoured at home is a very, very special gift.”