African Pulse: Experiencing Ndlovu Youth Choir with a twist

'It is not a musical, it is a theatrical experience which encapsulates the Ndlovu Youth Choir's spirits and personality' - Matthew Counihan


African Pulse allows for the fans of Ndlovu Youth Choir, season 14 finalists of America’s Got Talent, to experience the group in a format in which they are simply not standing on three sets of stairs, but rather sitting in a world that tells a story.

The Citizen had the chance to speak to the director of the African Pulse, Matthew Counihan, and here is what he had to say about the event:

Q. Can you give us an idea of what African Pulse actually is?

It is a combination of a dream of mine to work with Ndlovu Youth Choir. I’ve been one of their super fans from the moment I kind of met them and got to know them through their albums. It was an opportunity to respond to the presidential employment stimulus programme which was launched at the end of last year. It was the idea to put the choir on stage in a format where they are simply not standing on three sets of stairs, but are rather sitting in a world that tells a story. It is not a musical, it is a theatrical experience which encapsulates the Ndlovu Youth Choir‘s spirits and personality.

Q. So there are no other performances by other artists?

Yes, it is just all the members of the Ndlovu Youth Choir on stage. We have got a humongous set that has been put up with many LED screens. We are basically telling a theatrical, licensed story of how they came to be.

Q. What inspired African Pulse?

I came  across this choir and I thought “what are the chances of working together with them and putting them into this format that has not been seen before. How do we create magic with 30 youths, and use their repertoire?”

Q. Will African Pulse be performed in other cities besides Johannesburg?

Our dream beyond the event on 1 May is to take it to other theatres around South Africa, then to package it and export it internationally. We have a history of taking beautiful shows abroad and I think what we managed to create here is a step in that particular direction. It could be our next exportable product.

Q. What other events are associated with African Pulse?

At this stage we simply have the event on 1 May. It’s about a proof of concept. This is a step in a particular process. Yes I have put this together and, yes, I may have directed it, but I might not be the person to take it to the next step.

Q. What should people expect from the event on Saturday?

The beauty, excitement and the dynamism of the Ndlovu Youth Choir for starters. They should expect a visual feast. The world in which the performers are performing is bespoke content, created specifically for this show. My brief to our content designers was that if I should press pause at any particular point of the content, that picture could go in a frame and sit on somebody’s wall.

Q. Will the choir perform music they have written, or will it just be covers?

A healthy combination. There are covers they have worked on over the years and they will also feature some of their original works.

Read more on these topics

America's Got Talent music ndlovu youth choir

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits