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Kholwa Brothers win gold in the USA

A group of musicians from Inanda has done the country proud by achieving success in an international competition.

THE isichatimaya group, the Kholwa Brothers, scooped four gold medals and two silver medals at the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) held in Los Angeles recently.

Isicathamiya is an acapella-style of music, in which the performers are unaccompanied by musical instruments, and choreographed dance routines are performed by a group of choral singers.

The founder of the Inanda musical group, Derrick Mlambo, says that the Kholwa Brothers started in 1990. The name comes from a Pietermaritzburg high school, which had a successful choir that Mlambo aspired to. When the older members retired from his own group, Mlambo decided to introduce younger singers from the primary school where he is a teacher.

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“Our 11 members come from an area called Emaplazini, between Inanda and Ntuzuma. I introduced them to this music when they were in Grade Six and Seven. I’m the last elder standing as the youngsters range in age from 22 to 27, and I’m the only one left outside of that age bracket,” says Mlambo.

The Kholwa Brothers were sponsored by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, which enabled them to attend the world championships in the United States. According to Mlambo, the road to the competition was long and arduous, beginning with local rounds before graduating to national events.

According to Mlambo, more than 62 countries participated in the WCOPA. The Inanda musicians performed songs in six different styles and won gold in Broadway, Variety, Open Section and Contemporary. Two silver medals were achieved. The repertoire included Iphi Ntombi for the Broadway category, Asenze Umehluko, UShobane, My Refuge and Peace in the World.

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Mlambo says that he is proud of his young protégés and that the reception from the international audience was excellent.

“It was a big audience, and it was a very good show. They loved our style of singing, our group, and us – we were very popular there. We are World Champs now, and we are hopeful that doors will open for us,” he says.

The young musicians are full-time performers who are hopeful that their success on the international stage will translate into future projects in their own country. Mlambo is grateful for the support and encouragement which the group received from all quarters.

An upcoming concert is planned for October 1, in KwaMashu B-Section at the Kcap Art Centre in recognition of the Kholwa Brothers’ achievements. The public is invited to support this event.


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