Beverly Bryer has been involved in the entertainment industry for over 25 years, working with some of South Africa's premier recording artists before moving on to become Managing Director of one of the country's most
successful music publishing companies. In 1985 she moved to Australia where she worked as Publicist/Event Co-ordinator for concert/theatre promoter Paul Dainty. On her return to South Africa she joined Big Concerts, the country's top concert promotions company, as Media Co-ordinator. In 1997 Beverly produced a dance show called "African Moves", which was invited to perform at the Melbourne International Festival, followed by a tour of Australia where it performed to full houses at the main commercial theatres. In August 2002 Beverly formed her own company, Eventsco, and was approached by Australian producers/promoters Andrew Kay, Clifford Hocking and David Vigo, to form an African gospel choir, now known as the Soweto Gospel Choir. Her position as Executive Producer/Director incorporates the producing, directing, management, marketing and publicising of the choir in South Africa in association with the Australian producers.
Jimmy Mashudu Mulovhedzi was born and raised in Soweto South Africa; He is the son of Soweto Gospel Choir's co-founder, the late David Mulovhedzi. Jimmy started singing in his father's church choir, the Holy Jerusalem Choir at an early age of 13. Under his father's guidance, he became a well polished song writer, arranger, producer and choreographer. He has collaborated with many artists and songwriters such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Benjamin Dube, the late American Gospel icon Rev. James Cleveland, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, to name just a few.
His talent and dedication to music was always noticed and appreciated by the choir's executive producer and director, Beverly Bryer who also mentored him in entertainment management skills. In 2005 Jimmy formed Memeza Africa, a musical project aimed at reducing the HIV/AIDS stigma. The project became a huge international success and has already toured Canada, Scotland and Austria. After the passing of David Mulovhedzi in 2009, the Soweto Gospel Choir's management decided to appoint Jimmy as their Company Manager and he is now following his father's legacy. Apart from music Jimmy is a qualified, I.T. administrator, Industrial Psychologist and a certified HIV/AIDS Counselor. He is also the director of Edzimkulu, a non-government organization which runs a successful AIDS project in South Africa. He is dedicated to making a change in his community.
As long as he can remember, Shimmy has wanted to dance. He has realised his dream with performances in shows with the fabulous Tina Turner and South African stars like Vicki Samson, and choreographers Adele Blank,
David Matamela and Debbie Rakusin. In fact it was David and Debbie who took Shimmy to greater heights, recognising his inherent talents and turning his natural exuberance into quality performances in contemporary
jazz and traditional dance. 1997 he was a member of Vusa Dance Company's 'African Moves' which performed to capacity audiences at the Melbourne International Festival. This was followed in 1998 by a nationwide tour
of Australia. Shimmy now choreographs, dances and performs – he was nominated for a FNB Vita Award and he has appeared on numerous stage and TV shows. His past work with the Gospel group Joyous Celebration moved him into improving his vocal capacities. Shimmy has been choreographing Soweto Gospel Choir for many years and his imagination and knowledge of African dance has played an integral part in the success of the choir's performances. Although initially brought into the choir as a dancer, Shimmy has become a lead tenor with a hauntingly sweet voice.
Born in Soweto, Diniloxolo started singing at Church at the age of six years old. At the age of eight he started playing his father's melodica and his love of music has grown since that day. After completing his schooling he studied music at Eastside College for two years where he learnt about the history of South African music and its people. He also studied subjects like music form, ear training, keyboard technique, piano and theory. He developed to become band leader, composer and arranger of the College's ensembles. At the same time he was attending Church in Soweto where he was the choir's composer, vocal arranger and conductor. He has worked with famous gospel artists like Lundi, Deborah Frazer and Fohloza and has performed with Umoja and Johnny Clegg. He successfully auditioned for the Soweto Gospel Choir in 2006.
This talented young man comes from a family of performers – his father was a well-known comedian and actor, having performed on both stage and screen in South Africa. Originally from Kwamashu in Natal, Mazwe first performed with the Bafana Dance Group which won a Shell Road to Fame competition in 1987. As a child dancer he then joined Mbongeni Ngema's European tour of "Sarafina". He toured Germany with Skulu Musical Show in 1993, as well as touring with Ipi n'Tombi and the musical show Bergville Stories. Mazwe has been a member of SGC since 2002 and has contributed to its success, both musically and choreographically.
Eli has been performing professionally since the age of 12. Born in Zim babwe he moved to Johannesburg in 1998. A guitarist of note, he has performed with African stalwarts such as Oliver Mtukudzi, Angelique Kidjo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Tshepo Tshola and many others. In 2005, performing with Sliq Angel, they opened for John Legend in Cape Town. He has been featured by BBC Radio, and performs two songs on "Wild at Heart" the British soapie, with his own band Sahara. He joined Soweto Gospel Choir in 2007 and has travelled the world with them.
Soweto-born Mirriam has been a member of the renowned Holy Jerusalem Choir for almost 5 years under the direction of Choir Master, the late David Mulovhedzi. Singing Gospel is as much a love of Mirriam's as a calling and she leads the choir at her Church in Soweto as well. Mirriam performed with the choir at the corporate farewell to Nelson Mandela and at Sun City for the Miss World Pageant directed by the Lion King's internationally-known producer/ arranger Lebo M.
Sibusiso comes from the famous Alexandra Township where he started singing and dancing during elementary school. He furthered his career working with the famous recording artist and producer Chicco Twala. Sibusiso joined the Soweto Gospel Choir in 2008.
Born in a small town called Alice, in the Eastern Cape, Jeho was determined to study speech, drama and voice in the city of Johannesburg. Her talent was quickly spotted and her first show 'Street-Sisters' won an award at the Grahamstown Festival and toured Europe. She performed in the hit show "Umoja" for many of the local performances, but Gospel music has always been her first love and the Soweto Gospel Choir is the perfect platform for Jeho's talents.
Philiswe grew up in Durban and in 2002 joined an award winning gospel group called Fakaza. She was working as a Receptionist at Ama Two One Record Company in 2003 when she signed as an artist to join Afro Pop group Pettite under Epettite Records and was lead singer and songwriter for the album. Philisiwe joined Soweto Gospel Choir in 2005, which has given her a chance to explore her talents further and to travel while at the same time furthering her music studies.
Mlungiseleni grew up in Soweto and began his artistic career in 1990 working with well-known director Duma Ka Ndlovu and featured in Duma's long-running TV series Muvhango.. He toured Switzerland with Namao The Journey, and has worked with the musical projects Memeza and Umoja. He joined Soweto Gospel Choir in 2008 and is loving every minute of it.
Like many Soweto Gospel Choir members, George started singing from an early age at Children of God Ministries under the leadership of Apostle Motsepe. He then joined music groups Immortal and Isabelo. When the industry realised his talent his started appearing in music videos of gospel stars like Deborah Fraser and Mashia Moyo. He then went onto work with Johnny Clegg and after performing for stars like Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones and Mariah Carey he was invited together with the Choir to perform with Bebe Wynans. He has collaborated with musicians of the calibre of Vusi Mahlasela, Shwi and Cassette. He has travelled to Portugal, Australia and Hong Kong with Soweto Gospel Choir and enjoys every minute of it.
Bongani was born in Johannesburg and started singing at the age of 13 at Alexandra High School, where three years later he was upgraded to the position of choir conductor. At the age of 18 he joined the well-known group Amakhono Wesintu as a singer and traditional dancer, and with them performed regularly around Alexandra Township. He is currently conductor at the Old Apostle Church as well as a valued member of the Choir. Bongani has been with Soweto Gospel Choir since it started in November 2002
Thembisa grew up in Ladysmith, Kwazulu Natal. She studied at Durban's Inanda Seminary and obtained a diploma in Speech and Drama at the Soyikwa Institute of African Theatre. She then studied dance at Sylvia Glasser's dance school Moving into Dance Mophatong, and obtained a diploma in the theory and practice of dance teaching. She has performed locally in the musical 'Umoja' and with top South African musicians such as Busi Mhlongo, Philip Tabane and Yvonne Chaka-Chaka, and has toured Europe extensively. She loves working with the Soweto Gospel Choir and believes it is one of her greatest blessings ever.
Bongani was born in Ladysmith, Kwa Zulu Natal and grew up singing in the local church and school choirs. After his schooling he moved to Johannesburg where he met many jazz legends namely Sophie Mcgina, Dolly Rathebe, Mara Louw at Dorkay House where he performed with the Junior Manhattan Brothers. He had the honour of performing for President Thabo Mbeki at Gallagher Estate. He performed with Johnny Clegg in Portugal and the UK and has backed many gospel stars. Recently Bongani got the opportunity to take part in the South African movie production "Drum" starring Taye Diggs and other American stars.
Warren grew up in Alexandra Township. He has always been passionate about the performing arts, working as a dancer, singer and drummer. At age 16 he joined Amakhono Wesintu as a dancer and singer. He has participated in dance workshops with the renowned South African dance company Moving Into Dance Mophatong. He featured on the National Aids Day song with Tu Nokwe and DJ Mphulo amongst others. He joined Soweto Gospel Choir in 2005 and hopes to develop his professional career further with the Choir.
Lebogang comes from Alexandra Township in Johannesburg. He studied music for four years at Central Johannesburg College. He has performed with popular artists Sipokazi, Zuluboy, Khethi and L8 Antique. He joined Soweto Gospel Choir in 2008 as a bass guitarist, and has become one of the male tenor voices in the choir.
Victor comes from Kwa-Zulu Natal and as a boy he sang in both the Zion Church Choir and the Boys' Choir. He later formed a group called New Generation. He has since worked with several well known artists and been involved with various ministries, working with the praise and worship teams. He has worked with Thembinkosi Booi and The Prison Worship a project of Forward in Faith Ministries. He recorded a solo album project called Victor M. He joined the Soweto Gospel Choir in early 2007 and with them has performed in Ghana, Australia, Hong Kong and South Korea.
Sibongile started singing at the age of 13 in the church choir and was introduced to the world of professional music in 1989 as a backing vocalist. She was a founding member of the well-known Gospel group, Joyous Celebration before joining Soweto Gospel Choir in 2002. She has worked with many of the great names of African music, including Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Sibongile Khumalo, Gloria Bosman, Angelique Kidjo. Sibongile toured with Michael Jackson and was involved with the award-winning actor/director, John Kani in a musical play The Lion the Lamb.
Thuli was born in Soweto and is another performer who started her career with the well-known youth development organisation Thabisong Youth Club. No stranger to international performance, she has performed in France, Spain and India, as well as around South Africa. She participated in the Masakhane Arts and Culture Youth Development Project. Thuli aims to develop her talents as a singer and is inspired by gospel and traditional music.
Gugu comes from Pietermaritzburg, Kwa Zulu Natal. She started her performance career in 1997 with a community arts group called Die Bafanas. She performed professionally in 2001 in the show "Let Justice Be" which won an FNB Vita Award. Her big breakthrough came when she was cast in the lead for a Gibson Kente musical "How Long". In 2003 she worked with another South African musical theatre legend Duma Ka Ndlovu in a play called "The Journey" with which she toured Switzerland. She went onto perform in Mbongeni Ngema's musical "Shaka Zulu". Clearly a well-rounded artist, Gugu toured Germany running dance workshops and works part-time as an aerobics instructor for the Soyikwa Institute of Arts.
Lungisani was born in Kwa-Zulu Natal. His musical inspiration is Thulani Mthethwa of Petermartitzburg Choral Society and he has collaborated with many local Jazz and Blues veterans, including the late Sophie Mgcina and Dolly Rathebe. As a member of the Junior Manhattan Brothers, he discovered the music of the 50's and the group was featured in the film 'Drum'. Lungisani studied at the Ishashalazi Drama College, has performed at The Windybrow theatre and is an award winning Poet. When not on tour with the choir, he works for a number of shelters including the Rosca Children's Shelter and Nkosi's Haven, volunteering as a Sport and Recreation manager and teaching basic music and drama skills. A career highlight was performing with Tshepo Thsola & Deborah Fraser in London as part of the South African Freedom Day celebrations.
Siya (stage name C'ya) has been involved in the South African and international music scene for many years. From humble beginnings singing in Soweto's Welizibuko Primary School Choir, he has gone on to perfom in the Australian edition of Disney's The Lion King and has sung alongside such greats as Sibongile Khumalo, Vuyo Mokoena and Hugh Masekela, to name a few. In the mid-90s, he was part of the Eastern Cape gospel ensemble, Lord Comforters.
C'ya's big break came in 1998 when the chance presented itself to perform in the star-studded musical, Milestone, which premiered at the Grahamstown Arts Festival featuring the cream of South African musical talent in the form of Jeffrey Mofokeng, jazz diva Sibongile Khumalo, jazz genius Themba Mkhize, theatre guru Nomsa Manaka and award-winning jazz singer Gloria Bosman. Siya is currently a member of the Soweto Gospel Choir.
Thabang is a dancer, actor and singer. He started in 1996 working with Oupa Malatjie. He worked with well known musician and cultural activist Tu Nokwe as a dancer for 4 years and also with Nhlanhla Mahlangu as a singer. He is choreographer for the group Tswelopele and he recently joined the Soweto Gospel Choir.
Thandi was born in Soweto and started exploring her gift for singing in church during offering time. She joined the high school choir and received a certificate in a talent contest for vocals. The following year a dance group she choreographed won an award for African and Modern Dance. She studied Contemporary Music at Allenby Campus where she majored in vocals. It was here she wrote her first song which was chosen to open the launch of a Contemporary Music class in 1998. She continued to sing for church choirs, singing solos and back-up vocals. In 1999 she recorded her first album with Base 2 Base which received good airplay on Metro FM. Thandile is still striving to be the best she can be on this journey of life and finds it goes well doing it while focused on God.
Mandla was born in Pretoria in 1978 and grew up in Witbank, Mpumalanga. He began singing at 8 years old in Sunday School at the local Church Apostolic Faith Mission. At age 11 he helped form a youth choir called The Angels and went on teaching himself to play drums. Whilst with the Choir he was asked by the Faith Tabernacle Church to be their drummer, singer as well as music director. He has worked with artists locally in Jazz, Afropop and Gospel music. In 2003, Mandla registered with the Central Johannesburg College in Parktown, to study a popular music course with a major in drumming. In the same year, Mandla met Lucas Bok who recommended that he join the Soweto Gospel Choir. He believes working with the Soweto Gospel Choir is a blessing and a once in a lifetime experience.
Phumlani comes from Kwa Zulu Natal and started singing when he was 7 years old. He was encouraged by his parents who also sing, and he grew up singing in Church and School Choirs. He was a member of the Abequlusi Community Choir as a tenor soloist. Whilst at school Phumlani also participated in Latin American and Ballroom dancing. In 2004 he started studying sound engineering at Gallo Studios which he continues today. Phumlani looks forward to further studies in Music to further his career.
Original is a man going places – he has performed extensively both throughout South Africa and internationally, representing the country in Leipzig Germany with some distinction. In 1999 he performed with 'African Rhythms' around Europe and this group won a gold medal at the 'International Des Pyreenes Festival'. He has travelled to Belgium, Spain and France and in December 2001, he was selected as one of four members to represent South Africa in an exchange with Japan in the Peace Boat which travelled to Taiwan, Kobe, Brunei, Seychelles, Singapore, Kenya, Madagascar. Early in 2002 his group was again invited to the Des Pyreenes Festival in Europe and they again won the award as the best group. This is all a far distance from the dusty Soweto youth club of Thabisong, where he started his career.
Nersia was born in Mpumalanga, Amersfoort. She recently moved to Sengoane, Soweto to live with her mother. Nersia completed her matric in 1998 and her dream was to become a radiographer. She was inspired by African dance and singing, so she joined the Vuka Lova Arts & Cultural Group. In 2002, she met choreographer S'bonile Ngubane from African Footprint who took her to Korea and Japan working as an entertainer during the Soccer World Cup. In 2006 she joined the Soweto Gospel Choir. Nersia is a devoted Christian.
Mary was born in Soweto in 1980. She started singing in church at the age of eight and joined The Holy Jerusalem Choir when she was only 13. She has been singing gospel since then, having entertained Nelson Mandela, the Chinese Prime Minister, Michael Jackson and many others as part of that choir. Mary is a multi-talented dancer and percussionist as well having a wonderfully strong soprano vocal range.
Mulalo's grandfather was a pastor in the church and his late father David was a choir master, so it was preordained that he would follow into the church choir. Mulalo lives in Chiawelo, Soweto with his family and has performed with the Holy Jerusalem Choir for many important celebrities around South Africa, including former President Nelson Mandela. His talents also include dancing and drumming.
Bongani comes from Soweto and hopes to touch many souls with songs of joy, peace and harmony through his music. He has been working professionally in the music business for five years and has proven to be a multitalented artist. He plays acoustic and electric bass, drums and is an alto and tenor vocalist. He has worked with many well-known South African artists, like Khaya Mahlangu, Deborah Fraser, Kelli Khumalo to name a few. Bongani also has a strong interest in fine art and spends his spare time drawing and painting.
Melusi was born in Ladysmith, Kwa Zulu Natal. He developed his love of music and dance whilst completing his schooling. School was where he started his singing career as a prominent member of the school choir. He toured with the Thabisong Youth Club doing what he loves most, singing and dancing, and has been a member of Soweto Gospel Choir since its inception in 2002, touring with them worldwide.
Maserame started singing at the age of 16 at the Abundant Life Bible Church. The choir from the church was invited to perform in New York during 1997 and this fantastic experience saw Maserame appointed to lead
singer. In 2001 she came to Johannesburg to attend Wits College to study as a sound engineer, but lack of finance found her unable to follow that dream. Her voice, however, is her trademark and she was spotted by leading local Gospel singer Vicky Vilakazi who invited her to perform. Always keen to further her studies, Maserame enrolled for a course in Drama and Dance at the Bavukile Cultural Centre in Klerksdorp.
Born and raised in Soweto to a religious Christian family, Gregory has a history of helping others. He is a member of a mediation service in his home town which helps youngsters in the community by listening to
their problems, arranging food, clothing and accommodation as well as trying to build recreational facilities. He is a member of the Holy Jerusalem Choir and has completed a Conflict Skills Management programme.
Gregory also performed for the former President Nelson Mandela at the first 46664 concert in Cape Town sharing the stage with artists like Bono and Peter Gabriel.
Sipho was born in Soweto and it took him until the age of 18 to realise he had a talent for song and dance. It was only when he joined a gospel choir in his community that he realised he needed to learn traditional dance and how to play African drums. He has performed with South African musician Condry Ziqubu, has entertained former President Nelson Mandela and President Thabo Mbeki, and has been on stage at the Miss World competition held at Sun City.
Zanele was born in Soweto and raised in a Christian family who were all artists. She started singing in Church, Apostolic Faith Mission (Naledi) and then professionally in High School. After finishing school, Zanele worked with well known South African artists, such as Benjamin Dube, Mzwakhe Mbuli and sang with a group called Grace. Zanele is currently studying a correspondence course with UNISA for a Human Resource Management Diploma. She is young, energetic, driven and a devoted Christian who one day hopes to be a successful businesswoman.
Soweto born, Phumla showed an aptitude for music before she could even talk. At the age of 11 she was singing in a church choir and in early 2002 ventured into choral music. She was fortunate to be given the opportunity to sing the Holy Jerusalem Choir, from where she recruited to join the internationally performing choir Memeza. David Mulovhedzi, the late co-founder of Soweto Gospel Choir recognized her blossoming talent and invited her to audition for the Soweto Gospel Choir. She has not looked back since.
Determination has been the key to Linda's success as he has tried to use song and dance to pull him out of poverty. Born in Soweto he joined the Thabisong Youth Club to keep off the streets – and he showed
a natural talent for both song and dance. This talent and determination has seen him perform in France, Spain and Belgium as well at many centres in South Africa – but he is determined to make enough money to go to college one day.
This young extrovert auditioned for 'Popstars' and attended the workshop 'Siya Phezulu'! Sipokazi has won many school and church choir competitions and her determination to be a professional singer is only matched by her passion for education and her belief. She plans to go to University to study a Bachelor of Commerce to support her while she pursues her dream of being a professional singer. Gospel and traditional music are the genres she enjoys most. She is a devoted Christian who believes her God-given talent will take her far in life.
Rebecca started singing at the age of three when she was in hospital for six months. The patients would always have a little prayer before they went to bed and she would volunteer to start a song. At the age of eight she went to live with her aunt in the Western Cape. The family were devout Christians and every Sunday they would go to church and Rebecca would lead the choir. Nowadays, she is with the Conquerors Through Christ Ministries Church in Pretoria where many musical workshops are held. In the late 90's Rebecca joined the Student Christian Fellowship at her high school and learnt drama, African dance and gospel music, after which she entered competitions and performed at musical festivals. She then helped form a gospel group called Nuwave which performed at the Arts and Culture festivals at the State Theatre in Pretoria, where Rebecca was awarded a certificate for best singer of the year.
Fanizile comes from Ladysmith in Kwa Zulu Natal and joined the Sunday School Choir at the age of nine. At an early age he moved to Gauteng seeking greener pastures. He met jazz legends like Dorothy Masuka and Abigail Khubeka at the historic Dorkay House music development centre in downtown Johannesburg. He went on to perform as part of the Junior Manhattan Brothers. He has worked as backing vocalist for many popular performers, notably Johnny Clegg, and many other top gospel artists. He has performed in the UK and Europe with the Soweto Gospel Choir which he feels has brought even more passion to his music.
Ntombehlubi comes from Port Elizabeth, South Africa and has always been a very ambitious young woman. She grew up with a yearning for the arts and started working as a promoter whilst still in High School during school holidays. After her schooling she studied dance choreography at Rhodes University. She has sung in church choirs and with musical groups. She joined the Soweto Gospel Choir in 2009 after being chosen during an audition.
Sowetan-born, Linda grew up in a family church where her grandfather was a pastor. This influence led her to start her singing career in the Holy Jerusalem Choir, and with them performed for Nelson Mandela at Sun City. She has since performed at many public concerts in the past few years and she scored a coup by joining the Soweto Gospel Choir.
Growing up in Soweto, Mxolisi developed an active involvement and love for the arts in his school years. He was a member of Thabisong Youth Club, a non-profit youth organisation which has nurtured many performing artists.
With Thabisong, he was able tour to nationally and internationally as a performer. He was also a member of Umoja, a well-known South African dance musical which has been touring the world for many years.
Portia started singing at the age of 10 and joined a youth choir called Sweet Waters. She then joined the Massed Choir of Witbank called Extravagance. She was invited to join the Soweto Gospel Choir after an audition and has since travelled with them throughout the world.
Kevin was introduced to music at the age of nine by his family who are musically orientated. He was taught how to play drums and bass guitar by family members and then began to play music full time in local church choirs. His dedication to music led him to teaching music to youngsters in the local church and running musical workshops at the age of 15 years. After completing high school he enrolled for a Music Degree at University of Natal where he majored in vocals. He has worked as a vocal arranger/producer and composer for recording artists and musicians. He joined the Soweto Gospel Choir in 2006 and is excited to be part of a group that is taking gospel music around the world. Kevin comes from Pietermaritzburg in Kwa Zulu Natal.