The Ndlovu Youth Choir delighted and united millions of South Africans and made the country proud when they did so well on the TV show America’s Got Talent. They’d already won countless fans with their isiZulu version of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You, accompanied by flautist Wouter Kellerman.
Now they are using their popularity to address the serious issue of Covid-19, recording a song called We’ve Got This in isiZulu and English. It is a fun way to deliver vital facts about limiting the spread of the disease in areas where information is scarce, such as their village of Moutse in Limpopo.
“The idea was to avoid the stigmatisation and panic and false narratives that were associated with the HIV pandemic, and learn from that,” says choir director and co-founder, Ralf Schmitt.
The Ndlovu Youth Choir gives talented but underprivileged young people a purpose, a chance to shine and to escape the poverty around them. They remained active during the lockdown, presenting concerts for bookings from around the world through live-streaming, while strictly obeying regulations aimed at limiting the spread of Covid-19.
“We’ve tried to be innovative and reinvent ourselves to ride out the storm,” Schmitt says. “We’re human and we all want to connect, but we’re role models to young people so we can’t go around breaking the guidelines.”
For Mandela Day on July 18 they presented a 67-minute live-streamed performance for charity and launched their new single, We Will Rise. “The song is to encourage people to keep going, and there’s no better time to launch it than on Mandela Day,” Schmitt says.