South Africa’s Soweto Gospel Choir has done us proud, with a 3rd Grammy win for their album Freedom in the World Music Award Category – beating nominees Seun Kuti from Nigeria, Bombino from Niger, Fatoumata Diawara from Mali, and Soviet’s Yiddish Glory.

The Best World Music Album is for albums containing at least 51 percent playing time of new vocal or instrumental world music recordings. Other nominees included Nigerian musician Omara “Bombino” Moctar; Malian musician Fatoumata Diawara; and Nigerian musicians, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80.

This was the Soweto Gospel Choir’s fifth nomination in this category and they have won the award a total of three times.

The SGC had been previous Grammy winners in 2007 and 2008.

The Soweto Gospel Choir was formed to celebrate the unique and inspirational power of African Gospel music

Choir Master and founding member Shimmy Jiyane, Musical Director Diniloxolo Ndlakuse (aka “Milton”), General Manager Mulalo Mulovhedzi and administrator Mary Mulovhedzi represented the 46-member choir at the 61st annual Grammys in Los Angeles.

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Milton (Diniloxolo Ndlakuse), producer/musical director of Freedom, shared an exclusive message with People magazine for all their fans in SA and beyond: “With the nation commemorating Nelson Mandela’s centenary in various ways, we the Soweto Gospel Choir, found it fitting to revive the memories of our people, about the immense sacrifice and contribution they made towards liberation – by reviving some of the more popular struggle songs, lest we forget.

“With this Grammy win, we would like to thank our friends in SA and around the world, for their continuing support and prayer for us.

“Thank you immensely to our President (Cyril) Ramaphosa for a message of blessings in our album. This win is for all of you!”

“The Grammy Award winning album Freedom was recorded in June 2018 as part of the group`s tribute to the 100 Years of Mandela celebrations. It features a selection of South African struggle songs including their scintillating version of Johnny Clegg`s poignant Asimbonanga, the group said in a statement.

“The album was released in the United States where the group have just completed a highly successful three-month tour. Further tours are planned for 2019 including an Australasian tour scheduled for July through September, and locally, a performance at this year’s Cape Town Jazz Festival in March.”

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Devereaux Morkel