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Kholwa Brothers bag six gongs in LA

Group puts isicathamiya on world map

SA’s isicathamiya group Kholwa Brothers walked away with four gold medals, two silver and five overall winner trophies while competing at the World Championships of Performing Arts that ended on Saturday in Los Angeles.
SA’s isicathamiya group Kholwa Brothers walked away with four gold medals, two silver and five overall winner trophies while competing at the World Championships of Performing Arts that ended on Saturday in Los Angeles.
Image: SUPPLIED

South African isicathamiya group Kholwa Brothers has won four gold and two silver medals at the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) in Los Angeles..

The isicathamiya outfit from Durban is also bringing home five overall winners’ trophies.

The group competed in the acapella category, and won a medal for each of the six songs performed.

They performed a song called The Mlambo-Ngcuka, a song that praises former United Nations (UN) official Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

Other songs performed include Asenze Umehluko, Peace in the World, My Refuge, Ipi Ntombi and Ushobane.

Speaking to Sowetan after winning on Saturday night, group leader Derrick Mlambo said they were thrilled.

Mlambo said though the competition was not easy, they were kept motivated by the fact that they knew that isicathamiya music is unique.

He said the group had been rehearsing and perfecting the six songs for three months.

“When we got in that stage, we gave it our all. Winning is an indescribable feeling. We won a medal for each song we performed. The songs were arranged according to different themes divisions under the acapella category.

“We could not believe that we won gold and silver medals. We won trophies as overall winners of each section. As much as the competition itself features the best of the world, we trusted our music and our singing.

“Groups from the US, Philippines and Ireland brought a lot of class in the competition. But we were not intimidated. We knew that we won’t come back empty handed. We made the country proud and promoted this genre.”

Mlambo said the medals and trophies would definitely open doors for them internationally, which is something they have been yearning for.

“I believe that these medals have opened doors for us to the international arena. Every time we performed and when we got off stage people came to us asking for our contacts and showed interest in what we do.

“There is nothing concrete yet, but we have been sharing contacts with different promoters. We are hopeful that when we return home we are going to receive international invites.”

On what the medals say about isicathamiya or cothoza music, Mlambo said: “This has proven that isicathamiya is one of our original sounds and we should be proud of it. This shows that the world embraces isicathamiya music.”

The group is expected to fly back to SA on Wednesday.

bambalelep@sowetan.co.za

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