zinging up zonkizizwe

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Music is often referred to as food for the soul, and one group that is effectively using music to dish out food and hope is gospel group Isihlahla Sokuphumula.

The outfit is affiliated to Isihlahla Sokuphumula Church in Zion, based at Zonkizizwe informal settlement in Katlehong. Like other informal settlements, this one has its share of problems, including grinding poverty and unemployment.

But the group that emerged from this sleepy ghetto holds the hope for the community with their enchanting sounds.

In spite of the drab and sparse conditions the community have organised themselves into a vibrant choir.

During the week nothing much happens in the township. But it changes for the better over the weekends. The atmosphere is inviting and there's a feeling of togetherness.

The settlement wakes up to the vibrant gospel sounds reverberating from a garage that operates as a church on weekends.

The church itself was started in 1989 by the Reverend Irvin Dube and it now has has two branches in Katlehong.

Wearing blue and white outfits, the members of the church rock Zonkizizwe every weekend.

They have just released their second album, Mina Ngiye, and it is especially songs from this album that draw hundreds to watch the gospel outfit on stage.