Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Lovers were taken on a musical journey they will not forget for a long time during the Joyous Celebration live performance at Mosaiek Theatre, Fairlands, northern Johannesburg.

Thousands of gospel music lovers, mainly couples, friends and an odd single, filled the massive theatre to capacity on Saturday.

Right from the beginning of the show, the crowd sang along, danced and clapped hands as the choir and soloists did their thing - as if to prove that they were the best choral outfit in the country.

The American-style gospel outfit was in the mood to entertain. It was just too good for many a reveller as they left their seats to push forward each time a soloist they liked was featured.

Joyous Celebration, conceptualised by Lindelani Mkhize, Mthunzi Namba and Jabu Hlongwane, is the country's foremost gospel music collaboration.

Now in their 13th album, the group has achieved institutional status in the country.

By the time the choir wrapped up its performance just after 11pm, lovers had had fun. But they still asked for more, and the choir obliged - twice.

When the proceedings came to an end, the crowd, exhausted but satisfied, filed out of the theatre, headed home. It could be to Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, KwaZulu-Natal or anywhere in Mzansi.

Joyous Celebration has also increased its linguistic diversity, probably to answer critics who have for years have pointed out that singing mainly in isiZulu or in English in a culturally diverse country like Mzansi was artistically limiting, and demonstrated a lack of vision on the part of the producers.

This time some songs were rendered in isiXhosa, Sepedi and Xitsonga, much to the appreciation of the crowd.

There was even a kwasa-kwasa song in Sepedi that excited the crowd.

Sowetan was the media sponsor of the event.