SOSA-XA! Sounds of Southern Africa Choir
Sheffield's intercultural isicatamiya chorus
SOSA-XA! Choir was founded in May 2001 by members of Sunduza Dance Theatre from Bulawayo(www.sunduza.org) and SEMEA as a Sheffield based arts trust.
The choir believes everyone can sing and is open to all members of the community without auditions and without the need to read music. Its a good place to pick up some Southern African language skills. However we move around a lot so don't expect to sit down at all during rehearsals unless you have a disability. There is also access at rehearsals for those with limited mobility.
WHY Bother?As an intercultural choir we support the development of arts projects in Bulawayo and other centres that encourage creativity in the youth. We raise funds to improve facilities that support community led arts programmes. These in turn keep the youth occupied, support training, support civic awareness through the arts. Creativity is at the heart of emerging economies. The choir is managed as an evening class by SEMEA. The arts trust was set up in 2001 to help capacity build arts development projects in Southern Africa and support locally resident African artists. (www.semea.org.uk)
SOSA-XA was first led by Simon Banda who composed many of the songs the choir sings. For over twelve years it was led by Mandla Sibanda who contributed many songs and led the first three recordings and DVD project, Singing for Change. Both tragically passed away in 2012. Keitu Motlogwa from SEMEA board of directors kindly stepped in for just over a year to support the transition process to whom we are grateful.
It was Mandla's philosophy to ensure inclusion and contributions from many local Southern African artists in the UK and at the same time ensure the choir benefits from visiting artists. We are currently led by Tonderai Phiri (ex-Siyaya dance) encouraged by Richard Mahachi from Umkathi Theatreworks who led the choir in 2014 and Lizwe Jele from Umdumo we Sizwe.
We are mainly a performance choir and we respond to invitations from a variety of charities, festivals and schools with African or international events. We often perform at schools where the artists with whom we work have been holding residencies.
WHEN & WHERE
We meet on Monday evenings at the Sheffield Friends Meeting House from 7.30 p.m to 9.15p.m.. Termly fees are payable in advance at £5.50 per week for a twelve week term (£4.00 full time students). New members are welcome to try out the choir for a couple of weeks but are only charged for the term or part thereof if you decide to join. Visitors normally pay £6.00 per session.
Check out our latest videos and external subscription sites on You Tube on the SOSA-XA Choir Channel and also other sites of interest including tutorials in isiNdebele to help you out! (see You Tube link below), the latest dance videos from Sunduza and videos from Amasiko Lemvelo Learning in Bulawayo.
source photo:Robin Railly. It's us at Potteric Carr Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
fund raising Spring Festival
Keitu Motlogwa leading the choir at "Inkanyiso"- reflections memorial
concert for former music directors Mandla Sibanda and Simon Banda on
14 April 2013 at the Firth Hall, Sheffield University.Catch the full show on our DVD
For some great video clips we have started a new SOSA-XA Channel on You Tube
don't forget to listen to our tracks on this site and buy some of our recordings