In a heartwarming story that spans more than 16,000 kilometers, the Mzansi Youth Choir from Johannesburg’s Soweto township witnessed their dreams manifest on a distant stage. At the “America’s Got Talent” (AGT) audition, confetti rained down as the young ensemble received the award-winning “golden buzzer” from the inaugural audience, propelling them straight into the NBC talent competition’s live shows .
In May, she made history when emotions overflowed during her performance of “It’s OK,” a moving tribute to the late AGT contestant Jane “Nightbirde” Marczewski, who succumbed to cancer in 2022. Simon Cowell, even known for his discernment, he was able to hold back tears, praising his “perfect” performance and recalling precious memories.
For 21-year-old choir member Zoe Gulwa, this trip to the world stage has been a dream come true: “Coming to the United States to perform on the biggest stage in the world, ‘America’s Got Talent,’ is a dream come true made real”. The judges’ tears validated their emotional tribute, connecting with Nightbirde’s memory.
Marina Zaaiman, co-founder of the choir, expressed her disbelief and gratitude as the audience erupted in joy. Founded in 2003 by Marina and her husband Jannie, the choir was born out of a desire to provide disadvantaged children with an environment of “unconditional love and safety”. The founders’ personal carjacking experience shaped their mission to guide youth off the streets and into meaningful lives.
Bulelwa “Kaybee” Mphahlwa, now 22, highlights the transformative impact of the choir: “We love each other. El Cor Jove Mzansi is a family away from family. They have kept us away from the streets, away from danger, away from the worst things we would have done now.”
Performing with luminaries such as Shakira and Beyoncé, and South African flutist Wouter Kellerman, the Mzansi Youth Choir has achieved international recognition. At 45 members strong, they have their eyes set on one monumental achievement: winning “America’s Got Talent.” Member Keneilwe Melato shares her aspirations: “Winning… would be the biggest achievement of my life and the biggest achievement for the choir. It’s a great stage and (we’re) able to touch so many people’s lives.”
Their journey speaks of unity, resilience and the transformative power of music. The live shows begin on August 22nd, while the AGT finale airs on September 26th. As the choir prepares for this crucial moment, its message of hope, love and soul connection is resonating around the world.
Zoe Gulwa sums up her vision: “I hope the choir brings hope to many people. This is our goal as a choir: to reach the hearts and souls of people all over the world.”
This article is sourced from and written by AI.
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