Watoto Children’s Choir 48 left Uganda early this morning on a ground breaking tour of South Africa, an initiative that will see the accelerated rescue of orphaned children and vulnerable women in Africa. Watoto officially expands its operations to Cape Town, South Africa in May 2011 with the goal to replicate the credible effective model (established in Uganda) across the continent.
A few hours before heading out to the airport, the choir room filled out with smiling children amid bags, suitcases, aunties and uncles (chaperones) as the final preparations were made. In one corner of the room, a barber stood shaving some of the little boys’ hair as one of the aunties helped some of the girls freshen up in another corner.
The choir trains for up to five months before they start any tour. In these sessions, the children are taught to dance and sing (something they’re naturally good at) as the production is carefully choreographed for a poignant delivery of the message of hope. “The preparation has been good. We’ve had a lot of logistics to manage, merchandise to prepare and final touches to be made on a few details. Now thank God, we are ready,” says Violet Abaho, the assistant team leader.
Violet adds that they will tour the whole of South Africa from February to end of July 2011. “We are excited about this tour. This is particularly special since we know that the awareness and support raised, will start a fresh Watoto model in a vital part of Africa.”
William Muramira, one of the children on the tour says he is glad that practice has ended and that it is now time to go. He is especially excited about going to South Africa because he hopes to meet the famous Nelson Mandela whom he has heard so much about. He also can’t wait to go to Watoto Church Cape Town (officially launching on 1 May 2011).
“I am looking forward to meeting new people, swimming and having fun with my aunties and uncles,” says Sarah Birungi.
The vibrant live performances in South Africa will take place in the Western Province (Cape Town, Plettenberg Bay, Port Elizabeth and East London, Kwazulu Natal (Durban area) and Gauteng (Johannesburg area).
If you are in interested in seeing the choir on tour in South Africa or telling family and friends about it, log onto www.watoto.com/choir (Select the African region).