African choir visits WCCS

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 13, 2003

The sounds of Africa could be heard at Wallace State Community College in Selma on Wednesday as gospel singers from the Valley of Thousand Hills High School performed at Goodwin Theater.

The group, from Durban, South Africa &045;&045; known as the Kwaximba Gospel Singers &045;&045; are on a tour throughout Alabama.

The free performance was not only an opportunity to hear African music, but also served as a way to learn about a different culture. The rhythms and tone of African gospel were slightly different from our American version, but the emotion exuded was the same.

Tasha Furlow, a performance audience member, said she really enjoyed listening to the music.

After singing various songs in their own language, the Kwaximba Gospel Singers performed &uot;We Shall Overcome&uot; with two members of the Selma High School Choir. They even did a dance from their native country that involved high kicks and stomping.

The choir was a prelude to a musical called &uot;Up Above My Head … I Hear Music In the Air&uot; by the North S.T.A.R. Theatrical Ensemble. Written by Faya Ora Rose Toure and Nicole Reeves, the musical exposes the

generation gap between parents and young teen-agers, centering around the stigmatism that hip-hop music is based on violence.

Natahsa Brown plays Mamma &uot;Willie Mae&uot; Boyd, a grandmother who is tired of putting up with her grandson’s rap music. The grandson, Chaka Boyd (Maurice Watson), slowly comes to realize the true messages behind his favorite songs.

Besides WCCS, the Kwaximba Gospel Singers also visited four other community colleges, including Southern Union, Jeff State, Central Alabama and Gadsden State.

Wednesday was their last day in Selma before heading back home to South Africa.