Eight Malay choirs will compete in the Top 8 competition of the Cape Malay Choir Board to be held in the Velodrome in Bellville on Saturday 14 March.In the past three weeks, 16 choirs competed for the privilege to progress to the final. Over the weekend, the last two qualifiers were determined and the names of the choirs who made it the Top 8 will be announced later this week.On Saturday 22 February, Legends, Rangers, Young Men and Studente competed in Section 1. On Sunday 23 February, Hamadias, Marines, Strelitzia and Ottomans were in action in Section 2 and on Saturday 29 February, Cabelleros, Modern Boys, Young Zinnias and Boarding Boys challenged each other. On Sunday 1 March, Angeliere, Parkdales, Primroses and Manhattans competed.“The Cape Malay Choir Board was established in 1939 when a band of far-seeing men met at 77 Wale Street in Cape Town. The result of this meeting was the formation of the Cape Malay Choir Board which started with eight choirs and grew rapidly through the years to include the 34 odd choirs under its jurisdiction today,” says Shafick April from Athlone, president of the Cape Malay Choir Board.This historic meeting was the culmination of months of discussion and deliberations following on the success of a concert organised by the late Dr ID du Plessis and the late Bennie Osler, in the City Hall in 1938.“The idea of establishing a central organisation to foster and promote the traditional singing of the Cape Malay community was realised and birth was given to a vibrant baby named the Cape Malay Choir Board.“Having weathered many storms and overcome the initial teething problems, the Cape Malay Choir Board is today the largest multi-national organisation of its kind in the country,” April says.The choirs compete in different categories, namely: combine chorus, Afrikaans, comic song (moppie), Dutch song and a solo item. Trophies are awarded in each category to the winning choir or soloist.The oldest choir is Young Men Sporting Club from Mitchell’s Plain.