Singers’ desire for social justice

2019-03-07 06:02

FIVE decades ago, four high school friends from the then dustladen Xaba (Kabah) township started a singing group which today is one the most loved gospel groups not only in Uitenhage and the Eastern Cape but across the country.

The Christadelphians literally means “Soldiers of Christ” which is the vision for the group.

“This vision is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago,” said Danny Jacobs, one of the founder members of the Christadelphians.

In 1982 the group was “discovered” by West Nkosi and Marks Makwanie, who scouted for recording talent on behalf of the Gallo Africa recording company.

“They produced our first LP, Daddy my Daddy, which in those days was one of Gallo’s best sellers with Ladysmith Black Mambazo,” said Jacobs.

The group performed at churches, cultural and political rallies and concerts.

“During the Apartheid era we were known for not fearing to sing Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, which then was banned. We performed at many of the legendary Reverend Allan Hendrickse’s meetings. To this day we still sing our national athem with pride.”

Ironically the composer of Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, Enoch Sontonga, was born in Uitenhage as well.

“Our concerts were and still are utilized to express a deep-seated desire for social justice and social reform.”

During 1986 when the human rights leader from the United States of America, Reverend Jesse Jackson, visited South Africa, The Christo’s were one of the eminent performers at his rally in Port Elizabeth.

This gospel group from Uitenhage took the lead in popularising songs of South Africa’s home-brewed composer and producer, Gibson “Bra Gibb” Kente.

The group has toured Greece, Egypt and Israel where they recorded Live in Jerusalem. On this tour they received a plaque of Tiberias from a representative of the Israel Minister of Tourism.

50th Anniversary celebrations

The Christadelphians 50th Anniversary celebration weekend will be held from 19-21 April. On April 19th there will be a gospel group Golden Oldies Show at the Allanridge Civic Centre at 18:00. April 20th: Family Breakfast at VW PeoplePavilion 09:00 and Golden Jubilee Gala, VW PeoplePavilion 19:00. April 21st: 50th Celebration Service, Dale Street Congregational Church 14:30; 50th Celebration Gospel Show, Allanridge Civic Centre, 19:00.

  • In the build-up to these events and as part of The Christadelphians’ fundraising efforts the following events will be held at 95 Cannon Street, Uitenhage:

March 15th: Pork Braai (12:00 onwards)

March 29th: Chicken & Pork Braai (12:00 onwards)

  • For more information contact Danny Jacobs 082 496 1281.

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