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Norwich School Blog

Junior Choir Mhandara! Concert

This term the Junior Choir have been working hard on an exciting inter-schools project surrounding African call and response music. Following an African music workshop held earlier in October, the choir travelled to St. Peter Mancroft Church on 17 November to participate in the Mhandara! Concert. Funded by the Rotary Club, the concert raised money for the Mudeka Foundation and will help prevent period poverty amongst young girls in the Zimbabwean villages of Muda and Harare. Mhandara means ‘young woman’ in the Zimbabwean language Shona. The African Choir of Norfolk performed in the concert, led by Anna Mudeka herself. Each of the five schools sang an individual song and everybody came together for two numbers that bookended the show. Two Junior Choir members reflect on their experience below:

 

"The Mhandara concert was a lot of fun; everyone was joining in and even the parents at the end! The song Norwich School were doing was called Kwaheri, meaning 'Saying Goodbye'. The full lyrics translated to 'Goodbye, we shall meet again God willing'. The whole concert was so colourful and full of joy and happiness, and it was definitely something to be a part of, if I could do it again I really would. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly and the whole choir felt almost like home." – Zoe (U4)

 

"Although my excitement for the Mhandara! concert was incredible, it was nothing compared to how I felt on the night. This could quite possibly have been the greatest experience of my life. I could not wipe the smile off my face whenever we started singing. African music brings so much joy to everyone. Our piece was a beautiful song that I still have not got out of my head, and to be honest I’m glad! The African choir were beautiful in all aspects: not only were their singing voices the most wonderful thing you can hear, they were also wearing exceptionally colourful dresses that enhanced the cheerfulness of the mood. When they opened their mouths, the sound immediately made you joyful. The money coming from tickets went entirely to the charity The Mudeka Foundation which helps underprivileged children in Africa to get an education. The money raises will provide over 1000 packs of reusable sanitary products. Usually, when girls in Africa have their period, they have to stay off school. This results in lack of education, most likely leading to a bad career. Knowing that I am helping children just like me makes the whole experience a lot more special. Overall, as you can see, I very much enjoyed this experience and as soon as it was over, I wished I could do it all over again." – Maya (U4)

You can listen to the recording of their performance below: