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Sakhabengoma Choral Society PDF Print E-mail
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It was on 29 April 1998, that Thobile Gidigidi, JJ Mbana, Vuyisile Mkentane and later joined by TMT. Mahlangeni and other giants of Choral music, established Sakhabengoma Choral Society. The choir was established as a community project with choral singing as a rally tool to galvanize the youth of the area so that whilst developing the musical talents, also fight against such socio-economic demons as unemployment for poverty alleviation, HIV and Aids, drug abuse etc. Since its inception, the choir has sung in many festivals, concerts and competitions winning many awards.  

SAKHABENGOMA CHORAL SOCIETY has therefore been established both as a choir as well as a community based and owned cultural project.

Little did the founder members know at the time, that they were establishing what would turn out to be a powerhouse in choral music in this country. Sakhabengoma Choral Society under the directorship and able hands of Thobile Gidigidi, are not only obsessed with excellence in choral performance, but also the capacity to produce prominent and respected Conductors such as Sbusiso Njeza, Cingile Blacky, Sisanda Mfundisi, Aylor Dunjwa, Sanele Gwebecimele, Mfundo Toni, Zolani Tyandela, Sisa Jikeka and many others. 

Also produced in this choral factory are prominent opera soloists such as Sipho Fubesi, Mandisinde Mbuyazwe, Siyasanga Mbuyazwe, Bongiwe Mafuya Sonwabo Ntshata, Pumza Mxinwa, Phelisa Myendeki, all of whom are strutting their stuff at the Arts-Cape in Cape Town and the University of Cape Town. Currently, Sakhabéngoma Choral Society is commanding over 90 Choristers from across the communal spectrum 90% if whom are school going, young adults mostly unemployed.

The Choir, at its early stage of existence managed to gain its Public demand after having taken Championship in the then TRACCA Competition’s Large Section Category in Umtata during the years 2000 and 2001. Its humble beginnings at the National Choir Festival ( Herein referred to as OMNCF) started off with Choir becoming second best of the Standard Section in 2004 Provincial eliminations held in Umtata. 

The Choir decided to move to Large Section of NCF in the year 2006 where, with a slow measurable build-up, it obtained third place, second place respectively, and finally became the champions of the 2008 Provincial championships held in Port Elizabeth.  This recent achievement has  afforded an opportunity for the choir not only to represent the Eastern Cape Province in NCF finals but also through its able conductors, to test its strength against other Champion choirs of the Country beginning of December 2008 and the choir managed to get 4th position  in overall marks .  As part of its succession plan the choir is now under the baton of two (2) conductors i.e. Mr. B. T. Gidigidi and Mr. S. Njeza whose Personal Profiles appear hereunder.

The Choir further prides itself for having been the Provincial Champion over the past two years in succession.

The choir is currently involved in community works including::

  • Training Choirs for inmates and Warders of Correctional Services, the training of  which is intended to assist in the rehabilitation of Prisoners so as to be the useful entities when they are released to join their communities;
  • Recently started an opera group using internal capacity which is aimed at venturing into performing the contemporary African songs composed by such stalwart as the late CT. Ngqobe, B. Cola etc.  One facet of this work started off by performing western opera types in the recent concert held at the Butterworth Town Hall with the aim of introducing the Project to community of the region.
  • Assisting in the training of local schools and church choirs so as to uplift the standard of choral music in the region;



A direct product of the Mathew’s Singers of Port Elizabeth, who has through his own subsequent endeavors, became a conductor of national note, adjudicator, trainer of many school and Church choirs in Buttterworth and surrounding areas. Whilst serving as a School teacher, he started and became conductor of Msobomvu S.S. School choir which took National Championships in the School’s Music Competition in 2000. Together with his other Colleagues, he established  Sakhabengoma Choral Society using Msobomvu S.S. School choristers as first members.  In 2005, he was elected to be the National President of the South African Tertiary Institution’s Choral Association (SATICA) the position he holds to date.  He has recently been contracted by the Provincial Department of Education to assist the Winning Choirs of the Eastern in preparation for the July 2008 National Championships which was held at the Dome in Johannesburg and of those Ngcelwane S.S.S was declared second best in the African rendition. 

He holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Rhodes University and is currently serving as Deputy Director in Eastern Cape Department of Education, Lovedale PFET College in King William’s Town.  

S. NJEZA (Mr.)

A direct product of Sakhabengoma Choral Society of Butterworth whose humble beginnings can be traced from his early Grade 10 student days as an ordinary tenor of Msobomvu S.S. School choir, under the baton of Mr. BT. GIdigidi.  He was among the founding members of the Sakhabengoma Choral Society in 1998.  He completed grade 12 in 2000 the year in which he composed the songs entitled “UMANYANO NGAMANDLA and HARD WORK BRING SUCCESS”.  This did not only demonstrate his immense talent for music but marked the beginning of the many achievements he made since then to date. 

In 2005, he graduated his music degree, B. Mus and Ruls Licentiate Diploma at Rhodes University, an achievement that did not only make him the Assistant Conductor but also the Pianist of the Sakhabengoma Choral Society.  He is currently serving as an educator at Msobomvu S.S. School of which he is also a school choir conductor.  He has also been the conductor of WSU University Choir since 2006 to date.  This choir under his able conducting managed to take National Championships in 2006 & 2007 respectively and was declared overall second best in the SATICA national Eisteddfod held in  Thohoyandou’s University of Venda in 2008.    

Contact Details:

Province: Eastern Cape

City: Butterworth

Category: Choirs

Contact Person: Lunga Sweleni

Cell: 079 970 9117

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



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