KZN isicathamiya group returns home with 32 golds and 18 silvers – SABC News
Durban-based award-winning isicathamiya band The Kholwa Brothers have returned home as heroes. They outdid themselves at the World Performing Arts Championships in Los Angeles last month.
They walked away with 32 gold medals and 18 silver.
The Kholwa brothers not only put isicathamiya on the map, they do it in style. Isicathamiya is one of South Africa’s biggest musical genres. It embodies the acapella style of group singing. It was launched in 1990 by Derrick Mlambo. It is now an all-male group of 11 members.
The group is mainly made up of young South Africans. And coincidentally, most of them were taught by the leader of the group, who is a day school teacher. Brian Ndwandwe, 22, from Ntuzuma, joined the group when he was just 10 years old. He says it kept him busy and away from the streets.
“It wasn’t easy I can say because when I started I was doing it as a hobby, and I just wanted to hang out with the guys. But over time I saw that I could make a living with what I do it was very hard because I’ve been everywhere. I can say that I didn’t just choose the music from the first time. But over time I saw that maybe this thing was in my blood because there came a time when I saw that I liked it.
Similarly, Ntandoyenkosi Majola, says isicathamiya is an integral part of his life.
“It’s something I really love and now, even though I’m not in rehearsal, I feel like I did something wrong, so Isichathamiya is part of my life now.”
Founder Derrick Mlambo says he is exceptionally proud of their success.
“We made sure we went number one on four songs and number two on two songs and that’s how we were able to bring South Africa 32 gold medals and 16 silver medals. I am very proud of us. I am very proud of these young people who made sure to come out of the streets to participate in this genre. I am very honored to have worked with them.
Isicathamiya became popular outside of South Africa and the African continent after Paul Simon’s album Graceland featured tracks such as “Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes”. He was later backed by the world famous Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
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