Local S’cathimiya Group ‘Kholwa Brothers’ Crowned World Champions
After being awarded a total of 32 gold medals, 16 silver medals and five trophies, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) born and bred cultural music group Kholwa Brothers returned to South Africa crowned, the Best Acapella Group from the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) held this July in Los Angeles.
The Kholwa Brothers group was founded in 1990 by Derrick Mlambo, who originates from the South West of Pietermaritzburg, eTafuleni. Mlambo attended Amakholwa High School and was inspired by the successful school choir, led by the late Dr John Radebe, to create his own Scathimiya group.
“This music is important because it is indigenous to the people of KZN, it teaches young men the value of our heritage and emphasises the importance of dignity and respect,” Mlambo stated. The group currently has 12 members who are mostly young men from eNtuzuma in KZN, who joined the Kholwa Brothers in 2010. Since then, the group has travelled all over the world, performing in countries like Brazil, Germany, China and the United States.
On the 22nd of July this year, the WCOPA was held in the city of Los Angeles with contestants from over 60 countries hoping to be named the best in the category.
The CEO of the competition Griff O’Neil stated that, “This is the only truly Olympic-style talent competition ever created.”
Upon their return to the country on the 3rd of August, eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda held a special ceremony congratulating the Kholwa Brothers for their momentous achievement.
Mlambo stated that the group will continue to spread the isicathamiya genre both nationally and globally, through live performances as well as digitally. The Kholwa brothers currently have eight recorded albums, the latest one titled “Ayixabene Babhemu” is available for purchase through their online platforms.
All images supplied by group manager : Derrick Mlambo
Images taken by: Val Adamson