President Cyril Ramaphosa has lauded the multi award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir for being heroes of South Africa, as they have showcased to the world what the country has to offer.
We thought it was important we hold this event so that we can see you, honour you and celebrate you, as well as celebrate with you because your recent achievement is one that managed to ring wonderful bells and celebrations throughout the length and breadth of the country, the President.
The President was addressing the choir at the Market Theatre Square in Johannesburg on Thursday.
Accompanied by Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa during a short interaction with the group, the President congratulated the choir on winning a Grammy Award in February for the group's album Freedom, which was crowned Best World Music.
You are the good news of our country. When you won, you lifted everything that is good in our country. You are as a choir one of South Africa's finest exports.
You are certainly the most colourful export and active export that we have because your name reverberates throughout the world. Thank you for being as successful as you are. You make us proud, the President said.
He described the choir as being dynamic and outstanding as their music inspires people and cuts across the boundaries of race, class and faith.
You are called upon to tell the story of our country, of our people and to tell tales about what liberation means. You also project into the future and tell the story of the future...
You need to speak to the hopes, fears and aspirations of future generations as you give analysis to the current generation as well.
Through your music, through your message and as you continue on this glorious mission that you have embarked upon, you also have to give comfort and hope where there might be hardship, the President said.
He encouraged the choir to give inspiration where there may be doubt.
We would like you to be our emissaries for reconciliation and peace. We want you to be advocates for the current period that we are in -- a period of renewal and great hope for the future of our country, and also project into a future that will be prosperous for our people, the President said.
Source: South African Government News Agency