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Choir stages a Christmas show at city mall

The African Cultural Choir on Saturday performed to a full house at the Galleria, Nairobi.

Directed by Joseph Muyale, the choir presented a wide repertoire of songs in English, Kiswahili and various other languages, all with the festive season theme.

Muyale formed The African Cultural Choir to nurture boys and girls. He has re-branded it from Kenyan Boys Choir and Kenyan Girls Choir.

His choir members are drawn from high schools and colleges. The group performs in shopping malls, weddings, state and corporate events. It also plans to feature in several international concerts next year.

At Galleria, they performed songs like Silent Night, Joy to the World, Ding Dong, Amezaliwa, What Child, We three Kings, and African feel-good arrangements.

On Saturday, they also entertained guests at Hotel Hemingway’s family show.

Last year, Muyale’s choir performed at Nairobi’s Villa Rosa Kempinski’s Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Muyale says the tradition of performing Christmas carols has not taken root in Kenya especially in venues such as churches and his choir is out to change this.


In the West, he says, the performance of Christmas carols is a big deal and any social establishment worth its salt usually has entertainment shows throughout the festive season.

“In Kenya, however, Christmas carols are performed mostly in churches and even then, in most cases, not a lot of resources and rehearsals are put in them,” says Muyale.

He says the ensemble has nurtured several boys and girls into musicians, choir directors, conductors and music composers.

Muyale scouts for talented boys and girls in secondary schools and universities in Nairobi and nurtures them. Most come from the poor neighbourhoods. The boys then move on to create space for others. As such, group always has fresh faces and talent.

“The choir activity keeps the boys positively active and helps them develop their musical talent. Besides entertaining the public in Kenya and the many countries they travel in, they also earn some pocket money from choir activities,” says Muyale.

When not performing in churches, social functions and national celebrations, the boys hit the studio to record their own compositions and renditions of popular songs, especially golden oldies.

Muyale also seeks out corporate partners and his choir comes up with themed compositions for them, such as during anniversaries and product launches. Locally and internationally, Muyale has recorded five albums and several singles.