South African Cultural Observatory

Sho Madjozi and Ndlovu Youth Choir’s achievements a boost for SA’s Cultural Goods Trade

BY 04.07.19

South African cultural trade received a boost with the international recognition of both Sho Madjozi and Ndlovu Youth Choir in late June.    

Madjozi recently won the best International Act at the BET Awards in the US. The BET Awards were established in 2001 by the Black Entertainment Television network to celebrate African Americans and other American minorities in music, acting, sports, and other fields of entertainment over the past year. The awards are presented annually and broadcast live on BET.

Around the same time, Ndlovu Youth Choir performed at the America’s Got Talent, the biggest music talent show in the world, where they received a standing ovation from all the judges. In fact, judge Simon Cowell- the world-renowned talent manager and founder of the show, commented that “we have always been waiting for a choir like this, something we have never heard before”, while Howie Mandela was excited that the choir ‘brings through their culture’.

Their recognition is simply a demonstration of the richness of our culture. When people across the world are impressed by our music or any cultural products and are willing to spend their money, it has an economic spinoff for our artists and various cultural practitioners.

What both the Ndlovu Youth Choir and Sho Madjozi did can only serve to heighten the interest of international audiences in our various cultural products. In some way, it goes a long way in increasing our cultural products trade with the world. When this happens, it has the potential to increase employment in the sector. In short, there are economic spinoffs that accrue to the country and the practitioners involved.  In fact, our recent study on South Africa’s Cultural Goods Trade With Africa: Policies And Trade Potentials In The Context Of The African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement shows an interesting trajectory with the country showing a surplus.

 

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