If one group of musicians is guaranteed to leave a smile or two at the Hope 103.2 studios, it’s the Watoto Choir.
And they did just that when they popped into the Hope studios as part of their Oh What Love tour of Australia, bringing their hip dance-sound to a new breed of listener.
The children and choir leaders chatted to mornings announcer Emma Mullings, before singing an acapella rendition of their song Be Exalted, from their new album Oh What Love.
‘Be Exalted’ Heralds A New Creative Era For Watoto
For 21 years the children of Watoto have been wowing audiences around the world with their African harmonies, rhythms and dance, as well as their wide-eyed, big-smiling faces.
But they’ve stepped into a new musical era this year with the new album.
Be Exalted is its leading track, and it’s a slick recording drawing on energetic, urban dance sounds.
The music video is an MTV-worthy production (view below) combining edgy choreography, colourful street-style costumes, and creative camera angles. It’s as inspirational as it is aesthetically and technically beautiful.
Watch: The high-energy music video for Be Exalted from Watoto Choir’s new album, Oh What Love
Spotlighting Africa’s 50 Million Orphans
But while the choir’s new look is bound to attract a new, younger audience, the Watoto Choir’s ultimate aim isn’t just to make audiences smile.
Their reason for touring the world is to wave the flag for Watoto Child Care Ministries in Uganda, an organisation set up by pastors Gary and Marilyn Skinner in 1994.
Watch: A four-minute video about the Watoto Child Care Ministries.
Watoto Child Care Ministries works to provide healthy family environments where Ugandan orphans can grow up, with hope and a future.
It was the Skinners’ response to the estimated 50 million children in Africa – that’s over a third of all African children – orphaned by HIV/AIDS, war, poverty and disease.
Singers With A Story
All the children in the Watoto Choir have suffered the loss of their parents either due to war or disease.
By growing up in Watoto children’s villages they learn about other cultures, are educated and taught the gospel message, and gain confidence to live a fulfilling life as they grow up into adulthood.
Each year children from the Watoto ministry are selected for several choirs that tour different parts of the world, accompanied by adult caretakers, to raise awareness and funds for the cause.
They perform and speak in churches, schools and community venue, highlighting issues such as poverty, HIV/AIDS, the effects of war and the child soldier crisis in Northern Ugandan.
Wherever the kids from Uganda’s Watoto Ministry go in their world travels, they leave not just smiles, but tears and glowing hearts in their wake – as they share their stories and songs of hope.
See The Choir Live
After touring Australia last year, the Watoto Choir are back in July 2016.
To find out where you can catch them see their online schedule.
Booking spaces are still available on some dates if your church or organisation would like to host a performance.
– See the one-hour documentary about Watoto on Vimeo.
– The album Oh What Love is available on itunes.