Yes, in Africa there is despair, poverty, civil war and kleptocracy, but there are reasons for hope as well. That’s the message of the African Children’s Choir, which uses music to show people another side of the continent. The choir has performed alongside Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Michael Jackson, Wyclef Jean and many more. The first iteration of the African Children’s Choir, formed in 1984, comprised orphans from the civil war in Uganda.
Kyle Serquinia, chaperone of the African Children’s choir said it felt like a “calling” when he first learned about the choir.
“My wife and I got a chance to go to Uganda, and while we were there, we learned just how well they were being taking care of and educated,” he said.
The choir members attend the African Children’s Choir school, which is one the best schools in Uganda. The boarding school teaches the children from first through seventh grade, then pays for the students’ high school and college education following completion of the program.
The African Children’s Choir mission is to raise awareness of the deprived children in Africa and to raise funds for continued development of schools, homes and other programs.
“When you meet young adults who are now lawyers and doctors giving back to the program that helped mold them, its just a wonderful cause to be a part of,” said Serquinia.
The choir has been on tour since the end of August. Serquinia, as a chaperone, is with the children the whole time they are on tour.
“Our jobs our to just love them and make sure we take care of them,” he said.
Music for Life, the parent organization of the choir, has educated 52,000 children in the past 30 years.
“The kids have so much energy, and not only do they sing, they dance and play drums,” Serquinia said “The most significant thing is they express what they want to be.”
African Children’s Choir
6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3
FREE, donations welcome
3355 Dunckel Road, Lansing
(517) 272-3820, africanchildrenschoir.com