Bristol

South African township children's choir earns £970 in 90 minute busk

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Media captionThe choir hopes to raise £20,000 for its school In South Africa

A South African township children's choir has earned almost £1,000 in a 90-minute busk in Bristol.

The 26 children aged 10-14, from Madadeni, were brought to the UK by the charity Project Zulu to help them raise funds for their school.

Bristolian families are hosting the children, including South African Bristol Rugby player Nick Koster who said it was "an honour".

The choir hopes to raise £20,000 to build three new classrooms.

They arrived in Bristol on 14 September for a four-week singing and dancing tour and have performed in Brighton, Eastbourne, Plymouth, Bath, Brecon and St Davids, as well as leading workshops in schools.

Project Zulu, a Bristol-based charity, arranges for choirs from South African townships to tour the UK, and was started by University of the West of England lecturer Ben Knight.

Mr Knight said the children and their teachers could "not believe" the amount of money donated during the busk in Bristol's city centre.

In total the donations came to £970. Mr Knight said there were "so many £10s and £20s in the pots" and added "this only happens when people are genuinely moved".

Image copyright Jeannie Koster
Image caption Nick Koster takes Samukelisiwe and Nondumiso to try out mini golf in Bristol
Image copyright Jeannie Koster
Image caption Samukelisiwe and Nondumiso make cupcakes with Jeannie Koster

Nick Koster said: "As South Africans we have loved welcoming fellow South Africans into our home here in Bristol.

"Apartheid did terrible damage to the educational prospects of so many of our poorest young people and it's an honour to be able to support Project Zulu's work in supporting township primary schools."

Samukelisiwe, 12, who is staying with Mr and Mrs Koster, said: "They take good care of us. At home I share a room with my grandmother, but here we have a room to ourselves."

Mr Knight said the tour had raised £10,000 so far, and if the choir's gala concert at Bristol's Colston Hall on Tuesday sells out they could "make most of the remaining money" and reach their £20,000 target.

Image copyright Ben Knight
Image caption The choir performed at Ashton Gate when Bristol Rugby played Nottingham
Image copyright Ben Knight
Image caption The children went in the sea for the first time in Pembrokeshire as their home in South Africa is five hours from the coast
Image copyright Ben Knight
Image caption Ben Knight started Bristol-based charity Project Zulu in 2012 after his experience as a student teacher in Madadeni in 1996

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