In our 30-year history, the African Children’s Choir has toured the world with over 1000 participants in 42 different Choirs and other special tours.
Below are the stories of three of our alumni who experienced a major life change because of their participation. These students weren’t just singers and dancers in the Choir; they gained freedom, hope, a much better education, and unlimited opportunities that helped them become the professional adults they are today.
Nurse Midwife, Catherine Member of Choir 10
Meet Catherine Macharia, the twenty seven year old was born in Langas, one of the chief slums in Eldoret Kenya. She joined the African Children’s Choir back in 1993. At the time, Kenya, majorly Eldoret was undergoing political turmoil. Catherine toured with choirs ten and eleven, something she says was the greatest experience of her life, since she got to meet many great people and share the love of Christ with them. Most importantly, she appreciates belonging to the biggest and most loving family of the African Children’s Choir.
Early in 2011, Catherine graduated with a Diploma in Nursing and today, she works in the second largest slum in Kenya as a nurse midwife.To Catherine, the nursing experience is what she considers a God given opportunity to change lives and make a difference in various Women’s lives in her community.
It was a very difficult time for me as a child, given the fact that I could not go to school. Joining the African Children’s Choir was a miracle. Now, as a Nurse Midwife my greatest joy is when I help various women bring forth life, and witness the newly born make their first cry.God used the African Children’s Choir to bring out the best in me, and in many other children who are inspiring the world in different ways. God bless the ACC.
Dr Robert Kalyesubula Member of Choir 2
Before I joined the African Children’s Choir I was actually out of school. I didn’t have food to eat and I didn’t even have clothes to wear. I didn’t know where to sleep because we were 10 children sharing one house. When I joined the ACC, everything changed. They provided for me food, they provided for me shelter, and I was able to play with the others without fearing and wondering what I was going to eat the next day.
After his exposure to the world on the tour with Choir 2, Dr. Robert went back to Uganda where the ACC paid Dr. Robert’s and his brothers’ tuition. He went on to med school in Kampala for his first degree, and then earned a Master’s Degree in Internal Medicine – in a country where there are only three nephrologists for a population of 30 million people. One of his brothers also became a doctor and the other brother became a civil engineer. Today, Dr. Robert works in the village where he was born, giving back to the community in ways that were unimaginable without the support of the ACC.
Mark Wight Masai Member of Choir 10
Mark Wight Masai was given up by his mother at the age of only 7 months because she became pregnant with him shortly after she was graduated from primary school. The decision was made since ‘she was not ready’ for motherhood. Mark was brought up by a foster mother, a British missionary to Kenya. He lived with his foster mom with another ‘adopted’ brother in a remote part of the country known as Narok until 1992, when their neighbours mentioned the African Children’s Choir. Mark successfully auditioned, was accepted to Choir 10 shortly thereafter, he toured most of the U.S. states from 1993 to 1994 before going back to Kenya and settling into school.
With the background, education, and support he received, he was able to enter college. Mark chose to pursue social communication and trained to become a broadcast journalist. Mark joined the Nation Media Group’s NTV in September of 2008 at 23 and made his debut as one of the youngest prime news TV anchors in Kenya, Mark currently displays confidence, maturity and mannerisms that far supersedes his young age.
The Music for Life has granted me sponsorship in my primary, secondary and college education but not just that! Music for Life is bigger than Family. Since my foster mum retired back to England, I have lived with members of the African Children’s Choir! I don’t live with blood brothers, sisters, a mum or dad but I have the biggest family spread all over Africa! I have the biggest family anyone could ever have!
Rose Mbenya Kamwetu Member of Choir 8
After returning to Africa, Mbenya’s education was sponsored by Music for Life. Mbenya received support all through her advanced degrees and successfully graduated Law School. Today, she’s fully qualified to practice law in Kenya. Mbenya was admitted to the bar in October of 2009.
I have a law degree, thanks to them. I appreciate the diverse cultures of the world thanks to them. They have enabled me to travel the world! I’m eternally grateful to MFL