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Basotho Youth Choir rocks UK palace

 

The Basotho Youth Choir and Joss Stone perform at a fundraising concert at Kensington Palace in London on Tuesday.
The Basotho Youth Choir and Joss Stone perform at a fundraising concert at Kensington Palace in London on Tuesday.

London

THE Basotho Youth Choir performed at a sold-out Sentebale Concert in Kensington on Tuesday night alongside Coldplay.

The choir was invited to perform by Prince Harry, with the concert raising funds and awareness for people living with HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa.

Sentebale helps young people living with the disease access the care, education and support they need. Prince Harry co-founded Sentebale with Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso in 2006 following Harry’s gap year to Lesotho in 2004.

During the performance, Prince Harry stood behind the choir and swayed as he sung the lyrics to the hit song Up&Up, but didn’t take the microphone himself as the band’s lead singer, Chris Martin, joined him.

The first ever pop concert on the historic palace’s East Lawn was organised to help raise funds and awareness of the challenges faced by young people affected by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

Harry had earlier introduced the British band for their 10-song set after a heartfelt speech to the crowd of 3,000 people. The prince took the stage and touched on the epidemic, saying, “HIV has drifted from the headlines, but remains an urgent challenge. Every single one of us has a responsibility to educate ourselves — to speak out. When a people come together for a purpose, we can achieve extraordinary things.”

The 31-year-old royal took to the stage to introduce the band after performances from stars including soul singer Joss Stone, who sang alongside the Basotho Youth Choir, six boy and six girls helped by Sentebale in Lesotho, who travelled to London especially for the concert.

It was an incredible week in the UK for the talented Basotho Youth Choir of six boys and six girls – aged between seven and 19.

This is the furtherest any of them have ever travelled, and they’ve been having a blast – sightseeing, visiting Kensington Palace, rehearsing at the BRIT School with award-winning singer Joss Stone (who visited Lesotho in 2014 in her role as Sentebale ambassador).. and enjoying a surprise visit from the royal patron himself, Prince Harry.

The choir spent two weekends rehearsing at Sentebale’s Mamohato Children’s Centre in Lesotho in preparation for the concert. The choir members have all been supported by Sentebale’s Secondary School Bursaries Progamme, which pays for school fees, uniforms and books for some of Lesotho’s most disadvantaged children, or the charity’s Care for Vulnerable Children Programme, which provides extra health and education support for those without family to care for them.

The Sentebale Concert was meant to raise funds to support the charity’s work helping vulnerable young people in Lesotho, including funding Sentebale’s monthly Saturday Clubs and residential weeklong camps at the newly-opened Mamohato Children’s Centre, which delivers psychosocial support to children living with HIV in Lesotho and Botswana.

The concert also shone a spotlight on the current scale of the challenge facing charities like Sentebale, trying to support young people living with HIV. Stigma, discrimination and a lack of education surrounding HIV/AIDs means that HIV is still the number one cause of death in 10 to 19-year olds in Africa. – Celebbuzz

 

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