African Children's Choir brings joy to SB's Century Center

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - For those who have not had their daily dose of joy, the African Children's Choir should do the trick.

The choir raised the roof – and money – for fellow students in Africa during a performance in South Bend Wednesday evening.

The children themselves had boundless energy, and if you struggle to keep up, you're about to get a workout in your soul.

The African Children's Choir features 16 kids from Uganda on a nine-month tour of the United States. On Wednesday, their stop was the Century Center.

"It's much bigger than just the 16 kids onstage," said Jade Powers, the children's choir's tour leader. "In a year of the choir, about 1,000 children will receive a year of education."

And then some, really, because the way the program works is the concerts raise money so these kids and their friends in other African countries can get an education all the way through college or technical school.

But the kids have a bigger mission, their own calling beyond what they want to be when they grow up.

"I want them to feel the love of God," the choir's Christine Naggoli said.

Their faith is the reason they perform for the audience.

"Then, all people in world get to know all about God," young Emmanuel Ssemwogerere said. "… He means everything."

"I think it's really much more than entertainment that people leave with," Powers said. "They're leaving with a renewed sense of life, and it's really something profound that happens."

All the audience had to do was open its eyes and ears to realize not all hope is lost in the world. Not even close.

The organization was created 35 years ago to promote the dignity of Africa during the rule of Idi Amin, the former Ugandan president who reportedly killed somewhere between 100,000 and 300,000 of his own people.