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Mzansi Youth Choir: The South African Group That Brought Simon Cowell to Tears Eyes Next Stage of US Singing Competition 

Originally founded as a way to keep kids off the streets of Soweto, the Msanzi Youth Choir has evolved into a powerhouse singing group with blockbuster performances across the globe. Having performed recently on America’s Got Talent, the group brought the judges to tears and won a spot at the competition’s finals. The live shows begin August 22 in the US, with the AGT finale airing September 26. When Zaaiman and her husband Jannie created the choir in 2003, they had no idea the group would become an international sensation. She says their intention was simply to create an environment of “unconditional love and safety.” The couple established the group after they were carjacked by a group of young people. Jannie Zaaiman says rather than focusing on anger, they wanted to create a sense of purpose for underprivileged children to “ensure we keep these youngsters off the street and do something meaningful.”