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Indian music group thrills South Africans

Chand Afzal Sabri and his team of seven brought fans of this musical genre to an extravagant delight in South Africa.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2005 11:20 IST

A qawwali music group from India not only thrilled South African audiences but also helped fill the coffers of several community organisations.

Chand Afzal Sabri and his team of seven brought fans of this musical genre an extravagant delight. The animated performance by the singer saw appreciative audiences across the country forcing them to continue well beyond their initial schedule of two hours per show.

They were brought here by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

Although audiences were mainly Muslim, given that qawwali is largely a devotional music form associated with songs in praise of Allah, the Prophet Mohammed and the saints of Islam in India and the Middle East, there were also members of other communities at some of the performances.

Two shows were in aid of funds for the free ambulance service run by the Saaberie Chishty Ambulance Society for the past 19 years in Lenasia, the huge Indian township south of here.

Sabri said he and his team were delighted to have the opportunity to assist in raising funds, which would contribute towards the 50,000 rands needed monthly to maintain the service that has a full-time staff of eight paramedics and two ambulances.

Sabri would grab a daff (traditional Arabian tambourine-like drum), jump up with it while singing, and even change his colourful and glittering headgear in the middle of songs.

Patrons showered the artistes with thousands of rands in appreciation at every show.

A show in Pretoria raised funds for Buzme Chishtia International Pretoria, which hosts an annual Urs in honour of the Muslim saints of India.

First Published: Dec 08, 2005 11:14 IST