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African gospel music comes to SCV

Traditional songs from south, central and east Africa tell stories of faith

Posted: November 13, 2009 10:07 p.m.
Updated: November 14, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The group Afrizo will put on a free performance at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at First Presbyterian Church in Newhall.

Afrizo is catching. Audiences catch laughter, singing, dancing, clapping, stomping and good times.  

Wearing vibrant yellows, blues, reds and oranges, the singers dance and sway as they sing, giving a performance that makes the audience want to get up and dance too.

Music lovers can catch Afrizo for free at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the First Presbyterian Church at 24317 Newhall Avenue in Newhall.

Afrizo will bring African gospel-style music to their concert.

Before the concert, a potluck dinner will be held in the Fellowship Hall at 6 p.m. The entry cost for the potluck dinner is a salad or hot dish.

Afrizo will give a short program for children after the potluck in the church’s Fellowship Hall.  

The following performance by Afrizo will include stories, Christian gospel and folk music. Singing in English and Swahili, the group’s performance is lyrical and moving.  

Many songs are stories of faith. The group draws its songs from rich African traditions from south, central and east Africa.

Daystar University, one of the largest African Christian Universities, sponsors Afrizo. With 2,400 students attending from 20 African countries — many from poor families — Daystar is constantly raising funds, and it uses Afrizo to raise money to pay education costs of these students.   

The university is located in Nairobi, Kenya. Daystar emphasizes “servant” leadership and most graduates of the university enter government, business, journalism, community development and education.

“This university is educating the next generation of African leaders,” said Jack Irwin, church elder at First Presbyterian Church. “Afrizo is a phenomenal group, and by touring the United States giving concerts, Afrizo raises money to help pay the tuition of students unable to pay for their education.”

Irwin said this year Afrizo hopes to raise $350,000 for scholarships.

Howell is a member of First Presbyterian Church.


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