Music brings people together; it brings joy, entertainment and healing. In underprivileged communities, it can be a powerful tool that unlocks opportunity and social empowerment. The National Children and Violence Trust (NCVT) harnesses the power of music through its choirs in Cosmo City and Diepsloot which provide unemployed youth, aged 16 to 27 years, with an alternative to crime, drugs and other illegal activities.

NCVT’s choirs are growing quickly. “In Cosmo City, the choir has been running for just over a year now and consists of 30 members. The Diepsloot choir started only two months ago and already has 18 members,” says Mpumi Mndaweni, senior social worker at NCVT. Other than providing entertainment at NCVT’s various community empowerment events, the choirs are often invited to perform at weddings and other events.

As much as music provides entertainment, it can play a far deeper role in dealing with trauma and grief. No one knows this better than Nondumiso Msibi, musical director of the NCVT’s choirs.

[CAPTION]: NCVT’s musical director, Nondumiso Msibi is working with young people in Diepsloot and Cosmo City. She has been on her own journey of healing through song. 

Msibi grew up with music in the home. Her father, Makhosonke, was a choir leader himself. He instilled a love for the musical arts within his daughter and trained her to lead choirs. Unfortunately, this came to an abrupt end in 2013 when he was shot and killed at home by intruders. Msibi kept singing, though, finding healing in musical expression after her loss. In 2015, NCVT recruited her as a full-time music director and she has been providing healing to others through song ever since.

CAPTION: Members of the NCVT youth choir. From left to right: Thokozani Gama, Junior Phesiya, Thapelo Montsho, Nondumiso Msibi, Tshepo Pelembe and Orapeleng Takalase. 

“There is a great interest in our musical group and we have so much fun during training and performances,” says Msibi. “The choir members are eager to gain experience and learn about the music. We would love to record our own CD at some point, especially now that the Diepsloot group is growing so well. Funds are just a bit on the short side; it would also be great to find a sponsor for uniforms.”

Mndaweni says that she looks forward to seeing the choirs grow over the months and years to come. “Music makes the soul come alive in so many different ways,” states Mndaweni. “We believe that this will not be just another singing group, but one that enriches those involved, develops them emotionally and socially and expands their career options,” she concludes.

For more information about NCVT or to make a donation, contact +27 11 705 1960 or visit Join NCVT’s Facebook page at or tweet them @NCVT_ZA.