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Botswana bound boys prove power of prayer

PUBLISHED: 15:57 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:51 07 September 2010

Ben McPartland FIVE lyrical pupils at St Aloysius' College have taken inspiration from above to win a trip to Africa. The team of boys from the Hornsey Lane school in Highgate used rhyme, reason and a fair amount of talent to triumph in the national final

Ben McPartland

FIVE lyrical pupils at St Aloysius' College have taken inspiration from above to win a trip to Africa.

The team of boys from the Hornsey Lane school in Highgate used rhyme, reason and a fair amount of talent to triumph in the national finals of Power in the Voice.

The group of five impressed judges at the Criterion Theatre on February 28 with their own unique version of the Lord's Prayer.

They will now pack their bags and head off to Botswana to showcase their talents at a festival, along with other teams from across the world.

Deputy headteacher Danny Coyle said: "We are absolutely delighted for the children. They are all beyond excitement and massively looking forward to going to Botswana in August."

The winning boys, all from year 10, are Jean-Luc Chishugi, Olasemo Abiola, David John, Gabriel Ajayi and Chom Duang-Arop.

The project, run by the British Council, is designed to celebrate people finding their voices and expressing themselves.

Over recent months, performance poets, rap artists and storytellers have been working with kids at schools across the country and the world to root out lyrical, vocal and soulful talent.

The St Aloysius' team have been working with Joelle Taylor, an international poet with the guidance of their teacher Fazila Sogojeva.

"It was something from their hearts. That's what I'm so proud about because I know how much it means to them," said Ms Sogojeva.

Lord Neil Kinnock, chairman of the British Council, was also impressed by the boys' performance. He said: "What I'd love is if they could get a wider audience so that people really can see how amazingly original and creative these kids are."

As UK champions, the St Aloysius' boys will now head to Botswana in confident mood to perform alongside winners from other African countries including Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique.

With drama back on the map at St Aloysius after the successful production of two school plays, and with the recent success with Power in the Voice, could the school becoming a hub for the creative arts?

"The answer would have to be no," said Mr Coyle. "That's because the plan has always been to make sure maths, English and science is the best in London and now they are up there.

"The upsurge in creative arts has almost happened on the blind side and it is all down to the passion of the teachers and children.

"We have a long way to go to compete with other schools in the arts scene but almost by default we have crept up quite quickly."

ben.mcpartland@hamhigh.co.uk


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