Tuli Safari Lodge is renowned for its staff choir, which was formed to help raise funds through performances and CD sales for the staff healthcare fund which provides medical care for the Tuli team and their families, over and above what the local healthcare service and Tuli Safari Lodge provides.
Two DVDs have been recorded live at the lodge, and one album, The Tuli Choir – Live In the Boma at Tuli Safari Lodge, Botswana, is available for download on iTunes. The choir was very proud to have recently earned its first royalty cheque from iTunes.
The songs are all sung a cappella or with the rhythmic accompaniment of stamping feet, clapping or shakers worn on the hands or feet of the performers. All the songs are traditional in nature, some tell stories or give advice on interpersonal relations whilst others relate to life at Tuli. Some songs are quiet and soulful whereas others are lively with spirited stamping and ululating, but all have a timeless and moving quality which instantly transport the listener ‘home’ to Botswana.
Longstanding Tuli staff member, Sylvia, explains why she joined the choir and how she has benefitted from it: “The money raised from our performances and sales of our CD mean that we can visit the doctor and get the medicines we need. Most staff members have needed this at some point. Personally I have been able to see a specialist about my heart problems and also had a small operation to remove a lump under my arm. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the healthcare fund. Another important reason for me joining the choir is that we love singing and sharing our culture with guests. We see how much Tuli guests enjoy our performances and we are so pleased to see them so happy.”
The Tuli Choir songs can be previewed or downloaded on iTunes – Botswana Choir.