The name OVUWA means (cultural) re-awakening and the ensemble was first established in 1998 under the name "Tuks Africa Sings" but was then later re-named UP Chorale. The current name is more in line with the purpose and character of the group which has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception.
Its objective is to conduct extensive research about different genres of cultural, folk and indigenous music and dance forms that represent South Africa’s diversity and perform them with pride, grace and radiant energy. Ovuwa offers a cultural exchange space through these performances and the trans-cultural collaboration and participatory approach creates a wholesomely dynamic experience which develops and unites the group.
UP Ovuwa takes pride in its history and is continually building its international profile and has had a few notable achievements
- In 2011, the ensemble travelled to Peru where it performed in a Cultural Dance Festival (Festidanza) with various groups from many different countries
- In 2012, as part of a Cultural Exchange initiative with the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, USA, UP Ovuwa received an invitation to partake in a Cultural Exchange Tour in October.
- Ovuwa has also had great relationships with nationally and internationally acclaimed groups such as Umoja, Soweto Gospel Choir and Creole from Colombia.
These international trips serve as a great platform for ensemble members as they are given the opportunity to not only learn about other cultures but also to teach and illustrate South Africa’s diversity. The trips also offer great international exposure for the University of Pretoria.
In 2014, UP Ovuwa joined the nation in celebrating 20 years of South Africa’s freedom. It strived to educate its audience through music and dance and commemorate South Africa’s great history. The ensemble showcased a range of genres including Negro spirituals, Afro-gospel, old Afrikaans folk music as well as South African indigenous music.