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Universal Music Africa (UMA), a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world-leader in music-based entertainment is proud to announce the signing of the iconic group MTN Joyous Celebration.

Backed by top U.S.-based label Motown Gospel, which will release the group’s music in the U.S. and Canada, this signing comes as the award-winning ensemble celebrates its silver jubilee and prepares for the release of their 25th album this Easter.

Making the announcement, Sipho Dlamini, CEO, Universal Music Group, South Africa & Sub Saharan Africa said, “MTN Joyous Celebration has enjoyed unparalleled success over the last 25 years, in which they have entertained and inspired South Africans, Africans and the world with their take of gospel and inspirational music.”

“This was an exciting opportunity to be involved in the next phase of their incredible journey, as they continue to grow, inspire, spread culture and positivity and reach new audiences around the world. We welcome Joyous to UMG and are looking forward to working together across a variety of platforms to help open up exciting new opportunities.”

“At UMG, we are also involved in live event production, booking and touring of artists, brand development and creating content across a variety of different forms including film, TV and online, so being able to combine what we do, with what Joyous has do so amazingly well, is truly a dream collaboration.”

He noted that the band has also birthed a number of superstars who have achieved great success, as testament of how strong the foundation Joyous provided them.

“Joyous Celebration has a 25-year reputation for musical excellence,” share EJ Gaines and Monica Coates, Co-Executive Directors, Motown Gospel. “We are glad to support our Universal Music Africa family as it introduces the Joyous Celebration brand to a global audience.”

MTN Joyous Celebration was founded by three partners Dr. Lindelani Mkhize, Jabu Hlongwane and Mthunzi Namba who continue to serve in different roles.

Mkhize remarks that the move to UM represents new beginnings and the rejuvenation of the Joyous brand. “After all the experiences of the past 25 years and the changes in the world and new dynamics in the industry, we are delighted to be on this new direction with a fresh new purpose. We are revived, we have a new energy as we turn things around to get to the next extraordinary level.”

Hlongwane shares: “We are very excited to be partnering with Universal Music on this journey as we are celebrating 25 years. There’s been crazy ups and downs but we are here. This milestone album is special to us, 25 years is not a short time. We are particularly pleased that this partnership is an opening us up to new territories, new things, new outlook, we needed the change. We also want to say to say to the people that the 25th instalment of Joyous Celebration is being cooked, and they should expect it soon. It’s going to be ready before Easter.”