We Are Together

The South African orphan children's choir singing their way out of poverty

We Are Together The children of the Agape Care Centre in South Africa have been through more than most, including losing their parents to AIDs. But with the help of Grandma Zodwa, and their inspirational choirmaster Thembelani, the kids are trying to break into the music industry. With the home filling up, the children are planning a trip to London to raise the money required to expand. Their story is at once heart-warming and tragic, beautifully underpinned by the voices of the Agape kids.
"We South Africans sing before we sleep, sing before we eat, we sing when we are happy, we sing when we are celebrating, we sing when we are sad". Slindile and her siblings have lived at Agape for four years, since their parents were taken by AIDs. Her elder siblings remain in the family home. Their lives are unremarkable on the surface. They go to school and play with their friends like all other children their age. Yet every evening after school, under the tutelage of Thelembani, the kids of Agape get together and sing: the result is truly extraordinary.

Slindile's voice cuts through the crowd, reminiscent of Aretha Franklin. The children are practising three times a day to prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime trip. They've been invited to perform in London. Grandma Zodwa hopes the concerts will raise the money needed to support the growing demand for spaces at Agape. The children can hardly contain their excitement. One grinning boy tells the camera, "I heard there were no monkeys".

As the date of the trip gets closer the children get some distressing news; it has been postponed. But for Slindile there is more important news. Her eldest brother Sifiso has been diagnosed with HIV. Struggling to balance her singing and the trips to visit her ailing brother, Slindile relies on the power of song, and her friends and family at Agape to push her through.

Full of twists and turns, We Are Together is the exceptional story of one family's fight against adversity, and how music and friendship can brighten even the gloomiest of days.

The Producers

Director Paul Taylor first met the Children of Agape while volunteering in South Africa during his summer break from film school in 2003. He spent three months with the children and it was during this time he first heard their beautiful singing. Recognising the potential of the children’s voices, and looking for an excuse to go back to South Africa and spend more time with them, Paul returned a year later with producer Teddy Leifer to start making the film and to help facilitate the recording of the children’s CD. “WE ARE TOGETHER (Thina Simunye)” is his first documentary feature and follows the children’s incredible story over three years.

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