Rocking with The Raj

By admin
04 March 2011

The Raj says be wary of impostors, shams, frauds and charlatans. In particular he’s warning people against conman Kaseran Pillay, who was a so-called celebrity on Survivor South Africa last year.

‘‘People are saying he’s me,’’ The Raj says. ‘‘I know all Indian people look alike but he’s not me. Where is the talent in sitting on an island waiting for food? I, on the other hand, am an entertainer deluxe.’’

The Raj is the colourful singing and dancing character who creates dance moves from cricket actions in SuperSport’s adverts for the ICC Cricket World Cup being played on the Asian subcontinent.

Every inch the Bollywood star, he speaks non-stop and moves effortlessly between subjects. He constantly fiddles with his hair, which today looks flat. He apologises, blaming the Highveld air.

‘‘In Mumbai I travel with a hair stylist and a make-up artist. In South Africa I’m low-maintenance. I don’t want to be accused of abusing African people by having someone walking behind me, fanning me.’’

‘‘The Raj worked for SuperSport in 2009 when the IPL [Indian Premier League] was here and we didn’t have any negative feedback,’’ says Greg Viljoen, an art director at C², the agency that produces the ads.

Producer Charl Jacobs adds, ‘‘The first time we saw The Raj was in a movie called Manoj the Monkey and his star quality just shone through. When SuperSport asked for promotions for the World Cup we knew he’d be the best spokesman. Cricket in India is a party and The Raj would be the one to get the party started.’’

Viljoen is amazed by people’s fondness for The Raj. He’s mobbed at shopping malls and cricket grounds and spends much of his day answering e-mails.

‘‘Watching The Raj interact with SuperSport presenters is a joy,’’ he says. ‘‘You can tell the professional commentators are concerned about what may come out of his mouth next.’’

Read the full article in YOU, 10 March 2011.

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