Cape Town – In news that transcended the world of sport Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are going head to head in The Mother City for a special match.
This will be the 20-time Grand Slam Champion, Roger's first-ever match in Sub Saharan Africa and it will take place on Friday, 7 February 2020 at 20:30 at Cape Town Stadium.
The match – which sold out in record time - will be played to support children's education in Africa and boasts a celebrity- pro doubles match.
For the star-studded doubles match Bill Gates, who will be teaming up with Roger Federer, will face Trevor Noah, who is teaming up Rafael Nadal.
Along with all this sporting action, viewers can look forward to entertainment from The Ndlovu Youth Choir and The Zip Zap Circus who will team up for an innovative performance that's sure to inspire and delight.
Ahead of the big show Channel24's Music Editor Alex Isaacs spoke to one of the most significant factors in Ndlovu Youth Choir's incredible success, conductor and composer Ralf Schmitt.
In the quick chat, Ralf revealed how the group got involved in the match, what fans can expect from the unique show and what it has been like since coming home from America's Got Talent.
READ CHANNEL24'S INTERVIEW WITH RALF SCHMITT ABOUT THE MATCH IN AFRICA HERE:
When I catch up with a relaxed Ralf, he explains that he's still in Johannesburg "setting up some final arrangements" before he and the choir fly to Cape Town for 'The Match in Africa for the benefit of The Roger Federer Foundation'.
The story of how the internationally renowned choristers became involved in this event ties back to another South African, making a positive impact all over the world. Ralf explained: "We were contacted by former Davis Cup captain John-Laffnie de Jager and he asked us to be a part of The Handshake Challenge which is a fantastic initiative to promote sportsmanship and respect amongst people. "
He elaborated: "The sports teams that have signed up to it shake hands before they go on the field so we are proud ambassadors for The Handshake Challenge and (in connection with that) he said there's this little match in Cape Town, do you guys want to come and sing at it?"
We both laugh as he says this because this "little match" will include two of the most prominent tennis players in the world, a titan of industry, Bill Gates and best-selling author and TV host Trevor Noah.
I jokingly ask Ralf if Grammy nominee Trevor will be grabbing a microphone on stage or if there are any other big things that fans can look out for and without missing a beat he answers: "I don't know about that, but it's going to be something special because we've teamed up with Zip Zap circus who do incredible work in Cape Town. It's really special to work with other young people who are doing such incredible things in the arts field."
He explained: "It's a great opportunity for us and it's going to be unlike any other show, we've done before. So, we are very excited, we've never performed with a circus act. And on a stage where the world will be watching."
(Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)
As Ralf – who is also Roedean School's Choir Director – admits it is a big stage for the young group of singers, but then again, big moments and performances are nothing new for these brilliant youths who have caught the world's attention on America's Got Talent.
The Ndlovu Youth Choir made it all the way to the final of the American reality show and might not have taken home the title but left with a lot of people's hearts from all over the world.
They returned to South Africa riding on the crest of a wave that hasn't shown signs of slowing down anytime soon.
About the time since their return to South Africa and what they're up to now, Ralf explained: "It's been a few months, and I can tell you the energy just hasn't slowed down at all."He laughs as he says: "We thought we were going to come home and just chill, but it's been the opposite."
He gushes: "It's been wonderful. Just wonderful that South Africans want to see us. People are booking us for their events, and it's helping us achieve our dreams. It's been an overwhelming experience that wherever we go that people are saying how the choir made them feel so proud, especially in terms of what the choir represents. I always say the choir represents the very best of what South Africa can be. We get a lot of bad news in South Africa but to see these young people from rural Limpopo and you see what they're capable of achieving, well then…that's the future of South Africa!"
In closing he said: "I think it's such a powerful message for people and they've always responded with such love and warmth towards us. I like to think that our choir radiates that positivity and we feel that in return from everyone."