- Star SA cricketer AB de Villiers features in a new music video alongside rocker Karen Zoid and the Ndlovu Youth Choir.
- The music video, The Flame, aims to inspire and uplift the nation after a trying year.
- Proteas stars Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Chris Morris also make cameos, alongside Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
Star South African cricketer AB de Villiers has joined forces with rocker Karen Zoid and the Ndlovu Youth Choir to record a song they hope will bring joy, inspiration and hope.
Their new single and music video The Flame aims to inspire and uplift the nation after a trying year.
De Villiers, currently on fire for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, explained how the idea was born: "Karen Zoid and I spent time together in 2019 to write music. We want to inspire, to carry a message and help make a difference in the lives of people.
"During our writing sessions I spent a lot of time thinking about the challenges I had faced as a cricket player and the parallels with everyday life. At the time we had no idea Covid was on the cards but regardless, we felt the world needed a positive message."
But by the time it came to recording the song in 2020, they were faced with technical challenges, with De Villiers in Dubai playing in the IPL, Zoid in Cape Town, and the Ndlovu Youth Choir in Limpopo.
Zoid added: "We had to record and produce The Flame remotely. In the chorus I'm singing 'We fan the flame' while the others sang 'We found the flame'. The flame, a sliver of fire, has always represented massive hope to people on a physical and metaphysical level.
"I guess I could have gone back and redone my vocal to match the other voices but I didn't because it felt right being recorded incorrectly. Some of us are celebrating hope and some are still searching for it. But we all want to sing a song of hope. Out of an imperfect song and an imperfect world beautiful things do transpire. They always have and they always will."
The video features scenes of Zoid and the Ndlovu Youth Choir at SuperSport Park in Centurion, along with self-shot images of De Villiers in Dubai.
Other frontline cricketers also make cameos in the video, including Proteas stars Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Chris Morris, as well as Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
De Villiers explained why The Flame was important to him: "For me this is a song about endurance, teamwork and character. It makes me think of the challenges we face in SA when it comes to gender-based violence (GBV), a high crime rate and racism - and I know that we have a special energy here that one finds nowhere else in the world. Walking through flames and enduring hard times makes us stronger as a nation and I know we'll continue to rise."
Zoid echoed De Villiers' sentiments: "Sometimes in life we are surrounded by beauty and sometimes, like in the year 2020, we have to conjure up the strength and the passion from within.
"Those who have known hardship before are finding it easier to continue and endure on, but those who are new to the toil of struggle may have more strength stored up in themselves to weather the storm because they are young to the pain of uncertainty."
The Ndlovu Youth Choir gained worldwide fame on America's Got Talent and added a sublime tone to The Flame.
Choirmaster Ralf Schmitt said they were delighted to be included: "In times of uncertainty and turmoil, the world remains united in our love for music, sport, art and culture. Together with Karen Zoid and AB de Villiers, we have brought these passions together to not only inspire but bring hope and warm hearts."
- Compiled by Sport24 staff