“Bosiu bo kgutsitseng” or more commonly known as Silent Night was sung by 15 South African artists and the Mzansi Youth Choir to wish SA a Merry Christmas.
South Africa – The Mzansi Youth Choir has recorded a beautifully haunting rendition of the popular Christmas carol Silent Night. The track, which is sung in six of South Africa’s official languages, is a collaboration between the choir and several top local artists.
“We have built so many strong relationships with artists from all genres”, says chorister Babalwa Maqungo. “We presented the idea of Silent Night and an even bigger concept, #HopeForTheHolidays to them and they all said yes! We believe that through #HopeForTheHolidays we can inspire deep connections between each of us by exploring each others’ languages, all during the festive season!”
They decided that the mix of artists would each sing a portion of the song that was not their home language. This drove home the importance of embracing other languages and the message that the choir is trying to convey.
“None of the vocal artists in the collaboration sing in their home language on the track,”, says Lucky Khumalo, bass singer in the choir. “We had so much fun working with each artist in studio, teaching them to sing in our home languages, such as Sesotho and Isizulu, but also learning better pronunciation of the Afrikaans verse from some of them!”
A major focus of the #HopeForTheHolidays concept is the idea that there is so much joy to be had as a South African learning more about other local languages.
“When we learn even the smallest thing about another person’s language, we immediately feel closer to them”, says alto voice Lelo Chibielo.
As a firm Christmas favourite that has been translated into many languages throughout the world, Silent Night made perfect sense as the collaboration’s first release. Everyone who celebrates Christmas is familiar with the tune, says tenor, Bheka Mkhize .
“Hearing it sung in our local languages will hopefully open the door for conversations and deeper cross-cultural empathy. We also hope that choirs and families around South Africa will give singing this version a try!”
The languages in the song are English, Sesotho, Afrikaans, isiZulu, isiXhosa and Setswana. It is performed by the Mzanzi Youth Choir and Friends – Lira, Elvis Blue, Nadíne, Ntsika, Coenie de Villiers, Timothy Moloi, Ami Faku, Corlea Botha, Donald, Tarryn Lamb, Riana Nel, Yanga, Wouter Kellerman (flute) and Simon Nyivana (saxophone).
Take a listen to the new version of Silent Night below and let us know if you love this proudly South African one.