Looking to inspire and rally the nation, including the deaf community, behind the Springbok’s defence of their Rugby World Cup title, MTN SA has created a silent version of the iconic Gwijo song “Mtakamama” – otherwise known as “Thina Siyazalana”.
MTN collaborated with St Vincent School for the Deaf – a prominent institution known for its dedication to providing quality education to hearing-impaired or hard-of-hearing students – to form the captivating “Silent Choir” who perform “Mtakamama” in South African sign language, which is now South Africa’s 12th official language.
The “Silent Choir” is made up of 16 children between the ages of 15 and 18-years-old and is led on-camera by Cathy Williams of St Vincent School for the Deaf – with the off-camera support of Mmatlou Moloto and Sophia Rudham.
“The Silent Choir is an off shoot from our new TV ad in which we tap into the passion of Gwijo and allow the power of ‘Mtakamama’ to be the golden thread that rallies the nation. The song connects all South Africans to the Springboks and declares that our 60-million voices, in all 12 official languages, are behind the Boks as they ready themselves to defend the ultimate prize in France,” says Nomsa Chabeli, GM: Brand & Marketing at MTN SA.
“Through the power of Gwijo, our Silent Choir brings together voices that transcend spoken language and barriers. With this initiative, we are not only celebrating South Africa’s rich cultural heritage through Gwijo, but also ensuring that the melody of the Gwijo anthem resonates with all South Africans, regardless of their hearing ability,” says Chabeli.
St Vincent School Principal, Cathy Williams, says: “This collaboration with MTN has opened new doors for our students giving them a platform to showcase their talent and be part of a national movement. We are grateful to MTN for supporting our school’s mission to provide quality education and empower our deaf learners.”
Adds Chabeli: “Through our ad and through the Silent Choir film, we wanted to showcase the passion and support of the hard-of-hearing community for the Springboks, a powerful reminder that every South African voice matters. While the inclusion is in part a celebration of South African sign language having been officially recognised, it also highlights the importance of accessibility in communication, the need to bridge gaps and foster understanding among all citizens.”