There are two things that unite South Africans: sport and music. As the world focuses on the Rugby World Cup kick-off happening in a few days, you can’t help but feel proud when we see the faces of our boys in green and gold being splashed across all media platforms leading up to the big event.
The sense of pride takes us back to the Rugby World Cup in 1995 when “World in Union” was sung by PJ Powers as Nelson Mandela lifted the trophy alongside the then Springboks captain Francois Pienaar.
The hit song is also synonymous with Mandela’s liberation after 27 years of incarceration.
PJ Powers, affectionately known as “Thandeka” by the majority of South Africans and is considered one of the adopted daughters of Nelson Mandela, was the natural choice to perform the official Rugby World Cup theme when South Africa hosted the tournament.
With a voice that resonates with passion and history, she became a symbol of the nation’s spirit during that historic event.
As such, her remix of “World in Union” with DJ Cosher aims to reignite the same sense of unity and determination that defined Mandela’s legacy and the Springboks’ historic victory.
Cosher said: “It was a privilege to have been able to work on such an iconic song, a very exciting project for me.
“For the new version of the song I needed to firstly increase the tempo quite drastically to fit into the dance realm that my music usually is found. We also had to adjust the key to suit the current vocal range.
“It’s actually worth mentioning that it should be noted that PJ has been singing this song for decades the way she is used to, so it was very impressive how she was able to adapt to the new increased tempo and feel, to deliver her amazing vocals.
“This brings me to my next point, that new updated vocals were recorded for this version, which allowed us to explore new harmonies and backing vocals ideas too.
“Obviously the entire production is ‘new’ and was all created from scratch with none of the original sounds or recordings being used; however, the biggest addition for me was the inclusion of the saxophone.
“This was recorded by session musician Evan Froud and adds a great new layer of energy and feeling to the remix.
“I hope the new version brings back many great memories as well as create new ones, as I tried to honour the original version of this great song.”
Powers told followers she was excited to be taking on the new version of the song, which is now a “dance track”, hoping the new generation would be educated about the historic song.
She said: “The original ‘World in Union’ embodied the strength of our nation during a crucial period in our history.
“With this remix, we want to channel that same energy and determination to inspire both our rugby team and every South African to come together, just as we did before.
“Music has the power to bring people together, and we believe this remix will serve as a rallying cry for our beloved Springboks.
“The remix encapsulates the essence of the original while infusing modern beats and dynamic elements that resonate with the younger generation.
“By bridging the gap between history and contemporary music, the remix aims to ignite a sense of national pride and unity, echoing Mandela’s message of hope, reconciliation, and perseverance.”
The remix is now available on all major music platforms, inviting fans to join in the celebration and embrace the timeless message of unity and triumph.