Songbird Lira (pictured) and comedian Loyiso Gola got lost in KZN, and are now getting the most hits on YouTube for the song they made while there.
Celebs meet challenge to show their best talents and the abilities of new Mercedes-Benz SUVs
THE Chinese zodiac has 2015 as the year of the horse, which is quite fitting as this was also the year when Mercedes-Benz completed its SUV range with all-new additions — the popular GLA, the luxurious GLC, the luxurious GLE and two coupé versions of the GLC and the GLE.
Wheels drove the sport utility vehicles over Namibia’s roughest terrain, from rocky ravines to the steep dunes where the latest (and some would say best ever) Mad Max was filmed, so we know they can do 4x4.
We also diced a plane from Oribi Airport in Pietermaritzburg to Pretoria North, to prove that for journeys under 500 km, the car is always faster, even with a burning truck blocking all but one lane on Van Reenen’s Pass. Learning about the kilometres-long queue of parked trucks on the N3TC’s Twitter account, we turned off to Ladysmith and aimed the GLC down the fantastic new tar road that now comprises most of De Beers Pass and enjoyed the traction on the smooth dirt sections.
To show the abilities of these vehicles on any type of South African terrain, Mercedes-Benz SA also sent several celebrities to far-flung places.
Singers, comedians, fashion designers, chefs, musicians and more went to very unfamiliar terrain and were challenged to do what they do best in 48 hours. The resulting films are uploaded on YouTube and Merc informed Wheels the YouTube clip from these adventures with the most downloads is that made by songbird Lira and comedian Loyiso Gola.
They toured to northern KwaZuluNatal in a GLE Coupé a year ago, where they beautifully re-imagined a traditional Zulu song. Lira first recorded children in the Myeni community singing, but the perfectionist producer wanted more texture for the song.
With the clock ticking towards the 48hour mark, Gola drove about all over northern KZN’s steep hills in the GLE with Lira looking for the missing ingredients that would make the song extraordinary. When they passed a church on the road, Loyiso found Eric Ngcobo, a guitarist, inside, who was happy to back Lira on his guitar.
Next Lira needed a backing beat to make the old rural song more contemporary. She called her producer, Robin Kohl, for help. In the meantime, she listened to the song again and realised the local kids’ voices were not clear. Gola phoned Justice from the Myeni community. “[Could] the kids who helped inspire the song join them for another recording?”
Justice suggested they meet in the Mkuze forest. With only 30 minutes left, and the backing track mixed with the guitar track arriving by e-mail, the duo listened to the mix on the GLE Coupé’s sound system.
In the forest, the children’s voices carried over the trees. Gola recorded the sounds as the final seconds ran out, but they considered they had produced the best song they could in 48 hours using the resources available to them.
“It was a big challenge but I am very proud of myself and Loyiso. We did it! We have an awesome song and I can’t wait to share it with you all,” Lira said.
In Namibia, world-renowned fashion designer Craig Jacobs and actress Lerato Kganyago, driving in luxury in their GLC, drew inspiration from the dunes of the Namib Desert to create bespoke African couture.
Cricket legend Mark Boucher and chef extraordinaire Marthinus Ferreira journeyed to the Wild Coast in the GLE to prepare a signature three-course meal. And when the legendary G Class brought photographer Adrian Steirn and lion whisperer Kevin Richardson together, they captured what could sadly be the future of our continent’s magnificent wild lions. Their haunting image has been featured in media the world over.
The most recent episode has iconic trumpeter Hugh Masekela and MiCasa frontman J’Something talking the language of music as they drove along the Garden Route in the new GLS.
Their task was to record an original song, which resulted in Heaven in You with its haunting lyrics that tell of Hugh’s love for his homeland despite his exile during the country’s troubled past.
“These films celebrate our culture and diversity, and also showcase our vehicles’ capabilities,” said Selvin Govender, marketing director, Mercedes-Benz Cars.
“We’re highlighting our country’s encompassing beauty and bringing home what South Africans love about their country while we position MercedesBenz SUVs as luxury vehicles for the South African journey.”
Govender added that the genes from the iconic G-Class are carried into each of the current Mercedes-Benz SUVs, making them the best on every terrain.
The final #EveryTerrain video will be released for tomorrow’s Heritage Day.
— Wheels Reporter.
Just a little lost: Lerato Molapo, aka Lira, and comedian Loyiso Gola remade a traditional Zulu song in northern KwaZulu-Natal as part of a Mercedes-Benz campaign to show the abilities of its range of sport utility vehicles.