11-year-old singer to perform during Republic Day celebrations in SA


JOHANNESBURG: An 11-year-old South African-Indian singer will perform at the Indian Consulate in Johannesburg to celebrate the Republic Day on Tuesday.                                

Together with her maternal grandfather Dharam Sewraj, who has several decades of experience in the broader South African music industry, Pritisha Muthraparsad worked with local Indian music producer Ravesh Surjoo to record the two patriotic songs on audio and with Keith Koogen on video.

“After we were approached by Indian Consul General Anju Ranjan in Johannesburg to perform the songs, we bought the back tracks online and Ravesh Surjoo and I improved on it,’” Sewraj told PTI.

“This child has an amazing voice that can probably be developed into a major singing talent with some studies in India,” Ranjan said after first watching her sing.

“I considered it appropriate that we get a young South African like her to be part of our Republic Day event on Tuesday morning, where we have unfortunately been restricted to have just a few guests due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

“Pritisha M (her stage name) will be performing live at the Consulate in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning as we unfurl the Tricolour, but at least now thousands more anywhere can share in her songs as well.”   

An excited Pritisha spent two weeks mastering the lyrics to the songs before she faced the camera and mike at NLB Productions Studio.

“I could obviously never do justice to how my idol Lataji (Mangeshkar) performed the original of the song which remains a favourite patriotic song to everyone in the world, including us South African Indians and it has been a privilege to be picked from among the thousands of others in the Indian diaspora who could have done it,” Pritisha said.

The other song is a modernised version of the song Vande Mataram by Bankimchandra Chatterji, which was adopted as India’s national song alongside the national anthem in 1950.