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Date: 01 Oct 2019 Author Type: Press Release
Author: Ford South Africa
Source: Ford South Africa
  • Ford employees bond over passion for singing and start company choir
  • Ford Choir wows audience at reveal of Painted Ranger during Heritage Month celebrations
  • Singing is a universal language, and a big part of cultural heritage in South Africa
PRETORIA, 30 September 2019 –Everyone's a rock or pop star in the shower. The acoustics are really good, let’s be honest. But it takes a certain level of confidence and talent to sing at that kind of volume in front of a large, live audience.

At Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa’s vehicle assembly plant in Silverton, east of Pretoria, a group of colleagues from a cross-section of disciplines and departments bonded over a mutual love of and talent for singing, and decided to start a choir.

“We were initially asked to entertain the audience at an HIV/AIDS awareness event in support of Ford’s Wellness Programme,” says Phuti Chabane, Product Development Administrator, and lead of the Ford Choir. “And on the back of that success, we’ve been invited to participate in just about every major internal Ford event since.”

Recent highlights include a performance at the launch of the Ford Professional Women’s Network in April 2018, the inaugural graduation ceremony of students from the Ford Resource and Engagement Centre alongside the announcement of the Booth Schoch Future Success Fund in June 2018, a #WomenWithDrive celebration during Women’s Month 2019, and the reveal of a hand-painted Ford Ranger for Heritage Month in September 2019.

The now 17-member-strong ensemble has a wide vocal range – both male and female voices, and they perform without the accompaniment of any musical instruments. Their repertoire includes a number of African songs, sung in native tongues. On stage, they incorporate traditional elements in their outfits, so it’s always an eclectic, colourful affair.

“Singing is a universal language, and a big part of our cultural heritage in South Africa,” continues Chabane. “It helps integrate and promote social harmony amongst a range of diverse cultures. Mostly, it’s just a really fun way to connect with one another, away from our desks or the assembly line! It provides a wonderful feeling of togetherness, and sense of belonging.”

The benefits of singing in terms of health and wellbeing are well documented. Studies show that, because of the deeper breathing you need to belt out a tune, more oxygen enters your bloodstream, which boosts circulation. Singing improves your posture, mental alertness, concentration, and memory. It releases stored muscle tension, and reduces stress, anxiety, and depression, whilst promoting better sleep enhancing your immune system. All of which obviously bode extremely well for workplace productivity and morale.

“Teamwork requires sacrifice and commitment,” concludes Chabane. “Whether it’s a sports team or a cultural team, you have to show up for practice or rehearsals. But in the end, when it all comes together, and you know you have performed as a truly well-oiled machine, that shared sense of achievement is amazing.”
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