Members of urban pop band Afro Z were trending on social media this week when they released a remake of their hit song, My Coldest War.
Naseera Tim-Holland, 36, Lois du Plessis, 39, Nigel Morkel, 39, Ernest St Clair, 38, and Richard Hala, 42, decided to remake the song to give people hope during the lockdown.
The Daily Voice caught up with the group who rose to stardom during Coca-Cola Pop Stars in 2002.
Naseera, who now lives in Abu Dhabi with her husband and two sons, says she has managed to land jobs in the United Arab Emirates where they have been for the past six years.
“We moved to Abu Dhabi when my husband was offered the post as an international teacher at a private school,” she explains.
“At the time I was completing my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
“Whilst here, we started Souled Out UAE - a corporate outfit that has performed all over the UAE including at events like the Formula 1 Grand Prix and the UAE National day.
“Both my boys have shown a keen interest in the arts as well, with Niaz, 11, playing the drums and Rayhaan, 18, showing an interest in both musical theatre and screenwriting,” she says proudly.
Naseera had her eldest son when she was 17, shortly before entering Pop Stars.
She says it was hard juggling parenting and a music career.
“It was very hard, especially when we had to be on the road and he couldn’t come with me.
“I knew I had to make that sacrifice if I was to build a future for us, but it damn near killed me.
“It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it in the end, he graduates on Thursday (yesterday).”
Lois moved to the United States where she lived for 12 years, recording and travelling with Grammy award-winning movement, Israel and New Breed, and others.
She moved to Johannesburg in 2019 to be with her parents, and starred in several productions including Rock of Ages at Monte Casino and the musical Seussical, at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City.
Richard Hala is a real estate agent while Nigel Morkel is also living in Jozi, waiting for the lockdown to be lifted so he can return to his corporate showbiz career abroad.
Nigel, who has a 19-year-old son living in America with his mom, says: “The last 12 to 13 years, I’ve been working for entertainment companies at home and abroad as a lead vocalist. I’m currently part of five live corporate party bands.”
Ernest St. Claire, aka Saint Clair, went on to start his own music label called Pipeline Records and Fresh Billionaire.
Ernie also tried his hand at acting and starred as Chris February in Arendsvlei.
“I’ve also got a 10-year-old son and I’ve grown into a career in finance since 2018 and have decided to partner with an organisation to help the underprivileged,” he says.
Afro-Z has now released all their old music on YouTube.