Wil Richmond

Giggleswick CCF cadet set for South Africa singing stardom

In the school holidays, a joint expedition saw CCF(Army) and ACF cadets exploring South Africa, canoeing down the Tugela River, keeping a wary eye open for crocodiles. 

For one CCF cadet from Giggleswick School however, something even more unexpected was waiting for him in South Africa. Sgt Wil Richmond was happy to get stuck in during the acclimatisation phase for the canoeing expedition, and described joining in with the Zulu dancing round an open fire, on a starry night as  "one of the best experiences in his life".  

On one of the nights of this expedition the paddlers walked 8km to the nearest village where they had been invited to spend the night with the chief.  Here the cadets helped to herd goats and prepare food for the evening meal, after which the Zulu hosts included the cadets in their culture with an evening of song and dance, a regular event in rural KwaZulu Natal.  Wil, a talented musician and singer / songwriter was able to borrow a guitar and perform some current UK pieces and one or two of his own compositions.

Sitting next to the village Chief was one of his friends who had taken time off work to meet the visiting cadets.  Ras d Bongs, an emerging Zulu reggae artist, took a real interest in one of Wil's compositions and at the end of the evening invited Wil to his studio in Durban where he wanted to add some African background to the track as a cross-cultural collaboration. A week later Wil was able to take a day out of his expedition and travelled over 100km to the Durban studio.   The track "Somebody Like You” will be available online.  If it makes a profit a percentage will be donated to welfare projects in rural KwaZulu Natal.

Read more about Wil's unexpected adventure, and hear his music on Stray FM, who will be following Wil's story as his single is released.