Verona back in spotlight

Gospel singer Verona Pillay's single came out of a traumatic event./ Supplied
Gospel singer Verona Pillay's single came out of a traumatic event./ Supplied

After 12 years away from the recording scene, South African gospel singer Verona Pillay makes a stunning return already decorated with a Crown Gospel Music Awards nomination.

She goes to the prestigious ceremony with a nomination for Video of the Year for the single Be Still.

Shot in the haunting surrounds of Knysna, Western Cape, in the wake of the disastrous fires that devastated the scenic town, the video leaves a mark of its own.

Pillay was first introduced to television viewers when she featured in a YoTV competition, and later on in life won the Crux Gospel Star talent search contest.

She released her debut album in 2005, and then not much was heard from her.

She got married and performed on big stages, also becoming part of worship teams in churches. A turning point came in 2012 when she lost her first-born child.

She took time to recover and a series of events triggered her desire to write, record and release an album. Pillay shares that Be Still came out of a traumatic event when they were held up at gunpoint by four robbers in the church office. Interestingly, she says she woke up with the words: "be still and know that I'm God".

And more intriguing was how one of the assailants kept ordering her to be still and stop shaking.

Now the video, shot in the desolate and charred remains of the forest, is in line for glory this weekend. Pillay says it's significant that her album, In The Fire With Me, was shot in Knysna where the devastating natural disaster happened.

She competes with Mawat (Everywhere), Ntethelelo (Ngaphandle Kwakho) and PK Bass (You Are) for the Crown.

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