At Nando’s we have a saying: it’s the people who make the chicken. It’s a recognition that the Nando’s family is our heartbeat and the reason we can serve up the most delicious PERi-PERi chicken to our guests. We’re a people business first. And that’s where the whole idea behind the This is Us! project started.

To help keep firing up our Nandocas (as we call everyone in our Nando’s family) during the tough COVID-19 period in 2020, we filmed Nando’s CEO Mike Cathie and his guitar, as he strummed the beginning of the song Stand by Me and challenged Nandocas around the country to complete the rest of the song with their own flavour.

The Nandocas rose to the occasion, sending in their own videos where they finished the song, adding their own groove to it. The team from Nando’s Brackenhurst created such a creative and fun and impressive rendition that Nando’s decided to bring them to Constitution Hill to work with Grammy award-winning music producer JB Arthur from Flame Studios to create their own song. And so, This is Us – the new Nandoca anthem – was born.

The Nandocas featured are Nokphiwe Nkosi, Owen Tshabalala, Aphiwe Mzondi, Mbongeni Dlamini, Nomsa Paipe and Thuso Vumazonke, as well as Mike Cathie on guitar. What a talented bunch!

“I love music and I also do poetry in my spare time, as well as underground hip-hop” says Mbongeni, who rapped the English portion of This is Us!

“I learnt music from my church,” says Aphiwe, who also sang in her school’s choir. You’ll hear her singing in the isiXhosa portion of the song.

The Nandocas loved the opportunity to work with JB Arthur, who helped them to craft the song and lyrics and who produced the final track at Flame Studios. JB is well-known for his work throughout the local music industry, from producing all the music for the 2010 FIFA World Cup final draw and co-producing the music, to composing and producing scores for over 40 wildlife documentary films, as well as the music for many of the country’s most beloved and iconic commercials. JB has also worked in significant TV projects, as Music Director for EIGHT successful seasons of “Strictly Come Dancing” on SABC and numerous pageants including Miss South Africa (10 years) and Miss World (2007 and 2008 together with Sibusiso Masondo).

JB’s experience and his passion for local music was a driving force behind producing a quality track that the Nando’s family could be proud of.

And we are proud! Because with several different languages and music styles incorporated into it, This is Us! shows how diverse, creative and vibrant our Nando’s family is.

Song development

Here are the full lyrics for This is Us! We hope you’ll sing along.