As part of the Woolworths ‘Are you with us’ campaign, Pharrell Williams visited Emisebeni Primary School in Soweto to see first-hand the positive impact his collaboration with Woolworths is having on schools and communities in South Africa.

Williams’ visit forms part of Woolworths’ strategic collaboration with the musician to highlight educational advancement, environmental awareness and social cohesion in South Africa. Through the partnership with Williams, Woolworths is aiming to raise R100-million for education and to drive awareness of environmental sustainability.

“The Woolworths Good Business Journey (GBJ) is the driving force behind our partnership with Pharrell as we aim to raise R100-million for schools in need across the country and to make sustainability cool for the next generation of South Africans. GBJ is a commitment to ethical trade, sustainable farming and production methods, and social responsibility and we are delighted to partner with Pharrell to create a better future for our country, our children and our communities,” said Woolworths Group CEO, Ian Moir.

Emisebeni is a beneficiary of Woolworths’ MySchool programme, which raises much-needed funds for education. Pharrell wasted no time in rolling up his sleeves and helping learners to plant trees in the school’s Eduplant vegetable garden. Eduplant permaculture food gardens serve as living classrooms and help to entrench sustainable living skills in the community.

The Soweto Gospel Choir welcomed Williams in song as he arrived at Emisebeni Primary School and also supported the ‘Sing With Us’ winners, Colin Mann Primary School, who performed with Williams.

The group were personally chosen by Williams from 10 finalists (selected from over 200 entries) in the ‘Sing With Us’ competition. They also scooped a R100,000 prize that will be used to renovate their school hall.

Williams also features in the Woolworths spring-summer 2015 fashion campaign with local celebrities Minnie Dlamini, Pearl Thusi, Nandi Mngoma and Chiano Sky.

In addition, Woolworths has partnered with Bionic Yarn® to create limited edition designer T-shirts from recycled plastic. Design students across South Africa were invited to create and submit designs for a range of limited edition T-shirts. Williams selected six winners who each received R25 000 in prize money and the winning designs have just been launched in Woolworths stores countrywide.