The quest for ‘Vicus’: Finding a YouTube sensation

Recently a video of a young South African boy playing guitar and singing “These Arms” by All 4 One went viral on YouTube. Not much later, Sony International sends down a team to South Africa to find the kid and make all his dreams come true.

But no one can find him

It’s early 2010 and sitting in a little room in Eldorado Park Johannesburg is a little boy with his guitar, playing while a family member pushes record on their cellphone. He doesn’t play because he knows about Justin Bieber or Greyson Chance, he simply plays because he loves music.

The video is sent from one member to another and everyone is moved by the music. Caldwell Caster, the husband of a cousin of the boy, takes the video on the 24th of May 2010 and uploads it to YouTube.

Late 2010 — a copy of Caster’s video emerges on the internet and goes viral. The problem — it was a copy, renamed and posted under a new username. Caldwell’s video ended up being copied at least five times and collectively had been viewed more than a hundred thousand times. Caster’s copy has only been viewed a couple of hundred times and completely forgotten.

…. On Monday morning, 5fm’s Gareth Cliff after having seen a copy of “Vicus'” performance on YouTube makes it his mission to find this fantastic talent. Cliff posts a message on his Facebook page asking if anyone knows ‘Vicus’ and please send him some information. More than 200 comments later and not a single worthwhile drop of information.

How hard can this kid be to find? We live in the age of social media and Google. Endless Google searches and Facebook stalking later, not only did we find the original video but also contact details and more.

Somewhere in the heart of Johannesburg a cellphone rings as we phone Caldwell for the first time. A 15 minute discussion later we know everything but remain completely useless. Finally we contact Gareth’s manager and give her Caster’s details.

Vicus’ future thanks to the many uses of social media could very well change for the better.

Here is the original video by Caldwell Caster:



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.