Centurion – South African rugby fans have been up in arms after singer Nicole Magolie’s rendition of the national anthem before the Springboks played Italy in Genoa on Saturday, but it’s not the first time Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika has been fluffed on the biggest stage.
Here are three other occasions when fans and players were left embarrassed by poor attempts at singing the sacred national anthem.
1 Kurt Darren
In 2019, Kurt Darren was employed to sing the national anthem before a Varsity Cup rugby match. Just why the national anthem is sung before Varsity Cup games is besides the point, but Darren ensured organisers may want to rethink their decision to belt out the song before a game which is not an international clash.
Now aged 52, Darren was a pain to listen to as he stumbled his way through the SA anthem on that fateful day three years ago.
2 Ras Dumisani
In 2009, Ras Dumisani was asked to sing the national anthem for South Africa before the Springboks took on hosts France, a match they would go on to lose 20-13.
Though the Springboks would have been left deflated after their defeat, they certainly did not receive any inspiration before the clash from Dumisani. He struggled to hold a note and he seemed to have no idea what the anthem should actually sound like.
3 Ard Matthews
In arguably the worst rendition of the SA anthem ever, Ard Matthews blundered his way through two torturous minutes of what was supposed to be a poignant send-off for the Springbok team for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Though the Springboks were the object of much ridicule for the comically small hats they were forced to wear at the squad announcement, it was nothing compared to the singer of Just Jinjer fame’s attempt at the anthem.
Dishonourable mention: Louis Luyt
While not a singer himself, Luyt perhaps showed the SA national anthem the most disrespect – more than any singer who fluffed their lines. In the first Test match played after readmission at Ellis Park in 1992, Luyt ordered that only the old anthem Die Stem be played before the match.