Pop star Kurt Darren was given the honour of singing the South African national anthem on Monday night, at the Varsity Cup final between Stellenbosch University and the University of Pretoria at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch.
However, South Africans were not pleased with the results after the Kaptein hitmaker got the lyrics of Nkosi Sikelel’iAfrika wrong, to the point that one black Twitter user joked that “even his white counterparts heard that mess”.
After a faithful and accurate rendition of the first line of the Sesotho section, “Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso”, Darren did not manage the next line, “O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho”, leaving it out entirely and instead replacing it with a Zulu line from the first verse, “Yizwa imithandazo, yethu”.
While Darren managed to finish the anthem without further incident, South Africans in general and particularly on the mean streets of Twitter were not about to let the mistake slide, slamming the singer for his error.
Darren is not the first South African singer to make a mess of the anthem.
Ard Matthews, once lead singer of popular local band Just Jinjer, apologised back in 2011 for fumbling it on national television.
The benchmark for terrible renditions of the anthem, however, was set by a little known reggae singer called Ras Dumisani, who infamously left the Springboks and their fans speechless and angered after his hideous butchering of the anthem at a match in France in 2009.
Dumisani was given an opportunity to redeem himself in 2015 when 702’s Xolani Gwala invited him to sing the anthem on air.
He blamed “sabotage” for his infamous off-key rendition in 2009 and then sang the anthem … only to butcher it again.