Kurt Darren might be setting his sails for the horizon until he lives down his stumble over the national anthem at the Varsity Cup rugby match between the universities of Stellenbosch and Pretoria on Monday night, News24 reported earlier
He started confidently with “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, (God bless Africa), Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo, (Raise high her glory), Yizwa imithandazo yethu, (Hear our prayers), Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo (God bless us, we her children).But the star of the smash hit “Kaptein Span die Seile” (Captain, set the sails) hit the rocks in the second verse, mixing up the lyrics.Some of the solemn rugby players stifled giggles as Darren fumbled through the anthem.
On Tuesday, Darren tried to explain what happened to Talk Radio 702 host Eusebius McKaiser.
“I know the anthem,” Darren said. “But it’s so weird that it erupted in this way…”
McKaiser asked Darren why he did not know the words to the national anthem.
“You had 25 years to learn it?”
“Oh, you’re carrying on with it now?” Darren retaliated.
“You’re a professional singer, 25 years later [since democracy], you only had one job to do…” said McKaiser.
“All right, have a lekker day,” Darren said before hanging up the phone.
Darren’s blunder has been widely compared to renditions by other singers who withered under the pressure of the big occasion.
Most famously, Alexius “Ras” Dumisani instantly became one of the most unpopular people in South Africa when he performed the anthem at a Springboks Test match against France in Toulouse in November 2009. Despite Facebook being in its infancy, a group called “Ban Ras Dumisani From Ever Singing again” was started, drawing thousands of members.
Durban-born Dumisani became instantly notorious after he delivered an innovative but out-of-key rendition of the South African national anthem at the start of the Test. The Springboks went on to lose the match 20-13. Some fans of the group accused the Paris-based Rastafarian singer of being stoned. Another creatively suggested that Dumisani should become South African president: “I mean, when last was one person able to unite a nation with such passion and rage?”
Another member accused him of singing “a third above the melody”. Others angrily accused him of not knowing the words to the anthem. “Brother, you harmed the entire citizenship of South Africa. You gotta learn de words man,” wrote another.
In August 2011, at a live broadcast of the Springboks’ World Cup Team announcement, team captain John Smit and coach Pieter de Villiers looked on in astonishment as Just Jinjer singer Ard Matthews stumbled through the anthem, forgetting the words, chuckling and apologising halfway through the first verse.
Channel24 reported at the time that there were “no drugs” involved when he sang the anthem during the announcement of the Springbok squad.
Matthew posted the following on his Facebook page: “I completely froze, it’s that simple. First time ever. No drugs, no alcohol…just the biggest nightmare of my life…”Matthews also expressed thanks for those who have forgiven him and said: “For those whom I offended, I don’t expect u to just forget but I do ask you to also forgive me in time”.