Friday, November 20, 2009
It's been a week since the horror that took place prior to kick-off in South Africa's 20-13 loss to France in Toulouse. While the dust has settled somewhat, this joke of a performance is worthy of a place in our archives.
Disgracing ones country is no laughing matter, but you can't help but find Reggae singer Ras Dumisani's rendition of the South African national anthem pretty humourous.
There's plenty to choose from. Was it the out of place bongo drums, the high pitch as he got into 'Die Stem', or simply the look of utter dismay on the players faces afterwards?
On a serious note though, the wailing from Reggae Ras angered the Springboks, who then had to witness a rousing performance of the French anthem, La Marseillaise.
"Every time you go out on the field and sing the national anthem, it's very important for us and that's something that really fires you up because you know you're playing for your country," said a visibly upset Victor Matfield.
"It was a joke out there. The guys couldn't sing along to it and even the crowd were starting to laugh. It was very disappointing."
Many have speculated as to who appointed the singer. The South African embassy in France was originally blamed, but they've since distanced themselves from it saying that they had only provided the French Rugby Federation with Dumisani's agent's name, as it was the only name it had of a South African singer living in France.
SA Rugby Union President Oregan Hoskins has since revealed that he received an official apology from his counterpart in France. He said that he's accepted that French rugby officials did not deliberately try to "sabotage the anthem and, as much as the performance still rankles, we regard the matter as now closed".
Dumisani has been interviewed since, and even performed the anthem again on various radio stations. He was just as bad.
"No one told me they were upset with the singing," he said. "In fact, someone just came up to me and told me how beautifully I had sung. Everyone at the stadium told me I sang well, even after the match.
"The Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika has been my tune since I was a baby. How can I not know the words? I am the biggest reggae man in South Africa and the Springboks are my team."
Lets hope that's the last time we see Dumisani, or any other poor singer, making a mockery of an anthem before a big match. One would have thought there's an official screening process by now. I think it's safe to say that after this fiasco, there will be.