hercules smith, national anthem, springboks, ras dumisani Springboks anthem

Hercules Smith’s performance of the national anthem did not impress South Africans.
Images via X:
@captainspringbok

Who sang SA national anthem at Springboks’ Twickenham Test?

The rendition of the South African national anthem at the Springboks’ Test at Twickenham has drawn a widespread reaction.

hercules smith, national anthem, springboks, ras dumisani Springboks anthem

Hercules Smith’s performance of the national anthem did not impress South Africans.
Images via X:
@captainspringbok

The Springboks’ season-opening Test against Wales largely went as expected as the world champions claimed a comfortable win. However, there was a moment prior to kick off that did not go according to script.

In what was not the first example of the South African national anthem going awry, many social media users hit out at the rendition on Saturday, as sung by Pretoria-born Hercules Smith.

With several parts of the anthem certainly not hitting the right notes, many questioned who the singer was, but the fact remains that he does boast a impressive background in music.

According to Crossover Music Magazine, he was also Winner of the 2012 Voice of Europe.

“Smith is a passionate up and coming artist, whose love of classical music is taking him places,” an article from 2016 read. “His career has taken him around the world and he has delighted audiences in Pretoria and Johannesburg, including a New Year’s Eve show to revelers in Monte Casino.

“In July 2014 Hercules performed on the very popular television show Noot vir Noot, which was broadcast to millions of viewers across South Africa. Apart from this prestigious accolade, he has had the honour to perform on Sky Sports, at the 2014 Rugby Championship between South Africa and Argentina… His single, Incomplete, is a feat for the ears.”

Seemingly responding to criticism on Instagram, he made the following comment after the game: “Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to show what I can really do! The track that was played on the day was much lower than the one I was rehearsing with”.

What did you think of the anthem before the Springbok game?

Reminders of past anthem controversies

As recently as 2022, there was a big talking point before a game between the Springboks and Italy when an extremely laboured performance of Nkosi sikelel’ Afrika sparked a frenzy of reaction to the anthem in South Africa.

The singer, Nicole Magolie, managed to eventually get through the anthem, but the pace and rhythm seemed to be desperately off-key as Twitter went into overdrive about how “slow” the singing was.

Many Twitter users even drew comparisons to the infamous anthem rendition from Ras Dumisani before the 20-13 Test match defeat to France in 2009.