A young man from Pongola in KZN will be singing Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika at the opening ceremony at Twickenham before the Springboks take on England in a test match later today.
According to his online profile, Christopher Killerby started leading and conducting choirs in his early teens as a head-chorister for the renowned Drakensberg Boys' Choir and later at the Highveld Youth Choir before relocating to UK.
When asked by 702's John Robbie whether the size of the audience (almost 100 000 at Twickenham!) intimidated him, Killerby seemed quite composed...
I'm very excited, a little terrified, but very excited!— Christopher Killerby
England's anthem will be sung by acclaimed British soprano Laura Wright but when asked how it came that he would perform the South African anthem, Killerby explained how the choice was far more haphazard: He was working as conducting the Games Maker Choir who would be singing various things at the match. He was teaching the choir the anthem when his eventual role was solidified.
Someone said wouldn't it be wonderful if you did the solo, and the choir just backed you up... so I got landed with the job!— Christopher Killerby
Unlike many other sports stadium performers, Christopher says he will be singing the song live - without a backing track. John couldn't resist referring to the notorious live rendition of the South African National Anthem at the South Africa versus France test on the 13th of November 2009 where singer Ras Dumisani butchered the anthem.
[When confronted about the performance he claimed he was given a faulty microphone connected to a bad sound system. We even gave him a chance to redeem him self... click below]
I've watched the clip and yes, it's terrifying stuff!— Christopher Killerby
Listen to John's interview with Christopher Killerby here...