SuperSport isiXhosa commentator Kaunda Ntunja provided a powerful introduction for Lukhanyo Am at the start of the Sharks’ Vodacom Super Rugby game in Durban.
There was a special moment just before kick-off, with Ntunja providing one of the most emotive introductions as Am led the Sharks down the tunnel at Kings Park.
isiXhosa commentators are renowned for their compelling commentary, often leaving those who don’t understand the language wishing that they did.
Translated into English, here is what Ntunja said as he welcomed the Sharks and Am on to the field.
‘Black children in South Africa are proud of their history. It’s one of the chief reasons as to why they call each other by their clan names according to their respective cultural backgrounds. Our history and heritage are very important and, in rugby, our history in the game is very important.
‘Players who didn’t get a fair chance to express themselves on a level playing field because of apartheid crawled so that the likes of Owen Nkumane and Kaya Malotana could walk. Nkumane and Malotana walked so the likes of the late Solly Tyibilika, Gcobani Bobo and the Ndungane twins could run.
‘The likes of Tyibilika, Lawrence Sephaka, and the Ndunganes ran so that the likes of Siya Kolisi, Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am could fly. Today, we have black players who proudly represent their clan names who are world champions.
‘Today, the Sharks have a black captain who proudly represents his clan in Lukhanyo Am, who is from King William’s Town. The difference between Lukhanyo Am and the rest is that he’s the best in the business in what he does.
‘There’s no one better than him at the moment. Today, the Sharks are led by a legend of the game. Lead them, Qhinebe! Lead them, Gqugqugqu! Lead them, Zithonga-zthathu! Ha ha, Mlunjwa, Mkhomanzi, Nkonjane emnyama ehlala emafini.
‘Stand up in King William’s Town! Stand up in Zwelitsha! Stand up in Ginsberg! Stand up in Bhisho! You, son, are one of the best rugby players in the world! It’s game on!’
The Lukhanyo Am intro from Saturday. https://t.co/uDTl8HipGl
— Kaunda Ntunja (@kaundantunja) March 9, 2020
Photo: Steve Haag Sports/Hollywoodbets