Bongani Tembe to Perform at Historic Rugby Test Match in Paris

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23 Nov 2013

Celebrated South African tenor Bongani Tembe, is due to perform the South African national anthem accompanied by the French Orchestra of the Republican Guard at the start of the centennial rugby test match between France and South Africa at the Stade de France in Paris.

The historic test match, on Saturday, 23 November 2013, will mark 100 years of international rugby between France and South Africa and forms part of the bilateral programme, the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013.

President of the South African Rugby Union (SARU), Mr Oregan Hoskins said, “We are delighted that Mr Bongani Tembe, South Africa’s first professional African opera singer, will be performing our national anthem at this historic rugby match. We are positive that Bongani’s performance will inspire the Springboks”.

Mr Tembe, trained at the prestigious Julliard School in New York, has performed all over the world throughout his illustrious career. He also plays a leading role in arts management in South Africa as the artistic director of Africa’s premier orchestra, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, and as the longest serving board member of the National Arts Council of South Africa.

Commenting on the significance of the occasion, Minister of Arts and Culture Mr Paul Mashatile said, “We believe that arts, culture and sport play a pivotal role in nourishing the soul of the nation, particularly with regards to nation building and social cohesion. It is significant that this historic match forms part of the South African Season in France. I look forward to the performance of the national anthem by Mr Bongani Tembe, one of our internationally accomplished artists and managers, as well as witnessing the sporting prowess of the Boks."

The test match between France and South Africa takes place at Stade de France in Saint-Denis Paris and will be the final match for each team in the Autumn International Series 2013.

Kick-off of the match is at 21:00 (22:00 South African time) on Saturday 23 November 2013, and will be screened on DSTV channels 201 SuperSport 1, and 211 SuperSport 1 HD.

Editors’ Notes:

About Bongani Tembe

The France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013 is a reciprocal programme to afford the institutions and the people of France and South Africa an opportunity to understand each other better through cultural, scientific, sport, education and business engagement. The South African Season in France in 2013 has featured more than 1000 South African participants who have been involved in more than 250 events across 150 cities in France.

About the performance of the national anthems at the start of Test rugby match between France and South Africa.

The national anthems will be performed by the French Orchestra of the Republican Guard, conducted by Commander Antoine Langagne. The French national anthem will be performed by tenor Mathieu Septier.