‘Rugby poorer without Zizi Ntuja’

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Joe Machingura

Cape Town - The recent death of South African commentator Kaunda “Zizi” Ntunja has left a notable gap in sport Southern Africa in general and in rugby in particular, that country’s Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture has said.

Ntuja died last week at the age of 38, reportedly succumbing to COVID-19.

In a statement, parliamentary committee chairperson Ms Beauty Dlulane said Ntuja had spread rugby’s popularity beyond its traditional strongholds and across the country.

“Zizi, as he was affectionately known, lived for rugby and was such an entertaining isiXhosa commentator who, without a doubt attracted the interest of many South Africans into the game.  His passing is such a loss,” the statement said.

“The depth of his understanding of the rugby game was so deep and often reflected in his analytical commentary. Rugby is poorer without Kaunda.”

SA Rugby Legends expressed their condolences via Twitter, saying:  “We are so saddened to hear this news. Our condolences to Kaunda’s family and friends. He will be sorely missed. #RIP.”

Springbok Supporters described Njuta as “one of the great voices of rugby in South Africa”. The group added, “RIP @kaundantunja. You were a real gem and your unique Xhosa commentary stirred the emotions. Kaunda Ntunja! Madoda!”

Njuta’s workmates at SuperSport also used Twitter and other social media platforms to express their grief.

One of them, Andy Capostagno, said, “RIP to my friend and fellow commentator Kaunda Ntunja. A smiling and benevolent pre match presence at our Super Sport rugby meetings. In what other milieu would I have told people to stop listening to me and switch to Xhosa? He was fun to be with and to listen to. Rugby is poorer”

Springbok legend, Tendai “the Beast” Mtawarira said: “I am deeply saddened by the passing of such an amazing character whose powerful voice will forever be remembered in rugby commentary. R.I.P Kaunda.”

 

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