Kaunda Ntunja remembered as groundbreaking rugby commentator
Tributes have been flooding in after the news emerged on Monday that Ntunja had succumbed to Covid-19.
We are deeply saddened at the loss of one of our most-beloved rugby sons, Kaunda Ntunja, who passed away at the age of 38 this morning. He was a true rugby pioneer – the first black African SA Schools captain, a Currie Cup winner and a groundbreaking SuperSport commentator. pic.twitter.com/OzcfHbYgqh— Springboks (@Springboks) July 20, 2020
Ntunja gained popularity as an anchor on SuperSport's Xhosa commentary team. He hosted SuperSport's Xhosa rugby talk show Phaka.
Fellow rugby broadcaster Jonathan Mokuena says Ntunja was a groundbreaking commentator who took rugby commentary to new heights with his enthusiasm and love of the game.
Mokuena says Ntunja stood for unity and brought together South Africa's with his unique talent and energy.
Initially, when rugby started, Xhosa wasn't part of the commentary team. They brought in Makhaya Jack, then they brought in Kaunda. He just took things to a new level by bringing in his own spice to it, his own lingo and energy.Jonathan Mokuena, Commentator and Former Springbok Sevens captain
Mokuena says he'll never forget when the 38-year-old commentated on Siya Kolisi's captaincy debut.
Ntunja gained worldwide attention with his commentatory of Makazole Mapimpi’s try during the Rugby World Cup final win over England, which had everyone saying: “Ibubbly, shampompo, shampizi! Izinto ezihlwahlwazayo!”.
🎙 One of the voices of rugby in South Africa has passed away.— PEAK (@ThePeakSA) July 20, 2020
😢 RIP Kaunda Ntunja.
During his earlier rugby career, Ntunja played flank and captained the SA Schools side in 2000. He was also part of the Free State Cheetahs side that won the Currie Cup in 2005.
Mokuena says losing his friend has been a hard loss, especially knowing how much Ntunja still wanted to achieve.
The fact that he was so young is what has hit us hard the most... he had so many plans that he was still preparing for.Jonathan Mokuena, Commentator and Former Springbok Sevens captain
It's a sad reality of what Covid-19 is actually doing to family members and friends.Jonathan Mokuena, Commentator and Former Springbok Sevens captain
Listen to the tribute on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:
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