Springboks

How Premier League commentator Peter Drury inspired Kaunda Ntunja's iconic Kolisi monologues

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Kaunda Ntunja (SuperSport)
Kaunda Ntunja (SuperSport)

One of the most recognisable voices in South African rugby, the late Kaunda Ntunja, credited world-renowned English Premier League commentator Peter Drury for inspiring his poetic monologue. 

The rugby community was stunned in July when Ntunja died suddenly at the age of 38.

WATCH: Kaunda Ntunja's opening monologue at 2019 World Cup final

SuperSport's documentary series Chasing the Sun, which unpacked South Africa's World Cup win in Japan last year, had not yet started airing when Ntunja passed away but the filming had been completed and he would be a prominent voice in the series. 

Ntunja's colourful and passionate Xhosa commentary made for some of the most iconic moments of South Africa's World Cup run, from when he first introduced Siya Kolisi as national captain in 2018 to his opening monologue as Kolisi led the Boks out in the November 2 final and then his description of Makazole Mapimpi's try in the final. 

Now, in a segment of unused footage from filming for the Chasing the Sun, SuperSport have released a video in which Ntunja explains where his passion for writing monologues began. 

"After school I started drama and theater arts," Ntunja explained.

"I've got a dramatic arts background and one of the things that I did was screenwriting. I enjoy the dramatics, I enjoy writing. I felt that this occasion [the World Cup final] was befitting to write a nice opening.

"One of the people that inspired me to write opening for big games was actually Peter Drury, the English football commentator. He's got these lovely openings and I thought, 'I should do the same thing in rugby' and I wrote one of those for the World Cup final.

"I took the Siya Kolisi story to another level by saying that Siya was no longer a child of Zwide ... he is now our child. He is now for South Africa."

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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