PERHAPS national anthems at sports events need to ditch the bad singers and get a rock ’n’ roll makeover, according to a colleague of the Insider.
At the weekend’s Oppikoppi music festival in Limpopo, Welsh power-metal band Bullet for my Valentine played Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika on an electric guitar. It was the best rendition of the hymn in years by a pop musician. The lead guitarist, Michael Paget, walked up, smiled and played the anthem. The song was a surprise, which made its effect on the audience stronger. The crowd was oohing and aahing for a few minutes afterwards. Considering Paget had been in South Africa for only a couple of days, it was impressive how sharp his performance was.
The colleague hopes that Bullet, as fans call them, set an example. If Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula is so keen on bringing Beyoncé to the South African Sports Awards, maybe her band should do an instrumental version of our anthem, instead of her overdoing the vocals? To which the Insider can only respond — good grief! There’s a Welsh power-metal band? Alert the media!
Better fly French
WITH De Beers executives it appears that it’s two strikes and you’re out. An irate Philippe Mellier, CEO of De Beers, was five hours late for a ceremony in Gaborone because of the delayed departure of a British Airways flight to Johannesburg. A visibly irate Mellier said it was the second time it had happened to him. A colleague of the Insider asked him if he would fly Air France in future, seeing as he is French. "But of course," said Mellier. "At least that way we will arrive on time." Not only is London losing the $6bn-a-year diamond-selling business to Gaborone, the UK’s national carrier is now losing an important frequent flier. Not everything is forever.
Jackpots go to crackpots
A BRITISH couple who scooped a record €190m in the EuroMillions lottery have said they would carry on running their music shop and try to give their children a normal upbringing, Sapa reports. Adrian and Gillian Bayford, from Suffolk in eastern England, were the sole winners of the jackpot worth £149m to them in Friday’s draw. Revealing their identities at a press conference, the Bayfords said they intended to lavish some of their winnings on friends and family who had supported them in the early years of their marriage.
Gillian Bayford said the couple had bought the lottery ticket because they feared they might run out of money before her next pay cheque from her job as a healthcare assistant at a hospital.
"We bought (the ticket) because we needed money. Everybody struggles in this recession and this month has been an extremely tight month."
The Insider is no financial adviser but thinks buying a lottery ticket "because you need money" is the worst personal long-term wealth creation plan he’s heard of.
"HERE’s something to think about: how come you never see a headline like ‘Psychic Wins Lottery’?"
Jay Leno, US comedian (born 1950)
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