As a young rugby player who represented his province at Craven Week, Arno Jordaan grew up dreaming of one day playing for the Springboks. But these days, he’s not playing for his country as much as singing for it as the Afrikaans music star is often asked to sing the national anthem before a Springbok Test.
And as he stood on the field at Loftus Versfeld this past weekend, he was able to soak up the memories of singing the national anthem at this iconic stadium, while also enjoying quality time during the Vodacom One Father and Son Sleepout.
Jordaan joined other celebrities and some of the Vodacom Bulls players in camping out in tents and sharing in activities and games on the main field at Loftus Versfeld as part of an initiative aimed to reward loyal Vodacom Red clients with something money can’t buy – time with their sons.
“This is an unbelievable initiative. It’s an incredible way of giving back and I can tell you I won’t be moving to another network. Father and son time is very special, and for Vodacom to arrange this is really amazing,” Jordaan said, wearing his Captain America replica jersey as part of the Marvel theme in Vodacom Super Rugby this season.
“Life is so busy. I spoke to one father here who is only at home on the weekends because he works in another city. So something like this really brings dads and their sons together, and it’s giving dads another opportunity to pass on those important values to their sons.
“My dad and I always got along well. We would go fishing and camping a lot, and it’s things I still remember today. My son is five years old now and this will be an amazing memory for him as well.”
And Jordaan could re-live some of his own memories of Loftus Versfeld, where he’s sung the national anthem for the Springboks.
“It’s a very special field for me in that sense. I’ve been privileged to have sung the national anthem for the Springboks here at Loftus Versfeld as well as at Twickenham and in Bloemfontein and Cape Town.
“I’m used to performing in front of people, but I can tell you, it’s the ultimate feeling to stand in front of 50 000 people and sing the national anthem for your team and your country. You get quite emotional when you see how proud the fans are.
“You know, there are obviously a lot of bad things that happen and challenges facing our country, and you read about that every day in the newspapers. But as soon as you get into a stadium like Loftus Versfeld, or any of the big stadiums, it’s like all of that falls away and people just stand together no matter what their language or backgrounds. It’s amazing. If you’re in a stadium and the Vodacom Bulls or the Springboks are playing, people are one. I think the day we lose that – the day we lose those kinds of rugby games and the music and braaivleis that goes with it, then we’re in trouble. Fortunately I believe we won’t, and events like this Vodacom One Father and Son Sleepout also keep that alive for us.”