The unknown tenor chosen by Nelson Mandela to convey a unique global message of hope at the opening of the World Cup in South Africa next month has tragically died after contracting meningitis.
Siphiwo Ntshebe, 34, had been dubbed the “new Pavarotti” and stood on the brink of global superstardom after he was chosen to perform at the World Cup opening ceremony with his signature anthem entitled Hope.
The soaring track carries a special message of hope written by Nelson Mandela and spoken by the 91-year-old on the record.
Siphiwo was signed to a multi-album deal by Sony Music’s Epic Records, who had planned to release both the single Hope and an album of the same name during the World Cup.
Epic managing director Nick Raphael says, “Siphiwo’s loss is a tragedy for his family, his friends and all those who believe in the power of music. He had a truly wondrous voice and his music was unique in its melodies and its messages of hope and compassion.”