South African duo back ‘Swing Low’

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Rugby Union - By Gavin Mairs

The Rugby Foot­ball Union has been urged not to ban the singing of

Swing Low, Sweet Char­iot at Twick­en­ham, by a South African duo who have recorded a ver­sion of the song to help com­bat racism.

The RFU is con­duct­ing a re­view of the use of the song, as well as the use of brand­ing fea­tur­ing its lyrics, af­ter con­cerns were raised about its slav­ery ori­gins.

Cape Town-based Bianca Solomons and Mar­itza Truter, whose song is to be re­leased next week in re­sponse to the racism is­sues raised by the killing of Ge­orge Floyd, say any move to ban the song would send the wrong mes­sage.

Solomons, a 17-year-old black singer who was adopted by a white wo­man when she was four months old, and suf­fered racial abuse dur­ing her child­hood, said that Eng­land sup­port­ers in­stead needed to be ed­u­cated about the song and that it should be pro­moted as a means of unit­ing, not di­vid­ing peo­ple.

“Swing Low, Sweet Char­iot is a gospel song,” said Solomons, who has been hailed in South Africa as the best teenage clas­si­cal singer since Char­lotte Church.

“Us­ing this song is a very good op­por­tu­nity to show peo­ple that colour doesn’t mat­ter. Ev­ery­body has the same voice.

“It is so hard to see black ver­sus white and peo­ple be­ing killed, but it still goes on and I want to make a dif­fer­ence with this song.”

Truter, who is from an Afrikaner back­ground and has had sev­eral hits in South Africa, said: “The Eng­land sup­port­ers have not been ed­u­cated about what the song is about, re­ally. The song comes from the black com­mu­nity.

“Bianca is a black girl and I am a white girl and it gives out a pos­i­tive mes­sage about be­ing to­gether in­stead of be­ing apart.”

Solomons and Truter said they would be keen to per­form the song at Twick­en­ham in Novem­ber if it would help ed­u­cate sup­port­ers about its true mean­ing.

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