In the jubilee year of [Queen Victoria] embassies from the chief courts of the world came to do her honour. Among these was an embassy from the monarch of Madagascar. One of those in the embassy was a Hova, a man of years, dark skinned and intelligent, and desiring for his people’s sake to make a good impression, he, in offering his congratulations recalled many incidents of his long journey around the Cape in a sailing vessel; and when he had told all he could recollect, he asked if it would be agreeable that he should sing—that he had one song in his heart that had whiled away many a weary hour in his pilgrimage through life. The expectation was that the venerable Hova would sing something heathenish and national—something social or convivial—but to the astonishment of all, he began in a thin sweet tenor:Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee!
He sang it through all its stanzas, each verse growing more subdued and tender. At the close there was profound, awkward silence, which was difficult to break, for some were affected to tears in seeing the coming back of seed sown on the waters in missionary faith and zeal—all were taken by surprise, little expecting to hear from the lips of the Hova on this grand occasion the sweetest of the songs of Zion. His name, says the reporter of the day, was as startling in length as his performance was surprising:—Right Hon. Lord Rainiferongalarovo.
Morrison, pp. 95–96