South African national anthem Nkosi sikelel' Africa Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo, Yizwa imithandazo yethu, Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso, O fedise delta la matshwenyeho, O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso, Setjhaba sa South Afrika - South Afrika. Uit die blou van onse hemel, Uit die diepte van ons see, Oor ons ewige gebergtes, Waar die kranse antwoord gee, Sounds the call to come together, And united we shall stand, Let us live and strive for freedom, In South Africa our land.
Translation The isiXhosa and isiZulu of the first stanza, the Sesotho of the second stanza and the Afrikaans of the third stanza translate into English as follows: Lord, bless Africa May her spirit rise high up Hear thou our prayers Lord bless us. Lord, bless Africa Banish wars and strife Lord; bless our nation Of South Africa. Ringing out from our blue heavens from our deep seas breaking round Over everlasting mountains Where the echoing crags resound.
History: two anthems into one Before South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994, the country had two anthems - an official and the unofficial one. The official anthem was Die Stem, in English The Call of South Africa. The unofficial anthem, Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika, was a symbol of independence and resistance to apartheid, sung by the majority of the population and at all anti-apartheid rallies and gatherings. In the official anthem of the new South Africa, the two anthems merge into one
Die Stem van Suid Afrika (The Call of South Africa Die Stem van Suid Afrika was originally a poem, written by CJ Langenhoven in May 1918. The music was composed by the Reverend ML de Villiers in 1921. The South African Broadcasting Corporation played both God save the King and Die Stem to close their daily radio broadcasts, and so the public became familiar with the Afrikaans anthem. It was first sung publicly at the official hoisting of the national flag in Cape Town on 31 May 1928, but it was not until 2 May 1957 that the government accepted Die Stem as the official national anthem. In 1962 the English version, The Call of South Africa, was accepted for official use.
Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika Nkosi was composed in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a Methodist mission school teacher. The words of the first stanza were originally written in isiXhosa as a hymn. Seven additional stanzas in isiXhoza were later added by the poet Samuel Mqhayi. A Sesotho version was published by Moses Mphahlele in 1942. Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika was popularised at concerts held in Johannesburg by Reverend JL Dube's Ohlange Zulu Choir. It became a popular church hymn that was later adopted as an anthem at political meetings, sung as an act of defiance. The first stanza is generally sung in isiXhosa or isiZulu, followed by the Sesotho version. Apparently there is no standard version or translations of Nkosi, and the words vary from place to place and from occasion to occasion
Remembering Enoch Sontonga Enoch Sontonga, a teacher and lay preacher from the Eastern Cape, died in obscurity over 100 years ago, aged just 33. But he left an indelible legacy. His hymn, Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika (God bless Africa), went on to become Africa's most famous anthem of black struggle against oppression.
More about Enoch Sontonga, a teacher and lay preacher, wrote the first verse and chorus of the anthem as a hymn for his school choir. He died in obscurity in 1905, aged just 33, seven years before the African National Congress launched his hymn into prominence as an anthem of black struggle against oppression. The search for Sontonga's grave started by chance at a dinner by the National Monuments Council in honour of then-President Nelson Mandela, in Cape Town in late 1995. A relative of Sontonga's who was present told Mandela that Sontonga was believed to be buried somewhere at
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