Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika – the National Anthem of South Africa
Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo,
Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.
Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa 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
About the National Anthem of South Africa
Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (God Bless Africa) is the National Anthem of South Africa. There are no standard versions of the first two stanzas, so the words vary from region to region depending on the language of those singing it. The four stanzas are usually in the four main language groups of the country: Xhosa/Zulu, Sesotho/Setswana, Afrikaans, and English.In the version above, the first stanza is in Xhosa and the second in Sesotho.
The hymn Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika was written by Reverend Enoch Sontonga, and became a song of the struggle for freedom in South Africa. Translated into many different languages, it is also the national anthem of several other countries in Southern and East Africa.
The final two verses come from Die Stem van Suid-Afrika, (the Call of South Africa) written by the poet and author C J Langenhoven. Until 1994, Die Stem was the anthem of South Africa, but many saw it to represent the white apartheid system.
In the past, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika and Die Stem represented the two opposing sides of a divided country. Between 1994 and 1996 they served as joint anthems, but in 1996, the two anthems were combined to form the new National Anthem, a powerful symbol of national unity.