National anthem of South Africa
Since 1997, the South African national anthem has been a hybrid song combining new English lyrics with extracts of the hymn 'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika' (God Bless Africa) and 'Die Stem van Suid-Afrika' (The Call of South Africa).
National anthem of South Africa
|Also known as||Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika (First segment)
English: God Bless Africa
Die Stem van Suid-Afrika (Second segment)
English: The Call of South Africa
|Lyrics||Enoch Sontonga, 1897
C. J. Langenhoven, 1918
|Music||Enoch Sontonga, 1897
Martin Linius de Villiers, 1921
National Anthem of South Africa
The fact that it shifts (modulates) and ends in a different key, a feature it shares with the Italian national anthem, makes it compositionally unusual. The lyrics employ the five of the most widely spoken of South Africa's eleven official languages – Xhosa (first stanza, first two lines), Zulu (first stanza, last two lines), Sesotho (second stanza), Afrikaans (third stanza), and English (final stanza).
'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika' was composed by a Methodist school teacher named Enoch Sontonga and a student named Afezekile Malonde in 1897. It was first sung as a church hymn but later became an act of political defiance against the apartheid government. 'Die Stem' is a poem written by C. J. Langenhoven in 1918 and was set to music by the Reverend Marthinus Lourens de Villiers in 1921. 'Die Stem van Suid-Afrika'/The Call of South Africa was the co–national anthem with 'God Save The King'/'God Save The Queen' between 1938 and 1957, when it became the sole national anthem until 1994. 'Die Stem van van Suid-Afrika"/The Call of South Africa was composed of 8 stanzas (The original 4 in Afrikaans and 4 in English - a translation of the Afrikaans). It was seldom sung in its entirety with the first stanza being the most widely known and sung.
The South African government adopted both songs as national anthems in 1994, when they were performed at Nelson Mandela's inauguration. They were merged in 1997 to form the current anthem. The new English lyrics were adapted from the last four lines of the first stanza of 'Die Stem van Suid-Afrika'/The Call of South Africa, with the changes made to reflect hope in post-apartheid South African society.
For the 1995 Rugby World Cup, Morné du Plessis suggested that the Springboks learn all the words of 'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika', and "they did so with great feeling", according to their instructor Anne Munnik.
|Xhosa||Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo,
|Lord bless Africa
May her glory be lifted high,
|Zulu||Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.
|Hear our petitions
Lord bless us,your children.
|Sesotho||Morena boloka setshaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho,
O se boloke, O se boloke setshaba sa heso,
Setshaba sa, South Afrika, South Afrika.
|Lord we ask your to protect our nation,
Intervene and end all conflicts,
protect us, Protect our nation,
Protect South Africa, South Africa.
|Afrikaans||Uit die blou van onse hemel,
Uit die diepte van ons see,
Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
Waar die kranse antwoord gee,
|Out of the blue of our heavens,
Out of the depths of our seas,
Over everlasting mountains,
Where the echoing crags resound
|English||Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom
In South Africa our land!
- "South Africa – National Anthem of South Africa (Die Stem van Suid-Afrika/Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika)". NationalAnthems.me. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
- "SA National Anthem History". Retrieved 21 October 2007.
- "The Presidency: National Anthem". Retrieved 6 June 2012.
- Carlin, John (2008). Playing the Enemy. New York: Penguin. pp. 147, 153. ISBN 978-1-59420-174-5.
- Carlin, John (2008). Playing the Enemy. New York: Penguin. pp. 173–178. ISBN 978-1-59420-174-5.
- Official South African government translation: http://www.southafrica-newyork.net/consulate/anthem.html
- The National Anthem
- National Anthem of South Africa – Streaming audio, lyrics and information
- Audio recording of the National Anthem (instrumental only, MP3 file)
- Brief introduction to the anthem and notation
- The South African national anthem in MIDI format
- The South African national anthem in MP3 format