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SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL ANTHEM

Posted on Monday, 09th Feb 2015

Music moves the soul like nothing else. It can stir memories, empassion vision and calm the most violent of moods. When a country commissions their national anthem, it’s not often that they’re able to combine the languages and melodies of the local people whilst still rousing the emotions of the listeners. South Africa has such an anthem.

"Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" ("Lord Bless Africa" in Xhosa), was originally composed as a hymn in 1897. The song was the official anthem for the African National Congress during the apartheid era and was a symbol of the anti-apartheid movement. For decades during the apartheid regime it was considered by many to be the unofficial national anthem of South Africa, representing the suffering of the oppressed.

In 1994 after the fall of apartheid, the new President of South Africa Nelson Mandela declared that both "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" and the previous national anthem, "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" ("The Call of South Africa") would be national anthems. In 1996, a shortened, combined version of the two anthems was released as the new national anthem of South Africa. The lyrics employ the five most widely spoken of South Africa's eleven official languages – Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans, and English. – Xhosa (first stanza, first two lines), Zulu (first stanza, last two lines), Sesotho (second stanza), Afrikaans (third stanza), and English (final stanza).

You can click here to listen to this beautiful song and read the words below.

LYRICS:
Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo,
Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.

Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa le 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.

TRANSLATED LYRICS (English):
God bless Africa
Let its horn be raised,
Listen also to our prayers,
Lord bless us, we are the family of it

Lord bless our nation,
Stop wars and sufferings,
Save it, save our nation,
The nation of South Africa — South Africa.

Out of the blue of our heavens,
From the depth of our sea,
Over our everlasting mountains,
Where the cliffs give answer,

Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom
In South Africa our land.

Posted in Jewels of Southern Africa

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