National Anthem of South Africa

The official National anthem of South Africa is an amalgamation of two national anthems - "Die Stem van Suid Afrika" or the Call of South Africa in English and " Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika". The latter was the unofficial National anthem of South Africa.

Prior to the first Democratic elections of South Africa held in 1994, the country had two national anthems - the official anthem "Die Stem van Suid Afrika" and the unofficial anthem " Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika". The unofficial anthem was more popular among the natives since it was a symbol of independence and struggle against apartheid. Majority of the people sang the unofficial anthem at all anti apartheid meetings and rallies.

Lyrics of the Official Version of the National Anthem of South Africa

National Anthem

Nkosi sikelel' Afrika Maluphakanyisw'
uphondo lwayo, Yizwa imithandazo yethu,      (Xhosa and Zulu)
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.

Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho,
O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,       (Sesotho)
Setjhaba sa South Afrika - South Afrika.

Uit die blou van onse hemel,
Uit die diepte van ons see,
Oor ons ewige gebergtes,                     (Afrikaans)
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.                     (English)


English translation

Lord bless Africa
May her glory be lifted high
Hear our petitions
Lord bless us, your children

English translation of Sesotho version

Lord we ask You to protect our nation
Intervene and end all conflicts
Protect us, protect our nation
Protect South Africa, South Africa

English translation of Afrikaans version

Out of the blue of our heavens
Out of the depths of our seas
Over our everlasting mountains
Where the echoing crags resound

"Die Stem van Suid Afrika" - Official anthem
This is the official national anthem written by CJ Langenhoven and the music was composed by Reverend ML de Villiers. The first public rendition of this anthem was at the official flag hoisting ceremony at Cape Town on 31 May, 1928. The government declared "Die Stem van Suid Afrika" as the official national anthem of South Africa on 2 May 1957.

" Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" - Unofficial anthem
The unofficial national anthem was composed by Enoch Sontonga in 1897. The song developed into a popular church hymn and subsequently it was adopted as an anthem at political meetings. It was mostly sung as an act of rebellion.

 

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