South Africa

National Anthem of South Africa

Die Stem van Suid-Afrika/Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika

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Since 1997, the South African national anthem has been a hybrid song, combining extracts of the hymn Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika and the former anthem Die Stem van Suid-Afrika (The Call of South Africa) together with new lyrics in English. In total, the anthem uses five of South Africa's eleven official languages (Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English).

It is also musically notable for the fact that it employs a change of key in its final section, an uncommon compositional device that it shares with the Italian national anthem.

The anthem came into wider international prominence as a result of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, which was staged in South Africa.

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.

Details:

Composer:
Enoch Sontonga
Lyricist:
Enoch Sontonga, C.J. Langenhoven
Date:
Lyrics: 1897 (Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika), 1918 (Die Stem van Suid-Afrika); Music: 1921, 1997; Adopted: 1997.
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