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Our National Anthem

The National Anthem of South Africa was adopted in 1997 and is a hybrid song combining new English with extracts of the 19th century hymn “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” (English: “God Bless Africa”, lit. '”Lord Bless Africa”‘) and the Afrikaans song “Die Stem van Suid-Afrika” (English: “The Call of South Africa”), which was used as the South African national anthem during the apartheid era.

The committee responsible for this new composition included Anna Bender, Elize Botha, Richard Cock, Dolf Havemann (Secretary), Mzilikazi Khumalo (Chairman), Masizi Kunene, John Lenake, Fatima Meer, Khabi Mngoma, Wally Serote, Johan de Villiers, and Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph.

The anthem is often referred to by its incipit of “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika”, but this has never been its official title, which is simply “National Anthem of South Africa”.


Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika

Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo,

Yizwa imithandazo yethu,

Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho Iwayo.

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.


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