South African National Anthem

The national anthem of South Africa is sometimes known as “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika,” which means “God Bless Africa.” However, this isn’t an official name for the song. Despite just being adopted in 1997, the song’s history dates back to the 19th century. The anthem is a hybrid song that contains lyrics rom the 19th century hymn, “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” that was written by Enoch Sontonga in 1897. This song was used by the anti-apartheid movement. The second part of the song was adopted from “Die Stem van Suid-Africa,” that was used as the national anthem from the 1950s to the 1990s. The lyrics of the current national anthem were written by Enoch Sontonga in 1897, C. J. Langenhoven in 1918, and Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph in 1995. The music was created by Sontonga in 1897 and Martin Linius de Villiers in 1921. The music was arranged by Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph and M. Kumhalo in 1995.

The lyrics of the song are unique in that they feature five of South Africa’s eleven official language, including Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English. The national anthem has a strong religious theme, calling for God to protect the nation. It also exhibits patriotism by calling for all citizens to come together and stand united to fight for freedom. The national anthem has come under fire by some people because of the Afrikaans verse, which was originally used during the apartheid era. Other citizens defend the verse because Nelson Mandela wanted to retain the verse for the post-apartheid future.

South African National Anthem Lyrics

Lord bless Africa
May her glory be lifted high

Hear our prayers
Lord bless us, your children.

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

From the blue of our skies,
From the depths of our seas,
Over our everlasting mountains,
Where the echoing crags resound,

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