The National Anthem
A proclamation issued by the
(then) State President on 20 April 1994 in terms of the
provisions of Section 248 (1) together with Section 2 of the
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, No 200 of 1993,
stated that the Republic of South Africa would have two National
Anthems. They were "Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika" and "The Call of
South Africa" ("Die Stem van Suid-Afrika). In terms of
Section 4 of the Constitution of South Africa, 1996 (Act 108
of 1996) and following a proclamation in the Government Gazette
No. 18341 (dated 10 October 1997), a shortened, combined version
of "Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika" and "The Call of South Africa" is now
the National Anthem of South Africa.
Die "Stem van Suid-Afrika" is a
poem written by CJ Langenhoven in May 1918. The music was
composed by the Reverend ML de Villiers in 1921.
The South African Broadcasting
Corporation played both God save the King and Die Stem to close
their daily broadcasts and the public became familiar with it.
It was first sung publicly at the official hoisting of the
national flag in Cape Town on 31 May 1928, but it was not until
2 May 1957 that Government made the announcement that Die Stem
had been accepted as the official national anthem of South
Africa. In the same year Government also acquired the copyright
and this was confirmed by Act of Parliament in 1959. In 1952 the
official English version of the national anthem, the Call of
South Africa was accepted for official use.
"Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika"
Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika was composed
in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a Methodist mission school teacher.
The words of the first stanza were originally written in Xhosa
as a hymn. Seven additional stanzas in Xhoza were later added by
the poet, Samuel Mqhayi. A Sesotho version was published by
Moses Mphahlele in 1942. Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika was popularised
at concerts held in Johannesburg by Reverend JL Dube's Ohlange
Zulu Choir. It became a popular church hymn that was later
adopted as an anthem at political meetings. It was sung as an
act of defiance during the apartheid years. The first stanza is
generally sung in Xhosa or Zulu followed by the Sesotho version.
Apparently there is no standard version or translations of Nkosi
and the words vary from place to place and from occasion to
This is the official version of
the national anthem, combining Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika and Die
Stem / The Call of South Africa
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.
Please note that the
sheet music is in [