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Words

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.

History

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.

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 occasion.

The Call of South Africa (Die Stem)

The "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 the 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.

Here are the words to Die Stem:

Uit die blou van onse hemel, uit die diepte van ons see,
Oor ons ewige gebergtes waar die kranse antwoord gee.
Deur ons ver-verlate vlaktes met die kreun van ossewa -
Ruis die stem van ons geliefde, van ons land Suid-Afrika.

Ons sal antwoord op jou roepstem, ons sal offer wat jy vra:
Ons sal lewe, ons sal sterwe - ons vir jou, Suid-Afrika

In die merg van ons gebeente, in ons hart en siel en gees,
In ons roem op ons verlede, in ons hoop of wat sal wees,
In ons wil en werk en wandel, van ons wieg tot aan ons graf -
Deel geen ander land ons liefde, trek geen ander trou ons af.

Vaderland! ons sal die adel van jou naam met ere dra:
Waar en trou as Afrikaners - kinders van Suid-Afrika.

In die songloed van ons somer, in ons winternag se kou,
In die lente van ons liefde, in die lanfer van ons rou,
By die klink van huweliksklokkies, by die kluitklap op die kis -
Streel jou stem ons nooit verniet nie, weet jy waar jou kinders is.

Op jou roep s ons nooit nee nie, s ons altyd, altyd ja:
Om te lewe, om te sterwe - ja, ons kom Suid-Afrika.

Op U Almag vas vertrouend het ons vadere gebou:
Skenk ook ons die krag, o Here! om te handhaaf en te hou -
Dat die erwe van ons vad're vir ons kinders erwe bly:
Knegte van die Allerhoogste, teen die hele wreld vry.

Soos ons vadere vertrou het, leer ook ons vertrou, o Heer -
Met ons land en met ons nasie sal dit wel wees, God regeer.

Here are the words to The Call of South Africa:

Ringing out from our blue heavens, from our deep seas breaking round;
Over everlasting mountains where the echoing crags resound;
From our plains where creaking wagons cut their trails into the earth -
Calls the spirit of our Country, of the land that gave us birth.

At thy call we shall not falter, firm and steadfast we shall stand,
At thy will to live or perish, O South Africa, dear land.

In our body and our spirit, in our inmost heart held fast;
in the promise of our future and the glory of our past;
In our will, our work, our striving, from the cradle to the grave -
There's no land that shares our loving, and no bond that can enslave.

Thou hast borne us and we know thee. May our deeds to all proclaim
Our enduring love and service to thy honour and thy name.

In the golden warmth of summer, in the chill of winter's air,
in the surging life of springtime, in the autumn of despair;
When the wedding bells are chiming or when those we love do depart;
Thou dost know us for thy children and dost take us to thy heart.

Loudly peals the answering chorus; We are thine, and we shall stand,
Be it life or death, to answer to thy call, beloved land.

In thy power, Almighty, trusting, did our fathers build of old;
Strengthen then, O Lord, their children to defend, to love, to hold -
That the heritage they gave us for our children yet may be;
Bondsmen only of the Highest and before the whole world free.

As our fathers trusted humbly, teach us, Lord, to trust Thee still;
Guard our land and guide our people in Thy way to do Thy will.

Listen to the National Anthem

Title: Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika
Duration: 1:56
Format: Midi

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