Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The South African National Anthem

Below is the South African National Anthem, with translations of the non-English parts in parenthesis.

It is a combination of two anthems, and combines five languages, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English.

The first part (the first two stanzas) is the "Nkosi' sikelel' iAfrika" section, and is a hymn that was composed in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga who worked as a Methodist mission school teacher. Later more verses were added in isiXhosa by the poet Samuel Mqhayi, and Moses Mphahlele translated it into Sesotho in 1941. The hymn was later adopted as an anthem for political meetings during the struggle years.

The second part of the anthem (the third and fourth stanza), is based on the poem "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" by die Afrikaans poet C J Langenhoven in 1918. It was put to music in 1928 by Reverend ML de Villiers. In 1952 it was translated into English as "The Call to South Africa" and in 1957 it was adopted as the anthem of South Africa. Between 1994 and 1997 both "Nkosi' sikelel' iAfrika" and "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" were sung. The new combined National Anthem was adopted in 1997.

Nkosi' sikelel' iAfrika
(God Bless Africa)
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo,
(Raise high Her glory)
Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
(Hear our Prayers)
Nkosi sikelela, thina lysapho lwayo.
(God bless us, we her children)

Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
(God protect our children)
O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho,
(End all wars and tribulations)
O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,
(Protect us, protect our nation)
Sethaba sa South Afrika -- South Afrika
(Our nation South Afrika -- South Afrika)

Uit die blou van onse hemel,
(From out the blue of our heavens)
Uit die diepte van ons see,
(From the depths of our seas)
Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
(Over our everlasting mountains)
Waar die kranse antwoord gee
(Where the cliffs echoes an answer)

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


Retha said...

Ek het nooit besef dat daar in ons volkslied na God in die vroulike vorm verwys word nie! Baie interessant...

Skryfblok said...

Jong, ek weet self nie of die "Her" na God of na Afrika verwys nie. Dis natuurlik die feit dat "Her" met 'n hoofletter geskryf is. Die amptelike vertaling wat uitgegee is deur die Minister van Kuns en Kultuur het "Her" met 'n hoofletter gespel, so dis hoekom ek dit ook maar so oor getik het.