Nkosi Sikelel' IAfrika
Get Nkosi Sikelel' IAfrika essential facts below. View Videos or join the Nkosi Sikelel' IAfrika discussion. Add Nkosi Sikelel' IAfrika to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Nkosi Sikelel' IAfrika

Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika
English: Lord Bless Africa
Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika.png

Former national anthem of  South Africa
Lyrics Enoch Sontonga, 1897
Music Enoch Sontonga, 1897
Adopted 1994
Relinquished 1997
Audio sample
"Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" (instrumental)

"Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" (Xhosa pronunciation: [?k'?si sik'?l?l?iafrik'a], lit. "Lord Bless Africa") is a hymn originally composed in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a Xhosa clergyman at a Methodist mission school near Johannesburg. The song became a pan-African liberation song and versions of it were later adopted as the national anthems of five states in Africa including Zambia, Tanzania, Namibia and Zimbabwe after independence. Zimbabwe and Namibia have since adopted new compositions for their national anthems. The song's melody is currently used as the national anthem of Tanzania and the national anthem of Zambia; and since 1997,[1]national anthem of South Africa.

History

Hummed rendition
Choral rendition
Choral rendition

"Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" was originally composed as a hymn in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a teacher at a Methodist mission school near Johannesburg. He based the melody on the hymn tune "Aberystwyth" by Joseph Parry.[2] The words of the first stanza and chorus were originally written in Xhosa as a hymn. In 1927 seven additional Xhosa stanzas[3] were added by the poet Samuel Mqhayi. Sontonga originally composed the hymn in B-flat major with a four-part harmony supporting a repetitive melody characteristic of "both Western hymn composition and indigenous South African melodies."[4] The hymn became popular in South African churches and was taken up by the choir of Ohlange High School, whose co-founder served as the first president of the South African Native National Congress. It was sung to close the Congress meeting in 1912, and by 1925 it had become the official closing anthem of the organisation, now known as the African National Congress.[5] "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" was first published in 1927.[5] The song was the official anthem for the African National Congress during the apartheid era and was a symbol of the anti-apartheid movement.[6] For decades during the apartheid regime it was considered by many to be the unofficial national anthem of South Africa, representing the suffering of the oppressed masses. Because of its connection to the ANC, the song was banned by the regime during the apartheid era.[7]

Use today

South Africa

In 1994, after the end of apartheid, the new President of South Africa Nelson Mandela declared that both "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" and the previous national anthem, "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" (English: "The Call of South Africa") would be national anthems. While the inclusion of "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" celebrated the newfound freedom of many South Africans, the fact that "Die Stem" was also kept as an anthem even after the fall of apartheid, signified to all that the new government under Mandela respected all races and cultures and that an all-inclusive new era was dawning upon South Africa. During this period, the custom was to play "Die Stem" together with "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" during occasions that required the playing of a national anthem.[8][9][10]

In 1996, a shortened, combined version of the two compositions was released as the new national anthem of South Africa under the constitution of South Africa and was adopted the following year. This version uses several of the official languages of South Africa. The first two lines of the first stanza are sung in Xhosa and the last two in Zulu. The second stanza is sung in Sesotho. The third stanza consists of a verbatim section of the former South African national anthem, "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika", and is sung in Afrikaans. The fourth and final stanza, sung in English, is a modified version of the closing lines of "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika".

Tanzania

A Swahili version of the hymn with modified lyrics is used as the national anthem of Tanzania under the name of "Mungu ibariki Afrika".

Former national anthem

Zambia

The hymn was the national anthem of Zambia from independence in 1964 until 1973 when the lyrics were replaced by "Stand and Sing of Zambia, Proud and Free".[11]

Zimbabwe

"Ishe Komborera Africa" was the Zimbabwean version of "God Bless Africa" sung in the Shona and Ndebele languages and was its first national anthem, adopted after the country gained independence in 1980.

It was replaced in 1994 by "Kalibusiswe Ilizwe leZimbabwe" (English: "Blessed be the land of Zimbabwe"), but still remains very popular in the country.

Namibia

"Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" was used provisionally as the national anthem of Namibia at time of the country's independence in March 1990. But soon after, an official contest was organised for a new national anthem. It was won by Axali Doeseb, who wrote "Namibia, Land of the Brave" which was officially adopted on the first anniversary of the country's independence on 21 March 1990.

Other countries and organisations

In other African countries throughout southern Africa, the song was sung as part of the anti-colonial movements. It includes versions in Chichewa (Malawi and Zambia). Outside of Africa, the hymn is perhaps best known as the long-time (since 1925) anthem of the African National Congress (ANC), as a result of the global anti-Apartheid Movement of the 1970s and 1980s, when it was regularly sung at meetings and other events.

In Finland the same melody is used as the children's psalm "Kuule, Isä taivaan, pyyntö tää (fi)" ("Hear, Heavenly Father"). The hymn has appeared in Virsikirja, the hymnbook of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, with lyrics by Jaakko Löytty.[12]

Lyrics

Original

Xhosa English
Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyis' uphondo lwayo
Yiva imithandazo yethu
Nkosi sikelela, Thina lusapho lwayo

Chorus

Yehla Moya, Yehla Moya,
Yehla Moya Oyingcwele
Lord, bless Africa
May her Spirit be lifted high
Hear Thou our prayers
And bless us.

Chorus

Descend, O Spirit
Descend, O Holy Spirit

Current

Xhosa Zulu English Afrikaans (as per Elvis Blue's version)
Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo
Yiva imithandazo yethu
Nkosi Sikelela Nkosi Sikelela

Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo
Yizwa imithandazo yethu
Nkosi Sikelela
Thina lusapho lwayo.

Chorus

Yihla moya, yihla moya
Yihla moya oyingcwele
Nkosi Sikelela
Thina lusapho lwayo.

(Repeat)
Nkosi, sikelel' iAfrika,
Malupnakanyisw' udumo lwayo;
Yizwa imithandazo yethu
Nkosi sikelela,
Nkosi sikelela,

Nkosi, sikelel' iAfrika,
Malupnakanyisw' udumo lwayo;
Yizwa imithandazo yethu
Nkosi sikelela,
Nkosi sikelela,

Woza Moya (woza, woza),
Woza Moya (woza, woza),
Woza Moya, Oyingcwele.
Usisikelele, Thina lusapho lwayo.

Lord, bless Africa
May her spirit rise high up
Hear thou our prayers
Lord bless us, Lord bless us.

Lord, bless Africa
May her spirit rise high up
Hear thou our prayers
Lord bless us
Your family.

Chorus

Descend, O Spirit
Descend, O Holy Spirit
Lord bless us
Your family.

(Repeat)
Seën ons Here God, seën Afrika
Laat haar mag tot in die hemel reik
Hoor ons as ons in gebede vra
Seën ons, in Afrika
Kinders van Afrika
Hou u hand, o Heer, oor Afrika
Lei ons tot by eenheid en begrip
Hoor ons as ons U om vrede vra
Seën ons, in Afrika
Kinders van Afrika

Chorus

Daal neer, o Gees, Heilige Gees
Daal neer, o Gees, Heilige Gees
Kom woon in ons,
lei ons, o Heilige Gees
Seën ons Here God, seën Afrika
Neem dan nou die boosheid van ons weg
Maak ons van ons sondelewe vry
Seën ons, in Afrika
Kinders van Afrika

(Repeat)

Recordings

Solomon Plaatje, author and founding member of the ANC, was the first to have the song recorded in London, 1923. A Sotho version was published in 1942 by Moses Mphahlele. Rev. John Langalibalele Dube's Ohlange Zulu Choir popularised the hymn at concerts in Johannesburg, and it became a popular church hymn that was also adopted as the anthem at political meetings.

In Kenya, Mang'u High School uses a translation, Mungu Ibariki Mang'u High, as its school anthem.

It has also been recorded by Paul Simon and Miriam Makeba, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Boom Shaka, Osibisa, Oliver Mtukudzi (the Shona version that was once the anthem of Zimbabwe) and the Mahotella Queens. Boom Shaka, a prominent South African kwaito group,formed the anthem in kwaito style, a popular South African genre influenced by house music. The interpretation was controversial, and it was viewed by some as a commercial subversion of the anthem; Boom Shaka counter by stating that their version represents liberation and introduces the song to younger listeners.

South African Idols-winner Elvis Blue recorded an Afrikaans translation of the song with Afrikaans singer Coenie de Villiers entitled "Seëngebed" ("Lord's Blessing") on his third studio album Afrikaans.

See also

  • "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika", former national anthem of South Africa, used during the Apartheid era
  • "Ishe Komborera Africa", former national anthem of Zimbabwe, used during the early 1980s
  • "Shosholoza", Southern African folk song, often referred to as an unofficial national anthem of South Africa

References

  1. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20180601205935/http://www.nationalanthems.info/za-97b.htm
  2. ^ "An Anthem To Ignorance - The Case of Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika". The Anton Mostert Chair of Intellectual Property [Stellenbosch University]. 18 June 2012. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  3. ^ Bennetta Jules-Rosette. "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika". Etudesafricaines.revues.org. doi:10.4000/etudesafricaines.4631. Retrieved 2013. 
  4. ^ Redmond, Shana L. (2014). Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora. New York: New York University Press. p. 225. ISBN 978-1-243-64654-5. 
  5. ^ a b "Enoch Mankayi Sontonga". South African History Online. Retrieved 2014. 
  6. ^ "ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AFRICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE. VOLUME IV - THE COLONIAL ERA (1850 TO 1960)". Scribd.com. Retrieved 2011. 
  7. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (6 December 2013). "Nelson Mandela: the triumph of the protest song" – via www.theguardian.com. 
  8. ^ SABC Digital News (8 May 2015). "Full Nelson Mandela Inauguration on 10th of May 1994" – via YouTube. 
  9. ^ Anthem Base (26 February 2016). "Die Stem, Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika and Star Spangled Banner - Mandela State Visit (1994)" – via YouTube. 
  10. ^ https://www.c-span.org/video/?56689-1/south-african-flag-raising-ceremony
  11. ^ "National Anthem Act, Cap 7". Zambia Legal Information Institute. 14 September 1973. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 2014. 
  12. ^ "Taustakuvaus virrestä 501". evl.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved . 

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Nkosi_Sikelel'_iAfrika
 



 



 
Music Scenes