South African Attractions, Events and Things to do - Contact South Africa Explorer - Advertise on South Africa Explorer

Find South African Attractions

South African National Anthem

The South African National Anthem is a hybrid song, instated in 1997. It combines the lyrics of Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika (God Bless Africa) and the former national anthem,Die Stem van Suid Afrika (The call of South Africa).

Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika was composed in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a Methodist school teacher, and was originally sung as a church hymn. Later, the song became part of the collection of song sung in political defiance against the apartheid government.

Die Stem van Suid Afrika was a poem written by CJ Langenhoven in 1918, and was set to music by the Reverend Marthinus Lourens de Villiers in 1021. Along with "God save the King/Queen", Die Stem van Suid Afrika was sung as the co-national anthem from 1936 to 1957.

The South African government adopted both Die Stem van Suid Afrika and Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika as national anthems from 1994. In 1997, they were merged to form the current national anthem.

Lyrics and Translation of the South African National Anthem

Listen to the music

Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo,
Lord bless Africa
Let its (Africa's) horn be raised
Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela
Thina lusapho lwayo.
Listen also to our prayers
Lord bless us
We are the family of it (Africa)
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.
Lord bless our nation
Stop wars and sufferings
Save it, save it, our nation
The nation of South Africa — South Africa.
Uit die blou van onse hemel,
Uit die diepte van ons see,
Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
Waar die kranse antwoord gee,
From the blue of our heavens,
From the depths of our seas,
Over our everlasting mountains,
Where the crags give answer,
Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom
In South Africa our land.