According to the Economist Newspaper in the UK, South Africa’s national anthem “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika“ has been voted the best anthem in the world.
In the straw poll held by the newspaper, they described a winning anthem as “a rousing tune to quicken the pulse, some pathos to moisten the eyes and that inexplicable something to make it stand out from all the rest”. Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika came in at first place, with Russia and Uruguay coming in at second and third.
The anthem, taken from a protest hymn, the lyrics combine Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Zulu and Sesotho in an act of musical healing for the Rainbow nation. Nkosi was composed in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a Methodist mission school teacher. The words of the first stanza were originally written in isiXhosa as a hymn.
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.
Take a look at this performance and let us know if you think we deserve the win: