Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir

Founded in 1928...

African Prayer

 

Nkosi Sikelel i’Afrika, God Bless Africa, was composed in 1897 by a Methodist teacher in the Eastern Cape, Enoch Sontonga. It was one of many songs he composed for his pupils.

Later, it was adopted by the African National Congress and became an inspirational anthem in the struggle against apartheid, forever associated with Nelson Mandela and the other prisoners on Robben Island.

It was sung by the crowd when Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa's president in 1994.

Enoch Sontonga died in 1905, aged 32. His grave was eventually identified ten years ago and is now a national monument.

A proclamation issued by the State President on 20 April 1994 stipulated that both Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika and Die Stem (the Call of South Africa) would be the national anthems of South Africa. In 1996 a shortened, combined version of the two anthems was released as the new National Anthem.

Xhosa Version

Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo
Yiva imathandazo yethu
Nkosi Sikelela Nkosi Sikelela

Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo
Yiva imathandazo yethu
Nkosi Sikelela
Thina lusapho lwayo.

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

 

Current English Version

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

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