Nkosi Sikelel' IAfrika

Album: Songs of South Africa (1899)

Songfacts®:

  • "Nkosi Sikelel' IAfrika" is a hymn which was written by Enoch Mankayi Sontonga (c1873-1905). Translated from the Xhosa, the title means "God Bless Africa". Choirmaster and photographer Sontonga was also a schoolteacher; his most famous composition was written for his pupils in 1897, and was first sung in public two years later - in similar fashion to the light-hearted "All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)".

    His wife, who outlived Sontonga by twenty-four years, is said to have sold the rights to all his songs for sixpence!

    Although considered the unofficial anthem of South Africa under Apartheid, it was made joint the National Anthem with "Die Stem Van Suid-Afrika" in 1994. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

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