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Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika

Enoch Sontonga
Languages: Xhosa, Sotho, Southern, Afrikaans, English

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Anthems and Anti-Anthems

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[1987; mod. 1927, 1961]

Testo e musica: Enoch Sontonga
Words and Lyrics by Enoch Sontonga

L'inno dell' African National Congress, il partito di Nelson Mandela, è stato a lungo totalmente fuorilegge nel Sudafrica razzista dell'apartheid. Adesso, invece, è l'inno nazionale sudafricano, eseguito ufficialmente nella seguente versione quadrilingue (Xhosa, la lingua in cui l'inno è stato originariamente composto da Enoch Sontonga, SeSotho, Afrikaans e Inglese).
Almeno una volta, una storia a lieto fine pur con tutti i problemi che ancora attanagliano quel grande paese.


 Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika


Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika was composed in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a teacher at a Methodist mission school in Johannesburg. It was one of many songs he composed, and he was apparently a keen singer who composed the songs for his pupils.

The words of the first stanza were originally written in Xhosa as a hymn. In 1927 seven additional Xhosa stanzas were later added by Samuel Mqhayi, a poet.

Most of Sontonga's songs were sad, witnessing the suffering of African people in Johannesburg, but they were popular and after his death in 1905 choirs used to borrow them from his wife.

Solomon Plaatje, one of South Africa's greatest writers and a founding member of the ANC, was the first to have the song recorded. This was in London in 1923. A Sesotho version was published in 1942 by Moses Mphahlele.

The Rev J L Dube's Ohlange Zulu Choir popularised Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika at concerts in Johannesburg, and it became a popular church hymn that was also adopted as the anthem at political meetings.

For decades Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika was regarded as the national anthem of South Afrika by the oppressed and it was always sung as an act of defiance against the apartheid regime. 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.

There are no standard versions or translations of Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika so the words vary from place to place and from occasion to occasion. Generally the first stanza is sung in Xhosa or Zulu, followed by the Sesotho version.

http://members.home.nl/adoptie-za/html/zuidafrika/volkslied/volkslied.htm

Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo,
Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.

Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa la 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.

Contributed by Riccardo Venturi


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Language: Xhosa

La versione classica interamente in xhosa. La prima strofa e il ritornello della versione sono quelle originali composte da Enoch Sontonga nel 1897; le altre strofe vennero aggiunte nel 1927 da Samuel E. Mqhayi.

The first verse and chorus of this version are the original words composed by Sontonga in 1897. The remaining verses were added in 1927 by Samuel E. Mqhayi.

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NKOSI SIKELEL' iAFRIKA

Nkosi, sikelel' iAfrika;
Malupakam'upondo lwayo;
Yiva imitandazo yetu
Usisikelele.

Yihla Moya, Yihla Moya,
Yihla Moya Oyingcwele

Sikelela iNkosi zetu;
Zimkumbule umDali wazo;
Zimoyike zezimhlouele,
Azisikelele.

Sikelel' amadol' esizwe,
Sikelela kwa nomlisela
Ulitwal'ilizwe ngomonde,
Uwusikilele.

Sikelel'amakosikazi;
Nawo onk'amanenekazi;
Pakamisa wonk'umtinjana
Uwusikilele.

Sikelela abafundisi
Bemvaba zonke zelilizwe;
Ubatwese ngoMoya Wako
Ubasikelele.

Sikelel'ulimo nemfuyo;
Gxota zonk'indlala nezifo;
Zalisa ilizwe ngempilo
Ulisikelele

Sikelel'amalinga etu
Awomanyana nokuzaka,
Awemfundo nemvisiswano
Uwasikelele.

Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika;
Cima bonk' ubugwenxa bayo
Nezigqito, nezono zayo
Uyisikelele.

Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2006/1/22 - 17:02


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Language: English

La versione inglese originale di Lovedale
Lovedale's original English translation

GOD BLESS AFRICA

Lord, bless Africa;
May her horn rise high up;
Hear Thou our prayers And bless us.

Descend, O Spirit,
Descend, O Holy Spirit.

Bless our chiefs
May they remember their Creator.
Fear Him and revere Him,
That He may bless them.

Bless the public men,
Bless also the youth
That they may carry the land with patience
and that Thou mayst bless them.

Bless the wives
And also all young women;
Lift up all the young girls
And bless them.

Bless the ministers
of all the churches of this land;
Endue them with Thy Spirit
And bless them.

Bless agriculture and stock raising
Banish all famine and diseases;
Fill the land with good health
And bless it.

Bless our efforts
of union and self-uplift,
Of education and mutual understanding
And bless them.

Lord, bless Africa
Blot out all its wickedness
And its transgressions and sins,
And bless it.

Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2006/1/22 - 17:08


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Language: Xhosa

La versione corrente in xhosa
Current Xhosa version

NKOSI SIKELEL' iAFRIKA

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.

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

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

Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2006/1/22 - 17:14


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Language: Sotho, Southern

La versione corrente in lingua SeSotho:
Current SeSotho version:

MORENA BOLOKA SECHABA SA HESO

Morena boloka sechaba sa heso
O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho,
Morena boloka sechaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho.

O se boloke, o se boloke,
O se boloke, o se boloke.
Sechaba sa heso, Sechaba sa heso.
O se boloke morena se boloke,
O se boloke sechaba, se boloke.
Sechaba sa heso, sechaba sa heso.

Ma kube njalo!
Ma kube njalo!
Kude kube ngunaphakade.
Kude kube ngunaphakade!

Ma kube njalo!
Ma kube njalo!
Kude kube ngunaphakade.
Kude kube ngunaphakade!

Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2006/1/22 - 17:15


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Language: Zulu

La versione corrente in lingua zulu. Come è possibile osservare, le differenze con la lingua xhosa sono davvero minime.

Current Zulu version. Note that the difference between Zulu and Xhosa are very small.

NKOSI SIKELEL' iAFRIKA

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.

Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2006/1/22 - 17:21


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Language: English

La versione inglese corrente
Current English Version

LORD BLESS AFRICA

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.

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

Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2006/1/22 - 17:34


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Language: Afrikaans

La versione corrente in Afrikaans
Current Afrikaans version

SEEN ONS HERE HOD, SEEN AFRIKA

Seen ons Here God, seen Afrika,
Laat sy mag tot in die hemel reik,
Hoor ons as ons in gebede vra,
Seen ons in Afrika,
Kinders van Afrika.

Daal neer o Gees, Heilige Gees,
Daal neer o Gees, Heilige Gees,
Kom woon in ons,
Lei ons, O Heilige Gees.

Hou U hand o Heer oor Afrika,
Lei ons tot by eenheid en begrip,
Hoor ons as ons U om vrede vra,
Seen ons in Afrika,
Kinders van Afrika.

Seen ons Here God, seen Afrika,
Neem dan nou die boosheid van ons weg,
Maak ons van ons sonde ewig vry,
Seen ons in Afrika,
Kinders van Afrika.

Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2006/1/22 - 17:37


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Language: Dutch

La versione olandese corrente
Dutch current version

GOD ZEGEN AFRIKA

God, zegen Afrika.
Geprezen is zijn naam.
Hoor onze smeekbede,
God, zegen ons.

Kom, geest.
Kom, heilige geest,
en zegen ons, haar kinderen.

God, bescherm ons land,
stop oorlogen en conflicten.
God, bescherm ons land.
God, bescherm de Afrikaanse landen.

Kom, geest.
Kom, heilige geest,
en zegen ons, haar kinderen.


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Language: Italian

Versione italiana di Riccardo Venturi (dalla versione olandese):

DIO, BENEDICI L'AFRICA

Dio, benedici l'Africa,
lodato è il tuo nome.
Ascolta la nostra supplica
Dio, benedicici.

Vieni, o Spirito.
Vieni, Spirito Santo
e benedici noi, suoi figli.

Dio, proteggi la nostra terra,
ferma le guerre e i conflitti.
Dio, proteggi la nostra terra,
Dio, proteggi le terre africane.

Contributed by Riccardo Venturi

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