A Unique Anthem and a Prayer

To stop the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 in South Africa, a National lock-down is currently in place until midnight 16 April. For more see: National Covid-19 website

If ever South Africa needed prayer it’s now.

Yet every time we sing our anthem, we pray.

If ever South Africa needed prayer it's now, yet every time we sing our anthem, we pray. Click To Tweet

As COVID-19 sweeps the globe, South Africa started behind many of the big countries, partly because we were in summer while other countries were in winter. Evidently, COVID-19 doesn’t like heat. However, we have now joined the pandemic and sadly, we’re catching up.

Only God can save this land –  as indeed is true of the world. 

Only God can save this land - as indeed is true of the world. Request prayer for your country here. Click To Tweet

As a country, South Africa has some unique problems, including a huge population suffering with AIDS and TB. We also have huge residential “townships” jam-packed with people, many of whom are not able or willing to cooperate in the call to a total lockdown of 21 days.

But we have also some amazing factors in our favour.

  • Our president called for a national day of prayer.
  • He and the government have issued strict regulations to control a nation-wide lockdown of at least 21 days.
  • The police, supported by the army, are trying to enforce these regulations. Why anyone wants to rebel is quite beyond me, but there you have it.
  • But perhaps the biggest factor of all is our National Anthem. You see, it is actually a prayer.

South Africa is famous for many “firsts” but I wonder how many people know that our official anthem, Nkosi Sikilel iAfrica is the only neo-modal national anthem in the world. That means, it ends in a different key to where it begins. It is also a multi-language anthem.

The national anthem of a country is normally sung in the language used by most of the people of the nation. But we have twelve official languages! So read on . . .

The South African anthem developed along with the history of the nation as follows:

 

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History of Anthem

  • 1897: a Methodist school teacher by the name of   Enoch Sontonga composed a hymn in Zulu, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. This was first sung in churches, but later became used as an act of political defiance against the apartheid government.
  • 1918: South African poet, C.J.Langenhoven, wrote an Afrikaans poem called, Die Stem (The Call).
  •  1921: Rev. Marthinus Lourens de Villiers set the song to music.
  • 1936: Die Stem van Suid-Afrika became the co-anthem with God Save the King/Queen.
  • 1942: Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika was published in Sesotho by Moses Mphahlele.
  • 1957: Die Stem became the sole national anthem.
  •  1994: The S.African government adopted both Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika and Die Stem as the national anthems, and they were both performed at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela.
  • 1997: All of these were merged to form the current anthem. New English lyrics were adapted from the last four lines on the first verse of Die Stem and part of the Sesotho version was included.

The Result

The result is a stirring anthem sung in the five languages of  Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English.

The national anthem of South Africa is the only neo-modal anthem in the world. And it's a prayer in five languages! Click To Tweet

After you’ve read the words below, listen to the song.

Language Lyrics English translation
Xhosa Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo
God bless Africa
Let its (Africa’s) horn be raised
Zulu Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.
Listen also to our prayers,
Lord bless us, we are the family of it (Africa).
Sesotho 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 our nation,
The nation of South Africa, South Africa.
Afrikaans 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 skies,
From the depth of our sea,
Over our everlasting mountains,
Where the echoing crags resound.
English Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom
In South Africa our land.
Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom
In South Africa our land.

Click here to listen to this magnificent anthem (less than 2 minutes).

Will you offer up a prayer for South Africa right now? Afterwards, please add the name of your country into a comment below and I promise to add your country

The Bad News – COVID-19. The Good News – God Saw it Coming

To stop the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 in South Africa, a National lock-down is currently in place until midnight 16 April. For more see: National Covid-19 website

Since my last post, the world has gone crazy. Hence this early blog post.

Mid-November 2019 saw the diagnosis of the first case of Corona Virus, or more accurately, COVID-19. That is less than four months ago! Since that moment, we have seen global news changing at such a rapid pace it’s been virtually impossible to keep track.

Presidents and heads of state have been making decisions with shattering implications in some cases, and often changing their minds a day later because of new developments. Just today, I heard of weddings that have had to be canceled with only a few days’ warning, and an expensive honeymoon suddenly called off.  A few hours ago, I spoke to a lady in the pharmacy who is out on holiday from England. She is due to fly home later this week, but she had come into the pharmacy to see if he could give her more of her prescription medication because, thanks to COVID-19, she doesn’t now know how long she’s here for. read more

TGIF – and I don’t mean Friday! Fun at the Bank

Today is 02.02.2020

What an incredible date!

According to News Yahoo, this date is a rare palindrome that hasn’t happened in over 900 years!

So why TGIF?

I haven’t used this acronym since school days! But boy, do I mean it today?
Why?
Because it’s the last day of January! I want to believe February is going to be a better month!

It seemed as if every day of January brought with it a new crisis or problem! If you haven’t read about our run into 2020, read New Year here we come! And thanks for angels.

We’ve gone from alarming to scary to urgent to what-do-we-do-now . . . right down to the ridiculous situation of my bank card. Last week, I received a friendly notification from Amazon that my bank card is due to expire in February. I knew that, but when Amazon was getting concerned, I decided to take action. First, I attempted to renew my card online, but I received the response that it was “unable to renew this card – contact your nearest bank.

I hit the support button and explained my dilemma. The very polite person on the end responded by sending me detailed instructions to follow that would definitely help me renew it online.

read more

New Year Here We Come – and Thanks for Angels

Welcome to 2020!

The cockatoo wall plaque is a gorgeous gift we received from one of our sons and daughters-in-law, evidently chosen by our littlest grandsons!

I really don’t know what happened to 2019, and I hope 2020 goes by just a tad slower. And you?

Christmas was its usual crazy time, but more hectic and dramatic in some ways. Fortunately, we didn’t know just how dramatic! read more