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N'Kosi Sikeleli Africa (African National Anthem)- With Miriam Makeba
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NKosi Sikeleli Africa (African National Anthem)- With Miriam Makeba
Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika ("God Bless Africa" in Xhosa language), is unofficially called the African National Anthem, anthem of the African National Congress (ANC), and has historically been the unofficial national anthem of South Africa during its apartheid era, representing the suffering of the oppressed.
During the global anti-Apartheid movement of the 1970s and 1980s, it was regularly sung at meetings and other events, including African National Congress (ANC) events.
Part of the song has now been included in the new official national anthem of South Africa, after the apartheid era ended. The new national anthem of South Africa is a combination of "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" and the former anthem in the apartheid era "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika or The Call of South Africa."
Nkosi Sikelel Afrika was originally composed as a hymn in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a teacher at a Methodist mission school in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 1994 after the fall of apartheid, the new State President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela declared that both Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika and the previous national anthem, Die Stem (The Call of South Africa) would be national anthems. In 1996, a shortened, combined version of the two anthems was released as the new South African National Anthem under the constitution of South Africa.
The hymn is also the national anthem of both Tanzania and Zambia, and was formerly the anthem of Zimbabwe and Namibia. The words of the first stanza were originally written in Xhosa as a hymn.
In 1927 seven additional Xhosa stanzas were added by the poet Samuel Mqhayi. 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 Sotho version was published in 1942 by Moses Mphahlele. Rev. John L. Dube's Ohlange Zulu Choir popularised the hymn at concerts in Johannesburg, and it became a popular church hymn that was also adopted as the anthem at political meetings. It has also been recorded by Paul Simon and Miriam Makeba, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Boom Shaka, Oliver Mtukudzi (the Shona version that was once the anthem of Zimbabwe) and the Mahotella Queens.
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