Sunday, February 3, 2013

South African Anthem and Inauguration on Stamp

Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika was composed in the year 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a Methodist school teacher. It was originally sung as a church hymn but later became an act of political defiance against the apartheid government. Die Stem van Suid-Afrika is a poem written by C.J. Langenhoven in 1918 and was set to music by the Reverend Marthinus Lourens de Villiers in 1921.[2] Die Stem was the co-national anthem[3] with God Save the King/Queen from 1936 to 1957, when it became the sole national anthem until 1995. The South African government adopted both songs as national anthems from the year 1994, when they were performed at Nelson Mandela's inauguration.[4] They were merged in 1997 to form the current anthem. The new English lyrics were adapted from the last four lines of the first stanza of The Call of South Africa (the English version of Die Stem), and were modified to reflect hope in post-apartheid South African society.