Tomorrow, South Africa will be celebrating 28 years of freedom since its first democratic election in 1994. South African government has a number of activities lined up to celebrate this milestone and the City of Cape Town has also joined in.
The City plans to honor Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica composer Enoch Sontonga by hosting a temporary exhibition at the Cape Town City Hall today, 26 April. The song was sang publicly for the first time in 1928 during the official raising of the South African flag in Cape Town. However, it was only in 1957 that Die Stem was officially accepted as the national anthem of South Africa.
Sontonga had written the song as a prayer in 1897 as his way of resistance to the then colonialism and apartheid. In 1925 the song was adopted by the African National Congress and later by other African countries which include Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Tanzania as their national anthem. South Africa only adopted it as the country’s national anthem after the end of apartheid.
To this day, the song’s melody is used as a national anthem in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia and Tanzania.
Speaking on the national anthem some time last year, Political Analyst Siphamandla Zondi had described the National Anthem as a wonderful story that showed the shared history and struggles of the people of Southern Africa and remains a reminder that we have shared stories.
Picture: Ichikowitz Family Foundation