I have a confession. After over 9 years living in SA, and after many more years owning a South African passport, I still do not know the words to this anthem by heart. In my defence it has 5 languages and multiple tunes all stitched together. Here it is, along with the different languages:
|Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika|
(God Bless Africa)
Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo,
(Raise high Her glory)
Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
(Hear our Prayers)
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo
(God bless us, we her children)
|isiXhosa and isiZulu|
|Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,|
(God protect our nation)
O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho,
(End all wars and tribulations)
O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,
(Protect us, protect our nation)
Setjhaba sa South Afrika – South Afrika.
(Our nation South Africa – South Africa)
|Uit die blou van onse hemel,|
(Ringing out from our blue heavens)
Uit die diepte van ons see,
(From the depth of our seas)
Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
(Over our everlasting mountains)
Waar die kranse antwoord gee,
(Where the echoing crags resound)
|Sounds the call to come together,|
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom,
In South Africa our land.
This inevitably reminds me of watching rugby. Once pay-TV reached Kenya, my family growing up would watch any rugby they could get their hands on. My mum is an ardent Springboks supporter and I followed suit, mumbling the words at the start of each match until the English bit, which I could sing with gusto.
More recently my children are learning the anthem in school here in SA. They have taught me how to sing the opening verse (even if i didn’t know what it meant until today!)
South Africa has been through an unprecedented lockdown to contain the Corona virus. This has been successful in stemming the spread of the virus. It has bought the government time to make some plans, and it has shown us a new way to live. However, the great economic cost means that we have to end the lockdown sooner or later. When the lockdown ends, it is likely that the virus will sweep through the country. A rather terrifying thought given the meagre medical and hospital systems we have here. There are just too many people.
For now, we do what we can each and every day to stay sane and stay safe.
Spare a thought for South Africa when lockdown ends.
Happy Tuesday, chimps.