Saturday, September 29, 2018 South African Anthem partly arranged by Mzilikazi Khumalo

Mzilikazi Khumalo


The current anthem was officially adopted in 1997
In 1994, it was initially proclaimed that South Africa would have two national anthems – namely Nkosi Sikelel’iAfrika and Die Stem. In 1996, former President Nelson Mandela called for the two to be combined and shortened, thereby forming the national anthem we know today, which was adopted in the Government Gazette No. 18341, dated 10 October 1997.

It contains the languages of the 5 most populous of SA’s eleven official languages
The South African anthem contains four stanzas which consist of 5 of our eleven official languages – namely isiXhosa, isiZulu, seSotho, Afrikaans and English.

The melody of the song was arranged by two people
Although the arrangement of the melody is widely accredited to Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph, a renowned composer, pianist and teacher, the South African anthem was also arranged, in part, by Mzilikazi Khumalo, a composer and Professor of African Languages. While Khumalo was tasked with arranging the first half of the anthem, Zaidel-Rudolph arranged the last half of the piece and also wrote the English section of the song.

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