The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #63182   Message #2710326
Posted By: GUEST
27-Aug-09 - 09:52 PM
Thread Name: origin: Nkosi Sikeleli Afrika
Subject: RE: Nkose Sikelele Africa
Having lived in Botswana for some years in the late 1970's, where the song is called 'Kgosi sikelele Afrika'[the soutern baNtu languages are very close in sound, although the spelling may be different from age to age and place to place, depending a lot on he missionary who came to re-invent the 'wheel] I became quite fond of this classic song, and many other lyrics. Language is a very fluid medium, anywhere, but especially so where there was no tradition of written text. Thus one should not be too concerned about a correct spelling, as many versions exist.

For many years I tried to find proper translations, which can also be sung, but as the famous hymn Nkosi sikelel'i Afrika was more or less 'banned' during the many decades of apartheid, sheet music and texts were not widely available in 'die boereland'. So, in the end I made my own translation into English, helped by dictionaries and a friend who was born near Cape Town, and who can speak all of these languages. I then proceeded to make a translation into my native tongue Dutch [a proper Afrikaans version did not exist until the early 1990's, I was told by the S.A Embassy, except for a a 'kombuis' = kitchen version: 'here god o help ons asseblief' did not seem suitable as a national anthem] and now we can enjoy singing it. The essence of the lyrics is what counts, not the exact wording.

'He who watches the birds' or 'moona magolo' my nickname whilst living at the Madiba Secondary school compound, Mahalapye, Botswana.