Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika

Enoch Sontonga (c.1873-1905)

One of the most famous African music pieces, "Nkosi" (pronounced 'koe-see', similar to 'coffee') was originally composed in 1897, had extra lyrics added c.1927, has been translated into several languages (including English and Afrikaans), was sung as a protest song during South Africa's apartheid era, and now has become the South African national anthem.


The first verse of this arrangment comes from the Xhosa version, the second verse from the Zulu version, and the third verse from the Sesotho version.


This version differs from the traditional AICSA version in that it provides corrected lyrics, as well as spelling corrections to both the title and the composer's name. This corrected version has been proposed as the new AICSA-standard version. For more detail on these changes, please refer to my Nkosi changes page.

The Music

Here are midi (computer music) files for you to download and listen to (If you're using Microsoft Windows, simply click on the link and they should play automatically. If you're not using Windows, I'm going out on a limb and assuming you're technically competent enough to figure things out for yourself....).

Also note that there are midi files of each individual voice part for each piece, so you can hear what each one sounds like - especially your own!

These midi files should give you a fair idea of what each piece - and each individual voice part - sounds like, especially if you're unfamiliar with reading music.

And for those that would like to dowload a viewable and/or printable copy of the score (HINT: most people will want the PDF file; don't try to view the Postscript file unless you know what you're doing):

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