In 1981, Ciskei was proclaimed by the apartheid-era South Africa as an “independent black homeland” (in actuality, an area set up to reduce the black population of South Africa by giving them citizenship in this new area.) Not internationally recognized, Ciskei was re-incorporated into South Africa when the apartheid system was abolished in 1994.

As a separate “nation”, Ciskei adopted the popular southern African song “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” as its official national anthem. This song, which was considered an anthem against apartheid, was also written in the Xhosa language that was also spoken in Ciskei. There is also no standard version or translation for “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika”, it may vary from place to place and occasion to occasion, and I believe no official version was adopted in Ciskei; the lyrics presented here are the most common modern lyrics.

Special thanks to: Ben Cahoon for some of this information.

See also: South Africa (1994-1997).