In 1976, Transkei 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, Transkei was re-incorporated into South Africa when the apartheid system was abolished in 1994.

As a separate “nation”, Transkei adopted the popular southern African song “Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika” as its official national anthem. The song was written and composed in what later became Transkei; also, the writer of the song, Enoch Sontonga, was a member of the Xhosa people, which was the official language of Transkei. “Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika” was first used for decades prior to the creation of Transkei as the anthem of the anti-apartheid movement, and after the fall of Apartheid, it became part of the anthem of the new South Africa after Transkei was re-integrated.

There is 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 Transkei; the lyrics presented here are the most common modern lyrics.

Special thanks to: Ben Cahoon for informing me of this anthem.

See also: South Africa (1994-1997).