South Africa’s Unity Solution

I know that it’s difficult to think of unity when one thinks of South Africa. The mention of the country to most bring to mind imagery of Apartheid (key phrase APART). Sorry to take this mean tangent, but when I was younger, riding in the car with my mother and brother, I remember this beautiful, accapela song that would come on. All I knew was that it was in African and melodious. We knew all the words, well the sounds and would sing along. The only word we could make out was ‘Africa’ at the end. Now years later, after reading Nelson Mandela‘s Long Walk To Freedom (an absolute must read) and seeing Invictus, I’ve learned that the song we were so taken by years ago was the South African National Anthem. Not only is it a great sonic achievement, the theory behind it is more than powerful. Mr. Mandela and others masterfully crafted a hymn that unites a country that was so long plagued by separation. The verses are all written in different languages: Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English, the five most prevalent languages of South Africa’s eleven. Here’s the breakdown below:

If they could’ve done this on that fate day in ancient time, the Confusio Languarum wouldn’t have been so damn hectic. But South Africa showed the power of lyrics and song to unify themselves. I doesn’t take a grand master scheme with years of plotting and planning. Just use your creative juices chase the strong agenda in your glass, and you’ll come up with a simple, creative answer. Check out the song below performed by Miriam Makeba, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Paul Simon. This is an old rendition, but the imagery is moving. Yea, The Star Spangled Banner fills you with pride and you’ll see saluting, hands over hearts and possible tears, you don’t see this going down:


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