The Anthem Project was launched to celebrate the beauty of our “world’s best” national anthem and to unite the country through song (and give away R1 million to a charity).
South Africa – The Anthem project is an OUTsurance initiative that aims to bring South Africans together through the national anthem.
In December 2017, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika was named the best national anthem in the world by The Economist. In a straw poll at The Economist, our anthem was the favourite and hailed as “an act of musical healing” because of its ability to bring people together.
The Economist had an in-house poll deciding which country had the best National Anthem of them all. They looked at backstories and listened to them to make the final decision. Countries like Russia, Brazil and Uruguay made the top of the list but none of them could beat the South African National Anthem.
Enoch Sontonga wrote the original in 1897, meaning that it celebrated 120 years this year. The song was adopted by South Africa in 1994.
“In a straw poll at The Economist, this was the favourite. Taken from a protest hymn, the lyrics combine Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Zulu and Sesotho in an act of musical healing for the Rainbow nation”
It won the award because of its inclusivity of multiple languages and always bringing people together. The publication said,
“WHAT makes a national anthem? A rousing tune to quicken the pulse, some pathos to moisten the eyes and that inexplicable something to make it stand out from all the rest.”
Our anthem was woven together by lyrics in Afrikaans‚ English‚ Xhosa‚ Zulu and Sesotho. It was based on the poem originally written as a prayer by late poet Enoch Sontonga as well as parts of South Africa’s former anthem, “Die Stem”.
And to celebrate our winning song, a collaboration between News24 and OUTsurance has seen South Africans from all over the country submitting their renditions of the national anthem to the Anthem Project.
“Over the last few months, we’ve received over 140 submissions to the Anthem Project. Each video captured what makes this country so great – its people. Whether you submitted a video yourself, shared the spirit on social media or simply casted a vote, thank you for playing your part in uniting our nation through song.” – The Anthem Project
Submissions have closed and the winners have been announced plus a share of the staggering R1 million in cash and prizes will be donated to the winner’s selected charity.
“For the video to be in the running for a prize, it simply needed to show national pride, display a sense of Ubuntu, show creativity, inspire the nation and enjoy public support through gathering as many votes as possible. Considering these 5 criteria, the top three videos then continued to a final voting period from 24 April to 17 May 2019 and the winner was announced on the 17 May 2019.”
The winner of the Anthem Project is Genesis from KwaZulu-Natal. Their rendition of the National Anthem was a heartwarming short film produced by the Genesis Music Academy that aimed to portray the realities of life in the communities of KwaZulu-Natal.
Genesis was founded in 2002 as an outreach ministry of the Norwegian Settlers Church to specifically provide palliative care for HIV/Aids patients in KwaZulu-Natal. From there the initiative has grown to include multiple projects that included community centers, gyms and community enhancement projects.
Their charity nominated for the Anthem Project is the Genesis Trust who will receive R300,000 in cash and R300,000 in media exposure.
2. Michaelhouse and the Khazimula Childrens project
The runner-up of the Anthem Project is Michaelhouse Boys High and the Khazimula Childrens project from KwaZulu-Natal. Their charity nominated is the Khazimula Children’s project who will receive R150,000 in cash and R150,000 in media exposure.
3. The Ndlovu Youth Choir
The second runner-up of the Anthem Project is the Ndlovu Youth Choir from Limpopo. Hailing from a small town in Limpopo. Their charity nominated is the Ndlovu Care Group who will receive R50,000 in cash and R50,000 in media exposure.
There were also many other submissions that we loved, take a look below or visit the official site to see more!
The OUTsurance pointsmen rendition was one of the first to be uploaded and is still one of our favourites!
The anthem rendition that sent chills down our spin was performed by the silent choir of Wynberg Girls’ High School. They performed their version in sign language to help raise awareness during Deaf Awareness Month, which is September. They nominated the Deaf Federation of South Africa as their charity, should they win.
Which was your favourite anthem rendition throughout the competition?