You know that goosebump feeling when the National Anthem is performed right before a big sporting event… few things united our nation the way “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” does!
Students and personnel at the North-West University experience the same feelings of community, pride, and thankfulness when we sing our university anthem. Next year, once you have become a true NWU student next year, this song will also leave you feeling choked up.
On 1 January 2004, the NWU was officially established as part of the South African government’s plan to transform higher education. In our case, a historically white institution and a historically black institution merged to form a new university that would bring together South Africans from all parts of society.
The establishment of the NWU was a strong symbolic action of reconciliation and nation building – and highly effective too. As a sign of this, the NWU wrote a song that can be sung at formal events like graduations and the official opening and closing of the university at the start and end of each academic year.
It should also be noted that whenever personnel and students sing this chilling song, written as a prayer, they do so with total conviction. The song symbolizes blessing over our university and over each other, creating a feeling of unification of our diverse backgrounds; the values of the NWU are also deeply rooted in the song.
Theriso Tsambo and Corneels Schabort – employees of the NWU – wrote the lyrics while members of the local a capella group, Flip a Coin – Katlego Maboe, Michael de Villiers, Stefan Pretorius, Niekie van der Walt and Johan C Venter – wrote the melody, and the late Christa Steyn was in charge of composition.