Namibia, Land of the Brave
National anthem of Namibia
"Namibia, Land of the Brave" is the national anthem of Namibia. The anthem was written by Axali Doëseb, who was the director of a traditional music group from the Kalahari desert. Doëseb was chosen to write the anthem after winning a contest held after Namibia became independent in 1990.
Namibia's first anthem, albeit unofficial, was "Das Südwesterlied" while under German colonization as German South-West Africa. When it became South-West Africa as a League of Nations mandate under the Union of South Africa, the national anthem was changed to "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" to match South Africa's. Following independence, "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" was provisionally adopted as the national anthem. It was later decided that Namibia needed a unique anthem and a national competition was held to compose a new national anthem. The competition was won by Axali Doeseb with "Namibia, Land of the Brave". The anthem was first played in public in a ceremony on the first anniversary of Namibia's independence from South Africa in 1991. The similarity of the lyric's first-line phrase "Land of the Brave" to the end of "The Star-Spangled Banner", the national anthem of the United States, has been noted.
The composition of the National anthem was supervised by Hidipo Hamutenya, then chairman of the National Symbols subcommittee. In 2006 Hamutenya claimed that he authored the lyrics himself, "on the plane to Cuba". Doëseb denied the claim.
The Parliament of Namibia passed the National Anthem of the Republic of Namibia Act, 1991. This confirmed "Namibia, Land of the Brave" as the national anthem of Namibia, made it an offense to insult the anthem with punishment upon conviction of up to five years imprisonment or up to a R20,000 fine or both, and allowed the President of Namibia to create regulations relating to it.
Unusually, there are no official lyrics in Afrikaans, the most widely spoken language of the country.
Unofficial Afrikaans version
Namibië, land van die dapper,
Vryheid veg ons gewen het.
Eer aan hul dapperheid
Wie se bloed ons vryheid wateren.
Ons gee ons liefde en lojaliteit
Saam in eenheid.
Kontrasterende pragtige Namibië,
Namibië, ons land.
Geliefde land van savannas,
Hou hoog die vaandel van vryheid.
Namibië, ons land,
Ons is lief vir jou.
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- "National Anthem of the Republic of Namibia Act, #20 of 1991". Government Gazette of the Republic of Namibia (321). Government of Namibia. 17 December 1991.
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- "Government notice" (PDF). Government Gazette. 1991-12-17. Retrieved 2014-05-02.