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Afrikaans anthem "Die Stem" is a cultural song: FAK

By Sapa | Jul 09, 2014 | COMMENTS [ 183 ]

The Afrikaans anthem "Die Stem" is a cultural song that has a place in a post-apartheid South Africa, the Federation of Afrikaans Cultural Associations (FAK) said on Tuesday.

FAK managing director Danie Langner said the song, initially written as a poem by CJ Langenhoven in 1918, remained a precious cultural heritage for many Africans.

"Cultural songs should have a proper place at cultural festivals... nations are built through respect and recognition of both national and cultural symbols."

He said the singing of old folk melodies did not equate to nostalgia for a South Africa before 1900.

His comments followed the singing of "Die Stem" by popular Afrikaans musician Steve Hofmeyr at the weekend.

Hofmeyr sang the song to a 45,000-strong crowd at the Afrikaans cultural festival Innibos in Mbombela.

A video of the event shows the crowd singing along and cheering and whistling when the song is finished.

Hofmeyr subsequently posted the video and his views on the event on his Facebook page.

He said: "I will sing it more and I ask that the ban on our sacred traditional song be lifted and all may be free to sing what they want, where they want, as long as it is not hate speech or preaches violence."

He advised his fans to continue singing the song because it was legal, did not contain hate speech and was written by a South African for the country two decades before apartheid.

In an editorial titled "Are our memories so short?" in the Beeld newspaper on Tuesday, editor Adriaan Basson criticised Hofmeyr's reasoning.

"Steve can say what he wants but the comments on social media speak for themselves. For thousands of people his singing of 'Die Stem' was a reminder of the 'good old days' of apartheid, when the white man was boss and blacks were working class," he said in Afrikaans.

"It is a beautiful poem and Langenhoven was one of our best writers ever... but it would be extremely naive, if not dishonest to the song to try and loosen its political significance."

Basson said the song unfortunately represented a system of white-on-black oppression for most citizens and was as inseparable from apartheid as the Blue Bulls song was from Hofmeyr.

He wondered whether people were again being deceived by a leader, this time with a guitar in hand.

According to FF Plus spokesman Anton Alberts, the Economic Freedom Fighters on Tuesday called on Parliament for the 'Die Stem' portion of the national anthem to be scrapped.

He said EFF MP and national spokesman Mbuyesi Ndlozi made the comment during a joint meeting of the portfolio committees for Communication and Telecommunications and the Postal Service in Parliament on Tuesday.

Ndlozi was not immediately available to confirm whether he had made the comment.

"They have to realise that they are playing with fire by targeting minorities and in particular the Afrikaners and that it is time for them to grow up and practise responsible politics to the advantage of all South Africans," Alberts said.

"This means on a national level that there is room for a conciliatory national anthem which exists at present and at cultural events of different cultural groups in South Africa people may sing that which is dear to their hearts without harming anybody else."

He said citizens should tolerate cultural songs as much as they did freedom songs.

Users on social networking site Twitter had mixed views.

Author and columnist @MaxduPreez commented: "Oor Steve Hofmeyr wil ek net een ding se: Goddank, ons is nie almal so nie" [On Steve Hofmeyr, I just want to say one thing: thank goodness we're not all like that].

News24 editor-in-chief Jannie Momberg (@JannieMom) said he personally would never have included "Die Stem" as part of the new national anthem after 1994.

Erna, known as @HSPieterse, said: "Hoop ons hoor Die Stem as Bonus op jou volgende CD! Flippen nice, hoor!" [Hope we hear Die Stem as a bonus song on your next CD. Flipping nice!].

Another user wanted to know why it was okay to sing the song at a rugby test match with 45,000 people but not at a cultural festival with the same crowd size.

Asked what the African National Congress's view was on the incident, national spokesman Zizi Kodwa said he was not immediately available to comment as he had been in a workshop all day.

He said a statement was likely to be released later on Tuesday.

COMMENTS [ 183 ]

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oldlady12

Firstly, Langenhoven wrote Die Stem as a poem, and not as an anthem. Secondly, if it never became the national anthem, it would have been as forgotten by now as other Afrikaans poems such as Die Ossewa, so it's "cultural" value is directly attached to apartheid. Thirdly, while the first verse of Die Stem is rather innocent (looking at the words only, and not any attachments), the other verses are not as "innocent". And although I understand that the feeling evoked by the song does not necessarily mean a longing for the old days, it is something best left untouched for now.

Jul 09, 2014 7:6 | 3 replies

Shredder

Die osse stap an deur die stowe, geduldig, gediensdig, gedwee... Le ver is die velde verlaat. (I guess there are lots of spelling mistakes here) Nah! I still remember that. I didn't know what is all about though. I knew it was about an ox wagon, any other thing. Nah!! LOL

Jul 09, 2014 7:25 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Shredder, two poems in one sommer. I'll make an Afrikaner out of you yet :)

Jul 09, 2014 7:28 | 2 replies

Shredder

Kikiki, ka zama old lady. I am fine as an African :)

Jul 09, 2014 7:32 | 0 replies

Shredder

Is it two poems? Naah, it is the first sentence and the last sentence oldlady.

Jul 09, 2014 7:33 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Shredder, you see, you're a better Afrikaner than I am already.

Jul 09, 2014 7:36 | 1 replies

Mokwepa

FAK sounds racist....

Jul 09, 2014 8:20 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Mokwepa, sounds more like a swear word most of us use.

Jul 09, 2014 8:23 | 1 replies

Mokwepa

oldlady have u taken ur meds today?

Jul 09, 2014 10:48 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Mokwepa, I checked. Twice already.. Oh FAK, I think I was only supposed to have taken it once. Or is that thrice? I might just as well take some more just for in case.

Jul 09, 2014 11:20 | 0 replies

RobinX

Exactly. The initial anthem was something else... I don't recall the name but it started "Uit die chaos van die eeue het verrys 'n stoere volk...." Die Stem was adopted by the Nationalist party, and is actually NOT the "sacred Traditional song" that Hofmeyer suggests it is. The man is a complete belligerent sh!t-stirrer who in this case has his history a$$ about face.

Jul 09, 2014 7:55 | 2 replies

Mapholobakay1

Some of us don't reall care about the stupid song. If the Nats wanna sing it let them sing it. We defeated apartheid why must we go chasing small thing like Hoefmeyer and his VARK.

Jul 09, 2014 11:46 | 0 replies

Mapholobakay1

Some of us don't reall care about the stupid song. If the Nats wanna sing it let them sing it. We defeated apartheid why must we go chasing small things like Hoefmeyer and his VARK.

Jul 09, 2014 11:46 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Maps1, that's as good as any attitude to have about this.

Jul 09, 2014 11:55 | 0 replies

ShadesOfGrey

OL - apart from the association with the old regime, could you explain to me which parts of the 1, 2, and 4th verses of Die Stem you view as not OK? I mean it is a truly beautiful poem and I cannot for the life of me identify any part of it that would be offensive to anyone had it not been the old anthem.

Jul 09, 2014 8:24 | 3 replies

ytieduniS

English translation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Stem_van_Suid-Afrika

Jul 09, 2014 9:13 | 1 replies
Jul 09, 2014 11:10 | 0 replies

oldlady12

ShadesofGrey, all the parts in the other verses talking about the land and retaining it.

Jul 09, 2014 9:20 | 1 replies

ShadesOfGrey

Would you mind quoting? I cannot imagine a part of it that cannot be sung by anyone in South Africa without taking pride in it. I think the only bit that may be misunderstood is "Waar en trou as Afrikaners..." but as you know in that context it means inhabitants of Africa rather than a specific racial or cultural group.

Jul 09, 2014 9:29 | 0 replies

oldlady12

ShadesofGrey, never mind me. I got Die Stem and Die Vlaglied confused.

Jul 09, 2014 9:25 | 1 replies

ShadesOfGrey

Ah yes indeed, gotcha.

Jul 09, 2014 9:31 | 1 replies

oldlady12

ShadesofGrey, funny thing...out of all the people here either defending the poem, or attacking it as racsit, you're the only one who noticed. Kind of makes me think that most of us don't really know what we're talking about.

Jul 09, 2014 9:36 | 1 replies

ShadesOfGrey

I suspect most people don’t know what they are talking about, most of the time. Especially when it comes to matters of a political nature, where emotions run high and people will happily jump to conclusions without putting themselves in the other guy’s shoes. To give credit where it’s due, I think yours are some of the more entertaining comments on the site, and really enjoy your dry sense of humour. Thanks for that.

Jul 09, 2014 9:59 | 0 replies

Ponko_Fontoyo

Federation of Afrikaans Cultural Associations (FAK) I've never heard of these kids, anyway Steve Hofymeyer is a racist. For all these fight between EFF and FF+ I blame Jan Van Riebeck.

Jul 09, 2014 7:12 | 4 replies

oldlady12

Ponko, FAK has existed for longer than you've been alive.

Jul 09, 2014 7:16 | 1 replies

Ponko_Fontoyo

but I don't know them so they are not important and they must dissapear!

Jul 09, 2014 11:33 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Ponko, sorry, but you're just not that important.

Jul 09, 2014 11:56 | 0 replies

Invertitorazzismo

The EFF are the biggest racists walking the earth. Listening to their opinion would be like listening to that senile dictator Robert Mugabe.

Jul 09, 2014 7:19 | 0 replies

RobinX

Ponko-baby, your history is full of deliberate holes.

Jul 09, 2014 7:56 | 1 replies

Ponko_Fontoyo

I don't understand oldman?

Jul 09, 2014 11:34 | 1 replies
Jul 09, 2014 3:7 | 0 replies

ytieduniS

Ponko_Fontoyo - hofmeyer is the white malema. Both know how to stir s**t.

Jul 09, 2014 8:15 | 1 replies

1Mhlonitjhwa

Hehehe, did you checked those 3 fingers are pointing at you Sin?

Jul 09, 2014 9:0 | 1 replies

ytieduniS

1Mhlonitjhwa - Im not a politician, or trying to be the voice of Afrik@ans people. Im a part of the vox populi.

Jul 09, 2014 9:11 | 0 replies

Invertitorazzismo

Leave our national anthem as it is. Never scratch where it does'nt itch.

Jul 09, 2014 7:17 | 0 replies

Budha

Truly speaking Africans re na le mosa and it really works against us.

Jul 09, 2014 7:19 | 2 replies

Invertitorazzismo

Truly speaking, sorry dear. You will never wish Afrikaans away, its here to stay, and will be long after all of us has passed away.

Jul 09, 2014 7:21 | 0 replies

Invertitorazzismo

a Lot of other stuff really works against all of us, and could destroy us. a Anthem with Afrikaans in it wont destroy any of our livelyhoods, but corrupt leaders stealing hard earned tax money for their own gain can destroy us.

Jul 09, 2014 7:31 | 1 replies

Mgcotsh

That is sooo true Invert!

Jul 09, 2014 11:20 | 0 replies

Whiz

The true colours of EFF are showing, they are racist and would love to see B/W people fight over the anthem, this is juju at he's best. Leave the anthem alone, rather debate the state SA is in...

Jul 09, 2014 7:27 | 0 replies

Dubulaamanzi

Kan jy di boere kom lei, Delarey Delarey Generaal!

Jul 09, 2014 7:28 | 2 replies

oldlady12

Generaal, Generaal, soos een man sal ons om jou val, Generaal, Generaal.

Jul 09, 2014 7:30 | 0 replies

Shredder

DubulaAmanzi - I once watched those Leon Schuster candid camera movies. There was this black guy who sang a certain song.. I think it was in a mall. Nobody paid attention to him. He then sang that Delarey song; white people started to give him the money. SMH

Jul 09, 2014 7:40 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Shredder, a true entrepeneur, that singer. Knows his clientelle.

Jul 09, 2014 7:44 | 1 replies

Shredder

Oldlady, are a closet racist?

Jul 09, 2014 8:0 | 2 replies

Shredder

Oldlady, are YOU a closet racist?

Jul 09, 2014 8:1 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Shredder, why? I thought it is all but agreed here that I am a racist openly?

Jul 09, 2014 8:2 | 1 replies

Shredder

I want to hear from the horse's mouth.

Jul 09, 2014 8:17 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Shredder, I can't label myself. That's not how it works. I'll call myself beautiful, sexy, kind, caring, a true humanitarian, and the list goes on & on. Labels can only be given by others.

Jul 09, 2014 8:24 | 0 replies

ytieduniS

Shredder - Whats racist about singing delay rey?

Jul 09, 2014 8:16 | 1 replies

Shredder

You tell me.

Jul 09, 2014 8:21 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Shredder, oh, I see. You're trying to figure my thoughts out on the De La Rey song. The De La Rey song cannot possibly be racist. It's got nothing to do with people from any other race. It's referring to the AngloBoer Wars.

Jul 09, 2014 8:26 | 1 replies

Shredder

No Oldie, not you, Sinudeity. I want to know from sinudeity.

Jul 09, 2014 8:31 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Shredder, well, I am just trying to figure out why you'd ask me if I'm a closet racist, and as you asked me that on a De La Rey comment, I' thought it has something to do with the song.

Jul 09, 2014 8:44 | 1 replies

Shredder

Never mind oldie. I want to know why sinudeity asks me "What's racist about singing delay rey". I never said the song was racist. Why does he ask me that question. No oldie. I was just asking you that question because you have a tendency to defend apartheid and racism at times.

Jul 09, 2014 9:1 | 2 replies

ytieduniS

Shredder - Why would you mention de la rey in a comment about die stem? There is nothing racist about it. Unless of course you see racism everywhere you look.

Jul 09, 2014 9:8 | 1 replies

Shredder

You are the one who asked me what was racist about it. Did you see any of my comment say it was racist?

Jul 09, 2014 9:12 | 1 replies

ytieduniS

Shredder - No, but I know you too well dude :P

Jul 09, 2014 9:19 | 0 replies

oldlady12

Shredder, no, you have a tendency to see defending the truth as defending apartheid and/or racism.

Jul 09, 2014 9:23 | 0 replies

MAINFRAME

hi guys only blacks and robinX has anyone saw a video of fatherland on youtube

Jul 09, 2014 7:28 | 3 replies

oldlady12

Mainframe, if you want to talk to only certain people, go find a private forum.

Jul 09, 2014 7:29 | 0 replies

Invertitorazzismo

You are not in the right "frame" of mind.....minorframe.

Jul 09, 2014 7:32 | 1 replies

MAINFRAME

becauese certain white people are planning to attack black people oldlady and F!CK YOU Invertitorazzismo

Jul 09, 2014 7:40 | 2 replies

oldlady12

Mainframe, if you know about white people who plan to attack blacks, or the other way round, spit it out. We won't stand for any violence, finsh & klaar.

Jul 09, 2014 7:55 | 1 replies

MAINFRAME

magogo its white afrikaner FATHERLAND plz check them on youtube and their comments on africa 360 ENCA

Jul 09, 2014 8:2 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Mainframe, I've seen a few of those kind of videos. A bunch of dillusional racist fools similar to the lot that thought they can put food along the highways and all black people will march to Moz and Zim, following the food. And we all know where that bunch is. Shame, these mentally challenged people really have a tough time in Africa. BUT, I will go watch this one too and get back to you.

Jul 09, 2014 8:9 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Mainframe, you'll have to be more specific please. I typed in fatherland youtube, and got nothing. Then tried it in Afrikaans, and got many of all those sites I just talked about, but no videos.

Jul 09, 2014 8:15 | 1 replies

MAINFRAME

OKAY racism in south africa then you will c it gogos

Jul 09, 2014 8:17 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Mainframe..racism in SA..gives me hundreds of videos from racist whites & racist blacks. Also a few with Vaderland. Sorry, I just don't know which one you refer to, but I say they're all more or less the same.

Jul 09, 2014 8:45 | 0 replies

ytieduniS

MAINFRAME - Google "shoot the bo3r" and farm murders.

Jul 09, 2014 8:20 | 1 replies
Jul 09, 2014 8:31 | 0 replies

RobinX

Don't do youtube and prefer not to talk to divisive pricks. Bye.

Jul 09, 2014 7:58 | 1 replies
Jul 09, 2014 8:32 | 1 replies

RobinX

And the same to you, in spades. Have a nice day.

Jul 09, 2014 8:55 | 1 replies
Jul 09, 2014 9:3 | 0 replies

oldlady12

Steve himself wrote the most beautiful "anthem" ever. He does not need to sing old poems. "Gee nie om wie voor ons staan, soos 'n rots staan 'n nasie saam. Ons vir jou Suid-Afrika"

Jul 09, 2014 7:32 | 1 replies

Whiz

Only retarded people can listen to that fool, him and juju are like hand and glove.

Jul 09, 2014 7:40 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Whizzie, only jealous whiteboys who can't sing will call Steve a retard. He does not need to pay women for sex. He just sings his way into their panti.es.

Jul 09, 2014 7:41 | 1 replies

Whiz

I don't have to open my mouth, I just show woman my sixpack, and they open their legs ha

Jul 09, 2014 8:2 | 2 replies

oldlady12

Whizzie, you look like a condom stuffed with walnuts. Quite appropriate, given your brain size.

Jul 09, 2014 8:10 | 1 replies

Whiz

Wouldn't you just love this body in your bed hmmm, keep on dreaming dear.

Jul 09, 2014 8:31 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Whiz, no thank you. Walnuts make for hard pillows.

Jul 09, 2014 8:46 | 0 replies

RobinX

Well at least you have an active imagination and dream life.

Jul 09, 2014 8:27 | 1 replies

Whiz

Hey Vervoert, who pulled your chain.

Jul 09, 2014 8:33 | 0 replies

Shredder

Why all of a sudden I don't like this Invertitorazzismo?

Jul 09, 2014 7:34 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Shredder, coz you just found out he's an Afrikaner?

Jul 09, 2014 7:37 | 1 replies

Shredder

MommaC is an Afrikaner but I like her. Even you, I like you, though you have a tendency to annoy me from time to time, LOL

Jul 09, 2014 8:3 | 1 replies

oldlady12

Shredder, good. That is my mission in life. In a few years, when I'm dead & gone, I want you all to wonder where that annoying old white witch is, and miss me.

Jul 09, 2014 8:11 | 1 replies

Dkok

mina i am gonna miss u, not as an afrikaaner witch, but a friend on the web

Jul 09, 2014 1:54 | 0 replies

Kenwamorula

do these boerers even have a culture......yah neh things change

Jul 09, 2014 7:38 | 2 replies

Shredder

Where were you all along?

Jul 09, 2014 7:41 | 0 replies

oldlady12

Kenwamorula, welcome to SA. Make sure you leave before your visitor's visa expires. Lindella is not for sissies.

Jul 09, 2014 7:43 | 0 replies

Mahungu

I think its time for this guy to leave SA. He is always competing with Blacks. This is S Africa not Australia.

Jul 09, 2014 7:45 | 4 replies

MAINFRAME

agree mahungu i dont like that red october clan

Jul 09, 2014 7:47 | 0 replies

oldlady12

Mahungu, scared of a little competition?

Jul 09, 2014 7:56 | 0 replies

RobinX

So even competing with black people is out of order. WTF? Are you that lazy that you can't cope wioth competition? What an a$$hole.

Jul 09, 2014 7:59 | 0 replies

ytieduniS

Mahungu - This is South Africa, not Zimbabwe dude.

Jul 09, 2014 8:18 | 0 replies