Introducing South Africa's inspirational soccer anthem to the world

We’ve given you South Africa’s soccer lingo and expressions, essential soccer facts, and lessons on how to blow a vuvuzela now learn South Africa’s soccer anthem, Shosholoza.

Shosholoza has long been used as a song of inspiration and has evolved into, not only a South African soccer anthem, but a sports anthem that is sung at everything from rugby matches to swimming meets.

Shosholoza, Zulu for “to push forward”, was traditionally sung by migrant workers during South Africa’s industrial transformation and served as a symbol of the political status of black South Africans during apartheid.

The folk song evolved into the national sporting anthem of South Africa following the birth of democracy and reached the peek of its popularity after South Africa’s 1995 Rugby World Cup victory.

The song, which sounds like the rhythmic pulse of a steam train has been recorded by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, PJ Powers and Peter Gabriel, to name a few, and is a standard musical accompaniment to South African gumboot dance groups.

The lyrics of the song are fairly simple and translate as follows – if you can’t get the pronunciations ask your nearest friendly local:

Lyrics Shosholoza

Shosholoza, shosholoza (Moving fast, moving strong)
Ku lezontaba (Through those mountains)
Stimela sphuma eSouth Africa (Train from South Africa)
Wenu yabaleka (You are leaving)
Wenu yabaleka (You are leaving)
Ku lezontaba (Through those mountains)
Stimela siphum' eSouth Africa (Train from South Africa)

Watch Video Shosholoza to learn the words:

Wow your fellow soccer fans at 2010 by combining
your new-found knowledge of South Africa’s sporting anthem with our South African sports lingo and expressions.

Search for up-to-date World Cup soccer locations, soccer projects, and soccer tour locations in South Africa on our popular 2010 Google Earth Map. For more information and the latest updates on the 2010 Fifa World Cup subscribe to our Editor’s Picks Newsletter.

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