It’s a bit ironical seeing the Dutch take centerstage in South Africa for the world’s biggest game. A record beaking 760 million will watch this twist on the colonizer and the colonized.
Less than two decades ago, South Africans had to sing a national anthem which was a paean to Dutch triumphalism and by extension the policy of apartheid (which is Afrikaan for separateness). Die Stem van Suid Afrika – The Call of South Africa was written by C.J. Langenhoven and the music was composed by Reverend Marthinus Lourens de Villiers in 1921.
Die Stem van Suid Afrika was disliked by black South Africans and with the dismantling of apartheid and the rise of the African National Congress, the anthem gave way to Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika with just the third stanza being retained.
Jan van Riebeeck and the Dutch East Indies Company are an inextricable part of South African history but today, the Rainbow Nation greets Netherlands – a name accepted by millions of people as one of the most progressive nations on the planet.