Esther Kibuka-Sebitosi

South Africa, © non-applicable

A nation at peace with itself and the world (Nelson Mandela)

The Nobel Prize winner Nelson Mandela coined the term Rainbow nation, Archbishop Desmond Tutu describing the post- South Africa state first democratic elections held in 1994. Nelson Mandela further elaborated on the term  proclaiming, “each of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful  country as are famous Jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the Mimosa trees of bushveld- a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.”

  • Esther Kibuka-Sebitosi
    Esther Kibuka-Sebitosi

    Rainbow Nation

    The rainbow in the Bible given in Genesis 9:16 is a reminder that we have a covenant with God not to destroy the earth again by floods. “I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the Covenant between Me and the earth,” says the Lord. God had made a covenant with Noah and his seed for generations. Genesis 9:9. And I, “behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you”. Since we are all Abraham’s seed, we are covered in this covenant, although Jesus makes a better covenant in the New Testament. Returning to the rainbow nation, this covenant is saying “ no more destructions”. It is as if God is saying we should no longer fight each other but live together in peace. He made us all people with different colours (rainbow).

    The metaphor describes a people with multi-cultures living together. The image of the flag is a symbol of togetherness or unity. The different colours. Adopted in 1994, the red, white and blue were adopted form the colours of the Boer Republic while the yellow, black and green were taken from the ANC (African National Congress) flag. The black colour is a symbol of the people; the green represents fertility of the land while the gold represents the wealth from minerals beneath the soil. The ANC adopted these colours way back in 1925.


    Associated with the flag is the national anthem. This is unique in that it has many languages:


    • Nkosi sikelel’ Afrika
    • Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo,
    • Yizwa imithandazo,
    • yethu,
    • Nkosi sikelela,
    • thina,
    • lusapho lwayo.
    • Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
    • O fedise dintwa la matshwenyeh
    • O se boloke (Ntate)
    • O se boloke
    • setjhaba sa
    • heso,
    • Setjhaba sa
    • South Afrika
    • – South Afrika.
    • Uit die blou van onse hemel,
    • Uit die diepte van ons see,
    • Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
    • Waar die kranse antwoord gee,
    • Sounds to call to come together,
    • And united we shall stand,
    • Let us live and strive for freedom,
    • In South Africa our land…


    Songwriter: Cornelius Jacob Langenhoven



    The Rainbow metaphor is characteristic of a nation that aspires for peaceful living; building a peaceful nation. The symbol taken from the Bible donating the Noahic covenant reminds us that God will no longer send the floods to destroy us.


    The flag is a symbol of unity between the Boers and the African National Congress colours, which represents the whole of South Africa. It is a sign of hope and nation building.

    Associated with the Flag and the Rainbow nation is the National anthem. It is written in many languages signifying the rainbow nation of multi-cultures.



    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_nation
    • https://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/flags/countrys/africa/soafrica.htm



    published January 2020