When the Bantu township of Nancefield or Klipspruit (eleven miles west of Johannesburg) was first settled as a suburb of the Rand Municipality, the late Enoch Sontonga (of the Mpinga clan among the Tembu tribes) was a teacher in one of the Methodist Mission Schools. He had a gift for song, and constantly composed pieces, words and music, for the use of his pupils at public entertainments. He wrote these down by hand in Tonic Sol-fa on odd sheets of paper, including Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika, and eventually collected them into an exercise book, with a view to printing them. This was in and around the years of the Boer War (1899-1902). But he died before his ambition to print was realised. Since then various teachers and choir conductors came to the widow and borrowed the manuscripts, till one friend disappeared with the book collection itself.
- D. D. T. Jabavu, "The Origin of Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika", Nada, no. 26, 1949.