Tanzania

In 2005 I spent two months living and working with a group of farmers who are part of a widespread tradition in northwest Tanzania: making music and dance in the fields, as they work.

It's a sort of singing, dancing, farming cooperative.  One day they'll till or weed one member of the groups field, another day they'll move on to someone else's.  Imagine getting together with fifteen of your friends and saying: okay, today we're going to weed Tom's garden, tomorrow we're going to weed Chrissy's and on Wednesday we're going to go over to Ellen's place.

It's called "reciprocal village labor" and that's exactly what they do in Tanzania only they sing and dance and have fun while they do it.  It's a community party in the field and and it's amazing to behold- or event to try out in your own neighborhood.  It makes your work seem so much more doable if you've got a mob of friends helping you out.

To top it off, many of these groups develop songs and dances throughout the farming season that they then use to compete against similar groups during harvest festivals.

There are many different styles of musical labor in the region: one style uses only bells on the wrist to accompany songs, some are purely a capella, others include drums or other instruments.

The first part of the clip (which is the title sequence for a longer film about musical labor that I will share with you over time) is a tradition called "magungulu" which only uses bells.  In the second clip Hoja Charles, the group leader, plays the Kadete, a "spike fiddle", which is made from a small lizard-skin drum, bicycle brake cable, and a bow made of a stick and sisal fibers.

Yomo Begga

Here is a recording of Edith Gawler leading this song as a part of the Sylvester Manor Worksongers workshop at the 2013 NOFA-NY Winter Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY

 

It is a Ghanaian fishing song, taught to Bennett Konesni in October 2005 by Bortey Sooyodi Radi and Nii Alabi on a fishing boat off Nungua Beach, Accra

 

Dada Mele

Click here to hear Dadamele
 

Part A:

Call: Dada mele, acha maringo yako,
maringo hayoo, yatakuuaa

Response:
Dada mele, acha maringo yako,
maringo hayoo, yatakuuaa

Part B:

C: Namlilia mwana
R: Namlilia mwana sana
C: Mwana wangu
R: Namlilia mwana sana

C: Namlilia mama
R: Namlilia mama sana
C: Mama yangu
R: Namlilia mama sana

x2

 

This Mchakamchaka song is used to aid and enliven group jogging.  It was taught to me by Yohanne "Kiddo" Kidolezi, my college roommate  Freshman year at Middlebury College, 2001.  Kiddo grew up singing these songs as a warm up for the schoolday with his classmates.

 

Mchakamchaka

Running Songs:◦ Mchaka (Intro) ◦ Angelina ◦ Zaina ◦ Jenga ◦ Boma ◦ Kule Kule ◦ Dada Mele ◦ Siambe ◦ Alisema ◦ Moto ? ◦ Iyay Aaron ?

Stationary songs ◦ N’kosi ◦ Amafutha Esibani ◦ Gabi ◦ Vamudara ◦ Wonfa Niem ◦ Humba Vangeli ◦ Sho-shaloza ? ◦ Nonguya ? ◦ Bumbumpileh ? ◦ Yani mezunseem ?

Key: L = leading voice E = Everyone HV = High Voice LV = Low voice (bass)

Mchaka Chant

(sung before a song, in the middle, or at the end to “energize” people) L: Mchaka mchaka (x 2) E: Chinja (x2) Alternating L: Aliselema (x2) E: Alija (x2) L: Hiyaa hiya E: Hiya L: Hiya hiya hiya E: Hiya

(following mchaka intro) Vijana mmechoka? X2 Bado! Mbona hamuimbi? x2 Twimba

Nani aongoze? X2 (name next to lead)

Anjelina L: Anjelina (x3) astandasta (all twice) Chorus E: (repeat after leader) L: Anjelina motto mzuri (E: HU!) Anjelina astandasta     verse I E: (repeat after leader) (Chorus once) L: Anjelina miguu ya chupa (E: HU!) Anjelina astandasta verse II E: (repeat after leader) (Chorus once) L: Anjelina shingo ya upanga (E: HU!) Anelina astandasta verse III (repeat as needed)

Zaina L/HV: Zaina zaina LV: Zaina L/HV: Mtoto wa Mwanza LV: Zaina L/HV: Zaina dada LV: Zaina, nipe raha, Zaina (repeat as needed)

Jenga Jenga L: Jeng jenga taifa lako (ta-ee-fa-la-co) (all twice) E: (repeat after leader) L: Usinione mdogo mama E: Jenga L: Ninajenga taifa letu

Boma HV: Bomaa standasta LV: alo alo, bomaa nalolile HV: e-e-e, bomaa standastaa LV/HV: alo alo, alo-alo-alo-alo-alo (repeat as needed)

Dada Mele L: Dada mele, acha maringo yako, maring hayoo, yatakuuaa (x2) E: (repeat after L) L: Namlilia mwana E: Namlilia mwana sana L: Mwana wangu E: Namlilia mwana sana L: Namlilia mama E: Namlilia mama sana L: Mama yangu E: Namlilia mama sana

Twende Wote L: Twende wote!!

E: Kule kule, kule kwa kinooga

L: Baba

E: Baba aena mama L: Wanasonga E: Wanasonga na kuzimbaaweee L: Aalitoa! E: toa-toa, toa kwa kinooga L: Kaka E: Kaka aena dada L: Wanasonga E: Wanasonga na kuzimbaaweee

Siambe

L: Siambeee, siambe mama, siambeee, oye oye E: (repeat) (x2) (chorus) L: Siambeee, waliolala, siambeee, ni wavivu E: (repeat) (x2) Chorus: E/L: Siambe, siambe, siambe mama, siambeee, oye oye (x2) L: Siambee, waliokaaa, siambee, ni wazembe E: (repeat) (x2) (chorus) L: Siambeee, lakini sisi, siambee, tuna nguvu E: (repeat) (x2) (chorus)

Alisema

L: Alisemaaaaa, alisema, E: Alisema mwalimu alisemaa Chorus E: Vijana wangu wote mmelegeaaaa, sharti tuanze mchakamchaka(aaa) (after two rounds) E: Chinja! Kanyaga! Tupa! Choma! Ua! L: Kwatwambiaaaa, katwambia, E: Kwatwambia mjumbe, katwambia (chorus) L: Alinenaaa, alinena E: Alinena balozi, alinenaa (chorus)

Moto Wayaka

Moto wayaka mama, moto wayaka Moto wayaka mama, moto wayaka Moto (Wayaka) Moto (Wayaka) Moto mama (Wayaka, wayaka) Chali (Chalile) Chali (Chalile) Chali mama (Chalile, chalile)

Iyay Aaron

Nkosi Sikelele Afrika

Nkosi Sikelel´i Afrika (Lord God bless Africa) Maluphakanyisw´uphondo Iwayo (Let its fame be lifted up) Yizwa imithandazo yethu (Listen and hear our prayers) Nkosi sikelela, Thina lusapho Iwayo (Oh Lord God bless us, we children of Africa) Woza moya (Come spirt) . . .Nkosi sikele, nkosi sikele Woza moya (Come spirt) . . .Nkosi sikele, nkosi sikele Woza moya oyingewele (Come spirit, Holy spirit) Nkosi sikelela (Oh Lord God bless) Thina lusapho Iwayo (snap, snap) Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso (God bless our nation) Ofedise dintwa le matshwenyeho (and stop all wars and sufferings) (rep 2x) O se boloke (x2) (And bless it) O se boloke morena (And bless it Lord, Oh God) O se boloke (And bless it) Setjhaba sa heso (Bless our nation) Setjhaba sa Africa (Our nation, Africa) Ma kube njalo! Ma kube njalo! Kude kube ngunaphakade.
Kude kube ngunaphakade. Ma kube njalo! Ma kube njalo! Kude kube ngunaphakade.
Kude kube ngunaphakade! (yell) A mahnla? A wayy-tu!

Beginning: Original 1897 Xhosa Version Next Part: Added 1927 Morena part onward: Sesotho Version Yell at end: Women of the Calabash

Amafutha Esibani Ladysmith Black Mambazo Arr. Bennett Konesni Intro Epen amafutha esibani sam, si shala si Futha, futha, futha Isizene amafutha esibane sam, Futha, futha, futha

Si shala si Futha, futha, futha

Verse Epen amafutha esibani sam Futha, futha, futha Si shala si Futha, futha, futha Isizene amafutha esibane sam, Futha, futha, futha Si shala si Futha, futha, futha

Chorus Si shala si Futha, futha, futha Si zo shala si Futha, futha, futha Si shala si Futha, futha, futha Who’s there Ofiyinkosium

Si shala si Futha, futha, futha Si zo shala si Futha, futha, futha Si shala si Futha, futha, futha Who’s there Ofiyinkosium

From here on in it is always “epen amafutha” instead of “isizene amafutha,” and the lead is sung with someone singing the same lyrics a fifth up. Also, from here in the leads never sing “si zo shala si,” always just “si shala si” From here: Verse x2 Chorus x2 Verse x2 Chorus x6 holding the umm. Ending: Ahhhhhhh men. Alelihia Ahhhhhhh. Lee-lu. Iaaaa.

Gabi Gabi

HV: Gabi Gabi__ Gabi gabi_ Gabi gabi_ Gabi Gabi LV: Gabi gabi bashabaz al wan Gabi gabi, bashabaz al wan HV: si     yoshi wakhona si dhallu bhuzal wan LV: si  yoshi wakhona si dhallu bhuzal wan HV: si     yoshi wakhona si dhallu bhuzal  (first ending: repeat from beginning) LV: si  yoshi wakhona si dhallu bhuzal        (second ending all: wan__)

Vamudara MV: Middle Voice FE = first ending = repeat SE = second ending Intro (basses) Haiwa babao we (+1/4)Haiwa babao we  Haiwababao we (-1/4) Haiwa babao we HV: O____________ we O______________ we LV: (same as intro, repeat throughout) HV: Vamudara mwapfeke marengena Mahuzwepi se junge mune mari (FE) (SE) HV: ndino mutewera mambo ndino mutewera mambo-o ndino kutewera turesi Hiya-a-a ndino kutewera mambo-o HV: Vamudara mwapfeke marengena Mahuzwepi se junge mune mari (FE) MV: Haiwa ndom pawo zuinhu zue se munoda kutetereka Teterekai chechelele (FE) (SE) HV: ndino mutewera mambo ndino mutewera mambo-o MV: Haiwa ndom pawo zuinhu zue se munoda kutetereka Teterekai chechelele HV: ndino kutewera turesi Hiya-a-a ndino kutewera mambo-o MV: Haiwa ndom pawo zuinhu zue se munoda kutetereka Teterekai chechelele

Wonfa Nyem Buee buee buee__ Buee buee hmmm_ (repeat) (spoken) Wonfa Nyem (sung) Wonfa nyem onye bir-bi o wonfa nyem (repeat until end) Hamba Vangeli (Spread the word) Hamba, hamba vangeli, hamba, hamba vangeli, hamba vangeli-elisha (FE) LV: si hamba (SE) Insimbi-edle zinye, edle zinye, in simbi-edle zinye edle zinye, LV: Insimbi         ed- -le         ed- -le hamba vangeli-elisha (FE) Translation: Hamba vangeli elisha Spread the new word Insimbi edle zinye The iron that eats others Pronunciation: 1. ‘Edle zinye’ pron. ‘ed-leh zeen-yeh’ 2. Phrase 3 is pronounced ‘ham-ba van-gel’e-li-sha.’ 3. The I at the end of Insimbi is lost, i.e. Insimb’edle zinye

Shoshaloza L: Shosholoza E: Shosholoza Kulezo ntaba Stimela siphume Zimbabwe L: Sho-sholoza E: Shosholoza Kulezo ntaba Stimela siphume Zimbabwe L: Wen' uyabaleka E: Wen’ uyabaleka Kulezo ntaba Stimela siphume Zimbabwe L: Wen' uyabaleka E: Uyabaleka Kulezo ntaba Stimela siphume Zimbabwe

Missing:

Nonguya Bumbumpileh Yani mezunseem Thina Songena nge Jambo