Monday, March 29, 2010

Shakira samples Camerounian music, Zangelewa, for her World Cup song

We are only about 73 days to the World Cup in South Africa. Like many other soccer fans, I can't wait. A friend of mine claims to be listening to K'Naan's Waving Flag (the official Mundial song) everyday. Recently, I heard some news about Shakira composing a song for the upcoming World Cup. Of course, many international (non-African) artistes are recording songs for the World Cup, to support their teams, amongst others. Shakira's Colombia won't be at the Mzansi Mundial but I could make an educated guess that she'll be supporting Cameroun. Why? Because, her World Cup song has Camerounian roots. Now, isn't that cool?

Shakira, The Black Eyed Peas, and Alicia Keys will all be performing at a Soweto concert on the eve of the World Cup in South Africa. Shakira's 'Saminamina' samples Zangelewa, an army/marching song popular from the 80's in Cameroon. The song's lyrics are in the Fang language.

Listen to Shakira's Saminamina here

Watch a video of Zangelewa

To help us understand the Zangelewa song better, here are some lyrics and translations.

Zamina mina hé hé (come come)
Waka waka éé é (Do it do it - as in perform a task. Other websites postulate that this is pidgin so waka as in work)
Zamina mina zaaangaléwa (come come, who dispatched you?)
Ana wam a a (it/he is mine, yes)

yango é é (wait)
yango éé é (wait)
Zamina mina zaaangaléwa (come come, who dispatched you?)
Ana wam a a (it/he is mine, yes)

The group that sang it used to be called Golden Sounds but the song became so popular that the group changed its name to Zangalewa. It crossed the borders of Cameroon because surely the chorus sounds very familiar and I believe some Ghanaian artistes may have even sampled the song. And for the MIT/Boston folks, Lamine Toure from Rambax even sang a Senegalese version during one of their performances.

The Zangelewa song has a very 'jama' like feel. It seems jama/cheer songs/marching songs have the same vibe across the African continent. My Camerounian friend, Julie, mentioned that she thought it was one of these encouragement songs, like when they did sports in high school they jogged to it. Yes. Africans. We are really more or less the same peopel, aren't we? That's why we should band together and support our African teams during the World Cup. The cup should stay at home. Viva Africa!

Thanks to Julie for some extra information.

Here is the lyrics for Shakira's Saminamina (Link here)

Llego el momento, caen las murallas
Va a comenzar la unica justa de la batallas
No duele el golpe, no existe el miedo
Quitate el polvo, ponte de pie y vuelves al ruedo
Y la presion que sientes
Espera en ti, tu gente!
Ahora vamos por todo
y te acompaña la suerte
Samina mina sam ¡aleguah!
Porque esto es Africa
Samina mina ¡eh! ¡eh!
Waka Waka ¡eh! ¡eh!
Samina mina sam ¡aleguah!
Porque esto es Africa

Oye a tu dios
y no estaras solo
llegas aqui para brillar
lo tienes todo
la hora se acerca
es el momento
Vas a ganar cada batalla
ya lo presiento
Hay que empezar de cero
para tocar el cielo
Ahora vamos por todo
Y todos vamos por ellos
Samina mina sam ¡aleguah!
Porque esto es Africa
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