Learnt how to say "I Love You" in 23 African languages

If you listen to songs a lot, you will pick out how to say "I love you" quite quickly. Since I have grown to listen to music from all over the continent and used that to build Museke.com, I am well-versed in saying that "1-4-3" line in many mother tongues. Let me show you ;-)
  1. Akan: Medɔ wo! What you thought I wouldn't add my mother tongue? Some folks can't say what "thank you" is in their lingua francas. Such a fracas. Don't belittle this at all at all.
  2. Ga: Mi sumo bo! I learnt this through songs. Especially, Amandzeba's Dede. That's such a classic highlife track.
  3. Ewe: Mi lɔnwɔ! Would you forgive me if I said I (pretty much) learnt this from a Daddy Lumba song? I don't remember which but the Ghanaian Michael Jackson taught me. 
  4. Hausa: Ina sonki. After loving how D-Flex sang Hausa lines while featuring on K. K. Fosu and Ofori Amponsah songs, I had to learn to this one. From who? I don't remember.
  5. Swahili: Nakupenda! That famous Malaika song should take the credit for this one. And then all my East African friends I befriended during my MIT times.
  6. Zulu: Ngiyakuthanda. Phelele Fakudze taught me this one. 
  7. Siswati: Ngiyakutsandza. Phelele taught me this 1 2. :-).
  8. Xhosa: Ndiyakuthanda. All you have to do is remove one letter from the Zulu phrase. If my name was really Siyabonga Mandela, maybe I too would be able to speak and understand 10 languages. 
  9. Yoruba: Mo ni ife re! Funny enough, I learnt this from a song sang by a South African, KB. And this was around the times South Africa and Nigeria were at a pop culture war with things movies like Jerusalema and District 9 seemed to say.
  10. Igbo: A fum gi nanya. After Ifunanya gave P-Square extra time in the limelight and many million hits on YouTube, I wondered what the word meant. And then I learnt this in Igbo too.
  11. Luganda: Nkwagala! I learnt this and other ways to say "I Love You" via this popular song by Tanzania's Lady Jaydee called "Distance". 
  12. Kinyarwanda: Ndagukunda! Another one from the Distance song. I was sure to get confirmation from my Rwandan bestie Matilda. 
  13. Lingala: Nalingiyo. I learnt this Congolese word from the "Distance" song as well. And then it was reinforced by listening to a healthy dose of Barbara Kanam songs.
  14. Dagbani: Mbora nyorami. Barcamp Tamale things o! Thanks to Ali Bukari Maiga for the reminder too.
  15. Amharic: Afekrishalehou! After hearing say what "beautiful" in Amharic was, I had to learn this one next.
  16. Nyanja: Ni kukonda. Yes, you guessed right. I learnt this from hearing it in Zed music and then I confirmed from some Zambians.
  17. Wolof: Damala nob! I want to be able to say this to Viviane Ndour one day. Thanks to Amen Edem for teaching me this. 
  18. Shona: Ndinokuda. I learnt from my Zimbabwean friends. Never got to learn this via the music.  
  19. Changana: Naku randza. I've made friends with many Mozambicans via Museke. Lizha James also once sang this song. Kanimambo to Hamilton Chambela for teaching me this one.
  20. Setswana: Ke a go rata. Learnt it around the time when I was watching that No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series set in Botswana religiously.
  21. Fang: Ma nzing wa. I learnt this recently from a Gabonese chic I befriended just this year. She had to do her homework after I asked her and texted me later.
  22. Dioula: M'bi fe. I learnt this from a couple of Ivorian ladies just this year. This is after I discovered where I could hear Coupe Decale in a club regularly in Accra :-)
  23. Moore: Maam nonga fom. After getting used to a song called "Fo noga Burkina Faso" and finding its meaning, I learnt this one as well from a Burkinababe.
This follows the "Thank You" post in this series. I have a feeling "Let's go" would be next. Share how to say "I Love You" in other African languages via the comments. I could have said a few more in other languages, but we had to stop at 23. I don't need to tell you why. And if you think it's because Michael Jordan wore the jersey number 23, you lose your way for the wholewideworld inside. But welcome to the MIghTy African blog anyway. :-)


Clue said…
Thanks to Ali Maiga who has taught us to say "Ma nung ho m3", that's I LOVE YOU in Frafra #vim
aaahhh mi sumo bo is mine!
Clue said…
Yeap. Mi sumo bo sounds really nice in music hehe
Clue said…
According to this Google+ post, https://plus.google.com/u/0/102253845921217090332/posts/X16vu7PJ31e

"I love you" is "afuru'm gi n'anya". It's not compkete but correct, people will understand you. The complete one is afuru'm gi n'anya na obi'm. It's a very beautiful expression: I see you with my eyes and my heart/soul.
MIghTy African said…
Learnt how to say it in Venda (South African language) via a taxi driver in Johannesburg - "ndi a ni funa".

Popular posts from this blog

Learnt how to say "Happy birthday" in 13 African languages

Some Ghanaian built apps that people in Ghana use

Stories of various GhanaThink members 'recruitment' for Barcamps