The following Sena song exists in many versions throughout the area of the lower Zambesi river in Mozambique, dominated from 1890 by an English company which came to be called Sena Sugar Estates. The original ‘Paiva’ was Ignacio Paiva Raposo, who in 1874 rented an estate (or ‘Prazo’) near the confluence of the Shire and Zambesi rivers. It was his son-in-law, John Peter Hornung, who in 1890 founded his sugar company on the same land, and who afterwards built an extensive empire, administering, policing, levying taxes, monopolizing trade, and extorting labour from some 14,000 square miles of central Mozambique. To the local Sena people, however, the company continued to be called ‘Paiva’, the name under which their land was first alienated.
The original version, dating from c.1890 was a simple work song, performed as accompaniment to field labour in the cane fields. It ran as follows:
Wo -o-o, Wo-…