An Akan Highlife song from Ghana, popular in the 1970s. It is by the late, well-known singer Alex Konadu (1950–2011).
Death does not like money oo! Konadu ee!
We shall all enter a hole in the earth, this death hmm!..
An improvised recitation sung by a Yorùbá bride as she is escorted by musicians and relatives to her husband’s house. She speaks her mind about all the hopes and concerns that she has, whilst drummers announce her arrival.
Those who stand-let them stand well.
Those who stop-let them stoop well…
A Kgatla song from Botswana, sung by women complaining together about their husbands. The reference to ‘Khaki’ in line 5 suggests not only that the man is poor but also that he may be a court messenger or some other collaborator with the colonial authorities (see Lomwe-Chuabo Protest Songs).
I heard it said that I was betrothed
And one afternoon when I was at home
A love song from Somalia.
Oh, you are like a kilt which a young dandy set out to choose,
Oh, you are like a costly ring for which thousands were paid
This is part of the hour-long dirge chanted by the Yorùbá poet Omobayode Arowa at the state funeral of Lieutenant Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi. Adekunle Fajuyi was Military Governor of Western Nigeria until he was killed, along with Major-General Aguyi Ironsi, in July 1966. His state funeral was held in January 1967.
Dekunle, handsome man, hail!
An Akan dirge from Ghana. Owusu was a Mass Education Officer, killed in a car accident in 1952. The dirge is sung by his former landlady, a trader called Koramma, who mourns him as if he were her brother.
The stranger on whom the citizen of the town depends,
This site opens a window on something that will be new to most people, namely, the vast amount of superb poetry hidden away in the 3000 different languages spoken in Africa … More