An Akan song from the Ashanti region of Ghana, sung by women at work on their farms. See also Farming Song.
Where is the owner of the bush farm?
Hold back the sun!..
A Lomwe woman’s song from central Mozambique. The singer is forced to grow cotton for the Companhia dos Algodões de Moçambique, owner of the cotton concession for the district of Ile. Her earnings are a derisory 5 escudos.
I suffer, I do
An Embu pounding song from north eastern Kenya, close to Mount Kenya. Pounding songs are sung by women using mortar and pestle to pound grain to flour, the thud of the pestle providing the songs’ rhythm (see also these poems). In this poem the singer pounds malted-millet grain to be made into millet beer for her husband, Mwaniki.
Let me pound beer, pound it for Mwaniki:
He is the one who drinks dilute beer…
A Bahima women’s Praise-Poem, recorded in 1955 in Ankole, and composed and recited by Ntamaare. The Bahima people are the cattle-herders among the Bayankole people of southwest Uganda. In these praises, originally in the Runyankole language, the subject is the cattle for which they are famous.
They are as greedy as Ishe-Katabazi:
I want them to graze in the newly burnt grass of Rwanda…
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