Zamina mina (Zangalewa)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Tsamina or Zangaléwa is a 1986 hit song, originally sung by a makossa group from Cameroon called Golden Sounds who were beloved throughout the continent for the dances and costumes. The song was such a hit for Golden Sounds that they eventually changed their name to Zangaléwa, too. The song pays tribute to African skirmishers (a.k.a tirailleurs) during WW II. Most of the band members were in the Cameroonian Army themselves and used make up, fake bellies, and fake butts for comic relief.

The song is still used today almost everywhere in Africa by soldiers, policemen, boy scouts, sportsmen, and their supporters, usually during training or for rallying. It is also widely used in schools throughout the continent especially in Cameroon as a marching song and almost everyone in the country knows the chorus of the song by heart. The song was also popular in Colombia where it was known as "The Military" and brought to the country by West African DJs.

The men in the group often dressed in military uniforms, wearing pith helmets and stuffing their clothes with pillows to appear like they had swollen butts from riding the train and fat stomachs from eating too much. The song, music historians say, is a criticism of black military officers who were in league with whites to oppress their own people. The rest is Cameroonian slang and jargon from the soldiers during the war.

According to Jean Paul Zé Bella, the lead singer of Golden Sounds, the chorus came from Cameroonian "sharpshooters who had created a slang for better communication between them during the Second World War". They copied this fast pace in the first arrangements of the song. They sang the song together for freedom in Africa.

The lyrics, which are in a Central African language called Fang, read like this:

Tsa mina mina eh eh
Waka waka eh eh
Tsa mina mina zangalewa
Ana wam ah ah
Zambo eh eh
Zambo eh eh
Tsa mina mina zangalewa
Wana wa ah ah

Meaning of the words in Fang language

  • Tsaminamina means Come.
  • Waka waka means Do it - as in perform a task. Waka is pidgin language meaning walk while working.
  • Tsaminamina zangalewa means Where do you come from?.
  • Wana means It's mine.
  • Zambo means Wait.

Covers

In May 2010, Shakira produced a song called Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) that was the anthem for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.


Many other artists around the world have previously sampled this song as well. Some of the artists who have sampled the song are:

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Zamina mina (Zangalewa)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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