Umshini wami

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"Umshini wami", also known as "Awuleth' Umshini Wami" (English, Bring me my machine), is a popular Zulu language "struggle song" originating in the mining community of South Africa, but used formerly by members of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the African National Congress during the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa with machine referencing machine gun. Nowhere in the song is the term "machine gun" used, but the reference is strong. Most recently, the song is identified with the persona of Jacob Zuma, the current President of South Africa, and is often sung at rallies which involve him and his supporters, including the ANC Youth League.

Lyrics[edit]

Zulu English
Umshini wami mshini wami (lead)
khawuleth'umshini wami (Follower)
Umshini wami mshini wami,
khawuleth'umshini wami
Umshini wami mshini wami,
khawuleth'umshini wami
khawuleth'umshini wami
Wen'uyang'ibambezela(Lead)
umshini wami, khawuleth'umshini wami(Follower)
My machine my machine
Please bring my machine
My machine my machine
Please bring my machine
My machine my machine
Please bring my machine
Please bring my machine
You're pulling me back
My machine, Please bring my machine [1]

Popularity and controversy[edit]

In October 2006, the song was made available by Zuma's defence fund as a ringtone on its website.[2] The song has gained controversy in 21st-century South Africa because of its association with the violence of the apartheid period, and is seen as misplaced by some people because of the rise in violent crime throughout the country since the current multiracial order began in 1994. In 2008, Zuma expressed displeasure when the song was sung by violent, xenophobic mobs.[3]

In 2011 Die Antwoord released a short film titled Umshini Wam, that was written and directed by Harmony Korine, who also wrote the screenplay for Larry Clark's feature film Kids. The 16-minute short features Ninja and Yo-Landi Visser of Die Antwoord as a disabled couple who are passionate fans of "gangsta rap" and use wheelchairs for mobility.[4]

Umdzidzi wami[edit]

Since the Jacob Zuma rape trial, several more versions of this song have been made. Some of the versions contain lyrics of a satirical nature, such as a remix of the song by See4, in which the song refers to a microphone instead of a machine gun. The song is sung in Swati language and is called "Umdzidzi wami" ("Bring my buttocks/ass"), or "Khawuleth umdzidzi wami".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lyrics
  2. ^ IOL - " JZ trust to cash in on Zuma ringtone"
  3. ^ "Umshini isn't a song to kill, says Zuma". IOL. Retrieved May 23, 2008. 
  4. ^ osalvationcine (24 March 2011). ""Umshini Wam" Die Antwoord Harmony Korine (Official, HD)" (Video upload). osalvationcine on YouTube. Google Inc. Retrieved 28 March 2014.