Zamina mina (Zangalewa)

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"Zangaléwa"
Song by Golden Sounds
Released 1949 (1949)
Genre Makossa
Language Fang

Tsamina or Zangaléwa is a 1949 hit song, originally sung by a makossa group from Cameroon originally named Golden Sounds, popular in Africa for their use of dance and costumes. Due to the song's popularity, the group renamed to Zangaléwa during its mainstream success. Zangaléwa pays tribute to African skirmishers (a.k.a. tirailleurs) during World War II. Most of the band members were in the Cameroonian Army themselves,[1] and utilised the song in fund-raising efforts for Comic Relief.

The song was popular among front-line soldiers of the Nigerian Army during the Nigerian Civil War (1967–1970), and was also popular in some Nigerian schools as a marching song in the 1970s and 1980s - the Nigerian Army Band The Mercuries produced a cover in the 1970s, which was broadcast on live Television.[original research?] 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.[1] It is also widely used in schools throughout the continent, especially in Cameroon as a marching song. The song was also popular in Colombia, where it was known as "The Military"[citation needed] and brought to the country by West African DJs in Cartagena.[citation needed]

The men in the group often dressed in military uniforms, wearing pith helmets and stuffing their clothes with pillows to give the appearance of the upper class, who ate well and would travel by train. The song, music historians[who?] say, is a criticism of black military officers who were in league with whites to oppress their own people.[citation needed] 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"[citation needed]. They recreated this fast pace in the first arrangements of the song. They sang the song together for freedom in Africa.[1]

Lyrics[edit]

The lyrics are in a Central African language called Fang and read as follows:

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

Zamina mina eh eh

Waka waka ehh eh

Zamina mina zangalewa

Anawam ah ah

Jango ehh eh

Jango ehh eh

Zamina mina zangalewa

Anawam ah ah

Below are the lyrics to the entire song and what these guys are talking about

Guy Dooh: Zangalewa (4 times) he he he he he

Edjibe Zangalewa — [Edjibe is a general-purpose exclamation] Edjibe na war this — [Whoa this is hard (like a war)] Edjibe na me fanam — [I'm the one who got myself into this] Edjibe na army — [This army is doing hard things to me] Edjibe djibe zangalewa

Chorus: Edjibe djibe he edjibe djibe zangalewa Edjibe djibe heee eh edjibe djibe zangalewa

Guy: Edjibe zangalewa Edibe man no run — [You don't have to give up] Edibe money no deh — [With all this there is no money] Edjibe na me fanam Edjibe djibe zangalewa

Chorus: Edjibe djibe he edjibe djibe zangalewa edjibe djibe heee edjibe djibe zangalewa

Guy: Zangalewa (he) zanga zangalewa (eh) (etc.)

Emile Kojidie: Edjibe zangalewa Dibe na war dis Dibe war don trong — [The training is hard] Dibe man no run Dibe na me fanam Edjibe djibe zangalewa

Chorus: Edibe djibe he edjibe djibe zangalewa Edjibe djibe he he edjibe djibe zangalewa

Emile: Edjibe zangalewa Tchop tchop tchop make me fine — [Food (eating) makes me happy] Tchop tchop tchop make me glad Hey i don taya — [I'm tired] Hey na me fanam Hey chief don come — [The chief just arrived (so no joking around)] Edjibe edjibe zangalewa

Chorus: Edjibe djibe he edjibe djibe zangalewa edjibe djibe he he edjibe djibe zangalewa

Emile: Zangalewa zanga zangalewa (he) (etc.)

Chorus: la la la la la la la la la la (3 times)

Guy: A soldja (4 times) Quand je pousse a gauche toi tu pousse a droite Quand je pousse a droite toi tu pousse a gauche Moustache (toujours!) Moustache (toujours!)

En avant marche un deux trois quatre (ewa wa wa wa wa ewa) En avant marche un deux - un deux En avant marche un deux trois - un deux trois En avant arret tema tema tema tema tema tema tema he En avant arret tema tema tema tema tema tema tema he

Say hein say hein say hein say hein ventilateur Moustache (toujours!)

No touch my gary oh ho ho — [Don’t touch my food] [Gary is dry cassava that can be eaten with sugar and peanuts or milk]

You sabi say i day — [You know I’m hot, right?] Small no be sick no — [Cream for pain (such as tiger balm)]

Jean-Paul Zé Bella: Edjibe zangalewa (he) edjibe zangalewa (he)

(French) Les commandos zangalewa (he) Tous ensemble zangalewa (he) Le meme esprit zangalewa (he) Le meme but zangalewa (he) Zanga mina Zangalewa

Chorus: Edjibe djibe he edjibe djibe zangalewa Edjibe djibe he he edjibe djibe zangalewa

Jean-Paul: Edjibe zangalewa Les commandoes zangalewa:

[He names the members of the band, all of whom are fellow soldiers]

Andre Destin zangalewa, Petit zangalewa, Zé Bella zangalewa, Si Bemol zangalewa, Kojidie zangalewa, Mpouli zangalewa, A Belley zangalewa, Mewondo zangalewa, Jeannot zangalewa, Ondobo zangalewa, Clement zangalewa

Guy: En avant marche Sun sun sele tomba nikae sun sun ate — [in Douala]

Guy (“Big belley”): He massa ngale (he ngale ewa)

[Massa ngale is a strict instructor who does not fool around]

Big belley ngale (he ngale ewa) He massa ngale (he ngale ewa) Big belley ngale (he ngale ewa)

Tu as deserter (ewa) — [You are a deserter] On va te raser (ewa) — [We will shave you] Et puis t’enfermer (ewa) — […and put you in prison] Pas de pote pote (ewa) — […with no food! (pote pote = army food)] Big belley ngale (he ngale ewa) A massa ngale (he ngale ewa) Big belley ngale (eh ngale ewa) Dima dima dima dima (ewa) Dima dima dada (ewa) Dima dima dima dima (ewa) Dima dima dada (ewa)

Avec ses begnets (ewa) begnets sucre (ewa) Begnet haricot (ewa) begnets bouilli (ewa) Begnets jazzer (ewa) Tu ne vas pas jazzer (ewa)

[In the morning people eat flour corn mixed with hot water and sugar along with donuts. Beans are known as “jazz” in Cameroon, so “begnet jazzer” is donuts with beans. But sometimes the mamy dadas (women who sell food around the barracks) stretch out the beans with flour to make more money.]

Big belley ngalle (he ngale ewa) A massa ngale (he ngale ewa) (etc.)

Dima dima dima dima (ewa) Dima dima dada (ewa) Dima dima dima dima (ewa) Dima dima dada (ewa)

Avec ses begnets (ewa) Begnet toumba (ewa) — [flour of cassava] Avec ses begnets (ewa) Begnet kwem oh oh (ewa) — [donut mixed with cassava leaf] Avec ses begnets (ewa) Begnet toumba (ewa) Massa ngale (he ngale ewa) Tsaba tsaba tsaba tsaba...

Mewondo Mathurin / Jean-Paul Zé Bella: Zamina mina hen hen waka waka he he zamina mina zangalewa a na wam ha ha

[Mewondo sang these lines on the original recording. He was not present for the recording of the video, so his lines were “covered” by Jean-Paul on it. Mewondo Mathurin passed away many years ago.]

Chorus: Zamina mina he he waka waka he he zamina mina zangalewa a na wam ha ha

Mewondo / Jean-Paul: Zamina mina hen hen waka waka he he zamina mina zangalewa a na wam ha ha

Chorus: Zamina mina he he waka waka he he zamina mina zangalewa a na wam ha ha

Mewondo / Jean-Paul: Django he he django he he zamina mina zangalewa a na wam ha ha

Chorus: Zamina mina he he waka waka he he zamina mina zangalewa a na wam ha ha

Meweondo / Jean-Paul: Django he he django he he zanmina mina zangalew a na wam ha ha

Chorus: Zamina mina he he waka waka he he zamina mina zangalewa a na wam ha ha (etc.)

Guy: Welw welw... a sango doo wa sega so he — [Dooh daddy, do you understand? (in Douala)]

Emile: Zamina mina he he waka waka he he zamina mina zangalewa a na wam dada

Chorus: Zamina mina he he waka waka he he zamina mina zangalewa a na wam ha ha

Emile: Zamina mina ho ho zamina mina he he zamina mina zangalewa a na wam dada

Chorus: Zamina mina he he waka waka he he zamina mina zangalewa a na wam ha ha

Emile: Django ho ho django ho ho zamina mina zangalewa Django ho ho django ho ho zamina mina zangalewa

Chorus: Zamina mina he he waka waka he he zamina mina zangalewa a na wam ha ha

Emile: Django ho ho django ho ho zamina mina zangalewa ho ho

Chorus: Zamina mina he he waka waka he he...

Emile: Ipiiipipipi!

Chorus: ...zamina mina zangalewa a na wam ha ha

Emile: Django ho ho django ho ho zamina mina zangalewa a na wam dada

Mewondo / Jean-Paul: Zamina mina he he waka waka he he zamina mina zangalewa...

Emile: Ha ha ha, tout le monde!

Ensemble: Zamina mina he he waka waka he he zamina mina zangalewa a na wam ha ha (etc.)

Mewondo / Jean-Paul: Classement c’est comment ont se retrouve a soum soum

[Soldiers who enlist together refer to one another as “classe.” So this means, roughly, “Class, how are you doing? We will meet in the market place of the barracks (soum soum).”]

Moral!

[During grueling training an officer might shout “Moral!” at a slacking recruit. The soldier must respond “Haut!” This doubles as a check of the recruit’s mental fitness.]

Ensemble: Zamina mina he he waka waka he he zamina mina zangalewa a na wam ha ha (etc.)

Covers & Sampling[edit]

Shakira’s song with Freshlyground[2] for the 2010 World Cup[3] Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) sample this song as a tribute to African music, with the World Cup being held in South Africa.

Before Shakira, many other artists around the world sampled or recorded their covers of this song. Among them:

References[edit]

External links[edit]