Songs from Southern Africa

These are songs I learnt at community choirs in Brighton and Bangor.

Siyahamba (Zulu)

Siyahamb' ekukhanyen' kwenkos' x4
Siyahamba, hamba, x2
Siyahamb' ekukhanyen' kwenkos'

Translation

We are marching in the light of God.

Hamba nathi (Zulu)

Hamba nathi Mkhululi wethu x4
Mkhululi, Mkhululi, Mkhululi wethu x4

Translation

Stay with us our saviour/redeemer/liberator.

Limpopo River song

This is a song from Zimbabwe in Ndebele. It is sung by people who have to walk from Matabeleland to work in the gold mines of South Africa, crossing the Limpopo River (ingululkudela) on the way.

Sayiwela, sayiwela
Sayiwela sibili
Sayiwela Ingulukudela
Siyofuna imali

Baphina obaba? / okoko?
Basemazulwini
Basitshiyel'indubeko
Indubeko zomhlaba

Translation

We crossed it, we crossed it
We really crossed it
We crossed Ingulukudela
To look for money

Where are those fathers? / mothers?
They are in heaven
They left us problems
These earthly difficulties

Listen to a recording of this song (recorded live at Sing for Water, London 2009)

Senzeni na?

This is a protest song from the days of Apartheid in South Africa.

Senzeni na?
What have we done?

Sono sethu, ubumyama?
Our sin is that we are black?

Sono sethu yinyaniso?
Our sin is the truth

Sibulawayo
They are killing us

Mayibuye i Africa
Let Africa return

Listen to a recording of this song by Bangor Community Choir

Listen to a recording of this song combined with the traditional Welsh hymn, Trig gyda mi, which has almost the same tune (Bangor Community Choir)

Shosholoza

This is a traditional Southern African folk song traditionally sung by all-male work gangs in a call and response style.

Shosholoza
Ku lezontaba
Stimela siphum' eSouth Africa

Wen' uyabaleka
Wen' uyabaleka
Ku lezontaba
Stimela siphum' eSouth Africa

Translation

Move fast
on those mountains
train from South Africa.

You are running away
on those mountains
train from South Africa.

Listen to a recording of this song by Bangor Community Choir

Information about Zulu | Useful phrases in Zulu | Tower of Babel in Zulu | Zulu learning materials

Links

Other versions of these songs
http://ingeb.org/spiritua/siyahamb.html
http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Siyahamba_(Anonymous)
http://www.mamalisa.com/blog/senzenina-a-zulu-protest-song-and-funeral-song/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shosholoza

Recordings of these songs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5l_VBEIbEM
http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.php/198165-Music-Inspirational
http://www.kwasizabantu.com/audio/music/learn_some_zulu_choruses_.htm
http://bitmunk.com/view/media/6463337
http://www.chrishoskins.co.uk/terrified.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXoMaE-xCKo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2KNNdQ1FyI

Zulu songs
http://www.kwasizabantu.com/audio/music/music_clips.htm

Songs in the languages of South Africa (Afrikaans - Zulu)
http://www.ksb.org.za/audio/words/ksbchoir_index.htm

Songs in other languages