Makambo
Geoffrey Oryema Lyrics


Ngibathe Ngicelu Xolo
Ngatholi nzondo
Ngibathe Ngecelu thando ma, ah oh
Yiningathi yini ngomhlaba
Yini Singa Funu Zwano? ah oh
Ngibathe Ngicelu Xolo
Ngatholi nzondo, ah oh

Washu mathambo espoki wathi
Africa, Umhlaba ubolile
Abantu bane nkohla kalo
Umhlaba ubolile
Umhlaba unengozi
Sudan, Rwanda, Angola, Malawi, Liberia, Zaire
Stop the killing
Phansingo dlame
South Africa: war is never good
Phansingo dlame

So why?
So why?
So why?
Africa, Africa will sing - so why?
The sun in your heart is your smile - so why?
Wozani bizanu tula - So why?

Contributed by Charlotte Y. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
To comment on specific lyrics, highlight them
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

This West African-American Life

Here's a rough translation I found in case anyone besides me was looking:

I've been asking for Peace
But all I got was war
I've been looking for love
But I didn't find togetherness
What is wrong with the world?
What is wrong with the people?
Why don't we want peace? ...



Matthew

I believe this is a rough translation of Geoffrey's song, written as he escaped war in Uganda:

"I've been asking for Peace
But all I got was war
I've been looking for love
But I didn't find togetherness
What is wrong with the world?
What is wrong with the people?
Why don't we want peace?"



All comments from YouTube:

Србски Максимус

Tonight I accidentally found this song, it's late and everybody is sleeping. It's just me and the moon enjoying this moment which will pass and forever fade away, since it can't be never again repeated in the same way. Greetings from Serbia

belgarath 77

La découverte est toujours bienvenue!

Jeannie Craver

Yes..your words are poetic...beautifully written. This is what music is all about. The universal appeal.

Greekot

Auuu baki moj kako si me potrefio sa komentarom. Nadam se da si dobar ziv i zdrav :D

Brian Scott

I did the same thing in a Rooney Mara movie. I accidentally had the cc option on. They gave the origin in the script. Instant fan.

Krzysztof Szczejegogrzybokrzawoszczynski

Yes it is true Brate!

21 More Replies...

Empowered Roots

This is so immensely powerful. I was listening to it while driving and just started to cry. I have no understanding of the language being spoken, but it reached to something deep within my soul and brought some unspoken grief to the surface. So powerful….thank you for this gift.

Revue Revolution, a polymath review of Poetry

Makambo is taken from lingala, a language spoken in Congo-Brazza and Kinshasa by Bantu people and that has strange common resonance with Zulu sometimes. Lingala is very emotional, a very poetic language where few words say it all and this is exactly what Geoffrey Oryema does, here. Hardly translatable. That said, the song is a lament from someone who is sad because people are gossiping about him and badmouthing him (a common human, destructive exercize). He feels heaviness in his heart: he has a lot of problems (makambo), he is all his problems. So for the lingala part, here are the lyrics:

Oh ngai na makambo eh → Oh, I am deep in trouble
Ngai na makambo eh → I am deep in trouble
Likambo na motema → There's a problem in my heart
Songui-Songui bandeko → People keep badmouthing me, my friends

RIP Geoffrey Oryema and thank you for this beautiful piece. Kende malamu.

Revue Revolution, a polymath review of Poetry

@Junior Ocira Thank you for the lyrics in Acoli ❤ Such a sweet language.

Luke Burnett

Wow sounds like a phase in my life if that's the meaning I'm all good though discarded the bad and in with the good yoga gym exercise new freinds positive people no more negative vibes

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