LESSON #99: Swahili with Lyrics…#04 (Nimekuchagua Wewe)

So I’ve recently managed to attend way too many weddings and I don’t know about other cultures but no African wedding reception is complete without a lot of dancing-too much even!

One song that tends to get repeated in virtually every wedding is this gem by one Bob Rudala called Nimekuchagua Wewe (I have chosen you). It is indeed a timeless song, been around more than 10 years and is still the go to romantic song at weddings, particularly for the first dance. The lyrics? what can I say English translation doesn’t do them justice, plenty of Swahili expressions which go way deeper than you would translate them. Am a girlie girl through and through and this song I approve!

Enjoy!

Note: am no expert in poetic lyrics translation so any corrections are widely welcome

Nimekuchagua wewe uwe wanguI have chosen you to be mine

Verse 1

Ni safari ndefu, ya mwanadamu…..it’s a long human journey

Kimaisha na mapenzi, uwe mke ama mumein life and in love, whether you are female or female

Mara moja kubahatika, maishani mwakoto get lucky once in your life

Kumpata mtu fulani, ambaye huwa ni maalum kwako…..to find  a certain person, who is special to you

Kipenzi cha moyo wako, kwa kiasi kikubwathe love of your life, in a big way

Nimetambua na kuamini, kuwa kukutana kwetu….I have realized and believe, that us meeting

Ni mwanzo wa kutimia, kwa ile ndoto yangu….is the beginning of the fulfillment, of that dream of mine 

Ya siku nyingi, kwani pendo letu linakua…from a long time, because our love is growing

Kulingana na wakati, kila siku maishani mwangu…according to time, everyday in my life

Nilikuwa na ndoto, ya kumpata wangu mwenzi…I had a dream, of finding my spouse 

Tufunge naye pingu za maisha…we tie the knot

 

Chorus

Nimekuchagua wewe, uwe wangu…I have chosen you to be mine

Wangu wa maisha, wa kufa na kuzikana…mine for life, ‘we die together and bury each other’ (swahili saying meaning something along the lines of soulmates/bosom buddies…)

Sijali mengi maneno watu wasemayo…I don’t care about the bad things being said by others

Yaliyopita si ndwele, tugange yanayokuja…(Swahili saying) Lets not dwell on the past and concentrate on the future

x2

 Nakupenda wewe, malaika wa moyo wangu…I love you, the angel of my heart

Nakuhusudu wewe, ua la moyo wangu (I love you)…I adore you, the flower of my heart (nakupenda)

Moyoni nina furaha tele, upo mikononi mwangu…my heart is full of hapiness, (that) you are in my arms

 

Verse 2

Na kwa pete hii, ninakuoa…and with this ring, I marry you

Uwe mke wangu wa ndoa…to be my wedded wife

Hakika wewe ni ubavu wangu…For sure you are my rib

Kwa penzi nimefika, kama meli…lovewise I have arrived , like a ship

Nimetia nanga kwako, wengine katu sikutamani…I have anchored my ship , I never desired anyone else

Umewaacha wazazi wako, baba na mama…you have left your parents, dad and mom

Kwa mapendo umeungana nami…you have lovingly joined with me

Katika ndoa takatifu, na leo si wawili tena…in holy matrimony, and today we are no longer two

Tu mwili mmoja, tumwombe Mungu atujalie…we are one body, let’s pray to God to grant us

Ndoa yenye baraka, tuje tuzae na watoto…a blessed marriage, may we give birth to children

Waizunguke meza yetu, upendo utawale nyumba yetu…may they surround our table, may love reign in our home

Tuwe wakarimu kwa wageni wetu wote…may we be kind towards all our guests

 

Chorus

Nimekuchagua wewe, uwe wangu…I have chosen you to be mine

Wangu wa maisha, wa kufa na kuzikana…mine for life, ‘we die together and bury each other’ (swahili saying meaning something along the lines of soulmates/bosom buddies…)

Sijali mengi maneno watu wasemayo…I don’t care about the bad things being said by others

Yaliyopita si ndwele, tugange yanayokuja…(Swahili saying) Lets not dwell on the past and concentrate on the future

x2

 Nakupenda wewe, malaika wa moyo wangu…I love you, the angel of my heart

Nakuhusudu wewe, ua la moyo wangu (I love you)I adore you, the flower of my heart (nakupenda)

 

 

 

 

LESSON #96: Swahili with lyrics…#03 (Nerea)

So to start us off, a good follower of this blog contacted me with suggestions on future lessons and top of his list was lyrics to this song. As a bonus and as we always do we will add a translation as well. Thanks for the suggestions Nico and for always showing interest in my blog.

***Lyrics (with a little bit of tweaking) thanks to Fetterly Consulting

Enjoy!

 Sauti Sol-Nerea

Nakuomba Nerea, Usitoe Mimba Yangu We (I’m begging you Nerea, Do not terminate my pregnancy)
Mungu Akileta Mtoto, Analeta Saa Ni Yake (When God gives a child, He does so in His own time)
Mlete Nitamlea, Usitoe Mimba Yangu We (Give me the child I’ll raise it, Do not terminate my pregnancy)
Mungu Akileta Mtoto, Analeta Saa Ni Yake (When God gives a child, He does so in His own time)

Huenda Akawa Obama, Atawale Amerika (Perhaps he* could become Obama, rule America)
Huenda Akawa Lupita, Oscar Nazo Akashinda (Perhaps she* could become Lupita, win Oscars)

Huenda Akawa Wanyama, Acheze Soka Uingereza (Perhaps he* could become Wanyama play soccer in the UK)
Huenda Akawa Kenyatta, Mwanzilishi Wa Taifa (Perhaps he* could become Kenyatta, the founder of the nation)
Nakuomba Nerea, Usitoe Mimba Yangu We (I’m begging you Nerea, Do not terminate my pregnancy)
Mungu Akileta Mtoto, Analeta Saa Ni Yake (When God gives a child, He does so in His own time)
Mlete Nitamlea, Usitoe Mimba Yangu We (Give me the child I’ll raise it, Do not terminate my pregnancy)
Mungu Akileta Mtoto, Analeta Saa Ni Yake (When God gives a child, He does so in His own time)

Huenda Akawa Maathai, Ayalinde Mazingira (Perhaps she* could become Maathai, protect the environment)
Huenda Akawa Makeba, Nyimbo Nzuri Akatunga (Perhaps she* could become Makeba and pen good songs)

Huenda Akawa Nyerere, Aongoze Tanzania (Perhaps he* could become Nyerere, lead Tanzania)
Huenda Akawa Mandela, Mkombozi Wa Taifa (Perhaps he* could become Mandela, liberate Africa)

Nakuomba Nerea, Usitoe Mimba Yangu (I’m begging you Nerea, Do not terminate my pregnancy)
Mungu Akileta Mtoto, Analeta Saa Ni Yake (When God gives a child, He does so in His own time)
Mlete Nitamlea, Usitoe Mimba Yangu We (Give me the child I’ll raise it, Do not terminate my pregnancy)
Mungu Akileta Mtoto, Analeta Saa Ni Yake (When God gives a child, He does so in His own time)

Nakuomba Nerea, Nerea, Nerea, (I’m begging you Nerea, Nerea, Nerea)
Usitoe MimbaYangu (Do not terminate my pregnancy)
Nerea, Nerea, Nerea
Usitoe MimbaYangu (Do not terminate my pregnancy)
Huenda Akawa Kagame (Atawale) (Perhaps he* could become Kagame, (and) rule)
Jaramogi Odinga (Tuungane) (Jaramogi Odinga, (we) unite)
Huenda Akawa Tom Mboya (Perhaps he* could become Tom Mboya)
Huenda Akawa Rudisha (Perhaps he* could become Rudisha)
Huenda Akawa Malaika, Mungu Ametupatia (Perhaps he* could be an Angel, (that)God has given us)
Huenda Akawa Sauti Sol (Perhaps he* could become Sauti Sol)
Huenda Akawa Amos & Josh (Perhaps he* could become Amos &Josh)
Huenda Akawa……..(Perhaps he* could become)
Huenda Akawa Malaika, Mungu Ametupatia (Perhaps he* could be an Angel, (that)God has given us )

***In Swahili, he can be substituted for she unless it is clearly implied or stated that the gender referred to is female or male

***Lyrics (with a little bit of tweaking by me) thanks to Fetterly Consulting

LESSON #89: Swahili with lyrics…#02 (Majanga)-UPDATED

I did promise I would cover this song and since ahadi ni deni (a promise is a debt) here you go. The lyrics are interesting in that the type of Swahili used is more poetic than your usual grammatically correct kind of Swahili, so keeping that in mind I will translate in a way that is better understood by those who are not too knowledgeable in the language.

As for the general meaning it’s referring to one person doing all the dirty work whilst somebody else is reaping all the benefits or in other cases the person that should be compensated for losses/damage caused to them is the one being accused of causing them in the first place. You get the drift. So without further ado… (enjoy singing along while I translate, will be done in a minute)

http://youtu.be/5Eqi7iPyVMg

Mama yuko hoi mama, tumpeleke hospitalini, dokta anataka salali
mom is in bad condition, we should take her to the hospital, the doctor (however) is asking for his salary

Pigwa nimepigwa mie, polisi kawahi yeye, kibao nimegeuziwa mie
am the one who got beaten, he’s the one who hurried to the police, now the tables have been turned against me
×2

Pombe nimenunua mie, kulewa kalewa yeye, ugomvi kaanzisha yeye
I bought the alcohol, yet he’s the one that got drunk, he’s the one that started a fight
Kijijini nimtoe mie, kumlisha nimlishe mie, jeuri afanye yeye
I get her from the village, I feed her, yet she’s the one being rude to me/showing me attitude
×2

Majanga, majanga mbona majanga, mbona majanga….
disaster, disaster, this is just disaster

Ndoa tumefunga sie, mapenzi yetu wenyewe, talaka udai wewe
we got married, it’s our love, but you are the one asking for a divorce
Nyimbo nimeimba mie, video nimeshuti mie, shoo ukafanye wewe
I sang the song, I shot the video, you are the one doing the shows
×2
Chumba nimetafuta mie, kodi nilipe mwenyewe, nje unilaze wewe
I looked for the room, I paid the rent, yet you are the one making me sleep outside
Gari ninunue mie, mafuta niweke mie, misele upige wewe
I buy the car, I buy gas, yet you are the one cruising in it
×2

Majanga, majanga…..

Kumzaa nimzae mie, kumlea nimlee mie, matusi anitukane yeye
I give birth to him, I raise him, yet he’s the one insulting me
Mahari atoe yeye, kuoa aoe yeye, vya ndani uvile wewe

he pays the bride price (dowry), he marries (the girl), yet you are the one enjoying the benefits (having an affair with the wife
×2
Hela katafuta yeye, nyumba kajenga mwenyewe, mali tugombee sie
he worked for the money, he built the house, yet we are the ones fighting for his property (after death)
Kufiwa nifiwe mie, kulia nilie mie, pole uchukue wewe
I am the bereaved, I am the one mourning, yet you are the one accepting the condolence money
×2

Majanga, majanga…

(UPDATED) LESSON #80: Swahili with lyrics…#01 (Zuwena)

(UPDATE:)
translated-enjoy!

I kept promising to do it so today without even planning to just downloaded this tune and started listening to and writing the lyrics so as to present the very first “Swahili with lyrics segment”. Not sure how often I’ll be posting this so we’ll just play it by ear.

This first tune is as much a classic as a classic can be and the singer, Marijani Rajabu, is an absolute legend in Tanzania. He’s unfortunately passed on but of cuz his legacy is huge. Read More