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)


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

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

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
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

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
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

Majanga, majanga…

Snura’s ‘majanga’

When I finally get to start on the Swahili & lyrics segment that’s long overdue,  this tune will definitely be one of the first ones I’ll cover.  It was so popular here in TZ last year (it still is actually) and until now people still refer to the word majanga when things aren’t so good. Majanga is a Swahili word meaning Read More