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Sample Track 1:
"Prince of Peace" from Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Sample Track 2:
"Umon Usuk Esweni" from Ladysmith Black Mambazo
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TRANSLATIONS FOR LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO’S ILEMBE: HONORING SHAKA ZULU

(Explanations by Joseph Shabalala)

 

“O Mmu Beno Mmu” (oh-MMMM benn Oh-MMMM) (“Somebody and Somebody”)

“When somebody and somebody else get together, they can do their best work. I don’t use names because it doesn’t matter who those two people are. They can be anybody. They can be you and your friend. You can do something better when you work with someone else.”


“Kuyafundw’ Osizini (Ilembe)”
(koo-yah-FOON-doo oh-SEE-zee-nee)

(“Learning from the Obstacles [The Greatest Warrior]”)

“Don’t worry about the many things that are in your way. If you confront those obstacles and learn from them, you will teach others how to conquer the same kinds of obstacles. There are people who complain about everything, and they want to avoid doing things that are too hard, like school or a job. Those people should stay where they are and learn from their experiences.”


“Vela Nsizwa”
(vell-onn-SEEZ-wah) (“Show Yourself, Young Man”)

“If a young lady decides to accept a young man’s courtship, she says ‘This is the one.’ If you are the chosen one, it is time for you to show yourself, to prove that you are morally upright and committed to the relationship. It is time to prove yourself to be a worthy suitor.”


“Let’s Do It”

“This is a song about politics. Everyone says politics is a dirty game, but it can be channeled to do good. All we need is blessings from the Almighty. Together we can make it happen and show the world that we can succeed.


“Umon’ Usuk’ Esweni”
(oo-MONN oo-SOOK ess-WAY-nee) (“Jealous Eyes”)

“Jealousy comes from seeing something and saying ‘I want that.’ Jealousy is a dangerous thing. If you see something you want, make sure you’re sure you will love it. Something can be very beautiful and alluring, but not good for you.” 


“Sizobalanda”
(SEE-zoe bah-LONN-dah) (“We Are Here”)

“We are here to preach, and to encourage people to understand God and bring them home to a place where they can love God.”


“This Is the Way We Do”

“Many people have asked us how we have had so much success. This is the way we do it. We put our songs together to worship God. If there’s something you want from this life, you have to ask God to help show you the way of how to do it. If you want to be successful at anything, you can only do it with the help of God.”


“Iphel’ Emasini”
(eep-ELL ee-mah-SEE-nee) (“A Cockroach in the Milk”)

“The title is a Zulu proverb that means, ‘There’s a beautiful thing in front of you, but there is a cockroach on top of it.’ A cockroach is very easy to see when it’s standing in something white. You can spoil something by concentrating too much on the negative. Try to look past the bad things and focus on the good things. Otherwise, you’ll be afraid to enjoy life.”


“Asekhon’ Amatshitshi”
(ah-SECK-hone ah-mah-CHEE-chee)

(“The Virgins Are Still There”)

“The song praises and encourages the young women who still take care of their virginity. So many people in my country are convinced that the young women are corrupt, and have no respect for their bodies. But I’m saying that there are still many young women who are careful to protect their virtue.”


“Hlala Nami”
(LAH-lah NAH-mee) (“Stay With Me”)

“This song talks about the value of staying with a good person, whether it’s a wife or a husband or a friend – any person from whom you can learn and do good things. You might have a friend whom you stay with for a while, but then you grow tired of him and you run away, and then you get into trouble. That friend will say, ‘Hey, come back to me. Stay with me. We did good things together.”


“Prince of Peace”

“This is about that young man named Jesus. This is about encouraging people to love one another. It’s similar to the story of Shaka Zulu, but Jesus was much more than that. Shaka would sometimes take his spear and fight. But the spear that Jesus used was the truth. He told people how to live in peace, even when some people in his time didn’t want to hear that message.”


“Iphel’ Emasini” (Nature Effects)
(eep-ELL ee-mah-SEE-nee)

(“A Cockroach in the Milk”)

An alternate version of track #8.



Additional Info
Ladysmith Black Mambazo Pays Tribute to South African Cultural ...
TRANSLATIONS FOR LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO’S ILEMBE: HONORING SHAKA ...

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