Wednesday, September 29, 2010

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MOURNING SONGS AMONG THE NGONI

  • Wednesday, September 29, 2010
  • Samuel Kadyakale
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  • By Margaret Read
    Sources: Songs of the Ngoni People

    There are no real mourning songs of the Ngoni as singing and dancing were not part of the burial rites except at the death of a chief, though at subsequent funeral rites, some months later, it is customary to dance ingoma. The first one is sung to the igubu and is obviously a woman's mourning for her husband. The second I heard a woman sing at tl:e burial of her grandmother, and she said her grandmother had taught it to her. Many other igubu songs are in reality mourning songs.



    (1) Ngoni :

    Ngagolozela lashon' umyeni (repeat)
    Bathi ngitshengis' isizib' esinengwenya
    Ngizilahle
    Ngingokwenzan' elele na ? (repeat)

    English :

    I have stared at the setting (death) of my husband.
    They say, show me the pool that has a crocodile.
    Let me throw myself away.
    What can I do ? Alas !


    (2) Ngoni :

    Namuhla ngiyakuloya
    Nang' umthakathi
    Wena wafa njani ?
    Muyanihleka, hlekani, ngingodingayo mina.
    Ngithum' ubani ?
    Mwena muyatuma 'bantwana
    Ngindinda nginje ngithum' endlini
    Niyandinda nelidolo ngihamb' ematsheni
    Ngingedwa ngithath' izigodo ngingedwa
    Ha ! niyakhalel' umtakomama.
    Waza wangishiya phalubalala
    Ngihlalela yena. Nizothini?

    English :

    Today I shall bewitch1
    Here is the witch.
    You, how did you die ?
    You are laughing at me, laugh. I am poor, I.
    Whom can I send ?
    You folk you are sending children.
    I wander about by myself. I send to the house.
    I wander about on my knees. I go on the stones2
    Alone I carry branches, I alone.
    Ha ! I am crying for your child, mother.
    She has gone. She has left me in a lonely place.3
    I stayed for her. What shall I say ?

    FOOTNOTE

    1.The grandmother actually died in alarming circumstances and there was talk of witchcraft for weeks afterwards.

    2.The stones at the women's washing place.

    3.That is reading ebaleni for phalubalala.

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