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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Four Examples Of "Senzeni Na?"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases examples and lyrics of the anti-apartheid song "Senzeni Na?".

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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INFORMATION ABOUT SENZENI NA
From 3Fhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senzeni_Na%3F
"“Senzeni Na?” (also spelled Senzenina, English: What Have We Done?)[1] is a South African anti‐apartheid folk song. The Xhosa/Zulu language song is commonly sung at funerals, demonstrations and in churches.[1][2] Activist Duma Ndlovu compared the influence of “Senzeni Na?” to that of the American protest song, “We Shall Overcome.”[3]

The song has been around at least since the 1950s, and it reached the height of its popularity during the 1980s.[1] The origins of the song are unclear. Zimbabwean poet Albert Nyathi claims to have written “Senzeni Na?” on the day that activist Chris Hani died.[4] However, Nyathi’s “Senzeni Na?” uses a different melody and altered lyrics. Either way, Hani was assassinated on April 10, 1993, by which time the song had already been sung for decades."

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LYRICS: SENZENI NA?
"There doesn’t seem to be one universally agreed on set of lyrics"...

Xhosa/Zulu original
Senzeni na?
Sono sethu, ubumnyama?
Sono sethu yinyaniso?
Sibulawayo Mayibuye i Africa

English translation
What have we done?
Our sin is that we are black?
Our sin is the truth
They are killing us
Let Africa return
-snip-
Here's another set of lyrics/translations for this song from http://www.omniglot.com/songs/african/zulu.php

"This is a protest song from the days of Apartheid in South Africa."

Senzeni na?
What have we done?

Sono sethu, ubumyama?
Our sin is that we are black?

Sono sethu yinyaniso?
Our sin is the truth

Sibulawayo
They are killing us

Mayibuye i Africa
Let Africa return
-snip-
This page contains a link to a recording of this song which is "combined with the traditional Welsh hymn, Trig gyda mi, which has almost the same tune (Bangor Community Choir)"

Other lyrics for this song are given in comments to the videos found below.

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FEATURED VIDEOS
(These videos are presented in chronological order based on the date of their posting, with the oldest dated example given first.)

Example #1: Albert Nyathi - Senzeni Na?



ShayaFM, Uploaded on Nov 11, 2007
-snip-
Here's a comment from this video's viewer comment thread. The comment was written in response to the question "What is the complete English translation of the song? I want to know what she is crying about."

"Ndebele: Senzeni na? (What did we do?)

Ndebele: Soneni na? (What sin have we commited?)

Shona: Tatadzeyi ko? (What have we done wrong?)

Girl (Ndebele): Bang'thathel' ubaba wam' (They took my father from me)

Girl (Ndebele): Ngilahlekelwe mina (*this literally means* I've lost someone *meaning they died*

Watching this video as a child always made me cry cause it upset me to see other people cry --> now i kno the meaning behind it...I still want to cry :'(
-"Zee Zamar Mabuza, 2010

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Example #2: Senzenina -South Africa



Brian Chimhepo, Uploaded on Aug 16, 2009

Apartheid is still live and well in Suid Afrika
-snip-
This video is made up of scenes from the movie "The Power Of One".
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Power_of_One_(film)
"The Power of One is a 1992 dramatic [American] film based on the 1989 novel of the same name by Bryce Courtenay. Set in South Africa during the '30s and '40s, the film centers on the life of Peter Philip 'Peekay or PK' Kenneth-Keith (Guy Witcher), a young English boy raised during the apartheid era, and his relationship with a German pianist, a black prisoner who is a boxing coach, and a romantic interest, who is of Afrikaner descent."

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Example #3: "Senzenina" by Cape Town Youth Choir (formerly Pro Cantu Youth Choir) / soloist : Monde Mdingi



Guillaume Muller, Uploaded on Aug 14, 2010

Festival du Cap 2010

"Senzenina" by Cape Town Youth Choir (formerly Pro Cantu Youth Choir) / Cape Town / soloist : Monde Mdingi
Lyrics: " Senzenina /Sohlangana ezulwini"
Translation: "What have we done / we shall meet in heaven"
-snip-
Comment from this video's viewer comment thread:
[regarding the first two verses that are found above]

"This is not the lyrics sung in this video. Those lyrics are "Senzenina /Sohlangana ezulwini"

Translation: "What have we done / we shall meet in heaven " .
-Guillaume Muller, 2012

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Example #4: The Power of One - Funeral Scene (Senzenina)



elyusai1,·Published on Mar 10, 2012

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Thanks to the composer of this song and thanks to all those who are featured in these videos. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

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