Sunday, August 10, 2014

Malaika - Mmatswale (South African song about mother-in-laws)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a three part series on songs about mother-in-laws. This post showcases the song Mmatswale (English translation: "mother-in-law") by the South African Afro-Pop group "Malaika". Information about the group Malaika and selected comments about this song are also included in this post. Unfortunately, I've not been able to find the complete lyrics to this song. Any help with this would be appreciated.

Click for Part II of this series. Part II showcases the American R&B song "Mother-In-Law" by Ernie k-Doe.

Click fpr Part III of this series. Part III showcases the Trinidad & Tobago Calypso song "Nosey Mother-In-Law" by Lord Kitchener.

Notice the similarities between how mother-in-laws are depicted in the American and Caribbean song and how different mother-in-laws are depicted in the South African song.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Malaika for their musical legacy. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube. And hat tip to Janell Richison for alerting me to this song in her comment that was sent to this pancocojams post:

INFORMATION ABOUT MALAIKA (South African Afro-Pop Group)
"Matshediso Florence Mholo and Bongani Kevin Nchang - two top artists from the South African group Malaika - shine in this fourth full-length studio album titled Mmatswale. Mmatswale is Tswana (Southern Africa) for mother-in-law and was released in 2009.

The group Malaika has won many awards since their debut album, Malaika, which sold over 350,000 copies. Awards include Best Newcomer Group statuette in 2004, Best Afro-Pop Group in 2005, Best Southern African Group at the 2005 Kora awards. Their 2007 album, Sekunjalo, won them the SAMAs award.

From "Malaika – one of the first breakthrough Afro-pop acts in SA [South Africa]"
"On their third album, Mmatswale, they keep to the formula that won them hordes of followers while at the same time splashing in a dash of the new by tinting – for example – some of their house-ier tracks with an electronic edge.

On numbers like "Find a Way to My Heart", "Sail Away" and "Ndifuna Wena" expect jubilant, flighty, summer-tinted love songs delivered over hip-swaying arrangements made up of infectious polyrhythmic drums, lo-tempo keys and deep bass-lines that cross in half-way between kwaito and township jazz. "Mmatswale" and "Roma Nna" showcase that patented Malaika sound: gospel-touched, warm and celebratory – as catching as an ululation, trumpet-y and chorus-heavy, guaranteed to get the dance floor heaving under the weight of summer-time revellers breaking into the 'bus-stop'.

The album has its calmer moments, too. Tshedi and Bongani take the opportunity to flex their vocal-chord brawn on the acoustic-driven, poppy, adult-contemporary tracks “Then Came You” and “Farewell” which, admittedly, seem like slow burners if not entirely out of place on Mmatswale. The pan-African unity-driven “I’m an African” is, on the other hand, a pleasant surprise. Very experimental by Malaika’s standards, it sounds like the baby version of the Ivorian hit “Premier Gaou” by Magic System – only steeped heavily in Mzantsi jazz trumpetry.

Looking at the CD cover it’s hard to believe that Malaika arrive with one member short on Mmatswale. When Jabu Ndaba – former third wheel and group co-founder – lost a battle to TB in 2008 it seemed like Malaika would be filing itself into obscurity. However, if Mmatswale and the globally scattered internet comments are anything to go by, it doesn’t seem like this will be happening anytime soon. The group’s making some of their most interesting music to date"...

SHOWCASE VIDEO: Malaika - Mmatswale

African music videos - Museke, Uploaded on Feb 23, 2010

New hit track from South Africa's Malaika Home of the African Music Fan

Malaika is made up of Matshediso Florence Mholo and Bongani Kevin Nchang
Video edited by Andy Sherman for Black Orange Productions, directed by Mpumi Cuka and coloured at Blade; shot on RED
These excerpted lyrics are from a summary statement of another video example of this song:
"MALAIKA - Mmatswale

Mother in law, leave those pots...
Cose the one who should deal with them is coming.
Give her some space...
I love her crazy...
She is the one for me to be my wife"

1. daveangelo4u, September 8, 2011
"@misslivinlife88 “love him/her so much” its a traditional Tswana wedding song."

2. AdjoaTeiba, September 9, 2011
can somebody translate this for me? I absolutely love it but i don’t understand it cuz im from Ghana…

3. Nanaadjoa1990, September 9, 2011
"@proclusive matswale tlogela dipitsa tseo mongwatsona ke yo o etla.. the song is saying mmatswale (mother of the groom) should stop cleaning the pots or cooking n move aside coz the new owner (caretaker) is’s a traditional tswana song…oh the memories!"

gemzyangel, 2010
"oh wow, am from Ghana, but lived in Botswana all my life, n i must say this song really brings back memories from all those tswana weddings i went to!! thanx for posting it up..... :)"
Note: Tswana people are in Botswana and South Africa.

"Just attend a wedding in Botswana to hear the original version of this brilliant song! It's beautiful too! They have pure voices!"

3. Letticia Makgopa, 2013
"the song is about the mother in law basically she is being told to leave the cooking alone because the son has a [w]ife and she will take care of that"

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