Monday, October 26, 2015

Examples Of Non-Religious Jamas From Ghanaian High Schools, Colleges, And Universities

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part III of a three part series on Ghanaian jama (gyama) and
Ghanaian jama sessions.

Part III showcases six videos of secular (non-religious) jama songs and jama sessions from Ghanaian secondary schools (high schools), colleges, and universities.

The Addendum to this post features two examples of jamas from Allan Family, a Ghanaian band. I'm not sure if these examples are religious or non-religious.

Click for Part I of this series. Part I includes my speculative definitions of the Ghanaian meanings of the word "jama" (gyama) with examples from YouTube discussion threads. Part I also features an excerpt from a Ghanaian article that mentions gyama. That article includes two text examples of jamas.

Click for Part II of this series. Part II features videos of the Ghanaian football (soccer) team, the Black Stars, singing jamas.

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

Thanks to all those who are featured in these videos. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post, and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

Additions and corrections to these speculative definitions would be greatly appreciated. I'm particularly interested in knowing when (decades) the term "jama sessions" and/or "jama songs" was first used in Ghana and whether these terms are also used elsewhere in Africa.
Speculative Definitions For Jama:
In Ghana (and perhaps elsewhere in West Africa and/or Africa), the word "jama" ("gyama") appears to be a noun, and maybe also as an adjective or a verb.

Jama, noun
1. group morale, team spirit
Example: marisol ex, 2014
i love dis show it shows that in ghana we have more jama GH Loudest "Won Shi Jama" Edition 3

Jama, a double noun (or an adjective + a noun?)
2. a place or an occasion where jama songs and other jama activity occurs; "a jama session"*, a "jama competition", a "jama celebration"
Example (Summary for the video whose link is given above) GH Loudest, a jama competition codenamed "won shi Jama" featuring 20 supporter groups in Ghana
Note: Jama activity may be quite boisterous, and includes usually
uptempo [?], singing (or chanting ?) that can be accompanied by drums and other percussive instruments (beaded gourd instrument, iron bell), and/or horns, hand clapping, jumping up and down, dancing (for example: Azonto, Kpanlogo), males waving shirts or flags, etc.

Jama, a double noun (or adjective + a noun?)
descriptive of the type of music or songs
Additional speculative definitions and comments can be found in Part I of this pancocojams series. Additions and corrections are welcome.

*It's important to also note that the Ghanaian term "jama sessions" doesn't have the same meaning as the American (United States) term "jam sessions". One definition for "jam session" is "a meeting of a group of musicians, especially jazz musicians, to play for their own enjoyment."

In the USA, "college" means post-secondary school. However, in Ghana, "college" may be the same as "high school" (secondary schools) are in the United States.

I think that Ghanaian college/university jamas are quite similar in purpose and in (some) activities to American pep rallies, at least to how those pep rallies used to be (pre-1990s? or earlier) before they became structured entertainment programs that feature dance performances, lightly competitive comedic games, and other content.

Click for a pancocojams post on American pep rallies.

These examples are given in chronological order according to their publishing dates on YouTube with the oldest dated example given first.

The comments are given to provide examples of how the word "jama" is used and to add to the experience of watching and hearing these videos. The comments are given in chronological order, except for responses. However, they may not be in consecutive order.

Editor's Note: Pancocojams policy is not to print any text that contains profanity other than the word "damn" or is sexually explicit.

Unfortunately, I don't speak or read any language but English. Consequently, I don't know what these songs are about. Several commenters wrote that some jama songs can be rather irreverent. My guess is that some jama songs might (also) be sexually explicit. My apologies if any of the content of these videos is contrary to this blog's policy.

That said, these videos of Ghanaian high school, college, and university jamas (and particularly the video of Jama in Stadium) remind me of the boisterous enthusiasm of some United States high school and pep rallies. A pancocojams post on pep rallies will be published ASAP and the link to that post will be added here for comparison's sake.

Example #1: Jama in Stadium

Dennis Archipalago, Uploaded on Jun 29, 2011
241denzel, 2011
"thats is Inter-Schools (interco) sports competition day in Kumasi, GHANA.....damn, i miss those ol'skuul dayz. It was all fun!!!!!!!!!!"
The article excerpted in Part I of this series refers to inter-schools sports competitive day (interco).

Example #2: Katanga Morale (gyama)

Nana Kofi, Uploaded on Jan 19, 2012

Soul uplifting morale.
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread:
Kojo Kojor
"clasic gyama"

Kwabena Asamoah
"Miss my days back at the greatest hall there ever is. Fellows, Chaaaaarrrrggggeeeeeee!!!!!!!!"

Sam Oystein
"It is interesting how your worldview changes years after leaving KNUST. Some of the words are quite uncomfortable. I now understand why some of our hall masters were so much interested in limiting the excesses.

I cannot believe I sang all these songs in Katanga. Hmmm.... but that is a stage every young man goes through I guess...We live to learn. Interesting times."

Sam Oystein
"The last jama made my day...
Katanga is the superpower of UST...
Katanga wonim no na woo do no.....
Brings back memories of days by the central pond and hearing sounds of the bombardier and the smell of the carbide and going through some levels of illusions and hallucinations :D
Interesting times."

Isaac Asante
"Kai, The Legend Lives On. Fellows Chhhhhhaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggggeeeeeeeeeee"

Andy Dean
"@ the end of it all there shall be only one university hall, KATANGA. Fellows......CHARGE"

samuel tagoe
spoil dere
charley when i here this jama den something happens to me
charley thanks kk
"KNUST" = Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology (Ghana)
"Katanga" is a particular hall [college?] in KNUST.
A video of jamas from Continental, another KNUST hall, is given below.

Example #3: gyama wesco

Eddyfrimp, Published on May 19, 2012

wesley college Kumasi
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread:

"Debauchery from FUTURE TEACHERS!...AWFUL!!!
WESCO is now a far cry from the elite institution we all used to dream about in our teen years!"

Here's information from Wesley College's Wikipedia page: "Wesley College of Education is a Teacher Training College in Kumasi, Ashanti Region in Ghana."

Example #4: Conti.. morale(unity hall knust)

Senanu Sedzro, Published on May 27, 2013

welcome to the most powerful hall in knust..
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread:

Papa Kwame
"proud continental"

christian mbeah-baiden

Mustapha Sanusi
"that is great the jam is good"

Example #5: Adisco jama 2013 year group

godwin avoryie, Published on Mar 17, 2014
Here's a comment from this video's discussion thread:
bernard amponfi, 2014
"aww i miss my sch...santas for life"
Adisadel College is an all boys public high school in Ghana.

"Adisco" is mentioned in the text of one of the jamas given in an article that is excerpted in Part I of this series.

Note that "__ for life" is a saying that I've found in a number of
YouTube discussion threads of a number of other contemporary videos from Africa and the African Diaspora, including African Americans. I think this saying came from historically Black (African American) Greek letter fraternities and sororities, but I'm not sure about that. "__ for life" means that the person is very proud of belonging to that population and/or institution or group.

Example #6: GH Loudest "Won Shi Jama" Edition 3

Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Published on May 28, 2014
GH Loudest, a jama competition codenamed "won shi Jama" featuring 20 supporter groups in Ghana
Here's a comment from this video's discussion thread:
marisol ex, 2014
"i love dis show it shows that in ghana we have more jama"

Example #1: Jama - Allan Family

tulyricz, Uploaded on Jan 19, 2010

Jama music from Accra Ghana.Ghana music,west african music.
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread:
lauri greg

"good cultural beat...still sankofa...the good old beats...ghana all the way."

"My parents are Ewe, and I can feel every bit of this music. Can you feel those drums? Who needs a guitar or saxophone to make great music?"

Here's information about Kpanlogo music:
"Kpanlogo is a recreational dance and music form from Ghana, West Africa. It was first played by the Ga ethnic group, most of whom live in and around the capital city, Accra, but is now performed and enjoyed throughout the country. It began in the early 1960s as an innovative dance form, influenced by American rock and roll, and giving the younger Ga generations a point of distinction from their elders. Ghanaian master drummer C.K. Ladzekpo states that kpanlogo "is essentially an urban youth dance-drumming and a symbol of the commitment of a rapidly growing Ghanaian urban neighborhood youth in advocating their perspective in shaping the political vision of post colonial Africa" (1995: web).[1] The kpanlogo dance is often performed low to the ground, with bent knees and bent back, and frequently features sexually suggestive motions.

The music accompanying the kpanlogo dance is drawn from older Ga drumming traditions, such as gome, oge and kolomashie. Kpanlogo music uses three types of instruments: nono (metal bell), fao (gourd rattle), and kpanlogo drums."...

Seth Addae
"Thats High School time, full Jama"

Example #2: Allan Family - Kenan (Jama Song) [[Adadamu]]

Adadamu, Published on Dec 28, 2014

Keeping The Spirit Of Original Ghanaian Music Alive!!

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