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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

P Square's Nigerian Dance Song "Shekini" & Barbapappa's "Hek Nifi Lili", A Moroccan Parody Of "Shekini" (information, videos, & lyrics)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a three part pancocojams series on the Nigerian Afrobeat dance song "Shekini" performed by P-Square and Barbapappa's song "Hek Nifi Lili", a Moroccan parody of "Shekini" performed by Barbapappa.

Part I provides information about P-Square and information about Barbappa. Quotes from an interview of P-Square, and quotes from an interview of Barbapappa are also included in this post, along with information about the meaning of the word "Shekini". Part I also showcases the official videos of these songs, and includes examples of these songs' lyrics.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2016/01/the-global-reach-of-nigerians-p-squares.html for Part II. Part II documents the global reach of p Square's song "Shekini" by compiling a list of the nationalities that commenters gave (with each nation given one time), and by presenting selected quotes from some of those commenters.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2016/01/more-comments-from-youtube-discussion.html for Part III showcases the video of that song and also provides selected comments from those video's discussion threads.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the composer of this song. Thanks also to p Square for performing the original version of "Shekini" and to Barbapappa for their performance of a parody of "Shekini". Thanks to all those who were associated with these songs' and these videos' production. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

****
UPDATE: STATISTICS FOR THESE TWO OFFICIAL VIDEOS
For what it's worth, since the number of YouTube viewer hits has played such a large part of the discussion threads for these official videos*, here are the statistics as of January 28, 2016 at 2:40 PM - about three hours after I published Part III of this series. Although this post was published on January 27, 2016, I've noticed that YouTube doesn't change their statistic count that often.

official YouTube video for P-Square "Shekini" :
Viewers: 28,249,881

Comments: 4,406

**
official YouTube video for Barbapappa “Shekini” parody "Hek Lili Nifi"
Viewers: 31,516,442

Comments: 8,140

*Both of these songs have other videos published on YouTube. I'm not adding those statistics to this count.

****
PART I
INFORMATION ABOUT P SQUARE
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-Square
"P-Square are a Nigerian R&B duo composed of identical twin brothers Peter Okoye and Paul Okoye.[1] They produce and release their albums through Square Records. In December 2011, they signed a record deal with Akon's Konvict Muzik label.[2] In May 2012, they signed a record distribution deal with Universal Music South Africa....

In 2001, "P-Square" won the "Grab Da Mic" competition, and hence Benson & Hedges sponsored their debut album, titled Last Nite, which was released under Timbuk2 music label. P-Square was also nominated as "Most Promising African Group" in the Kora Awards three months after the release of their debut album. They eventually won the 2003 Amen Award for "Best R&B Group".[4]"...

****
SHOWCASE VIDEO: PSquare - Shekini [Official Video]



PSquareVEVO, Published on Nov 17, 2014

Africa’s biggest singing duo come through with the second video to one of the singles off their recently released 6th studio album, “Double Trouble”. “Shekini” video is an energetic pictorial which sees the artistes combine with youthful dancers to perform moves that’d bring you to life. From garages to underground scenes, the dark-themed flick definitely does justice to the song. Video was directed by Clarence Peters, and song produced by Vtek, who also made a cameo appearance

****
WHAT "SHEKINI" MEANS
According to a nollylovers.com interview with the Nigerian duo P-Square, the word "shekini" means "do it" or "do that thing".

My sense is that this is an extension of the established meaning of the Yoruba word (or words?) "se ki ni".

The following interview quote reveals what P-Square say the word "Shekini" means:
From http://nollylovers.com/forum2_theme_111501077.xhtml?tema=96 P square reveals the meaning of SHEKINI –
"Popular nigerian act Psquare, a musical group of two twin brothers namely Peter Okoye and Paul Okoye finally reveals the meaning of Shekini. Shekini is the 7th track on their Album "Double Trouble " that was released in the year 2014, on the month of september. No doupt, shekini is one of the top rocking songs in Nigeria and the whole world at large and it's one of the best of P square in the year 2014 (released year) matching to 2015.. In a #saturday Interview with Nollylovers.com, Peter Okoye revealed the meaning of shekini to us. He said " Shekini means 'Do it' and in pigeon English, it means 'Do that thing ".
-snip-
In the context of this song "Shekini" probably means something like "dance very well". Comparable sayings in African American Vernacular English may be "Rock it!" and "Get down!)

In the discussion thread for the official YouTube "Shekini" video Agislin Johnson (January 2016) broke it down (succinctly explained) the meaning of that P-Square song by writing "The song means shake your body"

And at least one commenter in the discussion thread for P Square's "Shekini" video implied that that word might have a sexual meaning:
Dami lola, December 2015
"+MagdalenaShakti maybe shekini in yoruba means "to do", so i think they were referring to that thing, you know what i mean."

Here's a comment exchange from the YouTube discussion thread for P-Square's "Shekini" (official video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCcuzqRRTHQ:
Paul Williams, November 2015
"In Old Testament times, Shekinah is a word that describes the presence and glory of God, it was the thing that come down upon the ark of the covenant on the mercy seat. so am I right in guessing it has the same meaning as Shekini in Psquare's song?"

Reply
OyOdiMe, December, 2015
"Shekini is a Yòrubá word, meaning to do what? A language in Nigeria. In context to the song, I'm not sure what's trying to say."
-snip-
Editor's comment:
The Google translate page from Yoruba to English gave no results for the word "shekini". It was only after I entered the Yoruba words (?) se ki ni into the Google translate box that I got the translation "Do what".

I don't speak or read Yoruba. but I gather that in Yoruba "s" followed by a vowel is pronounced "sh". I also gather that a number of (or most?) contemporary Nigerians are including a "h" in Yoruba words with that spelling/pronunciation. For example, "sekini" (spelled "Shekini"), "Sango" (spelled "Shango"), and "orisa" (spelled "orisha"). It's interesting that the name of the Nigerian/British singer Sade spells her name that way but the name is pronounced "SHA-day". ("Sade" is a clip of the Yoruba name "Folasade".

****
LYRICS- SHEKINI
(as sung by P-Square)

[Intro]
P-Square eh eh
ahn ahn
(Alen 4x)
ahn ahn
Lets go

[Hook]
Otu de oya sare wa gba kekere kerewawo
Atu ti de oya burukutu make e sarabara owey
(Oya shekini ni ni ni ni 3x)
Oya shekina na na na na
Ehn ehn

[Verse 1]
I get the power eh
Me I no dey bother yeh
I no be footballer but I sabi do the Ronaldo (lets go)
I get the power (ah) me I no dey bother (ehn ehn)
I no be footballer but I sabi do the Ronaldo

[Chorus]
Take it (slow)
Take it (free)
Alhaji (ehn ehn)
Ehn ehn (listen)
Take it (ahn)
Take it (orijo)
Alhaji (okay)
Ehn ehn (hmm)
Oya show no wahala (hala)
You dey make enemy go madder (madder)
Baby go, go hala (ehn ehn)
You dey make me wanna craze (oya now)

[Hook]
Otu de oya sare wa gba kekere kerewawo
Atu ti de oya burukutu make e sarabara owey
Oya shekini ni ni ni ni (3x)
Oya shekina na na na na
Ehn ehn

[Verse 2]
(We don go with another (yes)
Wey go take una further (yes)
Na we be the brothers
Wey dey scatter all over the borders (alen) 2x

[Chorus]
Take it (slow)
Take it (free)
Alhaji (ehn ehn)
Ehn ehn (listen)
Take it (ahn)
Take it (orijo)
Alhaji (okay)
Ehn ehn (hmm)
Oya show no wahala (hala)
You dey make enemy go madder (madder)
Baby go, go hala (ehn ehn)
You dey make me wanna craze (oya now)

[Hook]
Otu de oya sare wa gba kekere kerewawo
Atu ti de oya burukutu make e sarabara owey
(Oya shekini ni ni ni ni 3x)
Oya shekina na na na na
Ehn ehn
(Burukutu) Hey 2x
Burukutu
ahn ahn
P-Square
(Alen 4x)
ahn ahn

[Chorus]
Take it (slow)
Take it (free)
Alhaji (ehn ehn)
Ehn ehn (listen)
Take it (ahn)
Take it (orijo)
Alhaji (okay)
Ehn ehn (hmm)
Oya show no wahala (hala)
You dey make enemy go madder (madder)
Baby go, go hala (ehn ehn)
You dey make me wanna craze (oya now)

[Hook]
Otu de oya sare wa gba kekere kerewawo
Atu ti de oya burukutu make e sarabara owey
(Oya shekini ni ni ni ni 3x)
Oya shekina na na na na
Ehn ehn

Source: http://www.metrolyrics.com/shekini-lyrics-psquare.html
-snip-
I don't know the meaning of most of the Yoruba words or most of the Nigerian Pidgin English words in this song. That said, I think that the words aren't supposed to make much sense since the lyrics aren't as important as the danceable beat. For example, the lyric "Baby go" means "Girl, keep on doing those dance moves".

That said, I recognize the word "wahala" which is Nigerian Pidgin for "trouble". And the word "Alagi" is a (contemporary?) form of the Yoruba word "Alhaji"*. Also, "Ronaldo" is a renown Portuguese footballer (soccer player) who has some African ancestry. His great-grandmother Isabel da Piedade was from Cape Verde
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cristiano_Ronaldo
-snip-
I'm curious about the meaning of the Yoruba word "oya" as found in the song "Shekini". I've also seen this word in other Afro-beat songs (for example, this line in the song "Ife Wa Gbona" performed by Tiwa Savage featuring Leo Wonder "Oya mama o".)

I'm aware that Oya is the Yoruba orisha (goddess) of the wind, but I wonder if that has anything to do with this Nigerian Pidgin English (?) use of that word. My guess is that "oya now" means "listen now"), but that's just a guess. I hope that someone reading this shares the meaning of this and of other words in this song.

*comment exchange from the YouTube discussion thread of the "Shekini" video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6n5uhr85Zmo

TechG101, December 2015
"what does "Alagi" mean?"
**
Reply
Tia Ade, December 2015
"+TechG101 Alhaji is a respected member of society who successfully made the trip to Mecca. If it's a woman, she is called "Alhaja".."
-snip-
The man dancing in the white rope represents "Alagi" ("Alhaji").

****
PART II
INFORMATION ABOUT BARBAPAPPA & THE PARODY OF SHEKINI
Here's an English translation of an excerpt of an article about Barbapappa and its parody of P-Square's song "Shekini". My American English "translations" of the English translation that is found in this article is given in brackets. The portion given in italics means that I'm not sure about that "re-translation".

From https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2015/03/06/hek-lili-nifi-le-tube-parodique-qui-fait-danser-le-maroc_4589106_3212.html&prev=search

Interview: "Hek Nifi Lili", the tube that parody dance Morocco ["Scratch My Nose", The Moroccan Youtube Parody Hit]
Interview by Sofian Aissaoui
The Monde.fr| On 03/06/2015 at 7:48 p.m. • Updated 03/08/2015 at 2:27 p.m.
"Ali is Melouk director. Whoever is behind the music that made dance the Morocco right now, Lili Nifi Hek, began his studies at Casablanca before joining the Conservatory of free cinema French in Paris. [Ali Melouk is the director behind "Lili Nifi Hek", the most popular dance music in Morocco right now. Ali Melouk began his studies in Casablana before joining the Conservatory of free cinema French in Paris.] Today he runs his own production company and oversees a group of audiovisual professionals named Barbapappa, which consists of forty people.

It is through the label Barbara Ali Melouk realizes Hek Lili Nifi clip (scraper my nose), a parody of Shekini, the tube by Nigerian duo P-Square. [Ali Melouk's group (label?) Barbapappa produced the (video) clip "Stratch My Nose", a parody of "Shekini", the YouTube hit by the Nigerian duo P-Square.] Since its launch in late January 2015, the video parody [has] achieved no less than 9 million views. Ali Melouk welcomes this success and entrusts his pride to convey through this travesty values f peace and commitment against racism. [Ali Melouk welcomes this success and humbly says that this parody values peace and is committed to the goal of ending racism.]

How [did] you get the idea of parody music of Nigerian duo P-Square?
The idea to do this parody came to me like that [The idea to do this parody came to me like this]. I was at disco, and I heard their music, Shekini. "It is imperative that I make a parody! [I was at a disco (nightclub] and I heard the song "Shekini." When I heard that song I thought "I've really got to make a parody.] In eight days, we wrote lyrics, recorded music, shot and edited the video. I did dance when I was younger. So I could ask some friends for the video shoot. [I danced (professionally) when I was younger. So I still had contacts with some dancer friends who I asked to join me in making the video.] Some of these dancers have participated in Redbull BC One in China or Brazil, an international competition of break dance.

That tells Lili Hek Nifi? [What does "Lili Hek Nifi" Mean?]
The words of our music want nothing to say. [The words don't really mean anything."] The aim is above all to dance all the world. [More than anything, the song's purpose is to get the whole world dancing (together).] Before creating this music, we did a study on the psychology of crowds It is a way of saying that we are not racist: in our video, there are small, big, large, Berbers, Westerners ... When you look at our video, we recognize it necessarily ! [When you look at our video, you will recognize that it was important for us to have a multi-cultural mix of people in this video.

Your video is intended as a weapon against racism. The problems of racism in Morocco are so profound? [Your video is intended as a weapon against racism. Does Morocco have a problem with racism?]

There is racism between Moroccans and we denounce that. We are against injustice. For us there is only one Morocco. We are in a society where people focus more on what is material. Behind the humorous aspect of our music, the message we want to convey is that human values are what is most important. The human comes first. [Humanity comes first.] For us, no one should be afraid of anyone. The anti-Black racism also exists in Morocco, but I find that racism among Moroccans is much more present. [Anti-Black racism exists in Morocco, but I find that racism among Moroccans [of different ethnicities/religion {?) is more prevelant/. From city to city, there is a kind of competition between people. However, Morocco is a beautiful country. In Morocco, when your pockets are empty, you can still be happy. We, what we ask people is to be opened on the world.

Is this success on the Internet has attracted the covetousness of some producers? [Has your Internet success attracted producers' attention [to your group]?I

The success of the clip is completely unexpected. Our parody exceeds the number of views the video of the original music, you can not believe. [It's hard to believe that our parody has had more (YouTube) viewers than the original video (by P-Square). When we went to Rachid Show (a famous show in Morocco, Ed), the presenter told us that our visit boosterait the views of the video. It allowed us to reach a new audience.”...
-snip-
Editor's comment:
I applaud Ali Melouk for his intention to produce an anti-racist parody of P-Square's "Shekini".

However, given that racist have called people of Black African descent "monkeys" and have thrown bananas at us, it's unfortunate that this Moroccan song includes "brother, have a banana" in its lyrics. I think those lyrics and the visuals of the Black man holding a banana come close to being racially provocative if not racist.

Also, given that a prevalent stereotype of Black people is that we are drug addicts, I think that it's unfortunate that that image is part of this video. The title and recurring line "scratch [or rub] my nose" reinforces that image as one symptom of a person being an addict is rubbing or scratching his or her nose and arms. http://www.therecoveryvillage.com/drug-addiction/observing-signs/.

Other than those [I believe] important criticisms, I thought the video's production was high quality and wasn't as offensive as it could have been, if, for example, the Moroccans had done blackface.

****
SHOWCASE VIDEO: Parodie: Shekini, P square "Hek Lili Nifi حك ليلي نيفي" - Officiel



Barbapappa TV, Published on Jan 28, 2015
-snip-
Update January 28, 2016: Several people posting to this video's discussion thread wrote or alluded that the West Africans in the video are from the Ivory Coast.

****
LYRICS -HEK NIFI LILI
(as sung by Barbapappa)

Here are two transcriptions of this song from
Andrew Akpoguma, November 2015
Simple truth the original is making money not the parody, btw lord knows morocco isn't making close enough headlines and cash as Nigeria.

Barapappa c'est mon papa
Tu parles le marocain un peu?
Hello! hello, tu as du lait ? du lait, du lait ?

Je me demande pourquoi mon petit frère veut fumer
Je viens de le voir, mon frère, mange donc du couscous et dis salut à papa
Frère, gratte moi le nez
Frère, gratte moi le nez,
Frère, prend donc une banane

Oh Agadir, comment tu vas aujourd'hui
Viens donc ici, à la maison de mon ami Mohamad

-"Tu étais passé ou? Tu étais passé ou ?"
-"Moi? je viens de là-bas"

Frère, regarde, prend et donne,
Le jeux ne fait pas de cadeau
Frère, regarde, prend et donne,
Aujourd'hui tu as vendu à bas prix (=tu m'as déçu)

Je me demande pourquoi mon petit frère veut fumer
Je viens de le voir, mon frère, mange donc du couscous et dis salut à papa
Frère, gratte moi le nez
Frère, gratte moi le nez,
Frère, prend donc une banane

Mon frère s'est envolé au Canada,
Et il y a fait le bazar,
Il a rapporté avec lui une godasse,
Il a trouvé que des frères

-"Tu étais passé ou? Tu étais passé ou ?"
-"Moi? je viens de là-bas"

Frère, regarde, prend et donne,
Le jeux ne fait pas de cadeau
Frère, regarde, prend et donne,
Aujourd'hui tu as vendu à bas prix (=tu m'as déçu)

Je suis fort, fort, moi je suis un danger
Je suis fort, fort, moi je suis un danger
L'idiot que vous connaissez, laisse moi changer

Je suis fort, fort, moi je suis un danger
Je suis fort, fort, moi je suis un danger
L'idiot que vous connaissez, laisse moi changer

Casablanca , Abidjan c'est la même famille
C'est mon papa, pas ma maman, ici c'est mon papa.
Bara Barbapappa

Barbapapa is my dad
Talk Morocco a little?
Hi! hello, you have milk? milk, milk?
I wonder why my little brother wants to smoke
I just saw my brother, eat couscous and say hi to daddy
Brother, scratching my nose
Brother, scratching my nose,
Brother, so take a banana
Agadir Oh, how are you today
Come here in the house of my friend Mohamad
- "You were past or past or You were?"
- "? Me, I've just there"
Brother, look, gives and takes,
The game does not present
Brother, look, gives and takes,
Today you sold cheap (= you have disappointed me)
I wonder why my little brother wants to smoke
I just saw my brother, eat couscous and say hi to daddy
Brother, scratching my nose
Brother, scratching my nose,
Brother, so take a banana
My brother flew to Canada
And there was the bazaar,
He brought with him a godasse,
He found that brothers
- "You were past or past or You were?"
- "? Me, I've just there"
Brother, look, gives and takes,
The game does not present
Brother, look, gives and takes,
Today you sold cheap (= you have disappointed me)
I'm strong, strong, I'm a danger
I'm strong, strong, I'm a danger
The idiot you know, let me change
I'm strong, strong, I'm a danger
I'm strong, strong, I'm a danger
The idiot you know, let me change
Casablanca, Abidjan is the same family
This is my dad, not my mom, my dad is here.
Bara Barbapappa

****
Larbi Igout, June 2015
"English translation:
things that are said have no connection or meaning, but rhymes with the original version.
they make sens hilariously in the Moroccan context.
the translation is just literal but lacks the Moroccan humor background.
enjoy:
Barapapa it's my Dad
do you speak Moroccan
Hello! hello, do you have milk (halib = milk)

milk milk milk milk

just wandering why my little brother want to smoke a joint
just wandering why my little brother want to smoke a joint

I just met him, brother eat couscous and say hi to my Dad
brother, rub my nose
brother, rub my nose
brother, have a banana

O 'Agadir, how are you today
come over
to my friend Mohamad 's house

O 'Agadir, how are you today
come over
to my friend Mohamad 's house

where were you
where were you
why did come from there
why did come from there

brother look
give and take
is a fair game

brother look
give and take
today you sold at cheap price

just wandering why my little brother want to smoke a joint
just wandering why my little brother want to smoke a joint

I just met him, brother eat couscous and say hi to my Dad
brother, rub my nose
brother, rub my nose
brother, have a banana

my brother went to Canada
and he is making trouble
he brought a soccer shoe
he found only brethren

where were you
where were you
why did come from there
why did come from there

I am tough and dangerous
I am tough and dangerous
the dumb you know let me wander

I am tough and dangerous
I am tough and dangerous
the dumb you know let me wander

Casablanca , Abidjan the same family
it 's my dad, it's my Mom
Barapapa"

****
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