Edited by Azizi Powell
This pancocojams post showcases a video of the song "Gambia" by the Gambian musician/vocalist Sona Jobarteh.
This post also provides information about Sona Jobarteh along with selected comments about this singer musician and this song from that YouTube video's discussion thread.
The content of this post is presented for cultural, , entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to Sona Jobarteh for her musical legacy. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube. Special thanks to for posting the lyrics to this song in Mandinka in that video's comment thread. Hopefully, someone will translate those lyrics into English or into another language that is included in the Google translates feature.
INFORMATION ABOUT SONA JOBARTEH
"Sona Jobarteh is a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and composer from the Gambia and the UK. She was born in 1983 into one of the five principal Kora-playing Griot families from West Africa - she is the first female professional kora player to come from a Griot family. She is the granddaughter of the Master Griot of his generation, Amadu Bansang Jobarteh, cousin of the well-known, celebrated Kora player Toumani Diabate as well as the sister of the renowned Diaspora Kora player Tunde Jegede.
Born in London, Sona Jobarteh is a member of one of the five principal Kora-playing (Griot) families from West Africa, and the first female member of such a family to rise to prominence on this instrument. Before her, the playing of this 21-stringed harp-like instrument was exclusively passed down from father to son. The instrument is an important element of the Mandingo peoples in West Africa and their playing is reserved only to certain families called Griot. She is the granddaughter of the Master Griot of his generation, Amadu Bansang Jobarteh, who migrated from Mali to the Gambia. Her cousin is the well-known, celebrated Kora player Toumani Diabate. She has studied the Kora since the age of three, at first taught by her brother Tunde Jegede, and then by her father, Sanjally Jobarteh. She gave her first performance at London’s Jazz Café when she was four years old.....
She is European-born of African heritage, and strongly identifies with the latter. Spending significant time in both England and the Gambia, she blends different musical styles, from both the European and West African traditions. However, unlike her contemporaries, she explores and expands on traditional African roots rather than trying to fuse them with contemporary hip-hop and jazz. Instead, she looks to reinterprate traditional music. In addition to the kora, she also sings and plays the guitar."...
SHOWCASE VIDEO: Sona Jobarteh - GAMBIA (Official Video)
The West African Guild Published on Nov 19, 2015
Sona Jobarteh's debut music video "Gambia" in celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Independence for the Gambia in 2015.
LYRICS: THE GAMBIA (IN THE MANDINKA LANGUAGE)*
Yiriwaningnyatotaa le yajiyaa
Sewo ye nyaadaalubeng
Ikana song mummey
I'nyinatai'fangwo le la
N'nabanko le la
*Source: hais Soares (posted in 2016 from that YouTube's viewer discussion thread https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtmmlOQnTXM)
Here are selected comments from this video's discussion thread:
These comments are given in relative chronological order with the oldest comment given first. I've assigned numbers for referencing purposes only.
1. Tiya S, 2015
"where she come from ?"
2. blade, 2016
"she comes from Gambia. .The smiling coast. We are all proud of her"
Tiya S, 2016
"+blade i know but she not a full gambian i want to know with what she is mixt ?"
"+fatsyii Mk well I may not be able to tell exactly all about her biography, but her grandfather migrate from Mali to Gambia and sona was born in the UK in London and her family lives in a place in Gambia called Kembujeh in the west coast region near a Town called Brikama and there also have great kora artist like jaliba kuyateh, tata dinding jobarteh and many more, but sona is truly amazing in this music"
This comment exchange continued with blade asking whether Sona Jobarteh's mother was (is) White European. As of the date of this post's publication, no commenter had answered that question.
"Ahmad Najib She sings about working in togetherness to progress and develop the country in short."
Kieran Sudworth, 2016
"Just returned from my third visit to The Gambia and loved it as usual. By the way Sona Jobarteh is singing this song in Mandinka language."
Marybella Criola Guigui, 2016
"oh yes that my native language! mandinka"
Kieran Sudworth, 2016
"+Marybella Criola Guigui Maybe you could translate the lyrics for us non Mandinka speakers lol"
Wata Lano, 2016
"the song is about knowing where u come from and dont Forget where u come from. she is also encouraging gambians for patriotism and unity and saying how bless, lovely and peaseful Gambia is."
Foday Ladie, 2016
"you need to understand the lyrics, she is praising her mother land The Gambia. mind you Sona is a British by birth"
Yaya Camara, 2016
"She is singing in mandinka language, a tribe in Gambia and also spoken by the majority in that beautiful land.fondly call smiling coast. wmmm"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandinka_people it is about them?"
kd carney, 2016
It is Mandinka language but is about the Country of Gambia."
Anthony Thorne, 2016
"If I am having a tough day I just play her music. Her soft soothing voice coupled with harmonics of the Kora just sets the tone to power through the rest of the day. The maleness of the Kora combined with femaleness of Sona completes the whole. I live in Trinidad and Tobago and the name Jobity is present here but I can't seem to find it in the US or England could be a version of the Jobarteh name that survived the water crossing? Any ideas or info would be helpful."
Alhagie Sillah, 2016
"thank so much my sister sona jobarteh for your singing my country gambia smiling coast of west africa your singing this song in mandinka language is so beautiful i love u sona so much and i love all of your group band kora music from west africa i'm very happy for you and i'm proud for you thank you"
"so what are the lyrics? and can someone translate mandika?"
jatou cee, 2016
"she is singing a praise song about her country Gambia. About the peace, togetherness etc.i hope this helps"
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