Sunday, May 28, 2017

Karen Chintelelwe - Ni Lesafye (Zambian Gospel video, information, & comments)

Eddited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases the Gospel song "Ni Lesa fye" by Zambian Gospel singer Karen Chintelelwe.

Information about Zambia, information about the Bembe language that I believe is used for this song, and information about this vocalist are also included in this post. In addition, this post presents selected comments from this video's discussion thread and from another YouTube sound file of Karen __ 's performance of this song.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Karen Chintelelwe for this beautiful song. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

PANCOCOJAMS EDITOR'S NOTE: REQUEST THAT PUBLISHERS OF YOUTUBE VIDEOS INCLUDE INFORMATION ABOUT THE VIDEOS THAT THEY PUBLISH ON YOUTUBE [with the sub-title: How I found some information about Zambian Gospel singer Karen Chintelelwe and her song Ni Lesafye]

There are two YouTube videos and one sound files with the title "Ni Lesafye" by Karen (no last name given). There are other YouTube videos and sound files with this title by other singers who are presumably from Zambia as this examples are given in Zambia's YouTube listings. Unfortunately, only a few of the YouTube examples of this song include comments and none of them include any information about the language used, or any song lyrics or any information about the meaning of the song's title in English or any other language, or any summary of this song in any language.

It's true that you can arrive at a general sense of what this song means by reading the comments in the discussion thread for the video that is featured in this post, but it would be very helpful to those who don't understand this language (and don't even know which language it is) if the YouTube publisher and/or the commenters who do understand this language would be considerate of those who don't understand the language/s that the singers are using.

I tried to find online lyrics for "Ni Lesafye" as sung by Karen or by anyone else-, but had no success.

I then tried googling the words "Ni Kesafye" and only got one "hit"- a Google book about Bemba language proverbs:

Google Book: "PA NSAKA" BEMBA PROVERBS & SAYINGS 1 (Explained both in English and Bemba)
By Joseph Mwila Bwembya
p. 151
"proverb 955

a) Lesafye eukancimfisahako nokulandula abalwani bani
b) God is my avenger"
I learned from that Google book page that the word "Lesafye" translates to "God" in English. Having read the comments in that video's discussion thread, I had guessed that the song was about God helping people in their times of need. And I was glad to learn which word in that song's title means "God" (note: "Lesafye" is also given as "Lesa fye" in that video's discussion thread.)

That Google book about Bemba proverbs also suggested the language that the vocalist used for that song was was Bemba. However, because I didn't know anything about the Bemba people/language, I needed to confirm that Bembas were a Zambian ethnic group. So I googled "Bemba ethnic group" and clicked on the Wikipedia link for "Bemba". That Wikipedia page confirmed that Bemba people are from Zambia.

I then googled "Karen Zambian Gospel singer" and found this singer's first and last name. That led me to the article excerpt that is given below and this link to an August 2016 Gospel video by Karen with her full name "Karen Chintelelwe Official Video"

The point of this note is that it shouldn't be this difficult for people throughout the world to find information about music videos and vocalists who feature their music on an international platform such as YouTube.

I'm sorry that I don't understand any language but English, and sometimes I may not even be able to guess which language it is or which nation it comes from.

Please help people throughout the world who appreciate African music and want to know more about the songs that are showcased on YouTube by adding information about the songs that you share on YouTube-including by identifying the nation or nations where the vocalists are from, identifying the language or languages that are used in the song, and sharing a summary of the song's meaning if not the lyrics themselves. And please share that information in English, or French or Portuguese or Spanish, or Swahili or Yoruba as these are some of the languages that can be translated by the Google translate feature as it is found to date.

Thank you.

UPDATE January 12, 2018:
Thanks Denis Chambulikazi for sharing the Bemba lyrics to this song with their English translations in the comment section below. I really appreciate it!

"Zambia ... officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa,[8] neighbouring the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. The capital city is Lusaka, in the south-central part of Zambia. The population is concentrated mainly around Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province to the northwest, the core economic hubs of the country."...

"The Bemba (or 'BaBemba' using the Ba- prefix to mean 'people of', and also called 'Awemba' or 'BaWemba' in the past) belong to a large group of Bantu peoples mainly in the Northern, Luapula and Copperbelt Provinces of Zambia who trace their origins to the Luba and Lunda states of the upper Congo basin, in what became Katanga Province in southern Congo-Kinshasa (DRC). They are one of the larger ethnic group in Zambia. (A few other tribes in the Northern, Luapula and Copperbelt provinces of Zambia speak languages that are similar to Bemba but are not the same (E.g. Lamba, Mambwe, Bisa etc.). Bemba history is a major historical phenomenon in the development of chieftainship in a large and culturally homogeneous region of central Africa."

From "Karen, arguably the finest gospel diva of her generation"
20/08/2013, [by] FELIX NYAMBE – Zambia Daily Mail


Arguably the finest gospel diva of her generation, Karen has always been an inspiring minister of the gospel that she is intended to be.

She burst on the Christian music with some defining gem of an album titled Enough, on which she staggered and castigated the devil and his elements.
The album contained songs such as Azayankha, Ni Lesa Fye, Muzimu Oyera, Set Boundaries, Umubili Tautasha and Ngafweni Lesa.

I marvelled at the only video of Ngafweni Lesa and I guess there is nothing refreshing like the song itself when Karen sings her worship song.

She later announced that other videos, in addition to her stunning Chintelelwe from her previous album Who Can Say?, will be unveiled to the market “soon”."...

SHOWCASE VIDEO - Karen Ni Lesafye

sfezed, Published on Dec 17, 2012
Here are some selected comments from this video's discussion thread with numbers assigned for referencing purposes only:

1. Josephine Mutale, 2014
"ni lesafya chachina, its true its only god who makes things easier, love this song... our god is good, thanks for posting."

2. Peter Chitabanta, 2014
"I will never stop listening to this music because of my elder sister who had it as a tone after the loss of her husband last year!..... I have never my sister so passionate about God.... This song changed her whole being!....Keep it up Karen it is true ni Lesa fye. "It's only God" who can do it!"

3.Patrick Lupanda, 2014
"awe chachina, We can only manage with the almighty GOD."

4. Abigail Phiri, 2014
"Ni Lesa fye for real. Great song karen. It strengthens me"

5. Refilwe Molefi, 2015
"Guys please share lyrics, i love Zambian music, and i feel this song. I have no idea what the song is saying, i love the beat, the calmity of the song. Please translate as you post lyrics. Thank you."

6. Refilwe Molefi, 2015
"Thank you Kassy, okay summarize it for me. I have to learn this language. God bless.
I didn't find any comment from Kassy in this discussion thread and no responses to Refilwe Molefi's request are shown as of the date of this pancocojams post.

7. Veronica Chipatela, 2016
"great song God bless zambia"
This comment indicated that this video was from Zambia. That wasn't indicated in the video summary.

A shorter video of Karen singing this song is also found on YouTube "Karen Ni Lesa Fye Video Clip" by
Eugene kass (Feb 11, 2013). As of this date that video has only one comment - by Abigail Phiri, 2013 "Great song, strengthens me."

A sound file entitled "Ni Lesa fye" was published on YouTube by destinyhive on December 19, 2010. That publisher didn't give the singer's name, but did add in the summary that this was "Zambian Gospel Music".
A commenter wrote that the singer's name is Karen, in response to a request for that information by another commenter.

Here are selected comments from this sound file (numbers assigned for referencing purposes only)
1. Larson Mutembu, 2012
"Wonderful & encouranging song & good singing. Yes, it's only God who can help us & it's His power & grace that is able to sustain us in all that we go through."

2. george chisanga, 2012

3. cabica benjani, 2013
"I love this song! its so true ;- Ni Lesa fye ine...namaka yakwe...Amen..can some one be kind enough 2 tell me who sang this song pls..where can i find her songs"

4. mitchelle chiyala, 2013
"her name is karen her songs are on cd,shes gt good songs"

6. Mulotwa Mulewa, 2015
"Indeed it is out of the grace of the almighty that we manage ,not out of our own powers.thanks to all who contributed and may the glory be to the almighty Jehovah. Mathews 5 vs 16"

6. Chase Johnstone, 2016
"Ni Lesa fye, the song is beautiful thanks to the singer."

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Visitor comments are welcome.


  1. I was able to meet some bemba Guys,
    i was able to get the lyrics and the translation.
    I really love the song, it is so good also it has a very powerful message.

    Song: Ni Lesa Fye
    Artist: Karen

    Verse 1

    Yeyeyeye yeyeyeye yeyeyeye yeyeyeyeeee

    Abantu bale mpapa ngabamuona
    (People are wondering when the see me)

    Ati nanguna na sangwa mu mafya
    (even if i find my self in dificulties)

    Nda muoneka fye uwa sansa busheninshi
    (I am just smiling, WHY?)

    Kwena bale papa ngabamuona
    (It is real they are jus wondering when they see me)

    Ati Nangu sangwe mu malwelwe
    (Even if i find myself in sickness)

    Shimwoneka kusakamana oh busheninshi
    (i am not seem to be worried)

    Abantu bale mpapa ngabamuona
    (People are wondering when the see me)

    Ati nanguna sangwe mu machushi
    (Even if i find myself in suffering)

    Nda muoneka fye uwa sansa busheninshi
    (I am just smiling, WHY?)


    (Ni lesa fye ine teti nkwanishe palwandi

    Its God only i cant manage alone

    Ni lesa fye ine ekafwa

    Its God only the helper

    Ni maka yaba yesu eyalenga X2

    It is GOD's power that made it possible) X3

    Verse 2

    Nde kweba ati shiumfwa ubukali Elo naponena mu machushi

    (I dont feel any pain, even if i a fall into suffering)

    Ekweba ati shiumfwa ubukali nganalufisha mutemwikwa wandi

    (I dont feel any pain, even if i love my lover)

    Kabili ndekweba ati shiumfwa ubukali ngana sangwa mu malwelwe

    (i am telling you I dont feel any pain, even if find myself in sickness)

    Ndekweba ati shiumfwa ubukali ngana sangwa mu machushi
    (i am telling you I dont feel any pain, even if find myself in sufferings)

    Ichibusanya na bantu, nalishiba fye wa kwita
    (What differentiate me with others is i know who to call...)

    Elonga aumfwa shiwiyandi alishiba kunkoselesha
    (When he hears my words, he knows how to comfort me)

    Repeat chorus X3


    Nganalila bala nkosesha

    When i cry he comforts me

    Ngabanandi ba mfilwa bala nkosesha

    When my friends have failed me he comforts me

    oh Ngabanandi ba mfilwa bena taba mfilwa yeyeye yeyeye yeyeye yeyeyeyeeih
    When my friends have failed, He doesnt fail me.

    Repeat chorus X3

    By Dee_kazi

    1. Thank you Denis Chambulikazi!

      I'll add a note in the post that you shared the song lyrics in this comment section.

      One love!