Translate

Saturday, November 23, 2019

What The South African Song "uPhephela" REALLY Means, Part I (Lyrics)

Edited by Azizi Powell

Update: November 23, 2019 [series changed to four parts, with a post on lyrics added]

This is Part I of a four part pancocojams series on the South African song "uPhephela".

This post presents lyrics for this song.

Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2019/11/what-south-african-song-uphephela.html for Part II of this pancocojams series. Part II presents some comments from the discussion thread of a February 2019 YouTube vlog. Those comments correct the misinterpretation of the song "uPhephela" that was given in that video [vlog].

Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2019/11/what-south-african-song-uphephela_22.html for Part III of this series. Part III presents information about individuals and organizations that are or were mentioned in the lyrics to the song "uPhephela" or are mentioned in comments about that song.

Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2019/11/video-examples-of-south-african-song.html for Part IV of this pancocojams series. Part IV presents several YouTube videos of the South African song "uPhephela".

The content of this post is presented for historical, socio-cultural, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the composers of this song and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks to the publisher of the YouTube sound file that is included in this post.

****
PANCOCOJAMS EDITOR'S NOTE
While surfing YouTube for contemporary South African music, I happened upon an example of "uPhephela" that was sung as a gwijo (A song or chant sung during a South African sport events; in this case a rugby game). "Mix - Mas'hambe siye enyangeni, Tyala lami linzima https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YL0fc8J-Iww&t=1s.

A commenter in that video's discussion thread shared a link to this 2017 video of university students singing "uPhephela" as a political song in South Africa's student movement: 26th Anniversary of SASCO WSU(Bathandwa Ndondo & Landile Gladile branch) Mthatha https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVe5vGYRT7M&feature=youtu.be.

Both of these videos (and others) are showcased in Part IV of this pancocojams series.

The lyrics that I'm including in this pancocojams post are from the E.F.F. facebook page, from two YouTube discussion threads, and from the summary of one YouTube vlog (whose host incorrectly interpreted that song's lyrics).

I'm not including any English translation of the Xhosa lyrics for "uPhephela" in this post unless those translations or the general meaning of the song are found in comments that I've quoted. I'm particularly avoiding including results from Google translate as numerous commenters have noted [and I concur based on my experience with Google translate] that its translation from traditional African languages to English are often incorrect.

DISCLAIMER: I'm an African American who only speaks English and just learned about the song "uPhephela" today as a result of happening upon a YouTube discussion thread that mentioned it.

The focus audience for this post are Americans such are [also] unfamiliar with the song "uPhephela" and most of the references that are made in versions of that song (except for references to Mandela and the ANC.)

Please correct and add to the content of this post.

Thanks.

****
YOUTUBE SOUND FILE OF UPHEPHELA

EFF – UPHEPHELA



bauba seloga, Feb 5, 2019

****
LYRICS FOR "uPHEPHELA" [E.F.F. lyrics)
Lyric #1:
From https://www.facebook.com/406572189901836/posts/uphephela-lyrics-uyamazi-u-e-u-e-uyamazi-u-f-u-f-uyamazi-u-f-u-f-uqhamuke-ezansi/406573849901670/

"EFF
February 23
Uphephela lyrics

Uyamazi u E (u E), uyamazi u F (u F), uyamazi u F (u F), uqhamuke ezansi uphephela uphephela, asiyothenga amayeza sibulale izinja

🎼Xelelani bo! Xelelani u Malema ukuthi i ANC iyasigolozela, (🎼we Juju) Asiyothenga amayeza sibulale izinja

Xelelani bo! Xelelani u Malema ukuthi i ANC iyasigolozela, (we Juju) Asiyothenga amayeza sibulale izinja

Uyamazi u E (u E), uyamazi u F (u F), uyamazi u F (u F), uqhamuke ezansi uphephela uphephela, asiyothenga amayeza sibulale izinja

Uyamazi u E (u E), uyamazi u F (u F), uyamazi u F (u F), uqhamuke ezansi uphephela uphephela, asiyothenga amayeza sibulale izinja"
-snip-
EFF= Economic Freedom Fighters, a South African political party. This song is currently associated with supporters of that political party, but used to be an African National Congress (ANC) song.

Julius Malema is the head of EFF.

****
Lyrics #2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fx9fTa3o1Fc "Uphephela - the youth song supporting the EFF". published by Loving Life 2019, Feb 14, 2019
[These lyrics are included in this vlog's summary statement.]

"LANGALAKHE sent me this interpretation:

Uqhamuka ezansi uphephela.
(we can hear the propellor from far down the hill)
{the sound of a police copter}

Tshelani u Malema kuthi u SASCO uyasigolozela
(tell Malema that SASCO is being stubborn; doesnt wanna move aside)

Asiyothenga amayeza sibulale izinja
(lets go get some witch muti n kill them instead)..

These songs r mostly sung only for university politics. Thy have nothing to do with country politics... Thy r sung during SRC elections.."
-snip-
I don't know who LANGALAKHE is. However, it appears that Langalakhe is correcting the interpretation that the South African White man who hosts this vlog gives in that video [that this song is exhorting Black South Africans to kill White people.]

"SRC" = [in South Africa is a university's] "Student Representative Council".

SASCO = is a South African university student movement that is affiliated with [or part of] the African National Congress [ANC], the South African political party that has led South Africa since apartheid ended.

Information about these organizations is given in Part III of this series.

****
Lyrics #3
From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fx9fTa3o1Fc "Uphephela - the youth song supporting the EFF" published by Loving Life 2019, Feb 14, 2019 [discussion thread]

Trevor Khaba, 2019
"Its pronounced ooh peh peh lah. The song was originally ANC from 80s/90s and the lyrics were "Xelelani uMandela ukuthi iNkatha iyasigolozela. WeTambo asiyothenga amayeza sibulale izinja". Its in Xhosa not Zulu and your translation is not really correct. I dont know the actual context but from the original one it seems like it had to do with conflict between ANC and IFP. So I think it's just rivalry between EFF and SASCO"...
-snip-
This complete comment is given in Part II of this pancocojams series.

"EFF" and "SASCO" are two rival university student movement organizations. Information about those organizations and other abbreviations are found in Part III of this pancocojams series.

**
Lyrics #4
From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fx9fTa3o1Fc "Uphephela - the youth song supporting the EFF" published by Loving Life 2019, Feb 14, 2019 [discussion thread]

Cbucico Cimama, 2019
"Xelelani umalema ukuthi isasco iyasigolozela(tell malema that sasco is arrogant) we juju asiyothenga mayeza sbulalizinja (we juju let's buy medicine to kill dogs *referred to sasco which is their opponent in src election) uyamazi u-E u-F u-F uqhambuke zantsi uphephela uphephela(do you no E F F is coming from the ground in this point they refer to eff as a plane that is coming from the ground n rise up high hence you see the way they dance their hand r rising high )."...
-snip-
The asterisk is found in the original comment.

This complete comment is given in Part II of this pancocojams series.

****
Lyrics #5
From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVe5vGYRT7M&feature=youtu.be
26th Anniversary of SASCO WSU(Bathandwa Ndondo & Landile Gladile branch) Mthatha [discussion thread]
FAKU PASIKA PATRICK NYANGIWE, Sep 22, 2017

Tiisetso Cross, 2019
"(Xelelani bo)
Xelelan'uMalema ukuthi iSASCO iyasigholozela
(Hayi, we JuJu) aso thenga amayeza.

Sibulal'izinja.

(Uyamaz'uE) uE
(Uyamaz'uF) uF
(Uyamaz'uF) uF

uQhamuk'ezans'uphephela uphephela, aso thenga amayeza sibulal'izinja"

****
This concludes Part I of this pancocojams series.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment