Saturday, October 6, 2012

Them Mushrooms - "Jambo Bwana" (Video & Lyrics)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases the lyrics and a video example of the Kenyan band Them Mushrooms' 1980 song "Jambo Bwana".

This post is Part II in a three part series of posts on songs other than the Broadway show or movie Lion King that contain the word "Jambo" and/or "Hakuna Matata".

For Part I of this series, click for a post on Ella Jenkins' 1974 song "Jambo".

For Part III of this series, click

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

"Jambo" is a shortened form of various Swahili greetings.
..."Jambo greetings change according to number and person.
hujambo, bwana - hello, sir
sijambo, bibi - I'm fine, madam
hamjambo, mabwana - hello, gentlemen
hatujambo, bibi -we're fine, madam

For tourist the shortened form is commonly used.
jambo - hello
(reply) jambo -hello"

"Hakuna Matata is a Swahili phrase that can be translated literally as "There are no worries." Its meaning is similar to the American English phrase "no problem" or Australian English phrase "no worries" and is akin to "don't worry, be happy". The phrase was made famous by the movie The Lion King...

In 1980, the music of Kenyan hotel band Them Mushrooms (now known as Uyoga) released the Swahili song "Jambo Bwana" ("Hello Mister"), which repeats the phrase "Hakuna matata" in its refrain. The song was written by band leader Teddy Kalanda Harrison.

A few years later, German group Boney M. released "Jambo - Hakuna Matata", an English-language song...

In 1994 the Walt Disney Animation Studios animated movie The Lion King brought the phrase international recognition, featuring it prominently in the plot and devoting a song to it. A meerkat and a warthog, named Timon and Pumbaa respectively, teach the main character, a lion cub named Simba, that he should forget his troubled past and live in the present. The song was written by Elton John (music) and Tim Rice (lyrics), who found the term in a Swahili phrase book."
Click for a video of The Lion Kings' song "Hakuna Matata". Also, click for the lyrics to that song.

Jambo Bwana (Swahili)

Uploaded by manosha52 on Jun 24, 2009

In 1982, the Kenyan hotel band Them Mushrooms released the song "Jambo Bwana" ("Hello Mister"). The song, written by band leader Teddy Kalanda Harrison in 1980, has become widely popular in Kenya and Tanzania. In 2001 the Safari Sound Band released the album Mambo Jambo, which featured the song (aka Jambo Jambo) as the title track. The song was also covered by numerous local artists and is heard throughout Kenya and Tanzania.

This is dedicated to all those are from Kenya Tanzania India Canada England USA

...Translation of Jambo bwana lyrics
Jambo - Hi
Jambo bwana - Hi sir
Habari gani? - How are you?
Mzuri sana - Very fine
Wageni mwakaribishwa - Visitors are welcome
Kenya yetu - Our (country) Kenya
Hakuna matata - (there are) no worries
Kenya nchi nzuri - Kenya is a nice country
Nchi ya maajabu - A beautiful country
Nchi yenye amani - A peaceful country
Kenya yetu - Our country
Kenya wote - All Kenyans

Thanks to Teddy Kalanda Harrison, the composer of "Jambo Bwana". Thanks also to Them Mushrooms for recording this song. Thanks also to those whose quotes & comments are included in this post as well as the producers and uploaders of this video.

Finally, thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Viewer comments are welcome.


  1. An excellent post for a Saturday morning! Cheers!

  2. Thanks, Umlud!

    I'm glad you liked it.

    Best wishes!!