Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Namibian band Ovikango - "Omundu" (with partial English translation)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases showcases a video of the Namibian band named "Ovikango". Brief information about Namibia is included in this post. Also included in this post is information about the Herero ethnic group, information about Oviritje music, the type of music that this group performs, and partial lyrics for this song.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Ovikango, to the producers of this video, to the video's publisher on YouTube and to all those who are quoted in this post.

*These partial lyrics were posted in 2011 by Ukutura on this video's YouTube viewer comment thread.

It would be helpful if people posting songs on Youtube that are sung in languages that aren't well known throughout the world would include an English translation of the song's title if not a summary of the song's words or the full lyrics of the song. In doing so, more peope will not only admire the musicality of the song, but will also understand the song's meaning.

"Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia... is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. Although it does not border with Zimbabwe, less than 200 meters of riverbed (essentially the Zambia/Botswana border) separates them at their closest points. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence. Its capital and largest city is Windhoek."

"The Herero are an ethnic group inhabiting parts of Southern Africa. The majority reside in Namibia, with the remainder found in Botswana and Angola. About 240,000 members are alive today[citation needed]. They speak the Herero language which belongs to the Bantu languages."
The Herero language is Otjiherero

From *
“Contemporary Oviritje music is local Namibian music that originated with the Otjiherero speaking people but has now become international music. Oviritje started in the 1960s and was created by the great Dr. Kareke Henguva with the help of Peterson “Omzulu” Van Samb and Mr “Don’t Go” Kazohua”. The influence of the Chicolela Production Crew with the help of NBC radio, especially the Otjiherero radio station & Umulunga radio station should also not be forgotten. Prominent local bands that perform this music are Minora, Bullet, Millenium, Ovikango, Tjitjekura, and The Wild Dogs. And there are many other bands that perform Oviritje music."

*I revised some of the English used in this summary to standard American English to improve its clarity.

SHOWCASE VIDEO: Ovikango- Omundu

Uanyonoka,Uploaded on Oct 7, 2009

Just a music video by Ovikango music band from Namibia....


nice video, a person is just a person even when he/she is eating from dustbins.we must respect them like all others.
Clark Urikeraka, 2009
this video is really gud... omundu omundu even if he has noting...
-MsTawilly MsTailly, 2009
This is true and we all human. Love the Video,makes me think of home so much.
-Yvonne Kazonganga, Ivoschk, 2009
By the way, is there a way to get the translation for the song? I'd really love to know what they're saying, but I'm guessing it's something about treatment of poor people. But Having the whole translated lyrics would mean that much more. Thanks!! :)
-AmidoProductions, 2010
(The commenter's partial translation was given in seven posts on this video's viewer comment thread. The words other than the translation that the commenter made -such as "don't understand" and information as to who is speaking- are given in English).

From Ukutura, 2011
Hi guys, I a lot of posts about not understanding the words so I thought I'd post what I know. I'm just an American but I lived in a Herero village for a couple years so I understand a lot of the language. And Hereros: please put some translations for all these otjiherero videos on youtube! You guys have beautiful lyrics, let the world hear them!

Mena rovandu, omundu omundu
Because of people, a person is a person.

Ii Amen Amen
Yes, Amen Amen


Sounds like kehi koreke ha korwa but I don't understand this

Vakwetu, tengeye ovandu. Vakwetu, tengeye ovandu. Vakwetu, tengeye ovandu.
My people, (don't know, maybe like "approach and talk with") people. 3x

Ombe ri... don't understand

They're the ones who...
Opu mave ku tanga, opu mave ku riri

Then they'll praise you, then they'll cry for you
Mave ku nyekerere, mave ku nyekerere,

They will disrespect/scorn you
Ku ndino tji u ri (don't understand) arikana o zembi ovandu

Today if you are (don't understand) please don't forget people (probably something like "if you have money")


Muatje ovandu ombe ku eta. Muatje ovandu ombe ku eta. Muatje ovandu ombe ku eta, ngandu pondondo (don't understand)
Child, people are the ones who will bring you (3x) to the level (don't understand)

lots that i dont understand


dude walks in

ove tenga ovandu, nandarire kokutja, u nangarasi ove oove omutumbe pu pe teki, u nangarasi ove oove omutumbe pu pe teki pi
you, ("approach and talk with"?) people, even if you think you are a rich person to whatever extent, you think you are a rich person to whatever extent

don't understand

ove ongu rira omusyona
you become the poor person


dude [speaking]* don't understand

omundu omundu, omundu omundu, nambano mena rovandu
a person is a person, a person is a person, now because of people.

tu ri novandu kongotwe... don't understand

we have people behind us
ovanane vovikango.. don't understand

leaders of ovikango (band name)...

ok the song is almost over, but this is getting hard, and also he's saying a lot of peoples' names. Hopefully someone will come along and translate more thoroughly. A really beautiful song though, and a beautiful tribe.
*I added the word in brackets to further clarify what I think the poster meant by the word "dude".

Additions & corrections to this partial translation are welcome.

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