Friday, February 17, 2017

"African Queen" & "Nubian Queen" As The Titles Of Three Contemporary African Songs

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part II of a pancocojams series on the terms "Nubian queen" & "Nubian princess", and "African queen".

Part II showcases one contemporary Nigerian song that has the title "African queen" and one contemporary Nigerian song and one contemporary Ugandan song that have the title "Nubian Queen". Selected comments from these YouTube videos' discussion threads are also featured in this post.

Click for Part I of this series. Part I provides information about the historical/geographical meanings of the terms "Nubian" and "Nubian queen" and the contemporary cultural meanings of the terms "Nubian queen" and "Nubian princess".

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the composers and performers of these songs and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

This post showcases one contemporary song from Uganda, East Africa and two contemporary songs from Nigeria, West Africa that have the title "Nubian Queen" or "African Queen". Showcasing these examples isn't meant to convey that these are the only contemporary African* YouTube videos-music or otherwise- that have "Nubian Queen" or "African Queen" as their titles.

It's my position that the contemporary African use of "Nubian queen" and "Nubian princess", if not "African queen" was lifted from African Americans' use of these terms.

The cultural meanings of "Nubian queen" and "Nubian princess" among African Americans are derived from the homage that afrocentric African Americans in the late 1960s and 1970s gave to historical Egypt and historical Ethiopia in general and to the ancient Nubian kingdoms of Kush and Meroe in particular.

During the late 1960s if not earlier, for afrocentric African Americans "Nubian" is a synonym for "Black" (as in people of Black African ancestry) and "Nubian queen" and "African queen" were used as referents for (usually physically attractive) Black women who were dark skinned. Eventually, the term "Nubian Princess" was also used to refer to the same population, or to refer to young, attractive Black dark skinned women.

However, by at least 2013 (as several of the comments below document), light skinned women with some black African ancestry as well as women from certain other populations of color could also be referred to "Nubian queens" and "Nubian princesses".

Hence, when "Nubian queen" and other terms such as "Nubian love" are found in these contemporary African songs and their YouTube video's discussion threads, instead of referring to the "Nubian" people of Egypt and Sudan, those terms almost always refer to women of Black African descent throughout the world.

Likewise, instead of referring to any historical African queens, in these contemporary African songs, and in their YouTube discussion threads, the term "African queen" refers to women in the singer's nation, to women from other African nations, and to women with some Black African descent worldwide, . Furthermore, some YouTube commenters have written that "African queen" refers to their mother, and have written that "African princesses" refers to their wife. In some of these comments, the man refers to himself as an "African king".

The referents "African queen", "African king", and "Nubian queen" have also been used by afrocentric African Americans since at least the late 1960s.

In the early usage of that term, among African Americans "Nubian queen" meant an attractive dark skinned Black woman. However, it's significant that the African use of the referent "Nubian queen" and "African queen" appear to me to have the connotation "physically attractive Black women**" without any skin color descriptors or qualifier beyond some Black African ancestry.

*By "African" and "by contemporary African songs" I mean people from African nations and songs that are composed at least after the year 2000 by vocalists from African nations.

**Notice that in the comment thread for the showcased Ugandan video a commenter writes that the woman performing is not Nubian and another commenter takes exception to the comment asking "Do you mean she's not pretty?"

***Also, notice the commenter quoted in the 2Face video that wrote that you don't have to be black to be an African queen. While that is technically true, since some non-Black people are born in or live in Africa, usually "African queen" refers to women with some African descent.

Also, it should be mentioned that the term "Nubian queen" is used in at least one Jamaican Reggae song: Luciano's song "Nubian Queen" (published on YouTube in 2011)

Example #1: 2Face - African Queen [Official Video]

Official2Baba, Uploaded on Jun 13, 2011

"...Innocent Ujah Idibia (born in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria [18 September 1975] ), better known by his stage name 2face Idibia, or 2Baba, is a Nigerian singer-songwriter, record producer and entrepreneur"...

Here are some comments from this video's discussion thread: Numbers are added for referencing purposes only.

1. Tim Jones
"For my wife whom I love are my African queen and im your African king....I love u"

2. Stephanie La Borde
"I just wanna say that I don't think it matters whether you're American, Australian, Irish or like me from the Caribbean.. To me as long as you're from African heritage you are an African Queen"

3. Agness Navua
"l lv tz song it mk me proud of my colour and to be nautarl big up 4 all african woman how proud to be black"

4. Mizztalkalot1
"my mom is the African queen"

5. Mizztalkalot1
"I am a princess"

6. Aneisa Rose
"Trinidadian/African Queen๐Ÿ‘‘"

7. Ahmed Hassan
"african queen is me mother.. me baby moma is the princess"

8. anonymous nameless
"This is for all my African and African American Queens; I love you"

9. tsonlymyopinion ok
"Just finished watching Phat Girls with Mo' nique, this song should be for all women. Proud Native American."
Phat Girls is an American movie that featured this song.

10. LaBelleCongolese
"itsonlymyopinion ok Any woman can listen to it but he made this song specifically for Black women. Don't try to steer away the true purpose of this song."

11. Su hoe
"This song was dedicated to African women. African American women are the descendants African women so in a way, it's directed at all black women. That's what makes it so special for us. Recognize that."

12. Adiam Tekle
"You are my African King , the boy of my dreams❤️, all to African boys out there . I really Love you my African people❤️❤️❤️๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ✝️. Proud too be African."

13. Rachel Manning
"GOOD ๐Ÿ˜‚Im Nigerian soooo ayee. Just saying you don't have to be black to be an African queen."

14. Uyi Aimiuwu
"lovely song to celebrate all Africa women"

15. Manasseh Mutale
"loving this and dedicating it to my African Queen MaNgwane I LOVE YOU forever and always"

16. Ludy Gabriels
"Afrikan kings let's take care of our Afrikan queens and all melanated masterpieces all over the world. Much love from Namibia"

17. Tobi Sobowale
"We ALL have a responsibility to make this song bigger right now. With all that's happening in the world right now. All my beautiful African queens all around the world Jamaica, USA, UK, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya etc. Just know we love and appreciate you. ❤️"

Example #1: Nubian Queen [Uganda]

Nkwebaza Uploaded on Dec 19, 2006

Dorothy feat. Mosh

The summary for another copy of this video indicates that this is "Ugandan Music Videos at Nubian Queen BY Dorothy Bukirwa Featuring Mosh. Produced by AVI Studios/Steve Jean. Video by WBS/Zhane/Eritu/Kivumbi"
Here are three comments from the discussion thread of this featured video:
"u go our Ugandan gal.i luv dis song so much."

"oh nubian and diffenatley nubian gurlz dunt look like dat at alllllllll..."

Judith Lemi, 2012
"@brownsugar202 watchu tryna say????? That she aint pretty or wat?"

Example #2: Nubian Queen - Omo Akin

Omo Akin Films, Uploaded on Oct 20, 2009
"Dare ijiwole popularly known as OmoAkin is from Osun State.He was Born in IBadan" [Nigeria]

"Omo" is a Yoruba word that means "child". In this video, the singer gives a shout out to (gives the names of) Nigerian (or other African?) female singers/celebrities. As an African American, most of the names of those women who are acknowledged aren't familiar to me. But I did recognize the name of the Nigerian/British singer "Sade". Significantly, the racially mixed Sade would be considered a light skinned Black woman, thus supporting my theory that Africans don't use any skin color qualifiers (such as dark skin) in their African queen" referent.

Click for a 2013 remix of this song by Omo Akin Ft Wizkid & Dammy Krane

Here are two comments from the discussion thread for the video that is featured in this post:
OraChampa, 2010
"Respect for my African Queens"

TheAfricanKillerBs, 2013

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