Zangalewa Song Original Video and Lyrics

"Zamina" or “Zangaléwa” is a 1986 hit song, originally sung by a makossa group from Cameroon called Golden Sounds who were beloved throughout the continent for their silly dances and costumes. The song was such a hit for Golden Sounds that they eventually changed their name to Zangaléwa, too.The song pays tribute to African skirmishers (a.k.a tirailleurs) during WW2. Most of the band members were in the Cameroonian Army themselves and used make up, fake belly and fake butt for comic relief.

The song is still used today almost everywhere in Africa by soldiers, policemen, boy scouts, sportsmen and their supporters, usually during training or for rallying. It is also widely used in schools throughout the continent especially in Cameroon as a marching song and almost everyone in the country knows the chorus of the song by heart.

The men in the group often dressed in military uniforms, wearing pith helmets and stuffing their clothes with pillows to appear like they had a swollen butts from riding the train and fat stomachs from eating too much. The song, music historians say, is a criticism of black military officers who were in league with whites to oppress their own people. Or at least, some of it was. Some of it, as far as we can surmise, is gibberish.
Zangalewa - Golden Sounds Video

Zangalewa lyrics in Cameroonian dialect called Fang:
Zamina mina eh eh
Waka waka ehh eh
Zamina mina zangalewa
Anawam ah ah

Jango ehh eh
Jango ehh eh
Zamina mina zangalewa
Anawam ah ah

The Zangaléwa song is on the chorus part of the Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) song by Shakira featuting the Freshlyground for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Waka Waka (Esto es Africa).

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1 comment:

Rene Sance said...


I was happy to come across your Zangalewa post. If you'd like to read the full lyrics, with annotations, do visit the web site of Emile Kojidie. He is a founding member of the Golden Sounds/Zangalewa and a co-author of this song. Some of my favorite parts of the song are in Pidgen English, but I can assure you that none of it is gibberish. :-)


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