AFRITUNES WEEK 110 - "Impi!" (Juluka / Johnny Clegg) Cover by @jasperdick

in AFRI-TUNESlast month

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Hello everybody on HIVE, and especially the AFRITUNES Community. My name is Jasper, and I'm writing (and singing) to you from Cape Town, South Africa! Welcome to Week 110 of AFRITUNES.

I love South Africa and some of the special flavours of music we get here, and I look forward to doing a few posts on AFRITUNES to bring you music from South Africa, or to show you my original songs that have South African inspiration…

Today, I’d like to sing the song “Impi” by Juluka, the band that was started by the white “Honourary Zulu” Johnny Clegg and his friend Sipho Mchunu.

This song is about a battle that happened during the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879, where a regiment of Zulu Warriors armed with short spears and cattle-hide shields were able to defeat a British regiment armed with modern (for the time) Martini Henry rifles and even a few cannons.

The song makes reference to “Chelmsford”, who was the real British General that was defeated. “Mageba” was one of the original Zulu chiefs over 100 years before, and so “Children of Mageba” is a poetic way to describe the entire Zulu tribe. “Zulu” means sky, and so “People of the Sky” is another poetic way to describe the entire tribe!

The song Impi is a war song about a horrific real event in South Africa’s history! Luckily, we now only use the song’s rousing theme to rile up our “warriors” on the sports fields representing South Africa at soccer or rugby!

Lyrics for "Impi” by Juluka


(isiZulu) Impi! wo 'nans' impi iyeza
Obani bengathinta amabhubesi?

(Rough English translation)
War! Here the army is coming
Who can stand up to the lions?


All along the river Chelmsford's army lay asleep
Come to crush the Children of Mageba
Come to exact the Realm's price for peace
And in the morning as they saddled up to ride
Their eyes shone with the fire and the steel
The General told them of the task that lay ahead
To bring the People of the Sky to heel

Mud and sweat on polished leather
Warm rain seeping to the bone
They rode through the season's wet weather
Straining for a glimpse of the foe
Hopeless battalion destined to die
Broken by the Benders of Kings
Vainglorious General and Victorian pride
Would cost him and eight hundred men their lives

They came to the side of the mountain
Scouts rode out to spy the land
Even as the Realm's soldiers lay resting
Mageba's forces were at hand
And by the evening the vultures were wheeling
Above the ruins where the fallen lay
An ancient song as old as the ashes
Echoed as Mageba's warriors marched away

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Johnny Clegg

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Wow beautiful performance for the week you rock it. Thanks for sharing this with us.

It's a big pleasure!

 last month  

Such an interesting song @jasperdick 😃😃
Learning the South African language from you little bit by bit😃.
It's amazing how a war song turned a powerful song to cheer up players during sports. The song actually contains powerful words of encouragement and has the potential to reignite strength and hope amongst individuals..
The strength of an African man is undeniably impeccable, it's amazing to hear that the Zulu Warriors armed with only short spears defeat a British regiment armed with rifles. Our fore parents were brave and skillful, Africans are set of special people right from history till date..
This is an interesting story Japer, looking forward to hearing more from you...
Thank You For Sharing This With Us

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Ooh South Africa had 11 Official Languages, but I believe we recently added SA Sign Language to make 12! This isiZulu language is the main one on the Eastern coast of South Africa, but the isiXhosa language which is more widely spoken where I'm from (Cape Town) is quite similar. Some of the other languages in the interior and northern parts of South Africa actually sound pretty different - last week's song I attempted one of those!!

I suppose it is up for debate whether South Africa should be one country, or divided up into several countries instead...

The Zulu were especially formidable warriors since the time of the famous King Shaka Zulu. He invented a shorter spear (for stabbing rather than throwing), and he also was a master of tactics and surrounding an enemy. Before his time, the Zulu was actually a relatively small tribe. After he came along, the Zulu took over the entire region, with many other clans/tribes having to retreat and resettle in various directions.

I believe this history affects our Politics to this day.

Wow, this a beautiful performance from you sir. I love the lyrics of the song. And you did a wonderful cover of the song.
Thanks for sharing sir

Thank you so much!! It's a pleasure - I'm enjoying realizing how many local songs I can do!

Another beautiful performance of yours my friend
This is truly awesome 👍
You always do great with your covers
Great job sir

Thank you so much!!

Wow, bravo bravo to you sir.
This is a beautiful presentation and I really enjoyed it

I'm glad you enjoyed it!!

You are welcome sir

Love the fact how you carry your country it admirable, I love ur voice and the song was amazing, thanks for this

Thank you so much! I must find time to do something this week!

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