14 May 2008

Mozambican Music

I'm in a bit of a mood today and thought I would post some music/video from Mozambique. Enjoy!

Wazimbo - Nwahulwana (Night Bird)

Wazimbo plays Marrabenta, and this is a classic example of that type of music. During colonial times the music was often played on homemade instruments, sung in Ronga or Changaan, and spoke of social issues or love. Needless to say, the Portuguese government didn't always appreciate the sentiments expressed. Nwahulwana, or night bird, is a metaphor for a woman who flits from bar to bar after dark.

Azagaia - A Marcha

Azagaia is the Portuguese spelling for assegai - a type of light spear tipped with iron and used by traditional warriors in southern Africa. Much of Azagaia's music deals with political issues, unlike a lot of the rap/hip hop heard on US radio stations (Or maybe it's just that I live in Georgia and they only play Dirty Souf on the airwaves). This song is about political corruption, revolution, and how it affects the lives of the people.

Azagaia - Povo no Poder (People in Power)

Azagaia was called before Maputo's prosecutors to explain the lyrics in "Povo no Poder," which was written in response to the violence of the 5 February riots (lyrics on the click through). People in Maputo struck to protest a 50% rise in public transport fares. Police fired into the crowd killing at least 3 and injuring 30. Amnesty International cited this incident in a report on Mozambique this April denouncing police abuse.

Massukos - Niassa

Massukos sings of the hardships of living in their home province of Niassa and in Mozambique. They also use their music to spread messages like "more condoms, less partners." The lead singer, Feliciano dos Santos won the 2008 Goldman Environmental Prize on behalf of his NGO which seeks to improve water quality, sanitation, and waste management and raise awareness of HIV in rural villages. I think it is really cool that one of this year's prizes went to a Mozambican musician.

I didn't set out to post such political music. It must be the anthropologist in me that seeks out social/cultural commentary in art. It just helps that it is good music.

No comments:

Post a Comment