Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Naphiri ndiwe Galu


Naphiri - my wife - you are a dog

The men are wearing zibiya – a skirt of some sort that is mostly worn by men who dance Ingoma.
Ngoma is well known among the Ngonis, a tribe in some parts of Malawi especially the Central districts of Ntcheu and Dedza. It is a warrior dance – the men dance stamping their feet to the ground; the women ulutate, clapping their hands and cheering the men on.
Some songs are led by men and one of the popular songs is titled “Naphiri ndiwe galu” which literally means “Naphiri you are a dog”.
The song is about a man who is reprimanding a woman for cooking what was supposed to be bean soup but ended up being dried beans.
“Waziphika bwanji nyemba; zopanda msuzi,” – how can bean soup have no soup in it?” Querries the man in the song. “Naphiri ndiwe galu”.......”Naphiri you are a dog”.
“Lu lu lu lu” – the women ululate while clapping hands for the men.
The big question here is: “why should women be happy with a song like that? Why should they rejoice over a song that belittles a fellow woman? Why should they clap hands and cheer men on as they stomp onto the ground showing off their muscles as they are scantily dressed – showing how strong they are – strong over a dog? Warrior over a dog.

3 comments:

Louda said...

go girl go...16days till the end....

StandTall-The Activist said...

There are so many degrading songs like this in my tribe for women. And women sing them too because they think they are respecting tradition...

Kwame N Maseko said...

It's time to stop "respecting tradition" as simple as that. Old worn out beliefs that are holding us back. I'm ashamed to be called a Ngoni. It's time to empower our women NOW!!!