Mouna Eddrou sings “Malaika” by Miriam Makeba.

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Mouna Eddrou sings “Malaika” by Miriam Makeba.

Posted OnNovember 9, 2020 0

 

Mouna Eddrou sings “Malaika” by Miriam Makeba.

 

 

 

Mouna Eddrou sings “Malaika” by Miriam Makeba.

Malaika is a Swahili song written in the 1940s . Authorship of the song is controversial but most people seem to credit it to Adam Salim, a relatively unknown Tanzanian songwriter. This song is possibly the most famous of all Swahili love songs in Tanzania, Kenya and the entire East Africa, as well as being one of the most widely known of all Swahili songs in the world. Malaika in this context means “angel” in Swahili, and this word has always been used by the Swahili speakers to refer to a beautiful girl.

 

What do the words mean?

 

The original text and the translation by Rupert Moser originally into German is:

Malaika, nakupenda Malaika
Angel, I love you angel
Malaika, nakupenda Malaika
Angel, I love you angel
Nami nifanyeje, kijana mwenzio
and I, what should I do, your young friend
Nashindwa na mali sina, we,
I am defeated by the bride price that I don’t have
Ningekuoa Malaika
I would marry you, angel
Nashindwa na mali sina, we,
I am defeated by the bride price that I don’t have
Ningekuoa Malaika
I would marry you, angel

Kidege, hukuwaza kidege
Little bird, I think of you little bird
Kidege, hukuwaza kidege
Little bird, I think of you little bird
Nami nifanyeje, kijana mwenzio
and I, what should I do, your young friend
Nashindwa na mali sina, we,
I am defeated by the bride price that I don’t have
Ningekuoa Malaika
I would marry you, angel
Nashindwa na mali sina, we,
I am defeated by the bride price that I don’t have
Ningekuoa, Malaika
I would marry you, angel

Pesa zasumbua roho yangu
The money (which I do not have) depresses my soul
Pesa zasumbua roho yangu
the money (which I do not have) depresses my soul
Nami nifanyeje, kijana mwenzio
and I, what should I do, your young friend
Nashindwa na mali sina, we
I am defeated by the bride price that I don’t have
Ningekuoa Malaika
I would marry you, angel
Nashindwa na mali sina, we
I am defeated by the bride price that I don’t have
Ningekuoa Malaika
I would marry you, angel.

How Mouna came to love and sing “Malaika”.

 

Although covered by many famous artists over the years including Harry Belafonte, Pete Seeger, Boney M and Angelique Kidjo, it is Miriam Makeba’s relatively early version which made the song famous throughout Africa and eventually the world.

Mouna first heard Angélique Kidjo’s version and immediately feel in love with it. She has been singing the song for over 20 years but finally recorded a version at Riad Lahboul in Meknès, Morocco.

Click here to watch and listen to her perform Malaika in August 2020. Her unique take on the song is the fact that she accompanies herself on the Senegalese percussion instruments “casse-casse” or “kese-kese”. The name is in the rhythm and when watching the video you will understand why!

To read Mouna’s profile click here. 

If you want to watch the video of Mouna singing Malaika click here.

Listen to Mouna singing on the Chaka Chouka album “Sharka” or singing traditional Moroccan music with “Haleshala”, click here.

Visit the “Riad Lahboul” guesthouse where the video was recorded.