In this track , Mbilia Bel pays tribute to Tshala Mwana on her birthday. Tshala Mwana being from the Southern part of Congo and being from the Baluba tribe where Kiswahili is often used , sung a lot of songs in Zaire-swahili. In this video clip, Mbilia pays tribute to Tshala by singing a song in Kiswahili. Mbilia herself sung quite a few songs in Kiswahili during her heyday. In this song, she is admonishing fathers not to marry off their daughters at a young age.
This is a song admonishing parents not to send their daughters to marriage while they are still too young. Here is the song along with the translations in blue text.
Usimtoe Kule umulinde
Usimtume ndoa akingali bado mutoto
Watamsumbua usiku na mchana
Watamtembeza pahali pote sawa mtoto mpotevu
Watamtumikisha kazi zote bila usingizi
Do not remove your daughter from your household but protect her
Do not send her to get married while she is still a child
They will make her suffer day and night
They will worry her
They will send her everywhere like a lost child
They will make her work without letting her sleep
Kama uko mutoto usiende ndoa
Uko mutoto ujifunze masomo
Uko mutoto hautaweza ndoa
Usifuate balisema heko malaika
Usifuate balisema angali kibebe
If you are a child, do not get married too early
If you are a child, get educated
if you are a child, you cannot manage married life
Do not follow what they say, better to remain an angel
As aparent, do not follow what they say because your daughter is still a baby
At the 2:39 second section of the video, Mbilia then concludes the song with lyrics in the Tshiluba language which is Tshala Muana’s native language. She shows that at age 61, she is still able to twerk and swing her hips in a manner that would cause most women in their sixties to dislocate their hips. And her angelic messo-soprano voice has actually gotten better with age.
Many East Africans make the mistake of saying that Zaire-swahili or Congolese-swahili is broken swahili or an attempt by Congolese to speak Kiwahili. What seems like broken swahili to East Africans is actually the standard swahili spoken in Eastern and Southern Congo.
Back to Africa Music Centre