Category Archives: Incomplete

Mpfula Ya Na (Tribute ‘Birdie’ Mboweni) – Translation

Mpfula Ya Na
Tribute ‘Birdie’ Mboweni

Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho (‘pitter-patter’)]
Hi ta dya marhanga mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat watermelons (or pumpkins?), mtho-tho-tho]
Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho]
Hi ta dya timanga mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat peanuts, pitter-patter]
Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho]
Hi ta dya swifaki mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat corn, mtho-tho-tho]

Ximumu xi fikile
[Summer has come]
Hi kunene hi tsakile
[Indeed we are glad]
Mihandzu ni swiharhi
[Fruit and animals]
Va kokwana va rimile
[The elders have ploughed]
Ximumu hi xo lexi
[This is summer]
Xi fikile ma xi vona ke?
[It has arrived, do you see now?]
Xi hi tisela ti mpfulo
[It brings us rains]
Mi ta twa swihlangi swi ku:
[You will hear little children saying…]:

Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho (‘pitter-patter’)]
Hi ta dya marhanga mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat watermelons, mtho-tho-tho]
Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho]
Hi ta dya timanga mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat peanuts, pitter-patter]
Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho]
Hi ta dya swifaki mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat corn, mtho-tho-tho]

Ke eo pula e tlile
[Here is the rain, it has come] *(seSotho)
E tlisitse mahlohonolo
[It has surely brought blessings/good fortunes] *(seSotho)
Helang! Bonang!
[Hey everyone! Look!] *(seSotho)
Lethabo naheng kaofela
[Joy through all the land] *(seSotho)
Swihlangi swa phokotela
[Little children are clapping]
Swi tlanga mpfuleni manano
[They are playing in the rain (manano?)]
Van’wana va ta biwa
[Children will be scolded]
Kambe u ta twa va ku
[But you will still hear them saying…]

Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho (‘pitter-patter’)]
Hi ta dya marhanga mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat watermelons, mtho-tho-tho]
Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho]
Hi ta dya timanga mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat peanuts, pitter-patter]
Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho]
Hi ta dya swifaki mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat corn, mtho-tho-tho]

Marhanga, swifaki, timanga
[Watermelons, corn, penuts]
Na makwakwa hi ta dya mhane
[And makwakwa fruit**, we will eat (mhane??)]
Hi ta xurha kuvava makhwirhi
[We will be so full our tummies will ache]
Hi nyanyuka hi hlekelela
[We will laugh and be merry]
Tekani swikomu mirhwala (mirwala?)
[Take your ploughs, (let’s carry them?)]
A hi yeni masin’wini
[Let’s go to the fields]
Hi ya rima hi tlhela hi byala
[We are farming, we (thlela??) and we plant]
Swi ta mila swi tsakiso
[It will yield a pleasing harvest]

Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho (‘pitter-patter’)]
Hi ta dya marhanga mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat watermelons, mtho-tho-tho]
Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho]
Hi ta dya timanga mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat peanuts, pitter-patter]
Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho]
Hi ta dya swifaki mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat corn, mtho-tho-tho]

Ximumu xi fikile
[Summer has come]
Hi kunene hi tsakile
[Indeed we are glad]
Mihandzu ni swiharhi
[Fruit and animals]
Va kokwana va rimile
[The elders have ploughed]
Ximumu hi xo lexi
[This is summer]
Xi fikile ma xi vona ke?
[It has arrived, do you see now?]
Xi hi tisela ti mpfulo
[It brings us rains]
U ta twa swihlangi swi ku:
[You will hear little children saying…]:

Mpfula ya na, mpfula ya na
[Rain is falling, rain is falling]

Note: The chorus of the song is derived from a traditional tsonga nursery rhyme that would be sung by young children to celebrate the coming of the rainy season.

**Makwakwa fruit: strychnos spinosa or ‘natal orange’.

Lyrics provided by Tribute ‘Birdie’ Mboweni (thank you, hakhensa).

Translation by Zanokuhle Mabuza.

Online dictionaries:
xiTsonga dicionary
seSotho dictionary

Follow Birdie on social media:
Facebook – @TJMboweni
Twitter – @birdieworldwide

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Incomplete Lyrics & Translation: Hauteng (Miriam Makeba)

Help, please? If you can help complete and translate the lyrics, please drop a comment or a message. Thank you // Ngiyabonga // Ke a leboha.

Hauteng, Hauteng
[Gauteng…]
Khutsanyana tsaka di felletse teng
[My little orphans perished there]
Khutsanyana tsaka di felletse teng
[My little orphans perished there]
Hauteng, Hauteng
Hauteng, Hauteng

Utlwang dillo
[Here the cries]
Tsa banna barona ba shwetseng komponeng
[Of our men who have died in the compounds]
Banna barona ba shwetseng komponeng
[Our men who have died in the compounds]
Hauteng, mhm Hauteng
[Gauteng, mhm Gauteng]
Hauteng, mona Hauteng
[Gauteng, here in Gauteng]

Bonang banna
[See these men]
Barona ba(tshika?)
[Of ours ?????]
Taemane (diamonds?), hauta (gold?)
[Diamond???, gold???]
(Ba jwero hola hesu???)
[??????????]

Bonang tshaba sa heso
[See this nation of ours]
(Bago bare efetotswe???)
[They keep saying ‘it must change’????]

Bona fatseng labontate (b)arona
[See the faces of our fathers]
Madi a rona a (phalala??)
[Our blood is ???????]
(Matla arona?)
[Our strength]
(A hodishe bo ditshabeng???)
[?????]
(Ba mose???)
[?????]

Rona re felletse mona Hauteng
[We have perished here in Gauteng]
Rona re felletse mona komponeng
[We have perished here in these compounds]
Hauteng, mhm Hauteng
Hauteng, mona hauteng

Bonang tshaba sa heso se fedile mona mo Hauteng
[See our nation has perished here in Gauteng]
Mhm…
Hauteng…
Bonang banna ba heso
[See our men…]

Ha Le Se Le Li Khanna (Hugh Masekela)

Ha le se le li khanna
(Hugh Masekela)

LYRICS MARKED WITH “*” INCOMPLETE.
CORRECTIONS/ADDITIONS WOULD BE APPRECIATED.

He le se le li khanna
Hlokomela li sa welwe ke serame
He le se le li khanna
Hlokomela li sa welwe ke serame

Hela ngwanesu
Kgomo tse ke tsa bohadi
Hela ngwanesu
Li tshwanetse go shebahala

Yelele-yelele…
Ooh, what you doing to me baby?
Kgomo tse ke tsa bo-ah-ah

Yelele-yelele…
Hela ngwanesu, yoh!
Kgomo tse ke tsa bo-ah-ah!

Yelele-yelele…
Hela ngwanesu, yoh!
Kgomo tse ke tsa bohadi!
(Hom-homm…)

[About the song: This is likely “Bra Hugh” Masekela’s rendition of a traditional song probably sung at engagement ceremonies. It is a warning to whoever it is being sung to, to look carefully after cattle that are being driven (possibly to the bridal family’s home on the day of engagement) so that they don’t catch frost, since they are for ‘bohadi’ (lobolo/dowry) and need to look presentable.]  

[Editor’s note: This is such a fun song! Especially the version on the ‘Hugh Masekela Greatest Hits’ album from 1980, but the version posted below is still just as groovy.]