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Golden Sounds - Zangalewa (edited version)

Tsamina or Zangaléwa is a 1986 hit song, originally sung by a makossa group from Cameroon called Golden Sounds who were beloved throughout the continent for the dances and costumes.

The song was such a hit for Golden Sounds that they eventually changed their name to Zangaléwa, too.

The song pays tribute to African skirmishers (a.k.a tirailleurs) during World War II. Most of the band members were in the Cameroonian Army themselves and used make up, fake bellies, and fake butts for comic relief.

The song was used extensively in the frontlines by the Nigerian Army during the Nigerian Civil War (1967–1970). It was also popular in some Nigerian schools as a marching song in the 1970s and 1980s. The Nigerian Army Band, The Mercuries, based in Kaduna also did a cover of this song in the 1970s on live television appearances.

The song is still used today almost everywhere in Africa by soldiers, policemen, boy scouts, sportsmen, and their supporters, usually during training or for rallying. It is also widely used in schools throughout the continent especially in Cameroon as a marching song and almost everyone in the country knows the chorus of the song by heart. The song was also popular in Colombia where it was known as “The Military” and brought to the country by West African DJs in Cartagena.

The men in the group often dressed in military uniforms, wearing pith helmets and stuffing their clothes with pillows to appear like they had swollen butts from riding the train and fat stomachs from eating too much. The song, music historianssay, is a criticism of black military officers who were in league with whites to oppress their own people. The rest is Cameroonian slang and jargon from the soldiers during the war.

According to Jean Paul Zé Bella, the lead singer of Golden Sounds, the chorus came from Cameroonian “sharpshooters who had created a slang for better communication between them during the Second World War”. They copied this fast pace in the first arrangements of the song. They sang the song together for freedom in Africa.

The lyrics, which are in a Central African language called Fang, read like this:

Tsa mina mina eh eh, Waka waka eh eh, Tsa mina mina zangalewa Ana wam ah ah

Zambo eh eh, Zambo eh eh

Tsa mina mina zangalewa 

Wana wa ah ah


And then FIFA and Shakira’s camp though it would be a great idea to adapt this tribute song and turn it into a frightening pop sensation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted, for the first time in Africa, in South Africa.

  1. aaa2zee reblogged this from theafricatheynevershowyou and added:
    dynamicafrica: Golden Sounds - Zangalewa (edited version) Tsamina or Zangaléwa is a 1986 hit song, originally sung by a...
  2. pitchblackumbra reblogged this from theafricatheynevershowyou
  3. aniomapikin reblogged this from orobolicious
  4. orobolicious reblogged this from diokpara
  5. diokpara reblogged this from thefemaletyrant
  6. africanbeats reblogged this from thefemaletyrant
  7. darkgirlswirl reblogged this from dynamicafrica
  8. tumifromjoburg reblogged this from theafricatheynevershowyou and added:
    Even though it gained popularity from a Colombian pop singer declaring “it’s time for Africa”. The irony…
  9. planetnamekk reblogged this from dynamicafrica
  10. mettaworldwar reblogged this from dynamicafrica and added:
    This post makes me soooo happy you have no idea!! :’)
  11. arttherainbow reblogged this from brokenhouse and added:
    This makes me kind of want to throw up now that I just learned about this. Shakira’s song “Waka Waka (This Time for...
  12. isabowel reblogged this from theafricatheynevershowyou
  13. jhameia reblogged this from thefemaletyrant
  14. thefemaletyrant reblogged this from dynamicafrica and added:
    OMG! THIS SONG! That Shakira fucking plagiarised, they messed this shit up.
  15. theafricatheynevershowyou reblogged this from dynamicafrica and added:
    lol @ “frightening pop sensation” It’s good to know that the origins of this song are in fact African musicians :)
  16. brokenhouse reblogged this from dynamicafrica
  17. dynamicafrica posted this