Rais wa Bongo / The president of Bongo

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Notice du corpus
  Langue :
  Catégorie(s) : Corpus, Swahili
  Mode d’énonciation : Oral   Mots-clés : Bongo Flava, General Elections 2005, Hip-hop, Tanzania, chant, oralité, performance, rap, style, versification
  Par :
  Contributeurs :
  • Uta REUSTER-JAHN (Rédacteur de la notice, Traducteur, Transcripteur)
  •  Description :

    Rais wa Bongo (‘President of Tanzania’) makes fun of the elections. In fact, it subverts the seriousness of the act of voting in democracy by putting it into the context of the Bongo Flava scene. The artist Soggy Doggy imagines himself as president who has to appoint his ministers. He is thinking loudly about which Bongo Flava artist should be given which post, and thus many stars are being mentioned. The track of 4.15 min length consists of four verses rapped at considerable speed. A sung chorus is inserted between the verses. In the song, Soggy Doggy distributes the various ministries and other high ranking posts to his fellow Bongo Flava artists. He weaves into the lyric some slight social criticism when he points to the possibility of personal enrichment in some ministries, especially the ministry of finance, which offers most (verse 2). However, for the most part the song focuses on the Bongo Flava scene itself. More than forty names of artists are mentioned in the song. The humorous effect builds on the choosing of the artists for the different ministries, because this choice is motivated by the artists’ characters as well as the relationship between them. A side blow is directed to the promoters, who are called “fraudsters” who exploit the artists. But there is also the call on the Bongo Flava artists to work together as a team. Even the “undergrounds” are considered in the song. “Underground” (andagraundi) is a term that denotes rappers who have not yet released an album and therefore have not yet been noticed sufficiently by the general public (Englert 2003: 73). By some patronising benevolence they are allotted minor posts as MPs or councillors. All in all, Soggy Doggy advances the demands of the younger generation, when he claims: “ranks and posts are there in abundance. It’s now the turn of our generation” (verse 3). Rais wa Bongo can be grouped into the trend of self-referential songs in Bongo Flava preoccupied with self-display. Many of the Bongo Flava “superstars” are mentioned, and one has to be familiar with the scene, especially the relationship between the stars, in order to grasp the ironic nuances of the text. The song runs counter to the role of youth as demanded by the established part of society (Reuster-Jahn 2007: 242-3).

      Sources :

    Mp3-file, obtained informally by transcriber/translator from a radio DJ in Tanzania.

      Couverture spatio-temporelle :

    Tanzanie, 2005

      Droits : Les droits exclusifs de propriété intellectuelle sur cette œuvre appartiennent à Soggy Doggy Anter a.k.a Chief Rumanyika. Toute exploitation de cette œuvre est soumise à son autorisation.
      Rédaction de la notice :