Tawile 1

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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, Tanzanie, chant, oralité, performance, rap, énonciateur
  Par :
  Contributeurs :
  • Uta REUSTER-JAHN (Rédacteur de la notice, Traducteur, Transcripteur)
  •  Description :

    The song was produced to comment on the 2005 General Elections in Tanzania. It satirically depicts the behaviour of politicians who wants to be re-elected. The song is divided into part one and two, Tawile 2 being the continuation of Tawile 1. They consist of mostly spoken dialogues, in fact, they are musically performed sketches. Tawile presents the story of a member of parliament (MP) whose performance has been very poor, but who tries to stay in power with the help of a medicine man. The very title refers to the practice of medicine men in Dar es Salaam who do not ask their clients about their problems but claim to know those problems already (Swantz 1990: 68). They tell the clients why they have come to seek help, and as long as the medicine man is right, the client has to affirm this by saying “tawile”. Tawile 1 consists of three spoken verses separated by a sung chorus. In the first verse, an MP asks his wife what he should do in order to become elected again. She advices him to consult a famous medicine man, and he immediately goes off to see him. The chorus marks the MP’s arrival at the medicine man’s compound. The second verse renders the dialogue between the MP and the medicine man, who claims to know everything about the MP’s problems and offers him help. The MP is requested to provide him with a number of utensils needed to prepare medicine, but since he is not able to aqcuire those things he leaves the medicine man a large sum of money to find them himself. This dialogue exposes the MP’s manipulation which clearly shows that he is a selfish man instead of feeling responsible to the citizens in his constituency. At the same time he is mocked by being depicted in a dishonourable situation. The humorous aspect is heightened by the medicine man’s up-country pronunciation of Swahili, by which he can be identified as a man of Luo origin. The utensils that the MP has to bring add to the comic: the tears of a crying fish, and two hairs from the beard of Osama [bin Laden]. The chorus between the second and third verse marks the time span between the first and the second visit, when the MP comes to fetch the medicine, while the third verse renders the dialogue between the MP and the medicine man at the second visit. The medicine man hands an amulet to the MP and gives him a range of strange and uncomfortable instructions that he has to follow. However, the MP agrees to everything hoping that it will help him to stay in power, and his payment for the medicine man’s service is very generous.

      Sources :

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

      Couverture spatio-temporelle :


      Droits : Les droits exclusifs de propriété intellectuelle sur cette œuvre appartiennent à Joni Woka. Toute exploitation de cette œuvre est soumise à son autorisation.
      Rédaction de la notice :