lac tchad

(Saiwela) Limpopo River Song
Zimbabwe
Language: Ndebele, a Bantu language spoken in Zimbabwe (Northern Ndebele) and South Africa (Southern Ndebele)

Notes:
Pronounce ‘k’ as ‘g’ e.g. in Ingulukadela and indubeko
Pronounce ‘ph’ as ‘p’ e.g. in baphina
Pronounce ‘hl’ like the welsh ‘ll’ as in Llandudno
Pronounce the ‘sh’ as ‘s’ in Basitshiyel

About the Song:
This song was sung by the Ndebele people of Zimbabwe, expressing the economic difficulties thy experienced that forced them to become illegal immigrant labourers in the gold mines of Johannesburg. These workers had to walk all the way from the heart of Matabeleleland and thereby cross a major obstacle: the Limpopo River, which, in Ndebele, is called Ingulukadela.

About the Region: The Limpopo River is one of the rivers which are found in the interior of Africa. The river is the second largest river in South Africa and it is about 1,600 km long. The Limpopo River flows through Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique where it empties into the Indian Ocean. It also acts as a boarder which separates South Africa from Zimbabwe on the North for 240 km and South Africa from Botswana on the Northeast for 400 km. Limpopo River gets most of its water from the Olifants River. The water from Limpopo River is used to supply the nearby villages with water. The water in the river flows very slowly.  Source

Translation to English:
Caller: We crossed it, we crossed it
All: We really crossed it
We crossed Ingulukadela (Limpopo)
To look for money
Caller: Where are those fathers?
All: They are in heaven
They left us problems
These earthly difficulties
Caller: Where are those mothers?
All: They are in heaven
They left us problems
These earthly difficulties
Caller: We crossed it, we crossed it
All: We really crossed it
We crossed Ingulukadela (Limpopo)
To look for money

Caller:
Sayiwela saiwela
All:
Saiywela sibeli
Saiywel(a) In guluku dela
Si yo funa imali

Caller:
Baphina obaba?
All:
Base mazulwini
Ba si(tshi) yel’ in dubeko
In dubeko zom hlaba

Caller:
Baphina okoko?
All:
Base mazulwini
Ba si(tshi) yel’ in dubeko
In dubeko zom hlaba

Caller:
Sayiwela saiwela
All:
Saiywela sibeli
Saiywel(a) In guluku dela
Si yo funa imali

ALL VOICES:

SOPRANO (HIGH):

ALTO/TENOR (MIDDLE):

TENOR/BASS (LOW):