Liberation Struggles through the Lens of Popular Music

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LES IMMORTELS (1967)
 by Franklin Boukaka,
Arrangements by Manu Dibango
Translated from Lingala – French to English
by Jennifer Yanco, Boston University, MA ( USA)
Franklin Boukaka
Africa mobimba e   (Throughout Africa…)
Tokangi maboko, tozali kotala (We’ve got our arms crossed; we’re watching…)
Bana basili na kokende, bana basili na kotekama na banguna (People have left, people have been sold to the enemy)
Tolati mokuya, ata maloba te (We’re in mourning, but we remain silent)
Congo na bana Africa baleli (Congo, along with all of Africa, is weeping)
Congo na bana Africa baleli (Congo, along with all of Africa, is weeping)
 
O, Mehdi Ben Barka (Moroccan mathematician and political activist, ‘disappeared at the hands of  the French police in 1965)
Mehdi, nzela na yo na bato nyonso (Mehdi, your path is the path of all people)
Mehdi, nzela na yo na Lumumba (Mehdi, your path is the path of Lumumba—first prime minister of DRC, assassinated by CIA & Belgians shortly after taking office in 1961)
Mehdi, nzela na yo na Che Guevara (Mehdi, your path is the path of Che Guevara–Latin American freedom fighter, originally from Argentina, fought in Cuban Revolution)
Mehdi, nzela na yo na Malcom X (Mehdi, your path is the path of Malcolm X–Black liberation leader in US)
Mehdi, nzela na yo na Um Nyobe (Mehdi, your path is the path of Um Nyobe—Cameroonian, assassinated by French army in 1958)
Mehdi, nzela na yo na Felix Moumie (Cameroonian, assassinated in Geneva by French Secret Service in 1960)
Mehdi, nzela na yo na Camilo Torres Torres (Columbian Catholic priest, liberation theology, 1966 killed in combat)
Mehdi, nzela na yo na Camilo Cienfuegos (Cuban Revolutionary)
Mehdi, nzela na yo na Coulibaly (early member of RDA, African liberation leader)
Mehdi, nzela na yo na André Matswa (Congolese, died in prison in 1942, religious leader and labor organizer)
Mehdi, nzela na yo na Simon Kimbangu (preached the gospel of an African Christ, charged with sedition by Belgian authorities in 1921, died in prison in 1951)
Mehdi, nzela na yo na Albert Luthuli (anti-apartheid activist, repeatedly jailed, winner of Nobel Peace Prize, 1960
 
Oh ya Tiers-monde (Oh, Third World)
Oh ya liberation ya ba people (Oh. Liberation of humanity!)

Un vieux, que je considère toujours jeune, m’a dit un jour : «  Mon petit, tout homme doit mourir un jour ; mais toutes les morts n’ont pas la même signification « .
(An old man, who I always consider young, once said to me, « Son, every man must die one day; but all the dead do not have the same importance. »

Mehdi Ben Barka(xxx).
Mehdi Ben Barka(xxx).
.

Posted by Benilubero Foundation, Inc.
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