Thursday, April 27, 2017

Nine Videos Of Nama Stap (Nama Step Dancing) In Namibia & South Africa

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part II of a two part series on Nama Stap (Nama step, Riel) dancing in South Africa and Namibia.

This post provides information about Nama Stap and showcases nine videos of that dance form in South Africa and Namibia.

Click for Part I of this post. Part I provides an excerpt from a pdf file by E. Jean Johnson Joneson entitled The Nama Stap Dance: an analysis of continuity and change. That research paper focuses on a form of the Nama stap dance in South Africa.

The content of this post is presented for cultural purposes, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the Nama people sharing their cultural heritage with the world. Thanks also to all those who are featured in these videos and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
A closely related pancocojams post on the names for the days of the week in the Nama language will be published ASAP and its link will be added to this post. Here's an excerpt from that post that is given here for clarification purposes:
"The Khoekhoe language... also known by the ethnic term Nama ... and formerly as Hottentot, is the most widespread of those non-Bantu languages of southern Africa that contain "click" sounds and have therefore been loosely classified as Khoisan....

It belongs to the Khoe language family, and is spoken in Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa by three ethnic groups, the Nama, Damara, and Haiǁom. A smaller fraction of mostly Nama and Damara who fled the 1904-1908 Namibian War of National Resistance also speak the language in Botswana, while Khoena (previously Colored) are working hard ton revive the language in South Africa."

INFORMATION ABOUT NAMA STAP (also known as "Nama" dancing and "Riel dancing")
"Riel (or Rieldans) is a Khoisan word for an ancient celebratory dance performed by the San (also known as Bushmen), Nama and Khoi.[1] It is considered one of the oldest dancing styles of indigenous South Africa. Also known as Ikhapara by the Nama, it is danced at an energetic pace and demands a lot of fancy footwork[2][3]

The dance was not originally called "riel". The original Khoisan and San languages had mostly disappeared and in South Africa these groups mostly speak Afrikaans. The word was later borrowed from "reel", a Scottish folk dance and in Afrikaans the dance became known as the "riel".[4][5] In Nama the dance is known as Ikhapara which is derived from the word "khapas" which means "hat". The hat of the man is a useful article to win a lady's hand in marriage[6]

The riel is the oldest entertainment form used as a social, cultural and educational tool by the Khoisan people long before Western cultures and traditions arrived at the Cape of Good Hope. It is an age-old dance of the Khoisan hunters, with distinct Irish and Scottish folk music influences, all performed to the beat of "boeremusiek", Dutch folk songs and minstrel songs of the south of America … It became the dance of the working classes, particularly between the 1940s and 1950s and was danced, especially in the Northern Cape and Karoo and some other regions.[7]

This lively dance was danced around the campfire after hunting expeditions, good harvests or during a celebration Later this also became the dance of farmworkers and sheep shearers, whose daily activities are often portrayed during a dance.[8][9]

The riel was made popular again in recent years and is a true celebration of ancient traditions that finds new expression in contemporary forms. Its modern version has elements of colonialism as the accompanying instrumentation includes guitar and violin, and the outfits adorning the dances are commonly known as 'working class clothes'.

Dance style classification
The most outstanding feature of the riel is the ingenious and frantic footwork and energetic pace at which it is danced. The dance was performed in the dusty sands around a campfire and thus the dance is described by a beautiful Afrikaans expression: “Dans lat die stof so staan” (Dancing at a fast and energetic pace resulting in a lot of dust)

The unique dance is performed by a group, often in a circle. This dance consists of cultural movements (gestures) and is often used to tell a story[10] It is about wooing and lovemaking, and takes some of its moves from animal-like movements and animal courtship, particularly the ostrich. The bright colours of prancing animals' is portrayed in the characteristic colourful costumes.

Styles and moves
Dance moves portray the wooing between man and female and this is portrayed through imitation of animal and bird movements, such as the butterfly, antelope, baboons, snakes, meerkat and horses, as well as the flirting of pigeons, rooster, turkey and ostrich male. These movements include, "bokspring" (gamboling), "kapperjol", trotting and strutting as horses.

The Afrikaans idiom "vlerksleep" (courtship dance like a bird) is displayed in the riel.[11] The man use his coat panel, his arm or his hat held in his hand, to court with a lady or for example, to invite her to dance.

There is also the ever-popular monkey dance or depictions of the working environment, the galloping of horses, sheep shearing or herdsman dance. Everyday use is manifested in the "askoek" slapping, where the right foot is securely placed above the left knee and slapped – or vice versa – to demonstrate how excess ash are dusted from the "askoek" (a bread baked in ashes).[12]

The dance is characterized by lively music and music instruments such as the "ramkie" (tin guitar made out of an empty oil can and a piece of wood with strings), odd handmade violin or, sometimes, a banjo, accordion or mouth organ, are used as accompaniment[13]”...
Judging from the titles of YouTube videos about this dance form and the online information that I've read about this dance, it appears that the name "Riel" has been replaced by the name "Nama stap" (also given as "Nama stap"). Also, in addition to the name "Riel", the European influence of the reel dance is evidenced by some of the ways that the dance is performed i.e. the couples holding hands while dancing in the circle or line, and the women twirling under their male partners' arm.

It seems to me that the clothing that is worn by traditional Nama stap dancers are only partly influenced by garments, hats, and bonnets worn by the South African Cape's and Namibia's Dutch and German colonizers. I think that that United States minstrelsy also influenced the patches in the pants that are worn by some male traditional Nama stap dancers, and those patches are imitating the poor clothing of Black people who were supposedly portrayed in those minstrel shows. Note that White American black faced minstrels and African Americans singers and dancers performed in South Africa as early as the mid 19th century and were especially popular in Cape Town, South Africa. Read a brief quote about the influence of black faced minstrelsy and Black American performers in South Africa in the comment section below.

It's interesting that the author/s' of this Wikipedia page didn't mention one person blowing a whistle as part of the Namastap instrumentation. Maybe blowing a whistle is a more recent addition to that instrumentation.
Additional information and comments about this dance form in the video summaries and comments that are found below.

Example #1: Prince Ariyo Cultural Group [Namibia, South Africa]

Eddie Links Published on Aug 27, 2012

Namastap at Gochas
Cultural Festival 2011

Example #2: Nama Dance [Namibia]

blacfoundation, Published on Oct 3, 2012

Example #3: Nama Stap - Cultural Dance from Namibia

Eric F Published on Nov 6, 2014

Students from Kalkrand, Hardap Region perform the Nama Stap in Okahandja.
Here are three selected comments from this video's discussion thread:

rodger ndwandwe, 2015
"what a beautiful performance...i really love the music (namastap)"

Jbk Witbooi, 2015
"The pride of the south Namastap..."

"More white influence...but great"

Example #4: Die Nuwe Graskoue Trappers Riel Dance Team [South African group performing in the USA]

Alan Straton, Published on May 26, 2014

South Africa's entry in the World Championships of Performing Arts in LA later this year is the 2013 ATKV Junior Riel Dance Champions; 'Die Nuwe Graskoue Trappers Riel Dance Team' here showing their stuff at the Media Launch for the 2014 Kirkwood Wildsfees.

'Die Nuwe Graskoue Trappers Riel Dance Team' will represent Team South Africa at the 18th annual World Championships of Peforming Arts in Los Angeles, United States between 11 and 19 July 2014.

Each year, countries send their best and most outstanding talent to the U.S. During this heated week of events, competitors go head to head "Olympic-style" in a wide variety of competitions. Each winner gets a coveted gold medal which brings with it the respect and admiration of people around the world along with potentially a career opportunity of a lifetime including over $130,000 USD in scholarships.

The Nuwe Graskoue Trappers Riel Dance Team made it through the Provincial rounds to represent the Western Province Team of Performing Arts at the final of The South African Championships of Performing Arts which took place in Rustenburg from the 4 to 13 April 2014.

They were the only group from the West Coast and Cederberg Municipality to make it to the final as well as the first ever Riel Dance Group to make it to this prestigious event. They entered for the Dance Event in the Ethnic Folk Category. The band that leads this dance group also competed in the Instrumental Event in both the Original and Open Categories.

The band took the Gold Medal in the Open as well as the Original Category as well as scooping the Original Category overall Trophy Award. The band will also take part at the World Championships of Performing Arts in LA later this year.

South African actress, Marbi van Wielligh signed with Chancellor Entertainment and moved to Hollywood after a successful show on the World Championships of Performing Arts stage.

Example #5: Kwaai City - NAMA DANCE A `RIEL' HIT AT THE CAPE TOWN CARNIVAL [South Africa]

Kwaai City, Published on Jun 9, 2014

For the first time ever, the Riel - age-old dance of the Nama people - took pride-of-place at the Cape Town Carnival. Riel Dancers from Wupperthal, Elizabethfontein, Citrusdal Academy, as far as the Northern Cape, revived the dance to tell modern day stories of their lives. Floris Brand of Bushman's Kloof assembled the troop of eager dancers for the grand occasion - who danced the streets of Cape Town - to the traditional music of maestro, Bertie Zass and his band. And the crowds absolutely loved them!

Born out of traditional Khoi and San ceremonial dances around the fire, it has been practiced by descendants of these indigenous cultures for many years, most of whom were sheep shearers and farm workers across the Cape.

The Riel dance was very popular in the forties, fifties and sixties, but has been sadly neglected in recent decades. Dressed typically in traditional, farm-worker outfits - the women in dresses with aprons and old frontier bonnets, and the men in waistcoats and hats adorned with feathers, finished with the famous, hand-made red veldskoen -- these vibrant dancers were a `Riel' hit.

Popular Riel dances include courtship rituals, and mimicking typical animal antics along with lots of bravado, showmanship and foot stomping. It has only recently been revived through the efforts of writer and storyteller, Elias Nel of the Afrikaanse Taal & Kultuurvereniging (ATKV), who introduced the ATKV Riel dance competition in 2006, to ensure the survival of the dance and introduce the world to this wonderful, foot-stomping, cultural whirlwind….

Example #6: Namibian Nama Dancers [Namibia]

Northern Cape Tourism Published on Sep 22, 2015

The Namibian Nama Cultural dancers at the first annual Pella Festival.

Example #7: Riel dancers at Snoek & Patat festival in Goedverwacht 2015

H Vergo, Published on Jun 28, 2015

I took this video at the festival which is held annually. Riel dancing ise part of the South African Coloured community's heritage.
Click for an outdated d article about South Africa's Cape Coloured population that still provides some historical and cultural information about that population. I gather that that Wikipedia page is outdated since-if I correctly understand the Wikipedia article on the Khoekhoe language that is quoted in the beginning of this post, "Hottentots, and later "Cape Coloureds" are now retired referents for the population that is now known as "Nama". Please correct me if I'm mistaken about this point.

Example #8: Real Namastap by Schmelenville Combined School culture group [Namibia]

Bertha Motinga Published on Nov 8, 2016

Example #9: Riel Dance Competition Final in Paarl [South Africa]

Rudolf Rieger Published on Dec 15, 2016

Rieldans / Riel Dance competition final hosted by ATKV on the 3rd of December 2016 in Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa. This trailer forms part of the documentary in production "Africa's Indigenous Survivors" The Khoekhoe Saga, which is financed by the NLC and produced by On Set Film Productions

This concludes this two part pancocojams series on Nama Stap. Additional video examples of Nama Stap will be published in this blog and can be found by clicking the "Nama stap" tag.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams

Visitor comments are welcome.

Excerpt From pdf: "The Nama Stap Dance: an analysis of continuity and change" (Nama Step dancing in South Africa & Namibia)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a two part series on Nama Stap in South Africa and Namibia. "Nama Stap" (Nama Step) is also known as "Nama" dancing and "Riel dancing".

Part I provides an excerpt from a pdf file by E. Jean Johnson Joneson entitled The Nama Stap Dance: an analysis of continuity and change. This research paper focuses on a form of the Nama Stap dance in South Africa.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric and socio-cultural purposes.

Click for Part II of this series. Part II provides information about Nama Stap and showcases nine videos of that dance form in South Africa and Namibia.

I recommend visitors to this blog read this entire pdf article.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the Nama people sharing their cultural heritage with the world. Thanks also to E. Jean Johnson Joneson, the writer of this pdf paper.
A closely related pancocojams post on the names for the days of the week in the Nama language will be published ASAP and its link will be added to this post. Here's one quote from that post that is given here for clarification purposes:
Here's an excerpt from that post that is given here for clarification purposes:
"The Khoekhoe language... also known by the ethnic term Nama ... and formerly as Hottentot, is the most widespread of those non-Bantu languages of southern Africa that contain "click" sounds and have therefore been loosely classified as Khoisan....

It belongs to the Khoe language family, and is spoken in Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa by three ethnic groups, the Nama, Damara, and Haiǁom. A smaller fraction of mostly Nama and Damara who fled the 1904-1908 Namibian War of National Resistance also speak the language in Botswana, while Khoena (previously Colored) are working hard ton revive the language in South Africa."


Pancocojams Editor:
This excerpt is mostly given as is, including ellipses "...", except for ellipses given in brackets that I used to indicate portions of this paper that aren't quoted in this post. I included one asterisk for a Nama word that is given in italics in that paper. The definition for that word is given below this excerpt.


The Nama Stap Dance: an analysis of continuity and change
E. Jean Johnson Jones
University of Surrey – Department of Dance and Theatre Studies

This article expands the field research carried out over a five year period (2001-2006) among the Nama people who live in !Khubus village, South Africa. The Nama may be identified with a sequence of movement that is widely recognised throughout South Africa as the Nama Stap (Step); the Nama Stap (NS) in turn is the major movement motif of the Nama Stap Dance (NS/D), and the foundation of the Nama Stap Dance-Female Puberty Version (NS/P).1

Despite overt colonial influences within these dances today, the Nama have declared these performance artefacts to be symbols of Nama identity. These dances, I will suggest, contrast with more classical Nama identifiers, such as the matjieshuis (mat house) and the Nama language itself. This article attempts to provide an appreciation of the Nama, especially Nama women, through an analysis and interpretation of the Nama Stap Dance-Puberty Version. It will then examine the major movement motif know as ‘the Nama Stap’ within the context of the NS/P. Through an integration of selected research methodologies, especially Laban analysis, dance analysis, and field research, an interpretation of the dance is suggested that reveals traditional and contemporary, colonial and post-colonial, markings.2

The Nama of !Khubus Village
Originating in the northern Cape, the Nama are the best known of the Khoekhoen peoples.3
Two groups of Nama are distinguished: the Great Nama who live in Great Namaqualand in Namibia and the Little Nama who reside in Little Namaqualand in the north-western region of South Africa. This paper begins by examining the lifestyle of the Nama of !Khubus village, Little Namaqualand.

Namaqualand, located in northern South Africa, is the least populated region of South Africa due in large part to its harsh, desert-like climate and mountainous terrain.

During the apartheid period (1948-1991), it was one of twenty areas known as reserves, coloured reserves, or coloured rural areas. Reserves were officially established in the early part of the 1900s as permanent settlements for the indigenous peoples of South

[page] 2


Namaqualand, the largest reserve, includes Concordia, Komagga, Leliefontein, Richtersveld, and Steinkopf. The village of !Khubus is part of the Richtersveld reserve, where it lies in close proximity to the Richtersveld National Park.4 The village of !Khubus is but one village settlement that developed out of the missionary crusades of the 19th-century. These religious campaigns were characterised by power over and domination of the indigenous people who inhabited the area. Ironically, it was through the mission station system that the national reserves system was established.


[page] 3

Language in !Khubus, and in the Richtersveld more generally, is closely related to South Africa’s political history, especially that of the apartheid period. Even the spelling of the word !Khubus is reflective of colonial, traditional and contemporary customs striving to establish equilibrium. I noted, for example, three different spellings of the word !Khubus. According to local informants, ‘!Khubus’ is the proper Nama spelling.5

Nama is referred to as a family language. This means that older members of a family, and perhaps a few youth, speak it; few of these, however, are able to write in it.

Even those who do speak Nama will not use it outside of the home. According to mature adults in !Khubus Afrikaans was the language of clergy, school, employment and government officials. The use of Nama was rigorously discouraged: school-aged children were punished physically and socially, and the few employment opportunities to be had favoured Afrikaans speakers. Previously, Nama marked a speaker as uneducated and therefore socially inept. To some extent, this sentiment lingers today.

However, with the new South Africa, the re-establishment of indigenous languages is important to local identities.

The new South Africa, the ‘Rainbow Nation’, has adopted eleven official languages: Afrikaans, English, IsiXhosa, IsiZulu, Ndebele, Siswati, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Tshivenda, Xitsonga. Afrikaans is the language used by Nama in the Richtersveld; this is due largely to the dictum of the apartheid government that ruled South Africa for nearly fifty years. It is used in the home, at school, in business, and socially. Nama people who are fifty years of age or older may, however, have retained the traditional Nama click language, and, in many cases, are able to speak a second ‘African’ language. English is not a language freely spoken among the Nama of !Khubus or its surrounding area. The acceptance of Afrikaans as the dominant speech in South Africa remains widespread but language use underpins cultural survival.


In the post apartheid era the Khoisan Heritage Programme (KHP) was established as part of South Africa’s nation-wide cultural revitalisation campaign. The Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (DACST) and the South African Heritage Resource Agency (SAHRA) manage KHP. In the case of !Khubus, one of the major cultural revival programmes involves the re-establishment of the Nama language.

[page] 4

In Nama history, the Nama language fortunately survived in !Khubus during the colonial period. As related by anthropologist Peter Carstens, Prior to 1844 all mission work in Richtersveld was carried out by visiting missionaries…But in this year, J.F. Hein, a ‘Baster-Hottentot’ from Wupperthal, was sent there as an evangelist…Both he and his wife spoke Nama…Hein establish[ed] a small school in which he taught. The
medium of instruction in both these institutions was Nama. (Carstens, 1966, p 206).

On the farms, however, where the Khoikhoi worked they had to speak either Dutch or Afrikaans. During the twentieth century, language and cultural loss was more profound as urbanisation separated families and communities.

Contemporary cultural revival initiatives sponsored by KHP include the establishment, in !Khubus, of a Nama Stap dance group organised through the local school and managed by middle aged women in !Khubus, and a traditional Nama guitar ensemble that tours throughout the Richtersveld region that accompanies the Nama Stap dance group. Therefore, as much as spoken language is a major part of revitalizing Nana identity, so for this present generation of Nama is the continuity and change taking place in their dance.

A Movement Signature: The Nama Stap
For as long as they can remember, the Nama people have been dancing the Nama Stap (NS). No one has been able to provide evidence of why or how it came into being. Very few Nama, if any, have no embodied knowledge of the NS. Most learn this dynamic cultural artefact in childhood along with other Nama signifiers such as round huts, Nama mud ovens and Nama baked bread. Today Nama also do the Nama Stap Dance (NS/D) and the Nama Stap Dance-Female Puberty Version (NS/P); the later dance has evolved from the historic Nama female puberty ceremony. What is of interest to my research is that the NS, in all its variations, reflects the more recent life experiences of the Nama.

Description of the NS motif does not appear in literature concerning the Nama nor can Nama account for its introduction into the dance. The NS motif appears to be a contemporary addition. The NS motif, for example, is performed when either a demonstration of the NS/D, NS/P or the NS motif is requested. In addition, the NS is performed as part of Nama social gatherings as well as at performances and ceremonies 5 organised for tourist and government-sponsored activities. While the NS can be, and is, performed apart from the NS/P, the NS/P cannot exist apart from the NS, its most significant motif.

The NS as a cultural artefact can be considered from different perspectives including the ethnographic where the dancing itself is the focus of attention or the anthropological where the culture as a whole must be considered. It may also be viewed in terms of a detailed movement analysis and documentation of the movement content.

Extending an interpretation from anthropological perspectives, issues such as gender relations, the impact of Christianity on the Nama, and the power of colonial influences may also be observed in this dance analysis.


[page] 6

The NS is primarily a travelling movement which progresses forward and backward through space while the feet typically maintain a close relationship to Place.

In Labanotation the idea of Place follows the basic law that ‘place’ is directly related to the centre of gravity of the performer (Hutchinson, Labanotation, 1970, p 35). When the feet move away from a central axis, rather than lifting away from the floor, they maintain contact with it by sliding across its surface. This sliding action is one of the features that distinguishes the Nama of !Khubus from other Nama groups. These two features, along with the fact that the limbs are never stretched beyond neutral, ensure that the dance step is small in respect of distance travelled and use of bodily kinesphere.

An erect torso that is supported by a buoyant, springy action in the pelvis …typifies this NS. Rather than initiating its own directions in space, the torso responds to movements of other body parts, especially the feet and the pelvis. The movement of these parts causes the torso to tip or deviate on and off its central axis in a counterbalancing motion. Moving in response to the torso, the arms behave in a passive manner that sometimes develops into a swing movement. Dynamically, two similar effort drives, dab and glide, are apparent. These efforts vary in time only—one accelerating while the other decelerates. Steps on Place dab (acceleration) while sliding steps glide (deceleration). These aspects of the NS are organised or phrased in relatively shorter or longer units. Overlapping, impulsive phrases organise the movement travelling forward while one long phrase structure movement travelling backward. These movement attributes that converge to create a ‘signature’ of the Nama Stap are readily observed
when the pattern is viewed as a discrete movement sequence.


Nama Stap Dance-Puberty Version Performance - An Ethnographic Account
While in residence in !Khubus, I was fortunate to witness a performance of the Nama Stap Dance-Puberty Version in June 2001. This version of the Nama Stap Dance

[page] 7

is based on the historic Nama Female Puberty Ceremony described most notably by
Agnes Hoernlé. Hoernlé is sometimes referred to as the ‘mother of South African anthropology’ (Barnard and Spencer, 1996). During her field research among the Nama between 1912 and 1913, Hoernlé recorded various rite of passage ceremonies. Among these is her description of the Nama female puberty ceremony.


The dance activities began in the early evening in the front yard of the home of one of the performers. A single pole-type lamp poured light onto the front steps where the speaker for the evening stood. The remainder of the yard, including the performance area, was in shadow. The dance event was in full swing when we arrived. A matjieshuis* occupied one corner (Figure 3). The area left of the matjieshuis and continuing fully around the periphery of the space was active with people talking and children running to and fro. Downstage right of the matjieshuis were about half a dozen chairs intended for us and other guests from the Richtersveld National Park; these were the people for whom the festivities had
been arranged. There was much laughing and talking among the group that also included people from the village. To the right of the seating area were the front steps of the house, and next to these an electric keyboard. This area was thumping with the sound of music and the voices of young men. Completing the circle around to the front of the matjieshuis was another group of people. Here were men, women, and children moving, dancing, laughing, and talking with each other or dancing alone. The central
area, the dancing space, remained relatively clear. The mood was festive, and people seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Our host for the evening was Willem De Wet, an organiser of the event and member of the !Khubus community, as well as a park ranger. Speaking in Afrikaans, he acknowledged and welcomed visitors to !Khubus and also announced our presence. He gave a brief introduction to the Nama Stap Dance-Puberty Version and to the women taking part in the performance. Sitting in front of the matjieshuis, the finer points of the dance were further explained by the dancers themselves.6

The dance company was composed of seven mature Nama women ranging between fifty and sixty-five years of age. The post-menopausal experience of the women struck me as curious. The dance, I had been told, was a contemporary interpretation of a rite of passage ceremony intended for a young female to mark the onset of her first menstrual cycle. I noted younger women in the audience, so wondered why they were not involved in the performance.

As the introductory bars of music started, the dancers casually formed a line of three pairs near the opening of the matjieshuis while the seventh dancer had unobtrusively entered the hut by the rear opening (See Figure 3). The observers either stood around the edges of the space or took seats on the ground, benches, steps, or around the matjieshuis. After a short stepping progression forward, the first theme of the dance was displayed. Each pair of dancers made a full clockwise circular path around each other as
the arms of each circled, embraced, and slid along the torso of her partner. This intricate inter-twining action was performed along a counter-clockwise oblong or circular path. Holding hands, gliding, shuffling steps defined the next segment of the unbroken counter-clockwise path. It was not possible to distinguish the rhythm for this stepping action as the dancers did not seem to be co-ordinated in regard to timing. Each appeared to be dancing to a slightly different beat; perhaps this is the nature of the movement. Roughly three-quarters of the way around the circle the dancers shuffled backwards (Figure 5). They were then moving backwards on a clockwise circular path.

This change in direction seemed to help the dancers re-organise themselves rhythmically and spatially. This collection of basic actions—progressing forward, turning around each other, and retreating—were then repeated to bring the dancers approximately three quarters of the way around the circle once again. Upon completing the second circle the first pair and second pair of dancers exchanged places and the circle was repeated a third time. This circuit was slightly changed from the others. Spatially, the curved shape of the path gradually expanded to take the form of an outward spiral that aimed towards the rear of the matjieshuis. The turning of the dancers around each other also changed. Rather than a change of movement pattern itself, it showed a change in attitude; each pair of dancers seemed to perform a succession of
turns along a spiralling path. The visual and dynamic effect was a progression of seemingly endless spinning towards the black space at the rear of the matjieshuis.

Still moving in pairs, the dancers continued their counter-clockwise dance around the hut. As they approached the front opening they gathered together, peered inside and hammered on its walls. Getting no response, they danced their way around the hut once again. When they reappeared along the right side of the matjieshut a new member of the group had joined them. Her elaborately painted face singled her out
from the rest and she became the focus of attention of both dancers and observers. With her arrival, the mood of the performance was lifted to a light gay tone. As they continued their progression around the matjieshuis the dancers took it in turns to spin with the new comer. When all who wanted to had danced with her, the ceremony ended.

The dance event, however, was not quite complete.

The ceremony was immediately followed by a discussion. The performers answered questions and responded to comments regarding the dance and their performance. The final portion of the evening was then given over to social dancing, in which the performers, villagers, and visitors could meet, chat, and dance with each
other. It was also a chance to have a go at learning the Nama Stap from the performers. Young, old, men and women joined in this informal dance lesson. The evening finished on a high note with everyone ‘Nama Stepping’ to a popular dance beat coming from the electric keyboard. The organisation of the dance, spatial relationship between dancers, and sequence of dance patterns were elements that came together to distinguish the NS/P.


[page] 10

The Nama Stap Dance-Puberty Version Performance – An Anthropological

The Nama Stap Dance that I viewed was organised not as a rite of passage ceremony which marks the transition of a Nama female from childhood to young adulthood, but as a performance event based on that ceremony. It was sponsored, planned, and hosted by the Richtersveld National Park in conjunction with the !Khubus community. This context alters both the performer’s and observer’s perception of the
dance and its progression as a ceremony, from ritual to theatre, raises a number of significant issues concerning its analysis and contemporary interpretation.

A dance titled the Nama Stap Dance could be regarded as a cultural representation or symbol of the Nama. Yet, Dutch colonists have heavily influenced Nama culture, including its dancing, since the Nama were subjugated by Dutch (and German) pioneers and forced to adopt much of their culture, including language. How is this ‘foreign’ influence situated in relation to the Nama today? It would appear that the contemporary Nama accept several variants of the NS/D and NS/P as representative of their culture.
The NS is part of the movement vocabulary of all residents of !Khubus from the very young pre-school child to the eldest grandparent. It, along with the NS/D, is part of the primary education programme of the local school that all school-aged children of !Khubus attend. Within the school setting, young dancers are encouraged to not only develop as good Nama Stap dancers but also to be inventive within the form. Through
the dance, a competitive spirit is encouraged and nurtured. Further, the NS and the NS/D are the forms that are most frequently performed and exported out of the village setting as part of local and government-sponsored tourist activities. These two dances enable a range of fundamental educational principles and the assertion of positive self and communal image. Within such a structure the future of the NS, NS/D and its

[page] 11

messages will survive, adapt and remain a dynamic aspect of the Nama culture.

The puberty version of the NS/D presents this research with a set of particular challenges in terms of interpretation. There are, for instance, a number of descriptions of the historic Nama female puberty ceremony on which the dance is based. These include, among others, Hoernlé (1918), Hoff (Barnard, 1992), and informants in !Khubus. The Hoernlé and Hoff versions introduce elements of the dance not mentioned
by cultural informants, such as the use of cold water and the fact that the initiate’s feet should not touch the ground. What is the historical significance of these elements and why have they disappeared from the ceremony? More fundamentally, what purpose does the dance ceremony serve for Nama women today? Close analysis of the Nama Stap Dance Puberty Version provides evidence of the effects of continuity, discontinuity and transformation in the contemporary context.

!Khubus is sometimes labelled a sleeping town. This identifies a locale as well as a condition in which there is no paid work in the immediate vicinity. Residents must seek employment outside of the community and, where practical, return home to rest. This situation was already apparent when Carstens did his research fifty years ago. Today, those who are employed further afield such as in Port Nolloth, Springbok, or even Cape Town, do not return to the village on a regular basis. Grandparents in small accommodation, as few as three rooms, may care for as many as three or four children. According to informants, it is the case that some parents gradually cease to return to the village for long periods of time. The extended absence of parents from the village has had an effect on traditional social systems; male puberty ceremonies, for example, have all but disappeared (Barnard, 1992, p.185). In terms of the female Nama legacy, as traced through the NS and the NS/P, the intervention of the remaining middle-aged females and grandmothers, has allowed the Nama female puberty ceremony to survive thus far. Since another generation of young women to whom to pass the dance is either absent or no longer appreciates the significance of the dance, the future of the NS/P is however uncertain. The presence of the NS/P in the tourist performance has perhaps slowed this process of loss and discontinuity.


[page] 12

Some informants felt that the knowledge of traditional hut construction was part of Nama cultural heritage that should not be closely linked to commerce. Of equal importance is the process of why and how culture is restored, if indeed it can be.

The indigenous peoples of South Africa have not had access to their country’s vast natural resources such as diamonds, gold, and fertile farmland. Nor have they had access to the same superior educational opportunities or the worthwhile employment of white South Africans. This deprivation has left many indigenous peoples devastated culturally and economically The acknowledgement of cultural identity among
indigenous peoples through a programme of cultural revitalisation has had positive psychological and economic benefits. Dancing, in this regard, can be revised along commercial lines and developed into what has been referred to by anthropologist and dance ethnographer Adrienne Kaeppler as ‘Airport Art’ (1992). This form of art caters directly to a commercial market and is displayed at tourist venues. Tony Manhire, a specialist of San Rock Art and one of my guides, expressed concern that the dances of the San were being exploited in this way.


1. I have labelled this version of the dance ‘Nama Stap Dance-Female Puberty’ Version in order to distinguish it from the better know Nama Stap Dance.

2. The content of this article relates to the three fieldtrips undertaken in Namaqualand, South Africa between 2001-2006 as part of my doctorial research titled: Nama Marks and Etchings: an analysis and interpretation of the Nama Stap.

3. Basically, all specialists would agree that the Khoisan peoples include speakers of numerous click-using languages which belong to some four or five language families, subfamilies or groups. The linguistically ‘generic’ relationship between all Khoisan languages have yet to be established beyond question, but most specialists do assume for reasons of practicality that we can at least speak of a Khoisan phylum or superfamily. Briefly, Khoisan language families or subfamilies include Khoe (also
know as Khwe-Kovab or Hottentot), !Kung (Ju), Ta’a (including !Xõ), !Wi, and tentatively ‘South-western’ or ‘Cape’ (/Xam) (Barnard, 1992, p. 22-23).

4. Situated in the western corner of Namaqualand, and named after Dr. Ricther, an inspector of the Rhenish Mission who visited the area in 1830, the Richtersveld National Park was opened on 16 August 1991. The management of the park is atypical in that it is managed by community members and National the Park Board.
5. I noted three spellings of !Khubus: Khoboes, Kuboes, and !Khubus. The name is a Nama word meaning ‘God is found here.’"


[This paper has a total of 29 pages, including notes/citations]

Pancocojams Note
* matjieshuis = traditional Nama reed house http://www.richt

This concludes Part I of this two part series on Nama Stap.

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Visitor comments are welcome.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Names For Days Of The Week In The Akan Language Of Ghana & The Ivory Coast

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides information about names for days of the week in the Akan language spoken in Ghana and Ivory Coast, West Africa, including the roots and meanings (associations) of those Akan names for the days of the week.

Day names of males and females in Twi and Fante are also given in this post.

This post is part of an ongoing pancocojams series that provides information about and lists for day names in various African languages. Click the "African languages days of the week" tag to find other posts in this ongoing series.

The content of this post is presented for linguistic, cultural, and educational purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.
This post replaces a deleted pancocojams post entitled "Akan Days Of The Week & Akan Day Names" And Their Meanings that was published in July 21, 2016

Excerpt #1
From Akan (Twi) at Rutgers
"Akan refers to the language of the Akan ethnic group of Ghana. It is also spoken in the central and eastern part of Cote d’Ivoire. Akan comprises three main mutually intelligible dialects: Fante, Asante Twi and Akwapim Twi. Asante Twi is the widely used.

Akan is the most widely spoken and used indigenous language in Ghana. About 44%, of Ghana’s population of about 22 million, speak Akan as first language. However, about 80% of Ghanaians speak Akan as a first and second language. It is officially recognized for literacy, at least at the lower primary (Primary 1-3) level, and studied at university as a bachelor or masters program. It is the most important indigenous language of Ghana. It is the language of the Western, Central, Ashanti, Eastern, Brong Ahafo regions, and the northern portion of the Volta region of Ghana. A form of Akan is also spoken in South America, notably Suriname and Jamaica. The language came to these places through the slave trade. Akan names and folktales are still used in these countries. With the present state of technology, one can listen to live radio broadcasts in Akan from numerous radio stations from Akan is studied in major universities in the United States, including Ohio University, Ohio State University, University of Wisconsin, Harvard University, Boston University, Indiana University, Michigan University, and The University of Florida. It has been a regular African language of study in the annual Summer Cooperative African Languages Institute (SCALI) program.

Akan belongs to the Kwa group of the Niger-Congo language family. It has some unique linguistic features like tone, vowel harmony and nasalization."...
This article is reformatted for this post.

Excerpt #2:
"Ashanti, (rightly Asante) or Asante Twi pronunciation: Asantefo ; singular masculine: Asantenibarima, singular feminine: Asantenibaa), are a nation and ethnic group native to the Ashanti Region located centrally on the Ashantiland Peninsula.

The Asante people speak the Asante dialect of Twi. The language is spoken by over nine million ethnic Asante people as a first or second language.[1][2] The word Ashanti is an English language misnomer. Asante literally means "because of wars".[3] The wealthy gold-rich Asante people developed a large and influential empire; the Ashanti Empire along the Lake Volta and Gulf of Guinea.[4] The Ashanti are believed to descend from Abyssinians, who were pushed south by the Egyptian forces.[5][6]

Excerpt #3
Akan names
"The Akan people of Ghana and the Ivory Coast frequently name their children after the day of the week they were born and the order in which they were born. These "day names" have further meanings concerning the soul and character of the person. Middle names have considerably more variety and can refer to their birth order, twin status, or an ancestor's middle name.

This naming tradition is shared throughout West Africa and the African diaspora. During the 18th–19th centuries, slaves in the Caribbean from the region that is modern-day Ghana were referred to as Coromantees. Many of the leaders of slave rebellions had "day names" including Cuffy or Kofi, Cudjoe or Kojo, and Quamina or Kwame/Kwamina.

Most Ghanaians have at least one name from this system, even if they also have an English or Christian name. Notable figures with day names include Ghana's first president Kwame Nkrumah and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.


Day born*
Sunday - Kwasíada
Root - Asi
Association – Universe
Twi Male Name Kwasí Akosua
Twi Female Name Akosua
Fanti Male Name Quashie,
Fanti Female Name Quasheba

Monday -Ɛdwóada
Root Dwo
Association Peace
Twi Male Name Kwadwó
Twi Female Name Adwoa
Fanti Male Name Cudjoe/Kojo/Quajo,
Fanti Female Name Adjoa/Ajuba/Juba

Tuesday (Ɛbénada)
Root Bene
Association Ocean
Twi Male Name Kwabená
Twi Female Name Abenaa, Abénaa
Fanti Male Name Quabena,
Fanti Female Name Abena/Bena

Wednesday (Wukúada)
Root Wukuo
Association Spider**
Twi Male Name Kwakú
Twi Female Name Akua, Akúá, Akuba
Fanti Male Name Quaco,
Fanti Female Name Aqua/Acooba/Cooba

Thursday (Yáwóada)
Root Ya
Association Earth
Twi Male Name Yaw
Twi Female Name Yaa
Fanti Male Name Quaw,
Fanti Female Name Aba/Yaaba

Friday (Efíada)
Root Afi,
Association Fertility
Twi Male Name Kofí
Twi Female Name Afua
Fanti Male Name Cuffy,
Fanti Female Name Afiba/Fiba

Saturday (Méméneda)
Root Mene
Association God
Twi Male Name Kwámè, Kwǎmè,
Twi Female Name Ám̀ma, Ámmá
Fanti Male Name Quame/Quamina
Fanti Female Name Ama

*This is an amended version of the information that is given in a chart on that Wikipedia page. That Wikipedia chart also includes Akan variants of these day names that are given to males or females and the day names in the Akan based Ndyuka language, a creole language of Suriname, spoken by the Ndyuka people.

**In Wikipedia's Akan day name chart, the word "spider" is linked to My summary of the meaning of Anansi (spider) in Akan culture as well as in the African Diaspora of Jamaica and the United States etc. is that Anansi symbolized/s wisdom and using your mind to overcome adversity.

Excerpt #4:
From Akan Days Names, Creative Acts And Their Meanings, Posted on November 21, 2012 by obibini, culled from [as indicated in that article]

(Pancocojams Editor's comment: Corrections to typos are given in brackets. I've reformatted this excerpt to improve its readability.]

"ONYANKOPON KWAME-The Great Name of God
The word ‘OIAMEKOPON’ is what has been corrupted into ‘ONYANKOPON.’ Each syllable signifies one of the characteristics of GOD.

“O” is the shortest and most basic name of GOD in Akan. It signifies HIS/HER universality,completeness and perfection.This has something to do with the Sun. ”O” also signifies a Being or agent capable of achieving a purpose,as in ‘Onipa’,’Otumfuo’,’Oboade3’,’Onyansafo,’etc, etc.

“IA”,which can be written “YA”, ”JA” or “EA” meaning “being” or “agent” has been corrupted to “(N)YA ,“ which connotes wisdom, as in “NYANSA.”

“ME” signifies a Self –Consciousness personality.”ME” also means “I” in Akan and could mean satisfaction as found in the word “OMEE”(satisfaction).

“KO” means “one” and points to the oneness of God as a Being without a rival.

“PON” means “great” and depicts the supremacy of God as the sovereign of the universe. This idea of greatness appears in words like “Obrempon”,”Odupon”,etc

The Akan day name for God is KWAME,which was originally “KO-YA-ME” or “KO-IA-ME,” can be etymologically broken up into the syllables KO, YA and ME.

“KO” means “Life” as found in “KOSUA” (egg) which, when written properly is “KO-SU-YA”(literally ‘life-water-being’) signifying “water-containing-life being.”

“SU” is the ancestral form of “NSUO” (water).e.g “KOTO”(crab) translates into “empty life” because of a crab’s hollow nature /emptiness.

“YA/IA/EA” means “agent”,”being”, or father as in “AGYA.”

“ME” means “satisfaction” or “I. ”Putting the syllables together, ”KO-YA-ME” translates into “satisfied father of life.”

It is for ease of pronunciation and assimilation of sounds that “KO-YA” became “KWA” through contraction.
Hence “KWA” means “Father of life, wisdom” or “The Life Being”(signifying original source of life).

“KWA” is therefore also one of the basic names of God....

“KWASIADA” means the day on which “KWA”(the Creator) descended.

“DA” means ‘day’ and “SI” means ‘to descend.’ ”KWASIADA” (KO-YA-SI-DA) therefore means “Creator-of-Life-Descended-Day”. That is, the day on which “KWA” descended to begin creating the world.

Males/females born on this day are named KWASI AND ESI respectively. KWASI(KO-YA-SI) means “the Lord of Life Descent” and ESI means “descent.”

KWASI and ESI are therefore names to commemorate the 1st creative act of God which was HIS/HER descent that brought light.

“DWOADA”(Monday) corresponds to the day on which “KWA” created the firmament.

The Akan word for firmament or sky is “YU”,”WI” or “YU-MU” which became “WIM” and is now being corrupted into “DWO” to mean ‘cool’ or ‘cold’ [since] “WI”(firmament) itself is regarded as being cold. Another word used in translating ‘firmament’ is “NTREMU” which connotes “expanse"...

KWAYUDA” or “KWAWIWDA(KO-YA-YU-DA), means “Lord of Life Firmament day” and is the 2nd day of the week.

“KWADWO/ADWOA [therefore means] ”Lord of Life Firmamant Day.”

“BENADA,BENEADA, or BEDA (Tuesday) is the 3rd day of the week and the day on which land was made to appear.

“BE” is the root word for “BEA” which means place,location or land in Akan.”BE-NA-DA” therefore translates into “Land’s Day” or “Day of the Land”(BE-DA).

It is for this reason that fishermen do not go to sea on Tuesdays in Ghana.

“KWA-BE-NA-DA” or “KO-YA-BE-NE-DA) which has been shortened to “KWABENA” means “Lord of Life’s Land Day.” “ABENA” means “Land’s Day.”

WUKUADA”(Wednesday), according to the book of Genesis was the day on which the heavenly hosts (sun,moon and stars) appeared.

“WUKUADA” was originally pronounced “YU-KU-DA” or “WI-KU-DA.”

“YU” or “WI” means heavens,sky, or firmament.

“KU” means “group”,”society” or “host.”Hence “WUKUADA/YUKUDA/WIKUDA”
means “the Day of the Heavenly Hosts.” That is,the day on which the heavenly hosts(sun,moon,stars) became visible or appeared.

“WUKUADA”(4TH day) is the shortened form of “KWAYUKUWDA”(KO-YA-(YU)-KU-DA) meaning “Lord of Life’s Sky (heavenly) Host Day .

“KWAKU” therefore means “Lord of Life’s Group/Host.Kwaku /AKUA commemorate the creation of the sun, moon and stars.

“YAWOADA”(Thursday), the 5th day of creation,was the day on which various life forms (plants,animals,..) were created.

“YA” means “Life”.

“WO” means “bring forth” or “reproduce”

“DA” means “day”

“YAWOADA” therefore means “the day life was brought forth, began or was born.”That is,”Day of Reproduction.”
Akans call earth(ASASE) “YAA” in recognition of the earth bringing forth “life” for the 1st time on creation Thursday.

KWAW, KWAWO, KOYAWO/YAW(YAO)/YAA/AYA/AWO therefore commemorate this day and mean “Lord-of-Life Reproduction.”

“FIADA/FIDA”(Friday) is a combination of 2 words in Akan. “FI” means “home” and “DA” means “day.”
Hence “FIADA” means “home day.”That is the day on which the 1st home was created or
Established.This corresponds with “Eden”(the 1st garden-home) being made for man/woman on the 6th day of the week. It also signifies “couple life”(the day man and woman lived in or established a home together).

“FIADA” is a shortened form of “KWAOFIDA(KO-YA-OFI-DA) which means “Lord of Life’s Home Day.”

KOFI/AFIA therefore mean “Lord of Life Home” and commemorate the creation of the 1st home in the Garden of Eden and the institution of marriage.

“MEMENEDA/MEMEMDA (Saturday) is the 7th day of the week .

“ME” is one of the names of GOD which means “satisfaction.” When “MEN” or “MEN(E) is shortened into “MEE”, it comes to mean “the satisfaction day of ME;” hence “MEMENEDA” means the “satisfaction day of God.”

The Akan word for “rest” is “HO-ME” and so the day of rest is called “HO-ME-DA.”

“MEMEEDA” could mean “ME-HOMEDA, ”i.e “I AM’s rest day.”MEMENEDA” therefore translates into “God’s Rest Day.”
“I AM” is translated into Akan as “ME-NE,” thus “MEMENEDA” also connotes “I AM’s DAY.”

“KWAMEMENDA (KO-YA-ME-MEN-DA), meaning “Lord of Life’s Satisfaction Day” has been shortened to “KWAME.”
“KWAME/AMMA/AME/AMEMENA are names that commemorate the institution of rest, i.e KWA’s rest day.

This is why Akan societies observe Saturday as the Sabbath.

Akan day names therefore represent the creative acts of the Supreme God that the Akan have known and worshiped since ancient times..."

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Visitor comments are welcome.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ivory Coast Singer/Songwriter Meiway - "Miss Lolo" (Video, & Comments About This Song & About The Nzema Akan Language)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides information about the Ivorian singer/songwriter Meiway and showcases a YouTube video of his hit song "Miss Lolo".

Selected comments from the discussion thread of this video are included in this song, with particular attention to comments about Meiway's ethnic group Nzema (Nzima), also known as Appolo, and the traditional language of that ethnic group.

Some information about the Nzema language is included in the Addendum to this post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Meiway for his musical legacy. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this YouTube example.

NOTE: This song is about women with big breasts. For this reason and because of some scenes of dancing that would be considered "twerking" in the USA, this video may not be considered suitable for viewing in some public schools in that nation.

"Frederic Desire Ehui , best known as Meiway (born 17 March 1962 in Grand Bassam), is a singer from the Ivory Coast.[1] He is most notable for pioneering the Zoblazo style.[1] His hits include "Miss Lolo".

Birth name: Frederic Desire Ehui
Born: 17 March 1962 (age 55)
Grand-Bassam, Ivory Coast
Genres: Zoblazo
Occupation(s): Singer/Songwriter
Years active:1989–present

"Zoblazo is a musical style from Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, created in the early 1990s. It is a cosmopolitan popular dance music with simple up-tempo rhythm and high tech instrumentation and contains a mixture of traditional dance rhythms from southern Côte d'Ivoire.

Zoblazo's best known exponent is Freddy Meiway, who has released a series of Zoblazo records starting in 1989 with the record "Ayibebou" with his group Zo Gang. An ethnic N'Zema from Grand Bassam, Meiway integrated folk rhythms from Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana with and is danced to with a white handkerchief. From his second album in 1990 entitled 200% Zoblazo, Meiway became the second best known Ivorian and N'zema musician after Alpha Blondy, and has released a steady stream records, the most recent 9ème commandement –900% zoblazo released in 2007."

SHOWCASE VIDEO - Meiway - Miss Lolo

Melynga Published on Dec 1, 2012

These comments are presented in chronological order with the oldest comments by year given first, except for replies. Numbers are assigned for referencing purposes only.

1. Jennifer Peter, 2012
"Me and my sister listened to this when we was 2 years old"

2. Patrick Kwame Ankamah
"Abrobea star, dis guy throu his ghanaian background he's got our knowledge more without limited bcos he's got knowledge of both countrys ghana and cote d'ivoire.Anyway i like his music he's talented,.gud job bro."

3. Ganiwu Dey Ymcmb Boss
"A Dey Feel This Song Soo Much"

4. janetkissjanetkiss
"I like the fact that he singing about how much he likes women with big breast but yet it hasn't been sexualised . . . (if you know what I mean)"

5. OyOdiMe
"I'm Nigerian. I enjoy this song, but not sure if my ears are deceiving me, why does some of what he's saying sound like Twi (Ghana language, that I understands too)...."

6. Denyse Adom
"its nzema and a lil french"

7. LaKarwie94
"It's actually apollo. It's an akan group. The akans originated from ghana. That's why it may sound like twi a lot of akan people can understand twi because it's similar and vice versa. But there are differences though"

8. LaKarwie94
"And some french in there because it's from Côte d'Ivoire and we speak french as the national language"

9. Denyse Adom
"Apollo is the same as nzema"

10. LaKarwie94
"+Denyse Adom are you aboure? because I'm aboure and when we talk about Apollo we say nzima. But most people know them as apollo."

11. Denyse Adom
"I am an akan from Ghana specifically nzema my grandmother used to call it Apollo that's why I think it's the same"

12. Modeste Faton
"+Denyse Adom ada ada"

13. Marvel Hammond
"He is actually Ghanaian Ivorian ))"

14. ThaCuteOne __
"+Marvel Hammond you're right i think he is im ivorian"

15. James Dadzie
"He was born in a part of ghana where the language spoken is Nzema. That language is a dialect of the Akan language which includes there u go"

16. ThaCuteOne __
"+LaKarwie94 im aboure aswell!!"

17. A. Lionel C. Kouadjani, 2015
It is the same linguistic root even there share the same tradition. Ashanti empire"

18. ThaCuteOne __
"ohhh thanks. I was wondering why i could understand some of their words."

19. R.G.A.vlogs, 2016
"He's Ghanaian and Ivorian"

20. Nick Pop, 2016
"Meiway is purely Ivorian, it's just that some ethnic group in Ivory Coast are Akan and have a similar culture as Ghanaians and are originally from the Ashanti Kingdom."

21. shona rose
"Iam from DRC ,but i love this song so much even if i don't understand what they are saying ,but whenever i listen to it i feel goose pimples and i do believe as they say that music has no border"
"DRC" = Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo Kinshasa)

22. Manni Dennis, 2015
"That's that African Pride...we ALL have them 😂 1⃣❤️Mama Africa"

23. saneba whyte
"Ghanaian based in ivory coast...
.the language is French and Nzema mostly"

24. pinkrose4446
"We all know he's Ivorian"

25. Yaw Antwi, 2017
"Meiway dad is Ghanaian"

26. BAM BOUM, 2017

27. isaac owusu ansah, 2015
"Ghanaian from kumasi ashanti Region but currently Live ASIA...i am understand some on this language...onyame nhyira wo paa...ghana twi language, mean may god bless you alway,s love it."

28. Joseph Amosu
"What country is this man from 😊 can some one please tell me?"

29. Félix Dasylva
"Ivory Coast"

30. beats lover
"he is ivorian born from nzema tribe of ghana and ivory coast.. the akan nzema ppl stretch thru ivory coast too."

31. Sekou Sacko
"Super cool je aime ça"
"je aime ça" = (French) "I like this".

32. romuald dadios
"good song bro meiway
lolo is breast"

33. griiffin wafula
"am from Kenya but I love this song, even though I don't understand the words. what is lol?"

34. Julien
"griiffin wafula they are Talking about Boobs of the ivorian womens"

35. Kwame Nyame
"It's funny how colonialism can separate groups of people and families. Ivorians say Niamen (something like that) Ghana say Nyame
Kouasi = Kwesi
Koffi = Kofi

I can go on and on. And for a while i thought we were completely different people, because they are heavily influenced by France and Ghana Britain .
I can pick out some words that he is saying (not the French though)"

"kwame while I agree with you,I think there is still a difference between Asantes and Nzema concerning words so even if there were no partition of Africa ,there would still be that difference😊"

37. Kwame Nyame
"BRENDA BROWN totally agree but definitely can say that we are all Akan people and for a while I thought only Ghana had Akans"

"+Kwame Nyame haha ohk yeah. it is just that the akans makes a bigger part of the population"

39. Malika Silla, 2017
"Kwame Nyame
We say kouamé, Kouao, Kouassi, Kassi, Yao, assemoi, assamoi...
Do you Ghanaians have a word like yako?"

40. Kwame Nyame, 2017
"Malika Silla I'm sure we do, but I probably have to hear the pronunciation to determine. We read things in an English way and Ivorians in a French way. Like Assamoi = Asamoah
Yao = Yaw
Kouamé = Kwame (my name 😁)"

41. Kwame Nyame, 2017
"Malika Silla like my name would be Kouamé Niamen = Kwame Nyame"

42. Malika Silla, 2017
"Kwame Nyame
In Ivory Coast we say yako to someone who is feeling or felt pain. It may be physically as well as inside."

43. Kwame Nyame, 2017
"Malika Silla hahaha yes we actually do say that to someone not feeling well. Mainly used when someone has lost a loved one we say it Yaako.
I am totally loving this."

44. AY Blackie
"😂😂😂😭 Am I the only one hearing twi words in this song? "wo nofo bebrebe"."

45. ahmmsh
"The whole east half of Ivory Coast speak Nzema (Nkrumah's people), Anyin, Baule and Fanti, so they are definitely Akans. Believe me, they can understand Twi but they pretend in front of Ghanaians haha. Like Togolese people all speaking Ewe, or Burkinabe people speaking Mole-Dagomba and Frafra.. It's just colonial borders, they used to all be under Asanteman and Dagbon Empire before Britain and France colonised the place and divided it."

46. AY Blackie
"+ahmmsh Good info. Thanks."

57. beats lover
"this language is the akan nzema of ivory coast and ghana.. he is nzema man of ivory coast.. from akan tribe that stretches thru ghana and ivory tribe.. nice one"

48. beats lover
"nzema ppl are akans.. most part of ivory coast was for gold coast till french bought the lands from british.. which means many ghanaians living on that land became ivorians .. thats why nzema ppl r in ivory coast too.. freddy is on nzema man"

49. George Obah
"What year was this video shot, noticed all the ladies are on wrapper, no trouser, not even one lady"

50. Rachel van der Acquah, 2017
"George Obah 2002"

51. Marise Mendes
"J'aime bien cette chanson mais j'ai ne suis pas de la côte d'ivoire qlqu'un peut il me dire ce qu'il est entraint de dire merci beaucoup"
(Google Translate from French to English)
"I like this song but I'm not from the Ivory Coast ql can anyone tell me what it is he has to say thank you very much"

52. kassy ebah
"Marise Mendes il dit qu'on va pas à la chasse pour chercher des os mais plutôt de la chair ou viande si tu veux..."
(Google Translate from French to English)
"Marise Mendes says that we do not go hunting to look for bones but rather flesh or meat if you want"

53. Marise Mendes
"kassy ebah merci beaucoup de la part de congolais de la RDC👋👋👌👌"
(Google Translate from French to English)
"Thank you very much from the Congolese part of the DRC"

54. aaye aaye
"il chante en quelle langue? c'est quoi son groupe ethnique?"
(Google Translate from French to English)
"He sings in what language? What is his ethnic group?"

55. kassy ebah
"aaye aaye en apolo akan"

"The Central Tano or Akan languages are languages of the Niger-Kongo family (or perhaps the theorised Kwa languages[2]) spoken in Ghana and Ivory Coast by the Akan people."

"Nzema (Nzima), also known as Appolo, is a Central Tano language spoken by the Nzema people of southwestern Ghana and southeast Ivory Coast. It shares 60% intelligibility with Jwira-Pepesa and is close to Baoule."

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