African history

That’s Africa – have you heard of it?

Dance class. We rotate partners every 2nd/3rd 8 counts, as we practice the class’s steps, bc kizomba is a social dance, which means being social with everybody, not selectively. It’s great, bc it allows me to meet all kinds of people, and if a dude flubs up his steps spectacularly – or worse, if I do – NEXT!

As I was waiting for Teacher to start the music, I stood in an ADD haze next to my partner GT, short for Google Translate – same guy as in this story: he remains my go-to guy for immediate translations of kizomba songs during practice. As is wont to happen in an ADD moment, I locked in on a random detail: the pendant of GT’s necklace. It was a small gold pendant of Africa. I’ve seen the same style necklace in painted wood, in larger proportions, but never this delicate version.

The wooden pendant I am used to:

A similar version of the delicate pendant worn by GT – except this image is not to scale. GT’s pendant is less than 1 inch long:

As I peered closer, nose almost glued to his chest (totally acceptable behaviour with an almost-stranger in the middle of a dance floor, obvi), trying to make out the words engraved on his pendant, GT sighed patiently, and explained,

Yeah, ummm, so that’s Africa. You might have heard of it?

Boy, what?! Yes. Yes, I have heard of one of 7 continents of the planet, and can spot it on a map. Fun fact, there are countries that can be found in that continent too! Yes, really! I can name most of them, too! I KNOW! How crazy is that?! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING, BOY?! I was trying to read the engraving on your necklace. Sheesh!

Oh, well, ummm, you see, ummm, you are blond… and white.

How many times has a white girl stared at his necklace, unaware of the existence of that prominent landmass?

2-3 times. Per year. Yes, Canadians too. Not just Americans.

Hard to be offended when dude has been traumatized by pervasive ignorance. Still, forevermore, when I greet GT, I always ask “Hey! Africa! Have you heard of it?”

P.S. GT admitted to me last week that even with a magnifying glass, he cannot read the engraving on his own pendant. That makes me smirk.

P.P.S. In case y’all are imagining a redneck à la Kid Rock, no. GT is from Angola. That’s in Africa – you might have heard of it?

 

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Curiosity killed the kizomba cat

Here’s the thing with most kizomba music: it is in Portuguese. (*)

Here’s the thing about me: I do not speak Portuguese.


I discovered a kizomba song recently while listening to Youtube playlists. I love it. It is accoustic and romantic. Wanting to share it with my cousins, I searched for the song’s official video.

So many questions:

  • Why is she wearing Louboutins in the sand?
  • Why does he park the car so far? Couldn’t he drive closer to her, instead of letting her walk barefoot in the sand?
  • Did they know each other before he started macking on her? Intense.
  • Is the only reason she is talking to him bc he took her shoes and she wants them back?

Song: ruined. AND I DIDN’T EVEN GOOGLE THE LYRICS.


Since Dubai & Gindungo, my appreciation for kizomba music is great. I listen to it a lot, and have my favorite songs that I sing along to.

On Saturday, at a dance social, this song came on. As I danced with a guy, I hummed along, and proudly belted out the refrain. Our dance went well, lots of fun. Towards the end of the song, he asked me if I knew what “le da” meant in Portuguese – only the 2nd most frequent expression in the entire song. I admitted I didn’t.

Donne-la” which translates roughly to “put out” or “give in, let’s have sex“.

That’s not quite what I thought I was singing to. I’d spent an entire song, twirling about on the dance floor, singing about my readiness to bang. Guy thought it was hilarious. Hmph.

Cue Ludacris’ song. Roll out… Put out… same difference.

Pretty sure my remix would slay the music charts.

I went home and Google translated the lyrics of some of my other favorite kiz songs. Turns out one is about a poor dude serenading the love of his life, an established gold digger, attempting to persuade her to accept the purity of his affection in lieu of the material possessions he cannot give her. Another one (admittedly with a sexy beat) is about how a guy just wants to be an animal on the dance floor – he doesn’t need to know the names of all the girls he dances with. That doesn’t stop him from rattling off about a dozen or so names.

How can I soulfully dance now that I know how ridiculous these lyrics are? Rousing, beautiful, grandiose songs. But those lyrics. Oye. Google Translate does not do anything to redeem them. Behold this excellent song’s lyrics, translated from Portuguese:

This touch of you, you rascal. It’s the poison of a woman. Your eyes have enticed me. You’ve already won the match. But who am I? Who am I? To say no? Someone calls my mother. Mother, this woman is going to take me. Clearly, I will not deny. And if she says she forgets your father, your mother, my brothers, your friends, I will have Miss you I’ll miss you Juicy juicy You’ll be my wife Your clinging shines on You shine on me girl But who am I? Who am I? To say no? Someone calls my mother. Mother, this woman is going to take me. Clearly, I will not deny. And if she says she forgets your father, your mother, my brothers, your friends, I will have Miss you I miss you My viola My inspiration Melody of my song You are flower of my garden You are jasmin But who am I? Who am I? To say that no Someone calls my mother Oh mother, this woman will take me (it will take) It is more than clear that I will not deny (no) And if she says that she forgets your father, your mother, my Brothers, your friends I will miss you I will miss you Mother, this woman will take me (vai, vai) It is more than clear that I will not deny And if she says that she forgets your father, your mother, my brothers, Your friends, I’ll miss you. I’ll miss you.

Someone call my mother, you juicy juicy rascal.

#ifthatdoesntmakeyouwannagetyourgroveonnothingwill


Luckily, my other coup-de-coeur does not appear to have any official video whatsover, nor can I find the lyrics anywhere online, so I can appreciate it without distraction. And what a song. All the feels.

Enjoy.


(*) Kizomba, both the music and dance, originated in Angola. Angola was a Portuguese colony  starting in the late 16th century, and despite gaining it’s independence in 1975, the official language of the country remains Portuguese.