Zamina mina (Zangalewa)

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Song by Golden Sounds
Released 1986 (1986)
Genre Makossa
Language Fang

"Zamina mina (Zangaléwa)" is a 1986 hit song, originally sung by a makossa group from Cameroon originally named Golden Sounds, popular in Africa for their use of dance and costumes. Due to the song's popularity, the group renamed to Zangaléwa during its mainstream success. Zangaléwa pays tribute to African skirmishers (a.k.a. tirailleurs) during World War II. Most of the band members were in the Cameroonian Army themselves,[1] and utilised the song in fund-raising efforts for Comic Relief.

The song was popular among front-line soldiers of the Nigerian Army during the Nigerian Civil War (1967–1970), and was also popular in some Nigerian schools as a marching song in the 1970s and 1980s - the Nigerian Army Band The Mercuries produced a cover in the 1970s, which was broadcast on live television.[original research?] The song is still used today almost everywhere in Africa by soldiers, policemen, boy scouts, sportsmen, and their supporters, usually during training or for rallying.[1] It is also widely used in schools throughout the continent, especially in Cameroon as a marching song. The song was also popular in Colombia, where it was known as "The Military"[citation needed] and brought to the country by West African DJs in Cartagena.[citation needed]

The men in the group often dressed in military uniforms, wearing pith helmets and stuffing their clothes with pillows to give the appearance of the upper class, who ate well and would travel by train. The song, music historians[who?] say, is a criticism of black military officers who were in league with whites to oppress their own people.[citation needed] The rest is Cameroonian slang and jargon from the soldiers during the war.

According to Jean Paul Zé Bella, the lead singer of Golden Sounds, the chorus came "from Cameroonian sharpshooters who had created a slang for better communication between them during the Second World War"[citation needed]. They recreated this fast pace in the first arrangements of the song. They sang the song together for freedom in Africa.[2] for the 2010 World Cup[3] "Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)" samples this song as a tribute to African music, with the World Cup being held in South Africa.

Before Shakira, many other artists around the world sampled or recorded their covers of this song. Among them:


  1. 1.0 1.1 NYT: Shakira Remixes African Hit for World Cup
  2. Freshlyground - Official blog
  3. "Zangalewa - the original song from which Waka Waka borrows chorus". May 2010. Retrieved May 2, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Trafassi - Waka Waka on YouTube
  6. Video on YouTube

External links