Kiswahili is the most spoken language in Africa, yet it is not an official language on the continent.
The language boasts of over 100 million native speakers, but the African Union chose to adopt English, French, and Arabic as its official working languages. This heightens the level of mediocrity and effect of neocolonialism on Africa.
Interestingly, the official working languages of the African Union are not even among the top 8 languages spoken in the continent.
Africa’s top 8 most spoken languages are Kiswahili, Amharic, Yoruba, Oromo, Hausa, Igbo, Zulu, and Shona.
We do not own ourselves or our land; but gladly, it appears things are beginning to change and Africa is beginning to take its pride of place.
International black American pop star, Beyonce has released a song featuring lyrics in Kiswahili, Africa’s most widely spoken languages.
The song is to be used as a soundtrack for Disney’s new version of the classic movie Lion King.
The lion and its dominance in the jungle are a common analogy which has continued to relate with Africa for many years.
The song, which is titled Spirit, is part of 'The Lion King: The Gift' album produced by Beyonce herself.
In what has been largely appreciated by Africans both in the continent and in diaspora, the song starts with an intro in Kiswahili, which says:
“Uishi kwa mda mrefu mfalme,” a loud voice chants twice at the start of the song.
The Kiswahili phrase is a popular one which is used to salute a king. It is translated in English to mean “Long live the king.”About Kiswahili
Kiswahili is a Bantu language and the first language of the Swahili people. It is a lingua franca of the African Great Lakes region and other parts of eastern and south-eastern Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of the CongoAbout the Album
The album which is set to be released on July 19, the date of the global release of the film, will feature the work of several African producers, according to Beyonce.
‘‘It was important that the music was not only performed by the most interesting and talented artists but also produced by the best African producers. Authenticity and heart were important to me,’‘ Beyonce said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
The statement adds that the album is ‘steeped in African influences from various corners of the continent, with unexpected collaborations, pulsating rhythms and crisp production that celebrate the African diaspora’.
‘‘This love letter to Africa highlights the setting of the film, rooted in African culture and wondrous narratives.’‘About the Movie
Disney’s “The Lion King", directed by Jon Favreau, journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born.
Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny.
But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother, and former heir to the throne have plans of his own.
The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy, and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile.
With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.
The all-star cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon.
Utilizing pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring treasured characters to life in a whole new way, Disney’s “The Lion King” roars into theaters on July 19, 2019.
The original Lion King film also popularised the Kiswahili phrase ‘Hakuna Matata’, which can be translated as ‘No Worries’.
Quotes and Header Image Credit: africanews