11 thoughts on “Wakariru Cua cua – Mosgi Trubadur

  1. This song is sung by a woman as she goes to the forest to collect firewood very late in the evening, as the sun sets. Maguru ma riua means the feet of the sun. She is singing to a friend, Wakariru, to urge her to escort her as it will soon be dark.

    Cua cua tuthii means please hurry hurry we go.

    Guthagana is is to visit someone but she is not here to visit. The visitors are the internal posts of the house, itugi cia nyumba. (There were several internal posts holding up the roof and they were the permanent visitors) Ndinaguthagana, muthagani ni itugi cia nyumba.

    Ndiuma muthii ngu ni mukwa na ithanua ciikirie na nja – I was not going to the forest but the mukwa (leather strap for carrying the firewood) and the axe, threw themselves out at me. This means that her husband had come into the hut in the evening and found the pot being cooked with silly things like dry banana stem leaves and dry maize combs and in anger had thrown the strap and axe out ordering her to go into the forest for firewood even at that late hour. Ni mukua na ruhiu ciikirie na nja.

    She picks them up and does a lamentation song to her neighbor pleading for escort into the forest.

    The refrain, Iaiuii, iaiuui iyuiyu! is the lament.

    The lead singer in this here version is terrible and the refrain does not communicate at all the powerful sadness of this tragic-comedy. It is obvious they were just mouthing words of a folk song without any comprehension of its historical meaning.

    • That’s very informative. I believe if you contact KBC, they should have better quality videos/audios for all the songs. Indeed one can get most of the Kikuyu folk songs from their library.
      Great work Mukuyu. Ngai arathime wira wa moko maku.

  2. Thank you so much 🙂

    Have you heard the version by Kayamba Africa? It has completely different words (some)… Could you do a post on different traditional songs- I find I’m really interested but it’s hard to find them- other than the very well known (Kanyoni Ka Nja; Nyumba ya Mwari Witu)- and even then I don’t always understand every word/expression nor do I know the context.

    And I love your blog by the way.

    • Thanks for the appreciation. The idea of doing a post on traditional folk songs is superb but it requires a lot of work. As you may have noted I am not about number of posts but rather depth. I am trying to slowly build something worthwhile. There are some songs that are very very good besides those you have mentioned. Like Ndatukiriirwo mutitu wa ngai ndeithia. beautiful!

  3. I will look at the songs you mentioned- and the depth of your posts and the time you take with them is always apparent and is much appreciated.

  4. Question, when was this song performed. This recording is apparently from Hugh Tracey’s collection in the 1950s. Your synopsis of the song makes a lot of sense and I thank you for this. I’d like to know who performed this song ( young girls? women?….) and when?

    Wambui

    • Frankly that is news to me. I had no idea who recorded the song and thanks for the information. As for the performance I think we put too much stock on “performance” in today’s age of spectacle. A song need not have had a “performance”. Young women would sing it as they go to the river or to fetch wood just for the creative fun. The words would change depending on circumstance and there was never a ‘fixed story’ as in today’s restrictive printed world.

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