Cançao de Salabu, by Mario Pinto de Andrade

Ghananian Market Intrigues by Ablader Glover

Canção de Salabu

Nosso filho caçula
Mandaram-no p’ra S. Tomé *
Não tinha documentos
Aiué!
Nosso filho chorou
Mamã enlouqueceu
Aiué!
Mandaram-no p’ra S. Tomé
Nosso filho já partiu
Partiu no porão deles
Aiué!
Mandaram-no p’ra S. Tomé
Cortaram-lhe os cabelos
Não puderam amarrá-lo
Aiué!
Mandaram-no p’ra S. Tomé.
Nosso filho está a pensar
Na sua terra, na sua casa
Mandam-no trabalhar
Estão a mirá-lo, a mirá-lo
— Mamã, ele há-de voltar
Ah! A nossa sorte há-de virar
Aiué!
Mandaram-no p’ra S. Tomé
Nosso filho não voltou
A morte levou-o
Aiué!
Mandaram-no p’ra S. Tomé
Aiué

Canción de Salabú
A nuestro hijo menor
Lo mandaron para San Tomé *
No tenía documentos
¡Aiué!
Nuestro hijo lloró
Mamá enloqueció
¡Aiué!
Lo mandaron para San Tomé
Nuestro hijo ya partió
Partió en la bodega de carga de ellos
¡Aiué!
Lo mandaron para San Tomé
Le cortaron los cabellos
No pudieron amarrarlo
¡Aiué!
Lo mandaron para San Tomé
Nuestro hijo está pensando
En su tierra, en su casa
Le mandan trabajar
Están vigilándolo, vigilándolo
— Mamá, él ha de volver
   ¡Ah!, Nuestra suerte ha de cambiár
    ¡Aiué!
Lo mandaron para San Tomé
Nuestro hijo no volvió
La muerte lo llevó
    ¡Aiué!
Lo mandaron a San Tomé
Aiué

[Versión in kimbundu]**

Monetu wa kasule
Amutumisa ku S. Tomé*
Kexirie ni madukumentu
Aiwe!

Monetu wadidile
Mama wasalukile
Aiwe!
Amutumisa ku S. Tomé

Monetu wayi kya
Wayi mu pura ya
Aiwe!
Amutumisa ku S. Tomé

Monetu amubutu
Katena kumukuta
Aiwe!
Amutumisa ku S. Tomé

Monetu wolobanza
Oxiye onzo ye
Amutuma kukalakala
Olomutala, olomutala
— Mama, mwene wondovutuka
Ah! Ngongo yetu yondobiluka
Aiwe!
Amutumisa ku S. Tomé


Salabú’s Song

To our youngest son
They sent him to San Tomé *
I did not have documents
Aiué!

Our son cried
Mom went crazy
Aiué!

They sent him to San Tomé
Our son has already left
He left in the cargo hold of them
Aiué!

They sent him to San Tomé
They cut his hair
They could not tie it
Aiué!

They sent him to San Tomé
Our son is thinking
on his land, on his house
They send him to work
They are watching him, watching him
– Mom, he has to go back
Ah! Our luck has to change
Aiué!

They sent him to San Tomé
Our son did not return
Death took him
Aiué!

They sent him to San Tomé
Aiué


* The poem refers to the island of São Tomé, one of the two main of the archipelago located in the Gulf of Guinea discovered by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century, whom gradually settled and colonized them. The set of islands was used as a vital center for the Atlantic slave trade.

** Kimbundu is a bantu language, the second most widely spoken language of this family in Angola. The translated versión was made by Mário Pereira and it’s taken from the portal web of CULTURA. Jornal Angolano de Artes e Letras, available here.

Mario Pinto de Andrade

The author
Mario Coelho Pinto de Andrade (1928-1990) was an Angolan poet and politician. He studied philology at the University of Lisbon and sociology at the Sorbonne in Paris. He was actively oppossed to the colonial ocupation of his country and wrote anti-colonial poetry. While he was studying at The Sorbone, he collaborated in the founding and publication of the cultural journal Présence Africaine. In this journal, Aimé Cesaire would publish one version of his poem Return to the native land in 1956.
Pinto de Andrade also took part in the fundations of the Angolan Comunist Party in 1955 and the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) the next year. His work includes the antologie Letteratura Negra (1961).

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