Nzango Artist Residency

Based in Mozambique 🇲🇿


Nguni Songs of War

 “This song says maipose tulugare which means: “Queen, come out”. The people are asking the Queen to come out.”

“The Queen asks: “What war is this?”
“And the people reply: “You invited her”.

“And the Queen asks: “What battle are you fighting? What line of combat are you entering?” The group of warriors then sets off armed for war. The song speaks of the Queen’s farewell. She goes out to hear what’s happening outside.”

“Then the Queen replies: “What war is going on out there?” She continues: waimemesa maipose. It means that the Queen is inviting the people to go to war. When they’re singing like that, it’s because the Queen has to leave when there’s a war. So she leaves. This song is an explanation of the fight.”

“Then she replies: “They’re going to fight”.
“The group of warriors then forms up and goes into battle. That’s the farewell.”


Nguni Leader Interview

And is this war the civil war or the war against the Portuguese?
No, that was the civil war of a long, long time ago. I mean, it was civil war because it was tribal warfare, tribalism. I mean, there were groups, there was a war of separation. We are Nguni, the other “we are this”, this “we are this”. And it was difficult for each one to enter, for example, in a village like this, that is, to be from another place to enter here you had to have strength. That’s why they came in and the Nguni came in and danced, because they were always victorious, winners, we won.
So it’s a war from before the arrival of the Portuguese?
Before, much earlier. In short, much earlier. I think the Portuguese arrived here in 1947. But they (Nguni) already existed, there was already this dance, it was between them. Between brothers.
Is it a very old dance?
Yes, it is very old, very, very old.