I was enjoying an Afro-Fusion song by a Nigerian artist, by the name Burna Boy and I wanted to understanding the message so I looked up the lyrics. When I saw the lyrics it was interesting to note that the Nigerian Pidgin/Creole was kinda similar to Jamaican Creole – not the same, but very close!
Dem no dey tell person (ja ara, ja ara)
You go learn your own lesson (ja ara, ja ara)
Everybody keep on searching (ja ara, ja ara)
For miraculous blessings (ja ara, ja ara, ja ara)
You go bow for Lagos oh (ja ara)
If you no know yourself you go lost oh (ja ara, ja ara)
If you get money you be bros oh (ja ara, ja ara)
Omo nobody holy no apostle (ja ara, ja ara)
Anyway. so I looked up the lyrics but the message was still was missing me – seemed to be playing hid-and -seek. So I decided to look up the meaning. When I did this I came across a blog, Ogefash photo blog, that gave some insight. Apparently the song is saying to be smart about certain things. The first thing that stood in the songs is the line, “Ko Juba, ko juba”, which means to give thanks. Yes we all need to give thanks EVERY DAY.
Be smart about who you let into your circle, keep negativity out and welcome only positive energy: : Dem no dey tell person– In Nigerian pidgin, it’s a warning. Burna Boy is …telling him to be wiser.
Be smart about what you belief use the common sense God gave you and recognize when people are trying to fool you and use you in the name of whatever ideology they support: Omo nobody holy no apostle – This would mean that nobody only relies on prayers by clergy men or that no one is a saint. We need to tab into a greater source to realize our potential and to maximize it, in the best possible way. No one and nothing is a god on earth.
These are just a few gems we can take from the song, but it also speaks to not being so impressed by the things in the world that we becomes slave to it, mesmerized in it and lost to it. It reminds us to know who we are and operate in that knowledge. It also reminds us to care for those we need our care but be careful of those who seek to deceive us.
Language can never be a barrier to great music that has a good message. When you think you are about to give in to the temptations that can destroy, remember Ja Ara E!