Teddy Afro’s 120th Adowa anniv concert awakens the spirit of Ethiopians with his popular Tikur Sew, praising Menilik & his fighters!

3 May

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

This very popular Teddy Afro song is a tribute to Emperor Menilik II, who at the Battle of Adowa defeated Italy in 1896. The concert was held within the grounds of the Ghion Hotel. Its timing is perfect in commemorating the 120th anniversary of this great history of war, wherein colonialism/European imperialism was defeated for the first time on African soil! This much-loved song must have raised the spirit of our people at unbelievably difficult time of deceit, denial of freedoms and the total onslaught on the lives and rights of citizens!


 

Teddy Thank you! You are a patriotic citizen! You have raised the spirit of our people in this dark time of TPLF totalitarian arrogance and repression over the Ethiopian people!
 

Lyrics*

ኑ አድዋ ላይ እንክተት

Come to Adwa ready to fight/defend

ያ የጥቁር ንጉስ አለና

That Black King is there and

የወኔው እሳት ነደደ

The spirit/zeal burned

ለአፍሪካ ልጆች ድል ቀና

Victory brought luck to the children of Africa

ባልቻ ኣባቱ ነፍሶ

Balcha, his father is Nefso (Balcha was a general of Oromo-Gurage origins who also fought in the second Italian invasion)

መድፋን ጣለው ተኩሶ

He threw the artillery with his fire

ባያይ ዓይኔ ብረቱ

If I hadn’t seen it with my naked eye (implied: I wouldn’t have believed it)

ያውቃል ስለ እውነቱ

He knows about the truth (the previous lines are repeated)

ጥንድ አርጎ ሰራው የኔን ልብ

He made my heart two

ጊዮርጊስ ፈረሱ ቆም ሳይ

When I saw St. George’s horse standing (this reference to St. George should be understood to mean that St. George, the patron saint of Ethiopia played a decisive role in the victory. The story is that Menelik II prayed to St. George before going to Adwa and vowed to build a church in his honor should he be victorious. That is the origins of Kidist Giorgis Cathedral in Addis Ababa, which was erected as promised during Menelik II’s reign. Also Priests marched into battle carrying the Ark of the Covenant – hence the victory is seen as not only of great political importance but is of great spiritual significance.

ድል ቀናኝ ሳልል ዋይ

Victory came to my side without saying “way” (way being a vocalization like “oh” uttered as a lamentation)

አባቴ ወኔውን ተኮሰው

My father (referring to Menelik II) fired the spirit

ምንሊክ ጥቁር ሰው

Menelik, black man (again previous lines repeat)

ዳኛው ያሉት አባመላ

The judge (meaning Menelik?) who called Abamala (a leuitenant of Menelik’s)

ፊት ሀብቴ ዲነግዴ

Fit Habte Dinagde (short for Fitawrari Habte Giorgis Dinagde, Minister of War under Menelik II and of Gurage-Oromo origins)

ሰልፉን በጦር አሰመረው

The military parade drew a straight line

ፊት ሆኖ በዘዴ

He stood up front strategically

ሳልል ዋይ

without saying “way” (previous lines repeat)

ወደ አድዋ ሲሔድ ምንሊክ ኑ ካለ

When Menelik went to Adwa and said come

አይቀርም በማርያም ስለማለ

He did not remain behind since he swore by Mary

አረ አይቀርም በማርያም ስለማለ

Era (a vocalization that adds emphasis like “wow”) He did not remain behind since he swore by Mary

ታዲያ ልጁስ ሲጠራው ምን አለ ?

So what? when the child called, what was said?

ወይ

Yes!

ወይ ሳልለው ብቀር ያኔ እኔን አልሆንም ነበር እኔ

If I had not said yes at that time, I would not have become who I am

እኔን አልሆንም ነበር እኔ

I would not have become who I am

ምንሊክ ጥቁር ሰው

Menelik, Black man

ኢጆሌ ቢያኮ ጀጀባዳ መሌ – Oromifa

ጀዴቶ ከሌ ያገሬ ኮበሌ – Oromifa

ዱበት ኢነዲምኑ አልከነተኤ ጉያ – Oromifa

ዲናፍ ኢላኑ ኢትዮጵያ – Oromifa

ባልቻ ኣባቱ ነፍሶ

Balcha, his father was Nefso

መድፋን ጣለው ተኩሶ

He threw the artillery after firing

ፋኖው አባ ራስ አሉላ

Warrior Father Ras Alula (another general in the war from Tigray province)

ሳንጃ ጎራዴው ቀላ

Dagger (sanja), sword (gorade is a traditional curved sabre), became red (implied: with blood)

አዛዥ የጦሩ ባሻ

Chief commander of the army

ድል ነው ካለ መንገሻ

If Mengesha (a commander from Tigray) says, it is victory

ጊዮርጊስ ፈረሱ ቆም ሳይ

When I saw St. George’s horse standing

ድል ቀናን ሳልል ዋይ

Victory came to me without saying “way”

አባቴ ወኔውን ተኮሰው

My father fired the spirit

ምንሊክ ጥቁር ሰው

Menelik, Black man

የቀፎ ንብ ሲቆጣ ስሜቱ

[He is] as bees of the hive when they get angry

ከፊት ሆና መራችው ንግስቱ

The queen (referring to Empress Taitu, Menilik II consort and closest adviser) standing up front led them

ወይ አለና ሰትጠራው ጣይቱ

Yes they said, when Taitu called

ወይ ሳልላት ብቀር ያኔ እኔን አልሆንም ነበር እኔ

If, at that time I had not said yes, I wouldn’t have become who I am

እኔን አልሆንም ነበር እኔ

I would not have become who I am

ምንሊክ ጥቁር ሰው

Menelik, Black man
 
*Courtesy of The Africa Collective
 

One Response to “Teddy Afro’s 120th Adowa anniv concert awakens the spirit of Ethiopians with his popular Tikur Sew, praising Menilik & his fighters!”

  1. Imru Zelleke May 3, 2016 at 23:59 #

    Teddy Afro is a highly talented and intelligent artist. His songs reflect very clearly the mood and temper of the present generation, and mirror their hopes and aspirations. He symbolizes with music and lyrics the the rich diversity of Ethiopian culture and history, more than most politicians and pundits. I give him that highest respect and compliments.

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