Of Mebo Mebo

Picture it… I was in bus, window seat, traveling from Harare to Masvingo a 300km journey that takes almost five hours by bus. I was regretting why I did not hitchhike and get a lift, since a car can make that journey in half that time. I had packed a book to read but the road is riddled with potholes that have been patched and re-patched it’s a bumpy ride, rendering reading impossible. There was a TV in the aisle churning out music over bus speakers and I was mostly looking out the window until this song that seemed to go on and on by the end I was singing along to the chorus…. Mebo Mebo

Obert Chari’s Mebo Mebo has been out for over a year but I had never listened to it until a few months back and now I have it on my list of songs I play, when I write, in fact its playing as I write this. The instrumental accompaniment makes for a mellifluous background.

Mebo Mebo is a love story between a rustic man who fears he may not have much to offer and a lady called Mebo Mebo who loves him irregardless (yes I know its not a real word but its oh so apt)

For the benefit of my Non-Shona speaking connections I took the liberty of translating the song lyrics…. And yes I did it the old school way like before the internet I listened and rewinding many many times now the song is a constant background hum in my head even when its not playing like an earworm going Mebo Mebo periodically.

Mebo Mebo – lyrics translated

Pane chinhu chinondinetsa Mebo Mebo (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
There’s something that is bothering Mebo Mebo (I love you as you are Obbie)

Zviripo zvinondinetsa mundangariro (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
There’s something troubling my thoughts (I love you as you are Obbie)

Ndikazviringa ndikaruringa ndinokudzikisira (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
When I look at myself and I look at you I lower your standards(I love you as you are Obbie)

Dai zvako watsvaka mumwe anenge nani (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
It would be best if you looked for someone better (I love you as you are Obbie)

Bvunzao vakazvisiya vaona zvakanyanya (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
Ask those who have left it after they found it too much (I love you as you are Obbie)

Mebo Mebo washinga here Mebo? (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
Mebo are you sure Mebo (I love you as you are Obbie)

♪♫♬

Ungati uyu akauudze nezvekwedu kumatongo (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
Ask someone to tell you about our home in the country (I love you as you are Obbie)

Imba kutsutsugwa nendove ungaiigara (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
Our house polished with cow dung would you stay in it?(I love you as you are Obbie)

Mai kudokegwa kumaricho ndidye ndipfeke (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
The sunsets while my mother did piece work so I could be clothed and fed

Baba kuswera kuhovhoni ndiende kuchikoro (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
Father spent the day baking bricks so I can go to school (I love you as you are Obbie)

Mebo Mebo washinga here Mebo? (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
Mebo are you dedicated Mebo (I love you as you are Obbie)

♪♫♬

Ndingori mukomana wechechi anoimba choir (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
I am church boy who sings in the choir (I love you as you are Obbie)

Kwedu hatiende kudhance tinoenda kumugidhi (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
We dont go to the dance we go to all night church (I love you as you are Obbie)

Maoko angu aya ndeengoma dovo nedanda (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
My hands are for playing the drums (I love you as you are Obbie)

Kana yarira ndinodzana zvekadambura bhutsu (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
When they play (drums) I dance till my shoes burst (I love you as you are Obbie)

Mebo Mebo washinga here Mebo? (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
Mebo are you dedicated Mebo (I love you as you are Obbie)

♪♫♬

Ruzivo rwangu rwuri musango ndaive fudza mombe (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
My knowledge is of the forest I herded cattle (I love you as you are Obbie)

Kupfeka kwangu hakuna match ndiri chipfeke bhero (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
My clothes dont match, I wear secondhand from the thrift shop (I love you as you are Obbie)

Foni yangu haina app chimbudzi meee meee (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
My phone has no whatsapp its a very basic phone (I love you as you are Obbie)

Iye zvino handina changu ndingorirovha (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
Right now I have nothing of my own I am unemployed (I love you as you are Obbie)

Mebo Mebo washinga here Mebo? (ndokuda wakadaro mufunge Obbie)
Mebo are you dedicated Mebo (I love you as you are Obbie)

♪♫♬

Zvamunoona zvioita rudo
See what love does

Rudo haruone zvizhinji moyo wemunhu
Love is blind

Zvamunoona zvinoita rudo
See what love does

Rudo runobata pasina match endeso
Love touches where there is no match

Zvamunoona zvinoita rudo
See what love does

Rudo rwunobhebha rwunopfuta parunodzviviswa
Love burns where it is forbidden

Vakomana zvinoita rudo
Boys see what love does

Rwakanditora rwukanditsveta kusinga dzokwe
Love took me to where there is no coming back from

♪♫♬

Ungaitei Mwari yeyeyeye
What can one do God
Ini ndoiteiyiko Mwari yeyeyeye
What shall I do God
Vabekeri vangu Mwari yeyeyeye
My parents God
Avo vakandirera Mwari yeyeyeye
They raised me
Ziya ravakabuda Mwari yeyeyeye
The sweat they oozed God
Mhoni dzvakabuda Mwari yeyeyeye
The calluses they got God
Ko ndingavatenda nei Mwari yeyeyeye
What shall I thank them with? God
Ko mwana wevanhu? Mwari yeyeyeye
These people’s child? God
Uyo wandakawana Mwari yeyeyeye
The one I wed. God
Ko achadyei? Mwari yeyeyeye
What shall she eat? God
Ko achapfekei Mwari yeyeyeye
What shall she wear? God
Saka ndinotsvaka basa Mwari yeyeyeye
So I am looking for work. God
Simudziraika mhuri yangu Mwari yeyeyeye
Bless My family
Baba
Father

~B

PS  I am not sure on the accuracy of the lyrics and translation but this is my interpretation if you have corrections please hit me up. Writing this made me feel like I am in high school again before we had internet and the wrongly written song lyrics.

Shout to everyone who helped with the translations and corrections keep them coming in

**Interesting note Mebo is a pet name for someone named Mable

9 Comments

    1. it has a certain THAT… it just creeps into your heart while you busy laughing at it then you are suddenly singing it out loud and too late HOOKED
      It was no small effort trying to listen for every word pretty sure I there’s mistakes if you spot any just holla nicely writing down all this thanks
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have waited for this translation for months now, happy that it’s here.
    And no, irregardless is not a word, but I’ll take it.

    I actually find myself listening to the song a lot.

    I love you as you are B😉

    Like

  2. The thing I love about the Mebo song after reading the interpretation is the realness of the character we see from the lyrics. Everything about him is modest and unpretentious….Really loved this blog post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am fairly sure the artist was channeling parts of himself into the character in the song.
      I really love the unpretentiousness of it, imagine if we were all this candid I think half of life’s problems would be solved
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Laughing, your blog is a breath of fresh air. 13 minutes long worth of translation!!!
    I am impressed by your patience (rewinding and relistening) but more by your ability to write Shona well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hahahaha well considering each line is sang twice and there are instrumental segments without words its not that long… but yes I had rewind a billion times think I just mind played myself into really liking the song after listening to it one too many times
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

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