Of Woza Friday

Woza Friday is an expression that has come to express That Friday Feeling, that cheers to the freaking weekend, I’m about to have me some fun….

You would think that we were born on a Friday for the way a Friday just makes you feel good, after a hard week, Friday just has this thing even when while you have no plans you just want to yell out TGIF, well we say Hoza Friday…

The term was made a household name when the South African band Juluka made their 1982 release Woza Friday.

About Woza Friday

The track was initially released by Johnny Clegg and Sipho Mchunu in 1976 as a single  ‘Woza Friday’ under the names Jonathan and Sipho before they were famous, before they became the band Juluka a multiracial group which blended American Rock with South African music.

woza friday jonathan & sipho

The band had the bold audacity to blur racial and cultural lines at a time when South Africa was an apartheid state amidst the segregation Juluka flaunted their harmony and diversity.

Jonathan and Sipho
Jonathan and Sipho

Johnny Clegg sometimes known as Le Zoulou Blanc the White Zulu sang in Zulu and dressed in Zulu attire for stage performances, the national broadcaster refused them airplay on the grounds that it was an insult to the Zulu and their culture.

Juluka

Juluka means to sweat in Zulu and was in sympathy of the workers for whom the music was first intended. They didn’t set out to be political but politics found them with their music banned in South Africa for various reasons and group members regularly arrested with shows interrupted by police.

5 years later the Woza Friday finally appeared on a Juluka album Ubuhle Bemvelo.

Juluka Ubuhle bemvelo woza friday
Juluka – Ubuhle Bemvelo

Juluka Ubuhle bemvelo woza friday
Juluka – source Afrosynth

Woza Friday is an expression of the working man’s struggle. Working hard at a job that does not pay, wishing the weekend would just come… Come Friday

The song and or the phrase has become weekend culture but really this song is meant to be played on a Monday through the week, willing time to rush past, for the weekend to come again…

Woza Friday Lyrics and Translation

Webaba kunzima kulomhlaba
(Father, this world is a difficult place)
Webaba lomsebenzi ubhokile
(Father, the work I do is unending)
Webaba, nemali ayingeni
(Father, the money I earn is insignificant)
Sengathi leliviki lingaphela, webaba, webaba
(It would be great if this week would come to an end, Father, father)
Woza, woza friday mayi dali
(Come, come Friday my darling)
Woza friday, umsebenzi ubhokile
(Come on Friday, work is unending)
Woza, woza friday mayi swidi
(Come, come Friday my sweet thing)
Woza friday yilanga elingqomile wena
(Come Friday, the day that I am engaged to)
Goodbye, I’m going now
Tomorrow morning, tomorrow morning


Interesting aside: I heard from someone who claims to have heard Johnny Clegg at a concert and says according to the late legend the song is about… A man working in the mines of Johannesburg, who stays with a woman at her house during the week. Each week he tells her how much he loves her. When Friday comes, he’s off to party and tells her that he will see her again when Monday comes….

Woza Friday My Darling

~B

15 Comments

  1. It is funny, because I misinterpreted the term when I saw it – Back in the 1970s, in the US (or at least in my city at the time, Cleveland), the term Yowza! was used all of the time. It meant something like “Yes!”, but a celebratory “yes!” (“Hot Damn” was used in a similar way at the time), like if you saw something cool, you would say “Yowza!” A local radio station had a segment every Friday at 6 PM to start the weekend. It started with “Yowza, it’s Friday!” Later, Yowza went away, but I sometimes heard people my age or older saying “Wowza” in much the same way (Or, sometimes, “Wowzer!”). Anyway, so that is what I was thinking at first – it was the same thing..

    As to the real meaning, there is a song by Duke Ellington, “Come Sunday”, that is very similar. .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I have ran into the term/phrase yowza/wowza around somewhere maybe a movie but yeah the combination would beYowza Friday ends up with the same meaning as Woza Friday for that TGIF flavour haha…
      also would not be surprised if the phonetics of it are somewhat connected a quick google shows someone was using it on the radio show in the 30s but the spelling was yowser.

      The Duke Ellington track is on the money

      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were making a play off of the phonetic Yowza/Wowza or if they knew the Ellington track. Still it is their original take and sounds great.

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  2. I’m looking forward to working Monday thru Friday and getting that TGIF feeling!! I’ve worked such a crazy schedule for so many years, I don’t know what it’s like!! I like Woza Friday!!

    And in the 70’s to Trent’s comment, my sister and brother-in-law had a Dalmatian and he named him Yowza! Haha, which he said was a term they used when surfing on the southern California coast! Lol 🤣 I think of Yowza, like Yeehaw! I guess that’s the cowgirl in me! 🤠🐴
    (We have never said Woza, but definitely use wowser, all the time actually! Lol)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The day after tomorrow is Friday woohoo…. we always counting down wether consciously or sub consciously to the end of the week hahaha and next month is December its like the Friday of the months wooohooo lol

      Yeehaa Friday awaaaay
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

    1. hahahaha the best time to enjoy the song is when its not Friday as you will be asking Friday to Come… Come Friday haha
      two more sleeps to Friday
      ~B

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  3. I was thinking about that Johnny Clegg music yday while listening to Maitre GIMS (a French-Congolese singer) singing YOLO. Clegg perhaps was an opportunist, it’s so refreshing to see opportunity came to authentic acts like GIMS and Soprano (Mon Everest), bringing something of their ancestral connection into their music.

    Liked by 1 person

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