"'Akroma' is a hawk. 'Sansa' connotes a roaming/circling hawk. It is (or a least used to be) common to raise free-range chicken at home for food and chicks are a very invaluable part of that to ensure the future supply of chickens. Losing your chicks to the elusive hawk is devastating and so the hawk has developed a reputation as an opportunistic prey that does nothing but roam all day looking for innocent chicks. The reason why his mother and father are dead is a long folklore that I won't get into, but that was due to his own mischief. 'Sansa Kroma' is also a metaphor for someone who behaves like that in society." -William (from Ghana)

Notes

William wrote:

A phonetic rendition will be something like this….

Sansa Kroma (roaming hawk)
Ney na wuo (his mother is dead)
a-che-che nko-koh-mba (he snatches/preys on chicks)
a-sey unkoh-yeh juma (he says he won't find a real job)
Ney na wuo (his mother is dead)
a-che-che nko-koh-mba (he snatches/preys on chicks)
Wey chin-chin, e-chin-chin, e-chin-chin (he roams, and roams, and roams)
a-sey unkoh-yeh juma (he says he won't find a real job)
Ney na wuo ooo (his mother is dead)
Ney jah wuo ooo (his father is dead)
Sansa Kroma (roaming hawk)
Ney na wuo (his mother is dead)
a-che-che nko-koh-mba (he snatches/preys on chicks).

*****

Earlier posted version:

Sansa kroma
Ne na wuo
Che che akokoba

English:

Sansa the Hawk
His mother died,
Capture, capture chicks.

Game Instructions

Everyone sits in a circle. They each have an object like a rock. They tap it in front of them twice while singing, and then pass the object to the right. Then they repeat the actions.

Comments

Sarah Graham wrote to us about her family's experience with this song:

I am a college music professor and music educator. I have been teaching music 20 years now and have taught elementary through graduate level students. My primary area is vocal, as I am a choral conductor, but I am passionately interested in the music of all cultures and ethnicities. I currently teach an online 'Music in the Early Childhood Classroom' course, which is designed for students who desire to be preschool teachers/directors and do not have any music background. As I was looking for online links to help students better understand and plan for teaching about music of other countries and cultures in their classrooms, I discovered your website.

I am particularly drawn to your Ghanaian section, as my children are adopted from Ghana and Ashanti. Sansa Kroma is one of the few songs published for choirs, that I have done with my choral ensembles, and it is one that children know. When in Ghana, adopting my children, I had been working on Sansa Kroma with my women's choir at the university where I was teaching at the time. I took my beautiful new daughter (almost two years old at the time) to the salon at the hotel where we were staying to have her hair braided, which took several hours, so I spent the afternoon talking with the women there, and I told them I was a musician- a choir director and singer. They wanted me to sing for them, but I cleverly changed the subject and told them I knew only one Ghanaian song, but I didn't know if they would know it because it was an Akan song- and one of the women exclaimed 'I am Akan! I am from Kumasi- what is the song?' So I told her 'Sansa Kroma,' and she began singing- so I sang along with her, and her version was slightly different. But it was such a beautiful, unifying moment. I sent an e-mail to my students back in the U.S. and let them know to tell the story to the choir at the next rehearsal. My children all grew up singing it, though even a little differently.

Choral composer, Felicia Sandler has a fantastic arrangement of the piece available in SSA or SAB and it's really nice.

Youtube link to my son singing "Sansa Kroma." (The video is also posted above.)

Thank you for your work. Please keep doing what you are doing. You are making a difference. I LOVE what you are doing and intend to tell all of my students and teacher-friends who are not musicians to utilize your website to help them incorporate culture and music into their curricula."

Thanks for your kind words Sarah and for sharing your story! -Lisa

Watch
YouTube of Sarah Graham's son singing Sansa Kroma...
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You can hear the 1st 3 lines repeated in the following videos. Here's the approximate pronunciation:

Sansa kroma
Ne na wuo
Che che akokoma
Please let us know if you think this video has been taken down by YouTube.
Thanks!
Please let us know if you think this video has been taken down by YouTube.
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Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to William for sending this version of Sansa Kroma, with the comments, pronunciation and translation. Thanks to Sarah Graham for sharing her experiences with this song and the video of her son singing it!

Me da wo ase!

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