Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
A place for poems, songs, rhymes and traditions from around the world for both kids and grown-ups to enjoy!

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Vivian wrote asking about the song "Moja Numba"….

Hello,

I have heard a song called Moja Numba, which I believe is Swahili.  It was recorded by M’EarthTones.  I contacted them, but even they weren’t able to tell me the origin.  I’d like to know what the words are and what they mean.

Thank you for your help.

Vivian Caputo

If anyone can provide any info about this song, the lyrics and/or a translation, please comment below.

Thanks!

Mama Lisa

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This artilce was posted on Monday, November 28th, 2011 at 7:13 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Languages, Mozambique, Readers Questions, Songs by Theme, Swahili, Tanzania, Uganda. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Does Anyone Know a Song called Moja Numba?”

  1. Elizabeth Kahura Says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Love your website! I was born in kenya . I live in Texas

    Do mean the song.

    Swahili:
    Numba moja, mbili tatu, inne, tano.
    Hesabuni tena!(repeat a number of times)

    English:
    Number, one, two, three, four, five.
    let us count again!

    Hope this helps!

  2. Lisa Says:

    Thanks for the song Elizabeth! I posted it on our Kenya pages at:

    http://mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=3480&c=34

    If you’d like to sing it for us, we’d be happy to add a recording.

    Cheers!

    Mama Lisa

  3. Wills Says:

    The meaning of the word Moja as said is ONE. The meaning of the word numba is Number. In Swahili all the vowels are pronounced;- a, e, i, o, u (Musical sound for those who are musical) so ‘a’ would be pronounced as in app, ‘e’ as in egg, ‘i’ as in inn, ‘o’ as in or and ‘u’ as in you.
    With this in mind. numba should have been spelt as namba.

    There is a song sung by Kidum called ‘Number Moja’ you can check it on iTunes. There is a song also by the name of ‘moja numba’ performed by the Newton High School Singers also on iTunes latest version in 2010 only available as an American download. It sounds as though it is of African origin but I suspect it was composed by someone out there (America?) so that it can be sung in a round. Very good I must admit even though moja was pronounced moi. I hope this was helpful even though it comes a few years down the line.

  4. Lisa Says:

    Thanks for your input Wills!

  5. Patrick Kamau Says:

    we used to sing the song in Swahili in Nursary school and early primary classes. You are right counting 1-10
    Moja, mbili, tatu,inne tano sita, saba, nane ,tisa
    Habari ya Januari …how is January
    kuna mutu mmoja…there is one person
    aliyepotea…who ran away
    Natukimpta…and when we find him
    Tutamfunga Jela…we will send him to prison

    This is a rough translation,from Swahili language to English we would count our fingers and clap…for humor.Thanks -John Patrick Kamau Author of THE BRIGHT DARK NIGHTS OF THE SOUL and THE MYSTERIES OF AFRICA… March 4th 2014 FL USA

  6. emma tian evison Says:

    i like your website very much. i’ve been searching african songs for a while.m a early year instructor in China. i want to teach some African songs to the children. could you please email me some intresting african children songs that i can teach. and can you introduce me some games that african children play.

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