This Cameroonian Pidgin song is based on a choir song in a different language.
(Cameroonian Pidgin English)
Njanja moto sabi
Sweet for okro soup
Njanja moto (smelt) is
Delicious in okra soup
Nyango's Notes about the Meaning:
-Njanja Moto = a tiny specimen of fish (smelt), smoked and cooked in various Cameroonian sauces;
-"Sabi" in this case means "you can count on it to be very sweet in okro soup". It is an odd expression but may be understood if taken figuratively. Sabi does also mean "to know" but it is often used to mean, "indubitably!" i.e. It is good at this role... it knows how to taste great!
Okro = okra;
And Gari - grated and dried cassava flakes which is then put in hot water to form a glutinous paste like mashed potatoes. It's swallowed with the okro soup, not chewed! Well. You have to chew the njanja moto.
Here's a Recipe for Okro Soup with a slightly bigger kind of fish:
African Okra Soup Recipe
Here you can see the Garri or Gari in uncooked form.
Recipe for Smelt Fish in Njangsang Sauce
Another Recipe for Smelt Fish in Njangsang Sauce
You can hear the song below...
Many thanks to Nyango M. Nambangi of the Minnesota African Women's Association for the recording.
Below you can hear Nyango's commentary on the song with singing.
MP3: Nyango M. Nambangi of the Minnesota African Women's Association
Thanks and Acknowledgements
Many thanks to Nyango M. Nambangi of the Minnesota African Women's Association for contributing this song.
Thanks so much!