Africa Simone's "Hafanana": a set of whimsical sounds with deep meaning behind them

An anthem for racial equality in the 1970s? It's hard to imagine, because the politics of attitudes toward certain races in those days were critical. But one African singer was able to cross out all racial prejudices and make famous a composition that almost every Russian knows. Read about the iconic "Hafanana" in our article

Singer Afrik Simon - the story of the creation of the song "hafanana" and the profound meaning of her text

Rapidly popularity in music African-American performers who come from USABut with African roots. In their music you can often trace some kind of ethnic traditional motivesBut for the most part their work is geared precisely toward commercial promotion. But more than 45 years ago, in the 1970s, music for real Was saving the worldespecially Africanfor he was immersed in a series of conflicts.

Afrik Simon - Mozambican musician of Brazilian descent became famous in Africa, South AmericaThe most important thing is that you can't get away... Soviet Union! Simon's career took shape in an amazing way: it began at the African streetswhere young Afrique and his friend entertaining performancesThe African man was a great success in the world of music, accompanied by guitar playing, songs, and traditional African dances. Then the African's talent was noticed director one metropolitan hotels downtown Maputo and invited Simon to perform in the evenings as a musical accompaniment at the restaurant hotel, which the future star successfully coped with.

The cheerful Afrik Simon
The cheerful Afrik Simon

The story of a song that was a hit in the USSR

The real international fame came to Africa Simone after he moved to Europe. One music manager really liked style and charisma guy. He suggested that he move to London and create a musical show there. In the British capital Africa gained invaluable experience to perform in other cities, where he also learned a huge number of languages and became a true polyglot.

After a successful concert activity African concentrated on career and records studio compositions, albums. At the same time he decided that the rhythmic dance musicwhich reflects the singer's unique style, are more suited to exotic languagesrather than European ones. And this was the right decision for the commercial success of the hits Africa Simon.

Afrik Simon in the 1970s
Afrik Simon in the 1970s

There was a successful single in South America «Mr. Barracuda», written, however, in Spanish, but the real hits are «Ramaya»The following are some of the most important «hafanana»The Soviet Union's chant was written in African dialects, which gives it a distinctive "highlight.". «Ramaya» - song in Swahili, one of the most significant languages of the African continent, and «hafanana» - in language Shangaan of the South African Tsonga people.

The most amazing thing in the story of the song's creation «hafanana» is that the unusual mixture of bright energetic music with African motifs and incomprehensible for most listeners language have made a real the furor:

"We got together in the recording studio with the musician Stan Regal and started picking a tune for the song. I didn't set out to make a hit song, I was just making music. I wouldn't say it was anything out of the ordinary, it was an epiphany... I felt like I was just doing my normal job.hafanana".

Deep lyrical meaning, thought-provoking

The first time you listen to it, it seems that the song only carries kit reproducible soundsbut in reality this is not the case. In fact, the composition is about equality of race before God. At the time in history when the song was written, it was, one might say, a real breakthrough in the lyricism of musical lyrics. «hafanana» perfectly matched time and spirits of what is happening in Africa and on other continents, despite people's lack of understanding of words filled with cheerful Afrikom Simon.

Cover of the African Simon's hits compilation
Cover of the African Simon's hits compilation

Afrik calls for renunciation of the use of force, hostility, and says everyone needs to get busy "khafanana." and unite. The exact translation of this word from tsonga does not exist, but the singer himself admits that the generalized meaning of the expression "Relax and don't get distracted by little things.". It is worth noting that at the end of the composition the lyrical hero admits that his call is not heard by others: in outro you can notice the sounds shootings and blasts.

Consequences of withdrawal «hafanana» in Soviet Union were anything but. crazy: igniting power African motives have contributed favorably to of the singer's popularityand sales of the greatest hits disc were more than 30 million copies. The song literally played from every Soviet iron, appeared at discotheques in pioneer camps and institutes, and on Soviet radio stations. The performer even came to Soviet Union to record a television program in 1979.

"Hafanana", in turn, appeared in one of the episodes of the popular Soviet cartoon "Well, wait a minute." and has become a favorite with children.

Why is Africa Simon no longer heard of? What does the singer do today?

After leaving «hafanana» such commercial success was no longer known Africa SimoneBut this song had a significant impact on his later life. career and status. Now he is called to perform at the music festivalsThe singer does not release any new music.

Afrik Simon now
Afrik Simon now

For example, Africa became a guest of honor at the Ukrainian festival "Tavrian Games."He also frequently comes to Russia and performs «hafanana» at festivals "Autoradio" - "Disco '80s" and "Legends of Retro. FM».

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