"Hafanana," a rousing '70s hit with a serious message

“It doesn’t matter if you are black or white, poor or rich, God will not judge you by these qualities. You can’t take money to the grave, so enjoy life while you are alive and don’t worry about the little things!”

Afrik Simon "Hafanana" (1975) - song-call against enmity between people

"Hafanana" - widely known hit africa simonareleased in the middle 70s years. Then the song made the young Mozambican superstar literally in a matter of months! It was thanks to this hit that Simon broke out of his native city of Inhambane and declared himself to the whole world.

It was difficult for the listener to resist the contagious melody of "Hafanana", which, like an earworm, was firmly stuck in the head. Moreover, they loved this song in the Soviet Union: it was played on the radio, at discos, in pioneer camps ... But the most interesting thing is that no one had any idea what Afrik was singing about.

For years, people thought it was just another carefree hit. But it's not. It turned out that the composition carries a deep, very serious message. In the Shangaan language of the Tsonga people, with some English words, this track celebrates tolerance and optimism.

lyrics, meaning

Afrik Simon in his youth
Afrik Simon in his youth

History of formation Africa Simon began when a 17-year-old boy moved to Europe. There he performed for some time in clubs, accompanying his vocal numbers with incendiary dance moves and truly circus tricks. With a weight of 65 kilograms, Afrik could throw weights weighing a centner into the air. And his famous split, which he did right in the jump, was remembered by the public for a long time. Simon could also grab a chair with his teeth and lift it over his head. About his acrobatic exploits, you can rant for a long time ...

Toward the end of the 70s, the name of this talented guy was recognized in the USSR. The cheerful message and exotic rhythms of the foreign stage appealed to many domestic listeners. And the main hit in his song piggy bank was the song "Hafanana".

In those years, the text of this composition seemed to the listeners only a set of sounds. But the melody sounded optimistic and fresh, and many people liked it. Nevertheless, "Hafanana" carried a serious social message, and later even became a kind of anthem for racial equality. Translation of the text looks like this:

“It doesn’t matter if you are black or white, poor or rich, God will not judge you by these qualities. You can’t take money to the grave, so enjoy life while you are alive and don’t worry about the little things!”

We can say that the message of the song "Hafanana" is very similar in meaning to the motto "Hakuna Matata" (from the cartoon "The Lion King") и "Trifles, the business of life!" (from the cartoon Carlson).

Young Afrik Simon
Young Afrik Simon

In the Tsonga language spoken in southern Africa Simon sings about the equality of races before the Almighty. For this reason, the performer declares that they - the nations - should not be at enmity. Instead, he invites them to immerse themselves in an exciting activity called "Hafanana".

What is Hafanana?

Afrik Simon
Afrik Simon

What's happened "Hafanana"? This question has been asked by more than one generation of listeners. The most approximate translation of this phrase in meaning is “relax and do not be distracted by nonsense.” In your song Africa urges people not to pay attention to trifles and look at life more optimistically.

A little about the artist

Afrik Simon today
Afrik Simon today

Afrik Simon born in Brazil in 1956 year. Fans know him under a pseudonym, and the real name of the artist is Enrique Joaquim Simon. When the boy was nine years old, his father died. Then, together with his family, Afrik moved to his mother's homeland in Mozambique, where at that time the struggle against the Portuguese colonialists was in full swing. As a teenager, Simon babysat the children so that his family could somehow make ends meet. At the age of 15, Afrik went to study in Maputo, where he made friends with whom he performed on the street. From that moment began his creative biography.

Soon Africa and his friends started performing at a local hotel restaurant, but life was not sweet. During the day, Simon worked as a bricklayer, in the evening he entertained street onlookers, and on weekends he performed with his comrades in a restaurant. But the work paid off completely when they began to write about the talented young guy in the newspapers. This led Africa to meet the manager.

Afrik Simon
Afrik Simon

After the release of his big hit Afrik Simon settled in Berlin. His personal life deserves a separate book: the singer was married three times, and now his wife is a Russian woman. Fans to this day remember the legendary shows of this man and his talent: the songs are relevant even after decades, and the famous "Hafanana" often adorns figure skating performances.

Interesting to know

When the song got to Soviet Union, Russian listeners did not understand her text. Many simply called him gibberish. And not only the public, but also domestic musicians. So, the leader of a metal band "Boni NEM" Kirill Nemolyaev decided to record a cover of "Hafanana". He did it in a very unique way.

Subsequently, he admitted that during the recording he did not find the original lyrics of the song, and therefore performed an abracadabra that was incomprehensible even to himself! Because of this, for many years people who wanted to study the text of the original "Hafanana" stumbled on the Internet on a fictional version of Nemolyaev!

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