At one point, the song Umqombothi by South African songstress Yvonne Chaka Chaka was wrongly taken to be a Ugandan song. Jack Kinobe Sserunkuuma, a theatre legend, told Monitor that the song would often be used as a score in live theatre performances. This was especially so in scenes that depicted drunkenness or bar settings.
“In our home area in Buikwe, Umqombothi was a bar anthem that would be played over and over again,” he explains, adding, “You would listen to the same song on Radio Uganda and then watch it on Uganda Television.”
The song, he further reveals, would be called mukombooti by music lovers who interpolated the lyrics whenever they sung it.
“Owamaaso ameeru, wuko mukombooti” is the most popular line that most Ugandans use in place of the actual line in the lyrics, which is: “we madlamini, uph’umqombothi.” Per various Internet sources, the line is a praise slang for South Africa’s local alcohol. It draws parallels with a real spit fire.
Kinobe explains that it was easy for Ugandans to attach the bar to alcohol since it came with the video that had visuals glorifying alcohol in a gourd.
Chaka Chaka is a household name in Uganda. Her other song, Thank You Mr DJ, was interpolated by Ugandans thus: “Lwaali lwa mukaaga ku saawa mwenda, twakikuba, twakikuba nga nange kwendi.” This interpolation replaced the chorus: “Thank you Mr DJ for playing my song. Thank you, thank you, I have been waiting so long.”
“Ekibe Sankaleba” is what most Ugandans will refer to as the song title of Zamina mina, alias Zangaléwa.
Contrary to the original lyrics where the verse is sung: “Edibe man no run, Edibe money no deh, edjibe na me fanam, edjibe djibe zangalewa,” the lyrics would be replaced with “mwaana gwe nakulaba, ng’oyambadde esuuti n’empeta. Ehe, Ekibe kibe eheee Ekibe kibe sankaleba.”
Read more: https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/lifestyle/entertainment/when-umqombothi-intoxicated-uganda-4430212