N’yanyan (Official Video)

Rokia Koné & Jacknife Lee

I sing the song ‘N’yanyan’ for all human beings, to tell them that we are in the middle ground and all this will end one day. The message of the song is that whatever difficulties you are facing right now, it is only a moment in time, and all things will pass.” — Rokia Koné

Filmed at Gorée Island Cinema on Gorée Island, Dakar, Senegal in June 2021.

Director: Joseph Gaï Ramaka
1st Director Assistant: Becaye Souare
2nd Director Assistant: Bengali Camera
Regiseur General: Hakim Django
Assistant Regime: Sophie Souare
Lighting: Mamadou Timera
Paintings: Amadou and Joe Lopy
Assistant: Yaya Sy

Styling: Cheikh Kébé, assisted by Fatima Charlotte Diagne & Madjiguene Samb
Hair, Make-up: Ndieme Ngom & Awa Diop

Editor: Odhrán Mullan

 

Bambara lyrics (English below)

Ɲaɲa fo de, aw ma Ɲaɲa ko mɛn wa?
Ɲaɲa fo de, n tɛ Ɲaɲa bɔyɔrɔ dɔn
O Ɲaɲa fo de, aw ma Ɲaɲa ko mɛn wa?
Ɲaɲa fo de, n tɛ Ɲaɲa bɔyɔrɔ dɔn

Jaliw ɲininkala, ko u bɛ Ɲaɲa bɔyɔrɔ dɔn
U ye n jaabi ko u tɛ Ɲaɲa bɔyɔrɔ dɔn

Funɛw ɲininkala ko u bɛ Ɲaɲa bɔyɔrɔ dɔn
U ye n jaabi ko u tɛ Ɲaɲa bɔfan dɔn

Sakew ɲininkala ko u bɛ Ɲaɲa bɔyɔrɔ dɔn wa?
U ye n jaabi ko u tɛ Ɲaɲa bɔfan dɔn

Jɔnbadenw ɲininkala ko u bɛ Ɲaɲa bɔyɔrɔ dɔn wa?
U ye n jaabi ko u tɛ Ɲaɲa bɔfan dɔn

A, Ɲaɲa bɔra min?
N ma Ɲaɲa bɔyɔrɔ dɔn
Ko Ɲaɲa bɔra min?
N ma Ɲaɲa bɔfan dɔn

A Ɲaɲa fo de, aw ma Ɲaɲa ko mɛn wa?
Ɲaɲa fo de, n tɛ Ɲaɲa bɔyɔrɔ dɔn

Ɔ Ɲaɲa bɔra min?
Yiii, n m’à Ɲaɲa bɔfan…?

Jaliw ɲininkala ko u bɛ Ɲaɲa bɔyɔrɔ dɔn
U ye n jaabi ko u tɛ Ɲaɲa bɔyɔrɔ dɔn

Funɛw ɲininkala ko u bɛ Ɲaɲa bɔyɔrɔ dɔn wa?

La hila ilala

A, diɲɛ bɛ ban,
Janko diɲɛ-kɔnɔ-fɛn
Woyo, maaya ye sanga ye
Ɲaɲa! Maaya ye waati ye
Maaya ye sanga ye
Maaya ye waati ye
Maaya ye sanga ye

 

English translation

Greet N’yanyan, haven’t you heard of N’yanyan?
Greet N’yanyan, I don’t know where N’yanyan comes from
Oh, greet N’yanyan, haven’t you heard of N’yanyan?
Greet N’yanyan, I don’t know where N’yanyan comes from

The griots were asked,
‘Where does N’yanyan come from?’
They replied to me,
they don’t know where N’yanyan comes from

The wordsmiths were asked,
‘Where does N’yanyan come from?’
They replied to me,
they don’t know the origin of N’yanyan

The carpenters were asked,
‘Where does N’yanyan come from?’
They replied to me,
they don’t know the origin of N’yanyan

The enslaved were asked,
‘Where does N’yanyan come from?’
They replied to me,
they don’t know the origin of N’yanyan

Oh, where has N’yanyan come from?’
I don’t know where N’yanyan comes from
I ask, where does N’yanyan come from?’
I don’t know where N’yanyan comes from

Oh greet N’yanyan, haven’t you heard of N’yanyan?
Greet N’yanyan, I don’t know where N’yanyan comes from

Oh, where does N’yanyan come from?
Oh, from where…?

The griots were asked,
‘Where does N’yanyan come from?’
They replied to me,
they don’t know where N’yanyan comes from

The wordsmiths were asked,
‘Where does N’yanyan come from?’

La ilaha illallah!

Oh the world will end one day
And, of course, everything in it
Oh this is one moment in time
N’yanyan! This life is passing
It’s only a moment in time
This life is passing
It’s only a moment in time

Further reading

Announcing BAMANAN by Rokia Koné & Jacknife Lee

A rising West African singer teams up with Irish-born, California-based rock producer Jacknife Lee.

Susana Baca’s ‘Palabras Urgentes’ album released today

We're delighted to finally release the new album by Afro-Peruvian legend Susana Baca.

Track of the day: ‘El Gamra’ by Bab L’ Bluz

The track is taken from their award-winning debut album Nayda!

Michael League on the making of ‘Palabras Urgentes’, sending a strong political message and celebrating the rich black history of Peru

Snarky Puppy and Bokanté bandleader Michael League discusses his experience working with Susana Bac...