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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Sonny Okosuns - "African Soldiers" (Nigerian song with lyrics)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases YouTube examples of the song "African Soldiers" by Nigerian vocalist Sonny Okosun (This name is also given as Sunny Okosuns).

Information about Sonny Okosun is included in this post along with the lyrics to "African Soldiers".

The content of this post is presented for cultural, inspirational, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Sonny Okosuns and all those Black persons who maintained their integrity & worked positively on behalf of freedom. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of this sound examples on YouTube.
-snip-
Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/06/sonny-okosun-african-soldier-with.html for a 2013 pancocojams post about this song that includes incomplete lyrics as well as the complete lyrics that were shared on July 29, 2019 by an Unknown commenter. Thanks Unknown July 29, 2019!!

PANCOCOJAMS EDITOR'S NOTE: I don't agree with the policies and actions of all of the persons that are named in this "African Soldiers" song.

For the record (no pun intended) I've noticed that all of the people who are mentioned are men and three of them appear to be from outside of Africa: Marcus Garvey, Jamaican-born political activist/founder in 1914 of the UNIA the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League), Mohammed Ali (presumably the African American heavyweight boxing champion), and Mark Anthony (presumably this Mark Anthony https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Antony [?]

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INFORMATION ABOUT SONNY OKOSUNS
From https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/okosuns-sonny
"Sonny Okosuns
1947-2008

Musician, minister

Nigerian singer-songwriter Sonny Okosuns was a pioneer of African liberation music, the songs of social protest that gave voice to native political movements on the continent. His work influenced a generation of musicians, both in Africa and around the world. Douglas Martin described Okosuns's style in the New York Times as "a catchy, rock-inflected cocktail of funk, reggae, Afrobeat and more…. The result was a zestful, funky strand in what has come to be called world music." At the time of his death in 2008 Okosuns was working on material for what would have been his fortieth album.

Okosuns's family name was originally "Okosun"—he later added the "s" himself. He was born on the first day of 1947 in Benin City, Nigeria, into a family of Esan ethnicity. The Esan, sometimes referred to as "Ishan" in the West, were one of the larger groups in Edo State, in which Benin City served as the provincial capital.

[...]

Okosuns's parents belonged to a Pentecostal Christian sect called the Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church, which had been founded during the 1920s by Moses Orimolade Tunolase, later called Baba Aladura. Okosuns's family later moved to Enugu, also known as Coal City because it was the center of Nigeria's coal-mining industry, and his formal schooling ended after just a few years. A fan of Western rock music, he taught himself to play the guitar and learned the songs of Elvis Presley and the Beatles. In 1965, at age eighteen, Okosuns joined the Eastern Nigerian Theatre, a drama troupe that was invited to perform at the Commonwealth Arts Festival in London in the summer of 1965. Back in Nigeria, he formed a cover band called the Postmen, and after 1969 performed regularly with Victor Uwaifo, a popular Nigerian singer-songwriter a few years his senior. Uwaifo was a pioneer in a style of music known by the interchangeable terms "highlife" or joromi and described in the Guardian by Graeme Ewens as a "hugely popular form of west African dance music characterised by blazing horns and complex, interweaving guitar melodies."

Okosuns's second band, founded in 1972, was originally called Paperback Ltd. but he soon changed the name to Ozziddi, which meant "message" in the Igbo language. Ozziddi's exuberant highlife sounds were bolstered by infusions of reggae, the West Indian music that was also a form of social protest. Okosuns sang in Esan, Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba. He recorded most of his thirty-nine albums in Nigeria, which had a thriving musical scene during the 1960s before a devastating civil war and series of military coups. He attained immense fame, and "Ozzidism, as it came to be known, evolved into a personal pan-African philosophy of liberation," wrote Ewens. In 1981 he gave a concert in London—where his 1977 LP, Ozziddi for Sale, had been recorded the famed Abbey Road studios of the EMI label—and among the attendees was Sally Mugabe, wife of Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe. As a result, Okosuns was invited to perform at Zimbabwe's first anniversary independence celebrations in Harare, the capital of what had until recently been the white-controlled enclave called Rhodesia.

Liberation music—and Okosuns's—was already focused on South Africa, the remaining holdout of white power on the African continent. His 1977 song "Fire in Soweto" was a blistering attack on apartheid, South Africa's system of segregation, and though it was banned by the government there it nevertheless became a massive underground hit in black townships. Another track from that same year, "Papa's Land," also reflected the dire situation for blacks in South Africa. Other songs he recorded paid homage to Nelson Mandela, the jailed South African leader of African National Congress.

Holy Wars, released in 1978, featured protest songs from Okosuns that reflected the wider struggle for independence across all of southern Africa, including Mozambique. In 1985 he took part in a benefit record along with several well-known musical stars in the West—among them Run-D.M.C., Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Miles Davis—under the collective name Artists United Against Apartheid. The song, "Sun City," referred to an infamous luxury resort that catered to white South Africans but was located in a nominally independent black homeland.

With the end of apartheid in the early 1990s, liberation music's popularity died out, and Okosuns's record sales—which rarely reflected his success anyway, because pirated music was so rampant across Africa at the time—began to flag. He turned to Christianity in 1993, billing himself anew as "Evangelist Sunny Okosuns," and began releasing gospel albums. Songs of Praise, from 1994, reportedly sold 500,000 copies in Nigeria and other countries. In 1998 he founded his own church, the House of Prayer Ministries, out of his home in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city."...

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From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonny_Okosun
"Sonny Okosun (was born on 1 January 1947 [1] – 24 May 2008 in Washington DC). He was a musician from Nigeria and was best known as the leader of the Ozzidi band. He named his band Ozzidi after a renowned Ijaw river god, but to Okosun the meaning was "there is a message". His surname is sometimes spelled Okosuns and his first name Sunny. He was one of the leading Nigerian musicians from the late 1970s to mid-1980s.[2]

Okosun's brand of African pop music, Ozzidi, is a synthesis of Afro-beat, reggae and funk music.[3] From 1977, he became known for protest songs about Pan-Africanism, freedom and a few other social and political issues affecting Africans."...

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SHOWCASE YOUTUBE EXAMPLES
Example #1: Sonny Okosun - African Soldiers



naijamusiq, Published on Apr 28, 2008
-snip-
Here's a comment from this video's discussion thread:
Mazi Mazi, 2016
"hello sunny, how do I begin to tell you that till now that the question you asked over 30years ago (which way Nigeria) haven't been answered, however I did which our leaders then or now would had listened to your prophetic words, rip son of the soil, you really tried calling but many of Nigerian leaders failed to listen to you,"

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Example #2: Sonny Okosuns - African Soldiers (Audio)



hogan523,Uploaded on Apr 9, 2011

Attention African Soldiers!

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SONG LYRICS: "AFRICAN SOLDIER"
(Sonny Okosuns)

Oya o, oya (oya o, oya)
Oya o, oya, oya (oya o, oya)
I want to salute African sodiers (oya o, oya)
African soldiers who fought for our freedom (oya o, oya)
I want to salute African soldiers now (oya o, oya)
African soldiers who fought for freedom (oya o, oya)

Some are dead and some are living (oya o, oya)
Those that are dead are still fighting on (oya o, oya)
Those that are living are still fighting (oya o, oya)

Shaka Zulu, African soldier (oya o, oya)
Haile Selassie, African soldier (oya o, oya)
Nnamdi Azikiwe, African soldier (oya o, oya)
Kwame Nkrumah, African soldier (oya o, oya)
Jomo Kenyatta, African soldier (oya o, oya)
Patrice Lumumba, African soldier (oya o, oya)
Marcus Garvey, African soldier (oya o, oya)

African soldiers show your power oh (oya o, oya)
Show your power and free your people now, (oya o, oya)
Save your people, save your people, (oya o)
Save them now (a-yo wa)

From economic hazards (a-yo wa)
Save your people (a-yo wa)
From political non-sense (ay-o wa)
I say save your people (a-yo wa)
From economic rubbish (a-yo wa)
Oh, save your people (a-yo wa)
From political yabis (a-yo wa)
I say save Africa (a-yo wa)
From political jargon (a-yo wa)

Attention African soldiers, lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia
Lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia, o, (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
We're still calling African soldiers, (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
African soldiers who fought for Africa, (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)

Herbert Macaulay, African soldier (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
Ahmadu Bello, African soldier (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
Obafemi Awolowo, African soldier (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
Dr. Steve Biko, African soldier (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
Yes, Augustine Oyeto, African soldier (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
Mmm, Sekou Toure, African soldier (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
Julius Nyerere, African soldier o (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
Oba Akenzua, African soldier (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)

Lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia o, (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)

[Interlude]

Oya o, oya (oya o, oya)
Oya o, oya, oya (oya o, oya)
I want to salute African sodiers (oya o, oya)
African soldiers who fought for our freedom (oya o, oya)
I want to salute African soldiers now (oya o, oya)
African soldiers who fought for freedom (oya o, oya)

Some are dead and some are living (oya o, oya)
Those that are dead are still fighting on (oya o, oya)
Those that are living are still fighting (oya o, oya)

Martin Luther-King, African soldier (oya o, oya)
Houphouet Boigny, African soldier (oya o, oya)
Robert Mugabe, African soldier (oya o, oya)
Samora Machel, African soldier (oya o, oya)
Mmm, Bashorun, African soldier (oya o, oya)
Bashorun you be African soldier (oya o, oya)
Kenneth Kaunda, African soldier o (oya o, oya)
Hubert Ogunde, African soldier (oya o, oya)

African soldiers show your power, o (oya o, oya)
Show your power and free your people now, (oya o)

From economic hazards (a-yo wa)
I say save your people (a-yo wa)
From political non-sense (ay-o wa)
Will you save your people (a-yo wa)
From economic rubbish (a-yo wa)
I say save your people now (a-yo wa)
From political yabis (a-yo wa)
I say save your people (a-yo wa)
From economic jargon (a-yo wa)

Attention African soldiers, lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia
Oh, lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia, o, (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
We're still calling African soldiers, (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
African soldiers who fought for our freedom, (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)

Nelson Mandela, African soldier o (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
I say Nelson Mandela you be African soldier, (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
Desmond Tutu, African soldier (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
Mr. Nkomo, African soldier o (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
Sam Nujoma, African soldier (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
Murtala Muhammed, African soldier o (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
Muhammad Ali, African soldier (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
Mark Anthony, African soldier (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)

Lai-la sie ga-si lai-la bia o, (lai-la sie ka-si lai-la bia)
Huh!
-snip-
Thanks to Unknown, July 29, 2019 for these lyrics.

Thanks also to Victor Oniagba; September 26, 2017 who corrected my earlier partial transcription of this song.
Note that Victor Oniagba also wrote that "The "oya" means "it's time", the preceding "o" is just an emphatic

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RELATED LINK
Click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=362_c83KDvw for a "recreated version" of this song. This version was included in the 2011 Ghanaian movie Somewhere In Africa.* In addition to some of the African leaders mentioned in the original song & other African leaders, this version "name checks" [gives a shout out] to such famous African Americans & Black Caribbeans as Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Marcus Garvey.

*Click http://www.ghanacelebrities.com/2011/04/24/new-movie-%E2%80%98somewhere-in-africa%E2%80%99-starring-majid-michel-martha-ankomah-eddie-nartey-david-dontoh-roselyn-ngissah-kofi-adjorlolo-others%E2%80%A6 for information about this movie.

This video shows African teens dressed in their school uniform dancing. Included among those teens is a heavyset girl who is highlighted perhaps for comic effect.

WARNING - The viewer comment thread of this video includes a considerable amount of profanity, racist comments, and argumentative exchanges.

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