Re ipala mabala a kgaka
Re ipetsa dihuba
Re tlotla setso
Motsi ke wa magosogoso
Motlele wa thobo
Ba re dikgafela!

E tlang tlheng banna, letsang segankuru
Re bineng phatisi, re lebogeng Badimo
Etlang tlheng basadi, lereng moologa
Bo kae bojalwa, kgosi e jetlhe pula

Oh ooh hoo oh ooh hoo

Re fa ka makatla a namane
Re itatswa menwana
Morogo, seswaa
Bana ba ditshego
Ba tletse thakgalo
Ba ithuta tsa ngwao ya etsho

Etlang tlheng bonnana, re phimoleng ditete
Kana mebala ya kgaka e bonwa dikgakaneng
Ahee balemi! Le lona badisa
Di a bopa dikgomo, di bopiswa ke kgora


Badimo ga ba latlhe ope
Ga ba je nkabo
Ba tla nesa pula
Ba re robaletse ditlhokwa
Ba bule ditsela
Go rene letlepu

Oele MaAforika! Pakeng tse tsa tshomi
A re ageng maduo, re buleleng ngwao phatlha
Ba mmala wa sebilo, lebogelang ditswammung
Se jeng phetelela, naganelang bokamoso


Re lebogela kungo, re lopa pula
Re keteka pholo le diphitlhelelo
Re bone leruo la mmu le matlakala
Bana ba motho ba kgaogana tlhogo ya tsie

*1 We count our colours of the guinea fowl
We beat our chests
We uphold our traditions
It’s the season of ripe fruit dangling from trees
An abundance of harvest
They call it Dikgafela

Come along please men, play the segankuru *2
So we can dance *3 phatisi and thank Ancestors
Come along please women, bring the *4 reeds
Where is the beer so the King can brew the rain

We have come out in great numbers
We are licking our fingers
*5 Morogo, seswaa
Children are full of laughter
They are filled l of joy
They are learning of our customs

Come along children, let’s wipe your mouths clean
The colours of a guinea fowl are seen in its chicks
You farmers and shepherds
There moo the cattle, mooing from satiety

Ancestors do not desert anyone
*6 They don’t eat could-have’s
They will cause the rain to fall
*7 Let them lay down the tall grass flat on the ground
And clear our paths
So abundance may reign

Africans, during these times of speaking foreign tongues
May we create room for our customs
Those of a darker hue be thankful for products of the soil
Do not overindulge, think of tomorrow

We are thankful for the harvest, we ask for rain
We celebrate our well-being and accomplishments
We have seen livestock as plentiful as soil and dirt
Children of the same womb share a locust’s head *8

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DIKGAFELA: an ancient celebration in African history which saw Africans celebrate and give thanks for the first harvest as well as a ceremony to ask for rains. This practice, popularly known by its Swahili name as the Kwaanza Festival, has seen a revival in recent years.

*1 This old saying is usually used when a man is “singing his own praises” as he propositions a woman. Guinea fowel colours are regarded as attractive: Used here to express pride in our African traditions

*2 Segankuru(e) is a Traditional string instrument

*3 Phatisi is one of several traditional dance varieties in the Batswana culture where dancers wear leather flaps around their calfs and it involves the beating of the leather flaps with the hand (a lot like what modern day gumboots dancers do)

*4 These are special reeds usually fetched by women folk and then laid down during the procession of the festival and are believed to be of medicinal value

*5Traditional dishes of the Batswana people: Morogo is “wild” spinach. Seswaa is meat that has been (over) cooked until it falls off the bone

*6 Ancestors honour their word

*7 Tall grass in one’s path obscures one’s view o. So this is a plea for Ancestors to remove obstacles from the path ahead of us

*8 Sharing with each other what little we have