American singer and songwriter Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter has released a new song which features some Swahili lines in it.
At the beginning of the song, a voice chants twice saying “Uishi kwa mda mrefu mfalme,” which means “Long live the king” and another responds saying “uishi kwa.”
The song is to be used as a soundtrack for Disney’s new version of the movie lion king movie.
The song dubbed ‘Spirit’ is part of ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ album which is produced by Beyonce herself.
BBC reports that Beyonce insisted the songs on the soundtrack features works done by African producers.
“It was important that the music was not only performed by the most interesting and talented artists but also produced by the best African producers. Authenticity and heart were important to me.
“It is a mixture of genres and collaboration that isn’t one sound. It is influenced by everything from R&B, hip-hop, and Afro Beat.”
Kiswahili is the most spoken language in the African continent by virtue of geography and number of speakers. Experts estimate that more than 100 million people speak Swahili.
The language continues to gain prominence in the continent and across the globe. In May 2018, Twitter added the capability to detect Swahili words in tweets and to translate them.”
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