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Iwe – Flavour’s Tribute to MC Loph

Obiajulu Kenneth Nwaozor a.k.a MC Loph

Obiajulu Kenneth Nwaozor popularly known as MC Loph—one of Nigeria’s rising indigenous crooners, and a dear friend to Flavour N’Abania—was returning to his hometown of Ugwuaro in Anambra state from Lagos State, in the company of his only sister and sibling Chinwe, and his fiancée on September 14 of this year, when he crashed his newly acquired SUV at Benin-Ore road. He died with his sister before help came. He was returning home to his parents in order that they could go about the normal Igbo traditional marriage rites to be fully married to his fiancée when this most unfortunate thing happened to rob some grieving parents of their only children.

This is a very tragic loss to the Nigerian music industry, and it represents yet another example of precious lives that are lost on Nigeria’s dangerous roads—roads which are in dire need of serious repair, but which have consistently been ignored by the state and federal government.  How many lives would be swallowed by Nigeria’s ugly death traps pretending to be highways before a tough-minded dedication towards road rehabilitation occurs?

At any rate, MC Loph and his sister were buried on October 28, 2011. It wasn’t surprising therefore that Flavour dropped a soul-stirring and emotional farewell tribute to a dearly beloved friend. Here, I’ll try to translate the song as faithfully as I can, and in as much detail as is required to help any non-Igbo speakers understand what’s being said. The original words of the song are in bold; I’ll underline the direct translation of the original lyrics into English. To further expand, I’ll give a background or contextual deeper explanation in curly brackets. You may discover that you’d have to listen to this song several times while you read the translations for it to adequately sink in.

MC Loph is fondly remembered for his hit song ‘Osondi Owendi’ which was itself a remixed tribute to the late great king of highlife music Chief Stephen Osadebe.

(Flavour begins…)

(2 times) Iwe na-ewe mu o = I am upset/distraught/angry/resentful { here Flavor is trying to pass across the depth of his emotions over the loss of a dear friend and so he chooses a word like “iwe” which literally means anger (which is a much more heightened emotion than mere sadness or sorrow) to drive home the point. He is positively indignant at this sudden and brutal loss}

MC Loph nwa mama o, MC Loph nwa mama o = Oh MC Loph dearly begotten of his mother {the phrase ‘nwa mama’ which loosely translates as ‘son or daughter of mother’ is a term of endearment often used between very close friends to show that the person addressed by the term is deeply cherished by his or her mother}

Ariri erigbuolanu mu oo, MC Loph nwa mama oo (2 times) = I am in deep sorrow, Oh MC Loph dearly begotten of his mother.

(2nd voice) Chei…hei…

Ebere emegbuoro mu nne muru Loph, Ebere emegbuoronu mu mama Loph = I am filled with sympathy for the mother that bore Loph, I am filled with sympathy for Loph’s mother

Mama biko ebezina biko diwe = Mama please stop crying, please bear it

Mama biko ebezina biko ndo = Mama please stop crying, please I am sorry

Mama biko ebezina Chukwu no nso = Mama please stop crying for God is near {it is customary to console a grieving person by assuring him/her that God is near; that He (God) knows best why the calamity befell one; and that He (God) is capable of comforting one}

Okwa Chukwu wetalu na Chukwu ewelugo =For it was God that gave and it is God that has taken away

Owelugoo, Owelugooo, Owelugoooo, noo n’udo oooo = He (God) has taken away/reclaimed; dwell in peace {this is to be understood as Flavour consoling MCLoph’s mother by telling her that God who gave all life has finally reclaimed MCLoph unto Himself. In Christian belief, that is to be understood as saying that MCLoph has gone to heaven to be with his maker. No wonder Flavour tells Loph’s mom to dwell in peace and comfort herself with that thought}

Ima na iwe na-ewe mu o; iwe na-ewe mu oo; iwe na-ewe mu = I am upset /distraught /angry   /resentful

Iwe na-ewe mu o ka Loph si nwu = I am deeply upset about the circumstances surrounding Loph’s death

Imazikwa na Loph bu zi ofu nwa nwoke =Do you know that Loph was the only son (of his parents)?

Loph na nwanne ya soro were nawa village = Loph and his only sister were on their way back to their hometown/village

Ka ha kpolara mama ya nwunye ya = their aim was to introduce Loph’s fiancée to Loph’s mother {Loph left his humble beginnings and went to the big city of Lagos, and there became popular and successful with his music. So he got engaged while in Lagos. But his mother (or parents) back home had not yet met their prospective daughter-in-law. So to go home and show his bride-to-be to his mother and receive her blessings and thus get married thereafter, Loph and his sister in the company of his fiancée embarked on a journey from Lagos back to their hometown}

Ka ha bunara mama ya motor ofuru = their goal also included a surprise new vehicle present for Loph’s mother {the constant mention of Loph’s mother leads me to surmise that she might be the only surviving parent. In any case, as is usually the case with people who have hit it big in the city, they usually return home with fabulous gifts for their parents. Loph was no exception. Apparently, not only was he going to surprise his mom with his bride, he also bought a vehicle for her. It was probably the SUV he was driving on this trip}

Accident emee, Loph anwuo, nwanne ya nwuoo =And suddenly an accident occurred and Loph and his only sibling and sister died…..

Iyokokooooo {an expression denoting grief, shock, or an unexpected unfortunate series of events}

 

Chorus

Loph anaaaaaaa… = Loph is gone {this is not to say that MCLoph simply vacated some particular vicinity. This is to be understood as deep and heartfelt cry that should echo into the great beyond because Loph is gone and gone forever to his eternal and final resting place}

Iwe na-ewe mu oo; MC Loph anaaaa = Oh I am upset/distraught;  MC Loph is goneeee

Ima na iwe na-ewe mu o; Loph anaaaa =Oh can you tell that I am upset; Loph is goneeee

Loph nwa mma oo; MC Loph anaaaa = Oh Loph excellent son; MC Loph is goneeee

Ima na-iwe na-ewe mu oo; Loph anaaaa = Oh can you tell that I am upset; Loph is goneeeee

Iwe, iwe na-ewe mu oo; MC Loph anaaaa = Anger, oh I am angry; MC Loph is goneee

Ima na iwe na-ewe mu oo; Loph anaaaa =Oh can you tell that I am upset; Loph is goneeee

Iwe na-ewe mu oo; MC Loph anaaaa = Oh I am upset/angry/distraught; MC Loph is goneeee

Obiajulu nwa nu oo; Loph anaa, MC Loph anaaaa = Oh Obiajulu only son; Loph is gone, MC Loph is goneeee

Ima na iwe na-ewe mu oo; Loph anaaaa, = Oh can you tell that I am upset; Loph is goneeee

Iwe, iwe na-ewe mu oo; MC Loph anaaaa =Anger, oh I am angry; MC Loph is goneeeee

Oh Loph nwa mma nu oo; ima na iwe na-ewe mu oo, iwe, iwe na-ewe mu oo = Oh Loph handsome son; Oh can you tell that I am upset; I am upset/angry/distraught/resentful

 

2nd line:

Iwe na-ewe mu …. = I am upset/angry

I remember the first time I entered Lagos,

Aguda Surulere ka mu si bido, = Aguda in Surulere was where I began {Flavour also remembers his own journey from grass to grace. Like MC Loph he also left his humble beginnings and came to the big city of Lagos to pursue his dreams. He started out his musical career in Aguda district of Surulere in Lagos state}

Okwa zi be Loph ka mu na-alaru =Loph’s home was where I used to sleep {Flavour remembers that when he was still a newcomer to a big, bustling and crazy city like Lagos,– when he didn’t quite have his own place, it was his friend MC Loph that gave him free accommodation.}

O bi East side ezi oyi mu oo, ezi oyi mu oo, ezi oyi mu ooo, ezi oyi mu oooo = Oh my great friend lived on the East side; oh my great friend; oh my dear friend; oh my bosom friend

Oh-no-no-no…

 

Iwe na-ewe mu …= I am upset/angry

I remember the time Loph entered Enugu

Okwa zi be Flavour ka o na-alaru = Flavour’s home was where he used to sleep {It is useful to remember that Flavour grew up in and around Enugu environs. So he was long established in Enugu before he went to Lagos. Here Flavour fondly remembers those times when MC Loph would come over to the East, to Enugu precisely. One good turn begets another it is often said—so it was Flavour that quartered and hosted MC Loph when he would come to Enugu.

O ruo n’abani anyi agba oringo lee = when night came, we’d frolic around {here Flavour invariably remembers the precious moments when he and his boys in the company of Mc Loph would frolic around town having fun}

Onye ma zi Loph, asi mu biko ndo = To whosoever knew Loph, I also extend my sympathies

Okwa Chukwu wetalu, na Chukwu ewelugo = For it was God that gave and it is God that has taken away

Chukwu ewelugoo,  Owelugooo, Owelugoooo, Owelugooooo = He (God) has taken away; He has reclaimed; He has taken back

Iyokokoooooo = {an expression denoting grief, shock, or an unexpected unfortunate series of events}

(sound of a man in sorrow)

Loph anaa…. = Loph is gone

Iwe na-ewe mu o, MC Loph anaaaa = Oh I am upset/distraught; MC Loph is goneeee

Ima na iwe na-ewe mu o, Loph anaaaa = Oh can you tell that I am upset; Loph is goneeee

Iwe, iwe na-ewe mu oo, MC Loph anaaaa = Anger, oh I am angry; MC Loph is goneee

Ima na iwe na-ewe mu oo, Loph anaaaa = Oh can you tell that I am upset; Loph is goneeee

Waga G nokwa ebe a, MC Loph anaa = Waga G is also here, MC Loph is gone

MJ nokwa ebe a, Loph anaa =MJ is also here, Loph is gone

See-me-sing nokwa ebe a, MC Loph anaa = See-me-Sing is also here, MC Loph is gone {If you have listened to more than one track from Flavour, you would immediately recognize that there are these guys that are usually present in his songs. These guys could be childhood friends, regular friends, or just work buddies, but they usually ad-lib and drop some catchy phrases and hooks to make Flavour’s songs all the more catchy and club-worthy. Now, most of Flavour’s songs are upbeat party smash hits, and so, these guys like Waga G, MJ or See-me-Sing would usually intone a few words here and there while Flavour sings. These guys help make Flavour’s music much more collegial. In this mournful track—a tribute to a fallen comrade—the mood is decidedly sombre, and in respect of that, these guys are understandably subdued. Their silence speaks volumes and helps amplify the general sadness felt by Flavour and his friends. In mentioning their names, Flavour is drawing attention to the fact that he and everyone he regularly associates with are collectively affected by this sudden loss}

Ima na iwe na-ewe mu oo, Loph anaaaa = Oh can you tell that I am upset; Loph is goneeee

Iwe na-ewe mu oo, MC Loph anaaaa = Oh I am upset/distraught;  MC Loph is goneeee

Obiajulu nwa nu oo, Loph anaa, MC Loph anaaaa = Oh Obiajulu only son; Loph is gone, MC Loph is goneeee

Ima na iwe na-ewe mu oo, iwe, iwe na-ewe mu oo = Oh can you tell that I am upset; I am upset/angry/distraught/resentful

Oh Loph nwa mma nu oo = Oh Loph handsome son

(A man in sorrow crying…music slowly fades)

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Posted on November 2, 2011, in Nigerian Affairs, Relationships, Videos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Godfather, i am ready to give u a plot of land in imo state for u re truly an igbo man, lets forget about Ghana for now, u can speak and write igbo more than me (nwa afor)

    JIDE KA IJI NWANNE!, 1Luv

    Madman.

    • The Original Madman!
      Oga I dey salute. How far? Long time no yarn na. I hope say everything dey go fine for u over dat side. Thanks for your comment. Just trying to help people who may woinder what’s being said.

  2. This awesomeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! You hit every word soooooo right n put them in place… I’m soooo veryy proud of you biko… Like Madman said I bu ezigbota nwafor mehn.

  3. I’m a learner when it comes to igbo but i definitely love this song especially because of the tune. And you just made it easier for me to understand this song and most especially to appreciate it more. Thanks for the great work, more power to your elbow, more ink to your pen.

    -your faithful mentee
    Mr Sota

  4. I want to use dis time to let my bros & sisters dat sings music ,as u live remeber dat one day we will meet baba God dey.let amend our ways. My brother mc loph may u & ur sister’s souls rest in peace amen.

  5. nice one godfather. Great post. this shows ur dedication and the attention you to detail. if u r not an employer, u’d make a great employee.

  6. Geez flavour u trully touched my heart by this song i don’t speak or understand nigeria languages bcaus im a zulu 4rm s.a and i did everything 2get my hands on the song and lyrics i finally got hold of it thank u so much i would imagine how u felt when u 1st wrote da song.im sorry 4ur loss bt it is an inspiration to me and ada people.big up

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