I still have this on my playlist I don’t know about you! So I had to revisit the collection of cultural projects some Cameroon entertainers have released so far. This one PATA PATA Chilli Wawaye ft Babaah Master which dropped at the last quarter of 2020 to me is underrated, probably because it wasn’t pushed however doesn’t change the fact the artists on this project have been very inconsistent in the music scene. That could be a possible reason why people no longer pay attention to their arts anymore irrespective of the fact their deliveries are exceptional.
So in attempt to fully consume and exploit every angle of this piece I had to listen to the track over and over but I was stocked at the level of lyrics interpretation since I don’t understand lamnso. Right from the title of the song PATA PATA which reappeared several times as well in the chorus of the song pushed me to want to know the meaning. So after searching on google to no avail I had to contact a few friends from the Nso land if they could help me with a translation of the word , however it’s not a word from the vernacular and doesn’t exist anywhere in their dictionary.
In as much as I could simply put into context to understand what it could possibly mean, I wasn’t totally convinced if my judgements will be accurate so I searched again to see what other African countries say about the word PATA PATA in their language. That’s how I stumbled on this African masterpiece of all times PATA PATA of Miriam makeba officiel who was a South African singer and activist labeled as MAMA AFRICA- her song PATA PATA has been crowned as one of Africa’s masterpiece with a GRAMMY attached to her name, she influenced many aspiring music artists at the time including Andy Allo.
However I’m here to draw a line if there’s a possible sampling , a similitude or just a coincidence of track titles. PATA PATA as defined by Miriam MAKEBA means “Touch Touch” and multiple other meanings stipulate its a game in which two participants clap their hands together to the rhythm of an accompanying nursery rhyme.
Another meaning uplifted is that in the South African context PATA PATA is the sound that the raindrops make as they hit the roofs of the corrugated iron shacks in the South African townships.
In Cameroon if we are to speculate the meaning of PATA PATA at fight thought we have the impression in Cameroon Pidgin it means “ONCE AND FOR ALL” or “At all at all” but putting in context to the song, we could derive multiple interpretations. Chilli Wawayee could simply mean “Final day” or “Enjoyment Day” with relation to the fact two lovers reaching out to each other and finally stop beating around the bush.
In Nso culture it could be attributed to the sounds emitted from the playing of big drums such as the Kimankar.
It could still stand for PARTY PARTY based on the ambiance , the lyrics and the music universe. Just like Ugandan rapper Big Tril’s “Parte after Parte”
One thing in music I know is people draw inspiration from each other’s arts , it’s a universal language but what I do frown on is the fact a thousand others are just ripoffs of the big names in the music scene who influenced the music culture with their style. There could be a possibility both projects just have a similitude in titles or that it’s an inspiration drawn or still possible that referencing the PATA PATA of Miriam MAKEBA could indirectly lead you back to PATA PATA of Chilli Wawaye is still a plus for her visibility.
Im tempted to conclude all these aforementioned factors were all taken into consideration since Chilli Wawaye is branding herself as an Afropop artist with cultural style and touch she could have as well benchmarked and sampled the big names in the African scene she gives a shout-out to South Africa at the completion of her song. Just to add Angélique Kidjo multiple GRAMMY Awards winner equally remixed and revived PATA PATA by Miriam MAKEBA.
Feel to drop your thoughts and contributions as regards to the subject matter.