Video: Very Popular Rhodesian Song: Its a long way to Mukumbura – My Comments on Rhodesian/S.African slang


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Someone sent me a link to this song, which to my amazement has had over a million views!

The lady who sent it, mentioned that she could not understand half the words. So I decided to help, because the song uses a lot of Rhodesian and even South African Afrikaans slang.

Here’s the song:

Here is my explanation, based on my memory. If I make errors, and there are South Africans or Rhodesians with corrections, then just post it in the comments below:

1,061,630 views Feb 23, 2018

@celine I listened to the song and made some notes. I’ll post this on my website I am amazed and astounded that this had a million+ views!!! Amazed. Do you folks actually like the song? Feel free to let me know what other Rhodesian/south African songs you like from the period. I will translate any unknown words you have problems with.

Here goes:

Background: This version of the song I hear is not something that was common in Rhodesia itself. At least I did not hear this often. The singer is singing not as a Rhodesian, but with quite a strong South African, Afrikaans accent. Source: It’s a long to Mukumbura – Mike Westcott and Leprechaun
This is probably a South African version of a Rhodesian song.

The words:-
jawl = to party. This word was known to rhodesians and south Africans: I’m going to jawl tonight. I’m going to party.

ball = have fun. We’re going to have a ball.

mukkas = mukkas = My buddies, my pals.

tot siens = Afrikaans: Good bye

stir = To make trouble = I’m going to stir = I’m going to cause some shit/trouble.

JOC Inyanga = JOC = Joint Opperations Command. JOC’s are named by the area they exist in. Inyanga is in the East of Rhodesia – quite mountainous.

ek se = Afrikaans: I say. It is used in a "funny/strange" way, and even english speakers would use it. I can’t think of a proper way of describing its usage. It can be used alone by itself as "ek se."

Mont claire = It’s a hotel or a pleasure resort.

crowd fighting there = crowd = soldiers

Kariba – Lake Kariba – In the early 1960s the biggest man-made lake in the world.

FN – The FN was the standard NATO Belgian FN rifle used by the Rhodesian army.

RL – I can’t offhand think of what is meant by RL. Whether it means RLI (Rhodesian light infantry). I’d have to listen again.

Llewelyn – This is the name of one of the Army barracks in Salisbury

"kwai it" (This is wrongly spelt). It’s proper spelling is: (Afrikaans) Gooi it = Go to it or go there.

Gooi in proper afrikaans means "throw", but was used in other ways. "Let’s gooi" … let’s go.
Gooi can also imply: Go there FAST. As in: "Let’s hurry".

There were 2 sentences that I could not catch clearly.

But some other words I caught:

"scheme" = This is a South Africanism, a mixture of English/Afrikaans as: "Ek Scheme". Ek = I. It would mean: "I say" or "I think".

scheme its lekker = Lekker is Afrikaans and is the Afrikaans version of Rhodesia’s "Mush". Mush=Nice/Great. Lekker is used in exactly the same way. So (I) scheme its lekker = I think its great.

First phase = This is a military song to this is probably First Phase of a military Operation or, perhaps more accurately, First Phase of military training.


A particularly common Rhodesian military word is "floppy" or "floppie". I suspect "floppy" is the original and correct spelling. This was a reference to blacks. But I think it was a reference in particular to dead blacks. I suspect and I guess this comes from the fact that when you shoot anything, human or animal, that immediately after death the creature is physically "floppy" (before rigor mortis sets in). So Rhodesian stuff has many refernces to "floppies". I think they are also used even when referring to living blacks. Though, my own guess/suspicion is that it originated from soldiers who saw combat.

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