Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Maguru & Insibika

Eric Lafforgue


A while back, whilst reviewing Tail of the Blue Bird by Nii Ayikwei Parkes, I mentioned the custom in African storytelling of distancing yourself from the story, so that you don't get trapped within it. I specifically gave the example of Maguru the warrior and Insibika the shapeshifter.

The Rwandan band Holy Jah Doves put the story to music, and I'd like to share the lyrics in Kinyarwanda and English. The lyrics are originally from this site, but I live in fear of it disappearing some day, so decided to reproduce them. I've tweaked them a little for clarity.

So, without further ado, the story of Maguru and Insibika:

Mureke mbacire umugani mbabambuze umugano nuzava i Kantarange azasange ubukombe bw'umugani narabumanitse kumuganda w’inzu.

Let me tell you a fictional story and awake you with a bamboo cane so that even the one who is coming from far away finds the roots of this story attached to the pillars of the house.

Harabaye ntihakabe harapfuye ntihagapfe hapfuye imbwa n’imbeba hasigaye inka n’ingoma. 

There has been and there should not be, dogs and rats died, only cows and the crown of the king survived. [Waiting for clarification on this line].

Kera habayeho umugabo akitwa Maguru ya Sarwaya akaba umuhigi mu ishyamba rya Manyinya na Maganya.

A long time ago there was a man called Maguru, son of Sarwaya, who was a hunter in the woods of Manyinya and Maganya.

Maguru uwo yahigaga imbogo n’insibika mu ishyamba rya Manyinya na Maganya. Umunsi umwe aza kujya guhiga mu ishyo ry’insibika asanga aho insibika ziryamye maze ayica umurizo.

Maguru was hunting for buffalo and insibikas in the woods of Manyinya and Maganya. One day he went to hunt for a group of insibikas and he found them sleeping.

Ni uko insibika zishiduka Maguru yiruka zimwirukaho maze Maguru arazisiga. Ni uko insibika yaciriye umurizo iramubwira iti shahu Maguru nubwo ujyaniye umurizo shahu Maguru we Maguru we Maguru we hee

He then cut the tail from one of the insibikas. When the insibika realised what had happened, Maguru had already left. They went looking for him, but he was faster. The one whose tail was cut told him: You, Maguru, even though you took my tail, we will meet again. You Maguru!

Unjyaniye umurizo Maguru we
Nzigira inkoni nziza uzantora
Unjyaniye umurizo Maguru we
Nzigira agacuma keza uzanjyana
Unjyaniye umurizo Maguru we
Nzigira umukobwa mwiza uzandongora

You have my tail, you Maguru!
I’ll disguise myself like a nice cane so you'll pick me up.
You have my tail, you Maguru!
I’ll disguise myself like a nice calabash so you’ll bring me along.
You have my tail, you Maguru!
I’ll disguise myself like a nice girl so you’ll marry me.

Ni uko Maguru arataha abitekerereza nyina, nyina akibyumva ati uramenye mwana wanjye ejo ntuzajye guhiga. Maguru bukeye afata imbwaze arazizirika aragenda no muri rya shyamba rya Manyinya na Maganya. Agezeyo ahura n’agakoni keza we arakareba yibuka amagambo insibika yamubwiye igira iti Maguru we Maguru wehe

So Maguru went home and told his mum what happened. When she heard this, she told him: My son, don’t go hunting tomorrow. The next day Maguru left his dogs at home and went hunting in the woods of Manyinya and Maganya. When he got there, he found a nice stick. He looked at it and remembered the words the insibika had told him. You Maguru!

Unjyaniye umurizo Maguru we
Nzigira inkoni nziza uzantora
Unjyaniye umurizo Maguru we
Nzigira agacuma keza uzanjyana
Unjyaniye umurizo Maguru we
Nzigira umukobwa mwiza uzandongora

You have my tail, you Maguru!
I’ll disguise myself like a nice stick so you’ll pick me up.
You have my tail, you Maguru!
I’ll disguise myself like a nice calabash so you’ll bring me along.
You have my tail, you Maguru!
I’ll disguise myself like a beautiful girl so you’ll marry me.

Nuko Maguru arikomereza muri rya shyamba rya Manyinya na Maganya yegeye imbere ahura n’agacuma keza wehe Arakareba yibuka amagambo insibika yamubwiye maguru arikomereza muri rya shyamba Yegeye imbere ahura n’umukobwa mwiza we aramureba yibuka amagambo insibika yamubwiye bimwanga munda. Aramurongora ati ikiba kibe njye nzanywa umuti njye Maguru Yasarwaya. Nuko baragenda bageze mwishyamba rwagati Maguru agiye kubona abona umukobwa ahindutse insibika wehe Maguru aribaza biramuyobera Maguru ashya ubwoba we biramuyobera nuko wamukobwa aramubwira ati sinakubwiye shahu Maguru we Maguru we Maguru wehe

So, Maguru continued to the woods of Manyinya and Maganya and he came across a nice calabash. He looked at it and remembered the words the insibika had told Maguru, so he continued to the woods. He continued until he saw a nice girl. He looked at her and he remembered what the insibika had told him, but deep inside he loved her and he married her. If anything bad happens I’ll take medication, I am Maguru son of Sarwaya. So they went to the middle of the wood and Maguru saw that the girl changed into the insibika. Maguru wonders at this, but he fails to understand and gets scared. The girl says: Didn’t I tell you, Maguru? You, Maguru! You, Maguru!

Sinakubwiye Maguru we
Nzigira inkoni nziza uzantora
Sinakubwiye Maguru we
Nzigira agacuma keza uzanjyana
Sinakubwiye Maguru we
Nzigira umukobwa mwiza uzandongora

Didn’t I tell you, Maguru!
I’ll disguise like a nice stick so you’ll pick me up.
Didn’t I tell you, Maguru!
I’ll disguise like a calabash so you’ll bring me along.
Didn’t I tell you, Maguru!
I’ll disguise like a beautiful girl so you’ll marry me.

Nuko Maguru murakokanya nibwo yahise yurira igiti ageze hejuru aca akababi maze aragatuma karagenda no mugatuza kanyina, nyina abibonye ati umwana wanjye wehe nibwo ahise arekura imbwa zose za Maguru ziragenda no muri rya shyamba rya Manyinya na Maganya wehe zifata insibika zose zirazica nuko Maguru aramanuka arataha n’imbwa ze

It was then that Maguru climbed into a tree. When he reached the top, he cut of a leaf and sent it to his mother. When his mother received the leaf, she understood that her son was in trouble. She released all of his dogs. They went to the woods of Manyinya and Maganya and they killed all the insibikas. Maguru came down from the tree and went home with his dogs.

Sinjye wahera hahera Maguru n’insibika

I didn't end the story like this, it was Maguru and the insibikas.

Sinjye wahera hahera Maguru n’insibika

I didn't end the story like this, it was Maguru and the insibikas.


No comments:

Post a comment