Thematising COVID-19 pandemic: A reading of selected songs of a popular Borana musician
Keywords:Corona, songs, Borana, performance, pandemic, mother tongue
The Corona pandemic is a global phenomenon that has ravaged the world population for the last one year. Because of its newness and overwhelming impact, many aspects of the infection by the Covid-19 virus and its effects remain obscure. One of these aspects is the communal responses to it among societies that are rural and marginal to world events such as the Borana of northeast Africa. Yet exploring this field promises the discovery of vibrant knowledge. Thus, a number of oral artists have used their mother languages to compose songs to educate the vulnerable masses on the disastrous consequences of the disease and how to mitigate them in the interim. This paper analyses one such song by a popular Borana musician who goes by the stage name of King Sama entitled “Koronaan Dhukkub Bada” (Corona is a Deadly Disease) and teases out not only the didactic message formulated and voiced by the singer but also the stylistic nuances by means of which it is encapsulated and disseminated. The singer informs, educates and cautions the community in the face of the calamity the disease has proven to be and appeals to the people to recourse to discipline, the mercy of god, and the vitality of tradition and culture to overcome a situation whereby humanity could be on the verge of extinction.
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