Monday, 10 September 2018

Zémidjan - Enyam Scandalocks

In this city of Lomé
There are so many drunk guys
That to not see his life in the water
We opt for this modest job

Zèd! Zémidjan!
Psss! Zémidjan!
P...! Zémidjan!
Oléyia??? Zémidjan!!!

Zémidjan, motorcycle taxi driver
Present in all corners of Togo
Even if his world is not so good
He is the one who gets up so early

The bravest servant of the nation
Ready to take you to your destination
Not matter to him your estimate
Since he has his coin in compensation

Somehow it's a shame
To know that according to polls
Zémidjan work is due to unemployment
Suddenly it does not taste like real cheese

It is true that there is no stupid business
But by undertaking this job, beware
And even have courage,
Wesh! To all Zémidjans this slam is dedicated

Zèd! Zémidjan!
Psss! Zémidjan!
P...! Zémidjan!
Oléyia??? Zémidjan!!!

Zémidjan, the job that becomes a refuge
To all these brave people who fight and refuse
To find themselves unemployed and confused,
Are forced to take the zèd as a subterfuge

The Zémidjan is staying alive and mobile
Avoidance of traffic jams is pure simplicity
He can make you fall because of his vulnerability
But to reassure you, he always shows insight

Look at this zèd that helps the other from behind
How nice to know that they are supportive
And even if they get confused sometimes, they are like brothers

On these taxi-bikes are the people hit by the galley
Young graduates, fathers and officials in the bitter life
In fact this shows that this earthly life is not always rosy
Whether it's nice or not it will take...

Zèd! Zémidjan!
Psss! Zémidjan!
P...! Zémidjan!
Oléyia??? Zémidjan!!!

Enyam Scandalocks (20th century) Togo
Translated by Bruce Levitan (using Google translate as a starting point)
Source: Badilisha Poetry

The "Zémidjan" is a motorcycle taxi which is widely used as a form of transportation in many parts of the Francophone West Africa.

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