Behind The Lyrics – Juu Ya Mawingu – Verse 1

Back in the real world, where have I been? Back in the land with all the power and sin.

4 airports, 30 hours, and the realization that I was officially back in the real world.  Looking at this song lyrically, it is probably the longest verse I have ever written in terms of word count.  It’s long, but tells a great story….  After about one month of living free from social media and other distractions in Tanzania, I landed back in Bucharest, Romania.  I wrote the first portion of this verse while walking up the stairs to my apartment with all of my luggage.  It’s a miracle I didn’t fall over and hurt myself.  When inspiration strikes, it strikes, but you’re not supposed to fall!  As I walked up the stairs to my apartment I slowly began to think about the normal tasks and responsibilities life was soon to throw at me.  In a few days I was going to have to go back to work and use a computer. Oh the horror!!  For the past month I had done nothing but simply enjoy life free from most of its technology.  I used my phone seldom, and was never on facebook or anything else.  It was a great break from what we call “Social Media” which is the farthest thing from social I have ever seen.

After realizing that I was in fact back in the real world with a job and other things I quickly ran away from that (mentally), and was back to day 1 of hiking up the mountain. Ahhh what a great place that was.  With each step I took up the stairs a new lyric poured out of me.  I remember smiling from ear to ear because the lyrics were just flowing from me, and I was remembering the trip so vividly.  I kept a journal each day on the mountain, and I sure am glad I did.  I read back sometimes and see how far I have come as a person. The lyric “Mti kubwa, shira one and two.  Baranco, karanga, barafu, uhuru is a lyric which lists each of the camps I stayed at while hiking up the Mount Kilimanjaro.  Each and every spot on the mountain has it’s own beauty and story.  Check out the travel portion of my blog to read more on those.  Shameless plug over!  After listing all the camps, I move onto all of the porters and guides that made it possible, along with your first taste of swahili with the line Rafiki yangu kipinzi ah sante which translates to my dear friend, thank you.  As the song progresses, so does the usage of swahili.  By the time you get to the third verse you will be hearing a mix of English and Swahili.  During my time on the mountain I learned as many words and phrases as I could in swahili. When I visit a new place in the world, I think it is very important to learn a few basic words to show respect for the culture you are visiting. You don’t have to be fluent, or even say things correctly, but you have to try.

All in all it took 13 porters and guides to get 3 people up the mountain.  I wrote this song mainly as a tribute to all of those amazing porters and guides.  I made friends there that I can not wait to see again.  Ali, Masoud, if you guys read this…….we will hike to the top of Mt Kenya together my  friends.  Lastly, if anyone decides to take a trip to Tanzania to visit the beautiful landscape it has to offer, I only ask you do one thing….Respect the land and the people.  The community there is kind and welcoming.  Go there with an open heart and kindness, and that is what you will get back.


I’m back in the real world, then where have I been?  Back in this land with all the power and sin. I was climbing up the mountains high above the clouds.  Simbamze ahead of me, marafiki all around.  The sun sometimes shines, and the wind sometimes blows.  Hakuna matata is the only way to go.  Mti kubwa, shira one and two.  Baranco, karanga, barafu, uhuru.  I got my man Ali, yes he also knows the way.  Rafiki yangu kipinzi, ah sante.  Twende pole pole up and down again.  Here is a list of my best African friends.  We got Ali, Cholo, Ramadan, Razack, Rasta man Daryl, and a fella named Good Luck, Kevin in the kitchen, Masoud Simbamze, don’t forget Ema, Nelson, and Mose.  Got a few left don’t think that I don’t know.  Saloum and Doudi, the best porters that I know.

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