Unpacking and reminiscing over the summer by replaying the Liberian Hit song “Dumyarea” by Junior Freeman and African Soldier, two young Liberian musicians part of a new music genre called Gbema (Liberian music gone through electronic treatment).
Here goes the catchy beat:
“Dumyarea” means “that’s my area” in Liberian English. It is a common phrase in the market where sellers yell it out to stake their place. Today, it is the most heard phrase on the streets of Monrovia, and the name of the song most played throughout the country. And when I say most played, I mean there is no escaping, any time of day.
Beyond the infectious rhythm, the genius of the song is in the simple yet socially relevant lyrics, that speak to all walks of life. “Everybody got they’re own area… some people area is to be Senator… some people area is to go up and down the street.” It’s the kind of populist anthem that everyone can get down to, and whenever it comes on, people do. This unity through music and culture is really a sight to behold in a fairly divided society.
Of course the phrase has migrated into everyday use among Liberians. It has become so popular that the President Ma Ellen used it in her speech to launch the election season and her political campaign earlier in July.
With my Liberian chapter closed (for now), I hope to continue blogging on aid, development, and other issues of interest. Stay tuned!