The Will of Asante (English translation)

I am the gravedigger of the forest of Asanté
Every day my calloused hands
Pick up the night pearls from the necks of the suicided women
My own memories intoxicate me with their windy perfume

In the banks of Bolgatanga
The official English laces up in front of the dirty windows
The white Volta passes to the south of the Farefari country
And I officiate over the bodies of the forest, I carry the souls

If the child is born during your foreign visit,
It is you who will give it its name
You have pronounced the name of Atina (the earth)
The forest began to tremble; the storm pulsed

You dropped pesewa (money) into the dirty water
My doubts spurt in disunited kingdoms
On the cold blue reflections of the forest of Asanté
Christiansborg takes the name of Accra

The evening falls in a half-sleep
On the tisi (agricultural territories) at the Vea dam,
A woman with her hair bent over a wuka (weaving)
Ten men take over the sun while doing kurega (wrought iron work)

Evangelism of Upper Volta look!
My soul salivates, a baa (dog) has bitten my past
The eye of a cloud spreads the wisdom of the yaaba (ancestor)
Are you taking me to the gyana? (paradise) winged woman?

The firmament opens its veils naa (now)
And the frozen gold of a silent sîfo (bee)
Which has crossed the garbage dumps
Turns into smoke and blackens the avalanche of my words

Before coming to die in the mossy hollow of the goo (forest)
A pot of red sorghum perfumes her corpse,
I wish you a good funeral, the bee
Sugar, pepper, orange and ginger

Traveler, your eyes are like the fruit of the ebony
We sacrificed a bird for the happiness of a drunken God
Every human being has his sigere (spiritual guide)
And tears mask our frosty smiles

The wedding will take place in Sirigu, when the forest is silent
If the child is born during your foreign visit,
It is you who will give him his name
You have pronounced the name of Atina (the earth),
The forest began to tremble, the forest of Asanté

Note: Farefari is a language of the Upper East Region of Ghana, also spoken in Togo, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire. The total number of speakers is estimated at 450,000 people.

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