Monday, 13 May 2013

Is Bufi the Next Donchi Kubeba?

It is not every day that you listen to a song and wonder, “Did he really sing that?” You have to play it a couple of times to convince yourself that yes indeed the singer actually did say that. Then you do not know whether to get excited because you relate to the song or fear for the singer’s blunt statements. In case you are wondering what on earth I am talking about, you clearly haven’t heard ‘Bufi by Pilato and Petersen. I would suggest listening to it on Youtube not before you finish reading my blog of course.
Pilato & Petersen
Bufi whose literal meaning is, ‘It’s a lie’, began gaining momentum last week barely days after fuel prices were hiked. That’s the way to go, if fuel goes up why not just go make a song about it, the boss doesn’t increase your salary make a song too. Before I go into what the song talks about I just have to take a moment to admire both Pilato and Petersen, it takes a lot of ummmmm toes to actually release a song such as Bufi. Let us not beat about the bush and pretend that we don’t know what the song is talking about. It is clear that the song is highlighting the broken promises that were made during the 2011 presidential campaigns.

The song talks of fuel prices being hiked, jobs that cannot be seen, roads that have not been constructed, lost hope, aging appointments, street children who sleep in trenches and above all, broken promises. The song goes further to claim that all that was said before were simply lies and none of it true. It was all one big fat lie. Pilato actually said it’s a lie 11 times towards the end of the song, try that for emphasis.

They brilliantly used the analogy of a mother and a step-father. It described the relationship between the step-father and mother, step-father and step-children. If I could deduce something from this, the step-father represented the president, the mother- Zambia and step-children- the Zambians. If by using the family it was meant to be satirical, it did not really serve its intended purpose for it is as open as a public toilet. The close analogy was perhaps a deliberate attempt to make the song understandable to the layman and not make it sound like a parable.

I reckon that the opposition leaders must be rubbing their palms in glee, and thanking the heavens for Pilato and Petersen. Bufi could be to the PF the pain that Dandy Krazy’s  Donchi Kubeba was to the MMD. I really do not see Bufi being played on any of the national radio stations just like Donchi Kubeba was out of favour. Bufi has already become a hit and at last check it already had 5000+ views on Youtube. It also ticks all the boxes that ‘Donchi Kubeba’ had. Catchy title-check, Social commentary- check, Danceable- check, Popular singers- check, and Truth factor- check. The only thing that is left is for this song to be publicly rubbished and banned by someone in government then it will gather the momentum to skyrocket.

However, there is just one problem that I have with all these social commentary songs such as ‘Donchi Kubeba’ and now ‘Bufi’, in as much as there is some degree of truth in them, they are not entirely accurate. For instance, in Bufi where it claims that the construction of roads and the creation of jobs were a lie doesn’t reflect the whole truth. One can argue that roads have been constructed i.e. Link Zambia 8000 project and there have been recruitment of teachers. The excuse would be, the song would not sound as great with using the words like some and most or majority of promises. Therefore, how should such songs be taken? Well that depends on the person who is hearing them. The issues talked about in the song hit people harder when they are going through what is being sang about and they are the ones who will probably sing this song louder. How far Bufi will go will truly depend on how strongly people are able to relate to song’s message. For now I am also going to the studio to sing about the traffic jams on our roads, look out for my single coming out soon.

What do you think of Bufi?


  1. I agree with you that the blanket statements made in the song are not entirely accurate but are employed simply to emphasise the mood of betrayal among those that believed the promises. I have only listened to part of the song and just like you commend the courage shown by the composers.

    HH intimated on radio phoenix that there is a rumour that the two will be arrested, which would be a shame as this type of free expression should be encouraged.

    Personally the popularity of such songs as Dont Kubeba and Bufi shows that there is a lot the average Zambian does not understand about how government works. The same is the reason why people in the first place are duped by unrealistic promises. I partly blame our communist/socialist legacy for this flawed understanding of government.

  2. Keith you are so right, the problem is that many of us fail to question how, why, when, and what. Making promises is so easy anyone can do that but we do not have the systems in place to hold people accountable to the people who make the promises.

  3. Like you have already said the song is not entirely accurate. Fibi bufi (LOL), but the whole point of the song is a general complaint or observation that the people of Zambia were lied to and still being lied. Clive Chirwa came to mind and I'm thinking of his employment package and all those people dying in hospital, for those lucky enough to have access to medical services and children being turned away from school because there not enough school places.