The album title is a collage of two traditional proverbs (incidentally, ‘One bangle makes no sound’ is strangely reminiscent of a famous zen koan), who both express the idea that Unity Makes Strength — a phrase which happens to be the national motto of Bolivia, Bulgaria, Belgium, Georgia, Haiti and more. Unity and mutual support are the key to resolving many difficult situations, to attaining goals that are inaccessible to a single person. The lyrics to the song ‘Ooloh, a War Dance for Peace’ illustrate this with a telling anecdote. Mopero explains: “The inspiration for this song comes from a village in the Sankuru province. When there’s a problem among the villagers, they look for a peaceful solution by performing a specific war dance, bearing weapons in their hands. It’s a dance which used to signal the end of hostilities, and serves nowadays to solve conflicts”.
On a different note, let’s mention the explanation of the song ‘Musungu Elongo Paints His Face White To Scare Small Children’: “In certain villages of the Basongye people, someone occasionally plays the part of a traditional character named Musungu Elongo. He covers his face with white clay to scare naughty little children. He runs after them and threatens to devour them if they don’t behave… and if they don’t give him candies and nuts”.
You can hear tracks from the album all this week on Morning Mari*, a 15 minute mini breakfast show every day from 9:00–9:15 BST.