Is “Agolo” by Angelique Kidjo a Yoruba Song?

No, she’s not speaking Yoruba in the song, it’s Fon gbe, but the Fon people of Benin are of Yoruba descent, so any Yoruba person would understand the lyrics. “Igbadoun foun ayé”, for instance, sounds a lot like “ìgbádùn fún ayé”, which transliterates to “enjoyment for the world”.

This video used to scare me as a kid, I knew there was something different about it and I was right; it’s a beautiful, rich, deity song.

“Ago lo” in Fon language means “move out/make room/excuse” and it is used to welcome/announce the descension of a voodoo spirit. It is not “agolo” as in “tin”. If you know what “ago ya” is in Yoruba, it’s similar. The song is a celebration of Mother Earth. It is a song of hope and a call to the good powers of nature; a call to Aidahouédo, the great rainbow loa/snake, the messenger of love and tenderness. Ayida Wedo [same spirit, different spelling, Yoruba people should know what it means now- something like “the one who transforms/turns into something else to (or ‘so she can’) swim in the river”] was highly honoured in this video, and the dances you see are sacred, spiritual, Yoruba/Fon dances.

Morio orio 
Ola djou monké n’lo (3x)
Ola djou monké
Ola djou monké n’lo
[Benin deity chant/prayer. I don’t know what it means, but I’m pretty sure ‘Olajumoke nlo’ is wrong. Olajumoke nlo ibo? Olajumoke isn’t going anywhere.]

Eman tché foya lénin [don’t be afraid today/now]
Ifé foun gbogbo ayé [love be to the world]
Eman tché gbagbé ifé [don’t forget love]
Ifé foun ilé baba wa [love for our Fatherland]
Ifé ayé ilé [love be to the world]
Igbadoun foun ayé [enjoyment be to the world]

Agolo agolo agolo agolo (*welcoming/praying to the spirit* )
“Agolo”, Angélique Kidjo, 1994


Keeping it for the Highest Bidder $

She begins to dress up.

She wonders if,
as per her previous experience,
after he undresses her later that night,
he would begin to dress her down.

One is in a show glass;
the other is on the counter.
One tries not to be seen as cheap;
the other allows herself to be touched.

The ones in the show glass
think of themselves as more expensive;
some of them would even
look down on the ones out in the open.

The bigger question is,
why are they all treated like living commodities?

“Ronke, I am proud of you. Continue to keep your virginity. Imagine getting an unwrapped, half-empty bottle of fruit juice for Christmas, after expecting a full bottle. How would you feel, when you begin to drink it? Men respect women more when they marry them as virgins.”
I am wondering why I’m being compared to a bottle of fruit juice in the first place. Why am I in this messed up, patriarchal society as a woman? Why do I have to deal with this shit; was it absolutely necessary?
I mean, I could have been a hibiscus plant or an owl…