"Ngato dwöt cengnge" ("The one who sits idly") - performed by Ochan Roman

Thoom player and singer Ochan Roman performed this song in Pinyudo in June 2017, accompanying himself on the thoom, or lyre. "Ngato dwöt cengnge" can be translated approximately, "The one who is sitting idly" but literally it means someone who is sitting with their hands crossed on their laps and not doing anything. According to Ochan, this song was composed in the 1980s, during Ethiopia's Communist government, to encourage people to work.

Translation (English)

A person who sits without working, expecting to beg from others
It is obvious that they will not get anything for themselves

It is obvious, those before us worked for their children
Lucky is the coming generation that is not yet born

Consuming everything like the locusts will only bring poverty
This is the reason why this country is still in poverty


Those who are not thinking about the next generation
They are worthless in their village, they do not support their relatives


Transcription (dha-Anywaa)

Ngato dwöt cengnge ni köö nee ngäätha kwac bung kare kany
Käla ruun ni gïn tïïë kiper dëërë bungö mo løny

Käla kari ni jøw bwödhö ge ba tïm dëëtge tïmma wäätge
Pwøc odööng re jøw lämmï noo odööng cään ni poot nywölï

Cam jammi ki bunga acaara cam bäänyö duunö ki can
Bee eni ni tïïc paani no odööng cään ni bungï jammi


Ngat ba cädö kiper tuung ge møøk mo lämmï ni poot nyøøli
Kare diiny ki yaa atutge cung yie bung køny ki tuung ge


Credits and Bibliography

Ojho Othow Ojullu (transcription, translation, and coordination)
Apay Ojullu Aballa (translation)
John Omod (translation and coordination)