"Puɔth ɛ duŋ dan" ("The Blessing Is Ours") - by Mha Chang and Gatwech Hoth

"Puɔth ɛ duŋ dan" ("The Blessing Is Ours") is a production of Goa Ni Mal, a music and entertainment studio based in the Newland neighborhood of Gambella town in Ethiopia’s western Gambella Peoples’ region. Chang Kot Nyak (stage name “Mha Chang”) founded Goa Ni Mal (which means “Peace is better” in Nuer) in 2014, and the studio has a prolific output. According to Mha Chang, Goa Ni Mal’s main aim is to empower the youth. He records many young artists for free, and many of the songs released through the studio feature socially-conscious messages that advise people to commit themselves to their education, work hard, and love one another. Notably, Goa Ni Mal is 100% a grassroots movement. The studio has no sponsor, and there is no formal platform on which they can air their music videos or play their songs. Rather, Mha Chang gives the tracks out for free, and the songs circulate on mobile phones, memory cards, and his personal YouTube channel.

"Puɔth ɛ duŋ dan" is an example of some of the more socially-conscious music produced at Goa Ni Mal, the lyrics encouraging the surrounding community towards love and unity to better their neighborhoods.

Translation (English)

Intro (by Gatwech Hoth)
This song is very good for all of us
This message is very good for all of us
When someone is talking to you, take it as your own
Don’t just look at the person who is talking to you, because listening is salvation, and it can shape you
This is Mha Chang

Transcription (Nuer)

Intro (by Gatwech Hoth)
Mɛmɛ mi gɔaa kɛ kɔn diaal,
ɛn com ɛ mi gɔaa kä ti diaal,
Mi latkɛ raan duɔɔr, a kääpɛ ɛ la duŋ dɛ,
Ci guic ni ram ɛn daan ɛn lat duɔɔr, kɛ ɣöö liäŋ ruac noŋɛ kan, kä rialɛ raani kä,
Mɛmɛ ɛ mha chang

Verse 1
Let’s look for unity, look for peace in our neighborhood,
When we make unity a priority, we will have a blessing—love love love, let’s look for it
Let’s look for unity, let’s look for peace, let’s look for unity amongst ourselves,
There is no farm that can plant itself without us cultivating it
Let’s make love a priority, let’s make unity a priority among ourselves
We cannot obtain a blessing without working for it, we can obtain a blessing when we do something good

Verse 1
Kɔn görnɛ mat, görnɛ mal, rɛy ciëëni kɔn i yiëë, yië yië yiëë, yiëë, yië yië yiëë,
Mi wanɛ mat lath nhiam bi kɔn cuu te kɛ puɔth—nhöök nhök nhök, i görnɛ jɛ.
Kɔn görnɛ mat kɔn gör nɛ mal, kɔn görnɛ unity kamni kɔn, yiëë
Thiɛlɛ kak mi dee rɔ pur, mi caa pur kɛ tet,
Lathnɛ nhök nhiam, lathnɛ mat nhiam, kamni kɔn,
Puɔth caa jek baaŋ, puɔth jëk jɛ kɛ lät ti gɔw, ɛɛy

Chorus
The blessing is ours, love is ours
When you do anything good, you are [also] doing it for yourself
When you do anything bad, you are [also] doing it to yourself
Let’s love one another, let’s unite with one another
When we love one another, there will be peace in our neighborhood
Let’s love one another, let’s love one another

Chorus
Puɔth ɛ duŋ dan, nhök ɛ duŋ dan,
Mi lätdi duɔɔr mi gɔaa, lätdi jɛ kä rɔɔdu,
Mi lätdi mi jiääk, lätdi jɛ kä rɔɔdu,
Nhɔaknɛ ro dan, kapnɛ ro dan,
Mi nhɔaknɛ roo dan bi ciëë dan tee mal,
Nhɔaknɛ ro dan, nhɔaknɛ ro dan.

Verse 2
Let’s sit together, let’s do something good together
Let’s pray together, because God is one God
We are all created by the same person, forever
You will have blessings, yes
Let’s not forget God, how he loves us, yes
Blessings come in different ways, blessings come in different ways
It was said, love your parents, respect your mother and your father, yes
It was said, parents respect your children, mama, respect your children, papa, respect your children
Blessings come in different ways, blessings, blessings
Blessings come in different ways
Let’s not forget God, how he loves us,
Blessings come in different ways, blessings come in different ways

Verse 2
Kɔn nyuɔrnɛ kɛl, latnɛ lät ti gɔw kɛɛl,
Kɔn palnɛ kɛɛl, Kuɔth ɛ Kuɔth kɛl,
Cäk ɛ cääk kɛl, mäni cäŋ kɛl,
Biate kɛ gɔy, yië yië yië yië
Cuanɛ Kuɔth päl ruëëc, nhök ɛn nhɔk Kuɔth kɔn kɛ jɛ, yië yië yië, yië yiëë
Puɔth bëë kɛ dup ti gööl, puɔth bëë kɛ dup ti gööl
Caa jɛ lar, ɛ raan luth diëth kɛ, ɛ raan luth man kɛnɛ guan, i yië yië yië yië
Caa jɛ lar, diëëth luɔthɛ gaat kun, ëë, mama, luthni gaatku, baba, luthni gaatku,
Puɔth bëë kɛ dup ti gööl, ɛ puɔth ɛ puɔth,
Puɔth bë kɛ dup ti gööl,
Cuanɛ Kuɔth päl ruëëc, nhök ɛn nhɔk Kuɔth kɔn kɔn kɛ jɛ,
Puɔ̱th bëë kɛ dup ti gööl, puɔth bëë kɛ dup ti gööl

Credits and Bibliography

Mha Chang (translation)