Zɔkri of Nalerigu, Ghana is a soothsayer but also plays a two-stringed banjo and flute that his late father passed down to him. The guitar is made of goat skin over a gourd with the strings being rubber strips.
We visited him on July 17, 2017 with musicologist Sarai Brinker and our language teacher Philip Jangdow. He performed several folks songs for us and we recorded him. Then we went through the recordings with Philip and translated them.
It was fascinating to see the layers of complexity packed into their seemingly short and simple songs. So much context is needed to understand the meaning of the songs as is a familiarity with local proverbs. It was great to have Philip guide us through the lyrics so that we could document these songs for others to hear and understand.
Click the titles below to watch the videos and read the lyrics.