When Cameroonian slang meets African Hip-Hop

Stanley Ebai Enow is a Cameroonian rapper, radio and TV presenter, and voice actor. He is the co-owner of the record label, Motherland Empire.

Born in Bamenda, the capital of the Northwest Region of Cameroon, with family from Bayangi, located in the Southwest Region, Stanley Enow’s nickname “Bayangi Boy” reflects the importance regional origins for the young rapper. Coming from the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon, Stanley Enow chose to rap in Cameroonian Pidgin English and Cameroonian slang as a way to translate his culture in his music.

In June 2013 Enow became famous with his first single “Hein Père“. The video, with more than a million of views, followed the traditional depiction of young male rappers, with a great display of luxurious cars, jewels, and surrounded by his crew in the background.

In the song, Stanley Enow uses a lot of Pidgin English, which is a mix of English and Mother Tongues from the West part of Cameroon. He also raps in slang a language used mostly by the youth, which is a mix of Cameroonian mother tongues, French and English. The lyrics translate the same confidence familiar in hip-hop industry, especially with the title “Hein Père” which is an interjection from Cameroonian slang, meaning “say what!”, used to express either surprise or admiration. The French word “Père” means “Dad” and in Cameroon it is a way to call a homeboy.

I don waka no be small, se ma foot

Up down around town see ma boots

Ma foot dem di worry need Dschang shoes

Like Banso man I di fight fo ma oun

Translation:

I have walked (meaning worked) so hard, look at my feet

Up down around town, look at my boots

My feet got so bad they need Dschang Shoes*

Like a Banso Man**, I fight for my own

* Shoes made from used tires and plastic, popular among low-class people, useful during rainy days.

** Banso refers to “people of Nso”, a people of the Bamenda Grassfield in the Northwest Region of Cameroon.

With “Hein Père” Stanley Enow expressed his attachment for his culture. He put Cameroon local slang and Pidgin English in the spotlight of the African hip-hop scene.

Lyrics of “Hein Père”: https://genius.com/Stanley-enow-hein-pere-lyrics

Music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rcc2dAkaOcY

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