Mungu ni mwema / Know that God Is Good

This short Swahili Praise Song is well known in many Eastern and Central African countries, though many sources trace its origin to Democratic Republic of Congo. The song was transcribed and harmonized by John Bell and appears in many hymnals and songbooks. 

While it might be easy for people of privilege to hear this song as a joyful affirmation, its energy shifts when placed back in the context of a country like Democratic Republic of Congo, which has endured painful legacies of civil war and colonization. What does it mean for a community to say "God is good" in the midst of challenging and even life-threatening circumstances, not just when it is easy or convenient? 

It can be sung in several languages and additional verses can be improvised or added for the context, a common practice in Praise Songs from an African context.

Mungu ni mwema.

Know that God is good.

C'est vrai: Dieu est bon!

Katonda mulungi.

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  • Paul Vasile
    responded with submitted 2020-05-12 00:07:45 -0400

Music that Makes Community
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