Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Reprint Of The 2003 Article "BBC Africa Live Asks, Does Your Name Affect Who You Are?" (with selected comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post is a reprint of a 2003 article entitled "BBC Africa Live Asks, Does Your Name Affect Who You Are?"

Selected comments from this article's discussion thread are also included in this pancocojams post.

The content of this post is presented for socio-cultural, onomastics, and educational purposes.

I republish in this blog difficult to find, obscure, or old online article excerpts, entire online articles, or portions of books with author credits and hyperlinks (when applicable) in order to raise awareness of those articles and their subject matter.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the unnamed individual/s for writing this article, and thanks to BBC for publishing it. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post.

Last Updated: Monday, 15 December, 2003; What's in an African name?
“BBC Africa Live asks, does your name affect who you are?
"Ghana's founding father Kwame Nkrumah chose to name his two sons after fellow African leaders.
Sekou Nkrumah was named after Guinea's first President Sekou Toure, while Gamal Nkrumah got his name from Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Nkrumah is not alone in fostering the identity of Africanism - the late President Mobutu Sese Seko dropped his own Christian name and even renamed his country - the then Belgian Congo - which became Zaire.
But 32 years later the late Laurent Kabila kicked Mobutu out, and re-baptised the country the Democratic Republic of Congo.

His reason was to rid the country of all of Mobutu's influence and he felt a change of name was the way to do it.

Naming is part and parcel of the African heritage. It reflects one's ethnic background, country of origin, or simply hope and a parent's aspiration for a child. What does your name mean to you? Does it elicit either positive or negative responses?"
Here are 35 of the 67 comments that were published for this article. Notice that most of these comments are from outside of Africa and outside of the United Kingdom where BBC is based.

Most of the comments that weren't included in this pancocojams compilation didn't reference any name or names, but stated general opinions about the subject.

I assigned numbers to these comments for referencing purposes only.

1. "The Yorubas in Nigeria believe that you look at your home and background before you name a child. A name is like a prophesy. You are what you call yourself. Have you ever heard of anybody naming his child Satan or Lucifer? I named my baby Omowonuola meaning the child has come into wealth. 10 days later I got a project worth about 5million naira!"
Arinola, London

2. "My first name means rain from the sky (Deng), the second means the colour red (malual) and my last name means cat fish (leek). I am named after my grand grand fathers."
Deng Malual Leek, New Sudan

3. "My name (Noxolo) means peace in Xhosa. What I like about this name is it reflects which tribal group of South Africa I come from. The Xhosa as well Zulu languages have 3 distincts clicks "X", "C" and "Q" but Xhosas use more clicks than Zulus in their everyday conversations. My family name has a click "C" as well. When my mother was pregnant, she was always fighting with my father and his family; she was in this constant state of depression. When I was born, she gave me this name NOXOLO because she wanted peace. Actually just after I was born, peace was restored in my family. My African name reflects my personality - I hate fights and arguments ; I am a peaceful person."
Noxolo Judith Ncapayi, South Africa

4. "Across Africa names are the person. They indicate the status of the person and reflect the expectations of the community. My surname betrays my British linkage (colonialism and slavery) but the rest indicate that I am a Ga man (Nii) from the sempe clan (Kpakpo) and I am the first male who is expected to lead the rest as indicated by the appellations that go with the name. It literally states that with you, the whitemans departure is no loss."
Nii Kpakpo Bruce, Ghana

5. "I have often felt foreign in my Arabic name, Yasmeen. I wished for the more African/Somali name such as Ladan (Healthy) or Ididl (Complete). But whenever I complain of the Arab influnces in our names, without rejecting my religion I get a negative stare as to say we are Muslims and therefore Muslim names are the way to go. I think many go with such names for the ease and familiarity, but Somali names are meaningful and are often such a comfort specially when the real meaning behind is understood. I also think Africans try to westernize their African names to make it easier for the westerners to pronounce, I would argue that is an extension of the colonization of the mind."
Yasmeen, Somalia/USA

6. "My name means 'Comforter' and has a positive impact in my life. Whatever I do and say I always try to make sure that it makes people feel worthy and happy in their mortal lives. I was born shortly after my maternal grandfather's death and my mother always says I was the silver lining of the dark cloud."
Munyaradzi Majonga, Zimbabwe

7. "A name can spell either a doomed and callamitous or a bright future for a child. As an African I have always scoffed at meaningless names imported from the West. In our family all of us have vernacular names coined after some event or expressing our hope and expectations. For example my name Pacharo means 'on earth'. In the year I was born my uncle got arrested under Dr Banda's regime. As a family we were at a loss. Then I was born. Something to cheer about anyway. So my father says ....well good and bad things happen here 'on earth' hence my name Pacharo. I am 27 and single. I have already decided that all my kids will have local meaningful and christian names. There is this ridiculous belief that a christian name has to be western or be after some Biblical hero. I dont think so. In my language the name 'Wezi' means 'God's Grace'. As far as am concerned thats a christian name! I urge my fellow africans to stick to african names. And as a christian I may wish to add that we need to be careful who we name our kids after. Evil spirits and demons can be transfered through these names. Naming your child Saddam will certainly not help anybody. During the last Gulf War somebody named his child Scud after scud missile!! I believe a name should reflect our hopes and expectations as well as our praise to God."
Pacharo Kayira, Malawi

8. "While I was living in South Africa my language instructor blessed me with an African name - "Naledi", which means "Star" in Sepedi. He said it was because I was so bright in class. It was also a popular name on the TV soapie at the time! During my two years in South Africa almost everyone came to call me by that name and I recall it with great happiness. Giving me an African name made me feel like a part of the community and not so much like an outsider. I hope one day I will have a daughter that I can pass it on to."
Lisa "Naledi" Martin, USA

9. "I was born in Sierra Leone. My family has strong Yoruba cultural ties and my name had to reflect the circumstances of my birth as my elder brother predeceased me in infancy. When I was born the name Bami-joko was imperative. It was a direct appeal to me by my parents to stay with them. In Yoruba, Joko is to sit down and the name Bamijoko means "Sit with me." My mother's business associates tagged Tadé at the end of my name because they believed that I should have a regal responsibility thus giving my name a wider meaning "Sit with me and look after the crown." Names have meaning which children are expected to aspire to. There are some cases however, where the name is more of a burden than an aspiration. e.g Durosimi "Wait to bury me." The child has hardly seen the world and an onus is placed on that child to be responsible for sorting out its mother's funeral."
Earnshaw Desmond Bamijoko Palmer, UK

10. Names can be good marks on us. In my culture, most often, they reflect the life of the bearer. So people make sure their children's names reflect their aspirations or appreciations. I shall remain ever grateful to my late grandmother who gave me the name Chidiebere which in Igbo means God is merciful."
Chidi Nwamadi, Toulouse, France

11. "My name is Manyang, meaning 'bright with lined brown'. It came when my mom's first born died, so my paternal grandmother gave this bull with the colour 'manyang' as a sacrifice and I was born healthy. That's how the name which I love most came about and I will name my kid after my grandfather's name and common girls' name from my tribe Dinka of Sudan."
Manyanga, Sudanese in USA

12. "I was born Gabriel Nebechi Maduabuchi Sunday Ozoude Ugwu, in Enugwu (which is the Igbo spelling of Enugu). Gabriel, though a Christian name, is actually after my maternal uncle. Being the 2nd son, I had to be named after my maternal grandfather Ozoude. I was born on Sunday hence Sunday. So what about the other 2 Igbo names? My mother while pregnant believed that I was going to make a great contribution. In her mind I would be like a 'savior' to the family, hence "Nebechi" - 'look at God'. But in order to remind herself & everybody else that I am not "God Almighty", she also called me 'Maduabuchi' which is Igbo for 'humans are not God'. As far as fulfilling the meaning of my African names, though I am the 3rd child & 2nd son, I was the 1st to go overseas - on a full scholarship, & have been directly or indirectly instrumental for 3 of my siblings coming over to the USA. In terms of my nature, I am very spiritual, not necessarily religious."
Nebechi Maduabuchi Gabriel Ugwu, Nigerian American

13. "My name Besona means a good home and I would never ever trade it for a Western name. This year I was asked by two of my Western friends to pick out meaningful names for their kids, which to me demonstrates their love for our names."
Besona, USA/Cameroon

14. "I just feel happy to say that this programme of conscientization is excellent. African names have always been associated with personal identity and personality structure expressed in the hopes and aspirations of the parents and passed on to the individual child. So "Ndubueze" means that "life is king" - to live is to be a king. There we go!"
Dr. Ndubueze Fabian Mmagu, Austria

15. "African names comes with great pride and power. Maduabuchi means Humans are not God. Also: no one can dictate my life, nor my destiny, strong to be God to my destiny and my self. Last name Onwuachimba means Death could never wipe out a community. What a wonderful name; Maduabuchi Onwuachimba (Igbo-Nigeria). In abreviation "ABUCHI" for my Western folks, short and simple is'nt it."
Abuchi, USA

16. "In Most West African countries (Togo, Benin, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire), the majority of Southern people name their children based on their day of birth. For instance in Togo, apart from their original meanings, those names also have other interesting meanings. For example if you were born on a Monday and named Kojo or Kodjo for a boy or Adjo for a girl, you would be taken as a zealous man or woman because Monday is the first day of work after the weekend, and if you were born on a Wednesday and named Kokou for a boy or Akwa for a girl, you were taken as a half-lazy person because people usually work or go to school for just the first half of the day -from 7 to 12- and use the other half as leisure time, and if you were born on a Sunday and named Kossi for a boy or Kossiwa for a girl, you were taken as the child of God, the pure, pretty child because people dress up pretty to worship God at the mass on Sunday. Playing with names really is part of many African cultures."
Abi, Togo

17. "I love my name to death. My first name is from the bible as Christanity was an old religinon in Ethiopia/Africa. When we come to my dad's name "Negussie" it means "my king" and my grandpas name "Aberra" means "it's shining" so when you read my entire name it has a meaning of "Daniel my king shines." Yeah, I hope I will shine forever and be a man for a change."
Daneil Negussie Aberra, Ethiopia/USA

18. "Given the importance of names in my social background (among the Dinka people), I am proud to be one of those named after the "famous" legendary ancestor of the Dinka people of Sudan, Deng, who was believed to be the direct decendant of Adam (Garang) and Eve (Abuk). Any child named after the above names is a blessed one whom the community expect to live up to the due reputation e.g has leadership qualities and being honest."
Deng Mador K-Dengdit, Sudanese in Australia

19. "When I was younger, I thought of my name as a burden - no one could pronounce or spell it correctly, and few were willing to try. I felt that I was in the US, not Nigeria, and I wanted an "American" name. Now that I'm an adult, I recognize my name for what it is: a life-long blessing that my parents gave to me. (Uchenna means "desire or will of God" in Igbo. I also know now that taking the time to learn someone's name is a sign of respect and intelligence, and I take the time to demand that respect from others, and confer it upon others myself. I know now that when I have children of my own, I want them to have Igbo names as well. Even if they don't appreciate their names right away, the meaning will carry them through their lives, and that is very important."
Uchenna Ukaegbu, USA

20. "Knowing exactly what the word "taban" means in Arabic and Kiswhali, I asked my parents to tell me why they decided to give that to me as a name. Was it me or my mother who was "tired"? My mam first laughed and said, "you are really a trouble". She narrated that was her first experience of pregancy. She was tired and complained throughout that my Dad kept calling her Mrs Tired until she had me. Then tiredness turn out to be my popularly known name. Now, I find out that my name affects me in a positive way, because I'm more of a trouble and in trouble than tired. Again came "Alexander' which my dad named after Alexander the great with a thought that I would become like him, so they are still waiting!"
Taban Alex Donato, Sudanese/Australia

21. "I'm glad to have a father who always had time for me, not only to answer my questions but to explain and it stayed in my mind. It all started even before my first grade as all of my friends from my country had English first names. My father told me that my name related to my origin and culture. He told me that I could be known to someone by them just reading my name. I am called Mukupa, a Zambian name which means strong material, the outer skin of cattle used for making drums. And my last name Mulombwa is a very rare, big strong tree which I last saw when I went see my grandmother in the village. I like the challenge that people go through to pronouce my name here in USA, and they always ask me where I come by my names and not by the way I look like."
Mukupa Mulombwa, USA

22. "I find it very interesting that there is a strong vogue now in Africa to abandon Christian names and use only African names. Take the Kenyan President, the Honourable Mwai Kibaki, who has a Christian name, Emilio, but which the majority of Kenyans did not know about until the day he was sworn into office. What is particularly striking is that this is only fashionable amongst Christian Africans. Muslim Africans would never dream of giving up the Arabic names Mohamed, Abd'alla, Yusuf etc in favour of a more authentic African name. Why are African Christians so ashamed of their Christian names in comparison to Muslims who have pride in their Arabic Islamic names."
Vince Gainey, Kenya

23. "I'm very proud of my culture. My first name was selected from the bible. Christianity dates far back in my country. Many people do not realize this and may be believe that my name is "Americanized." My last name shows my ethnic origin. I plan to give all of my children Eritrean names, so that they can know where they are from. It's very important that everyone is proud of their African names. It makes them unique."
Miriam Haile, Eritrean/USA

24. "I am so proud of my Igbo name that I prefer being addressed by it than by my other name. I believe that those who find it difficult pronouncing our indigenous names should make time to learn them. Time was when we were forced to take on European names at baptism because our names were 'pagan'. Now we know better."
Elochukwu Okafor, USA/Nigeria

25. "I have always wondered why my parents gave me this name, Amos. I know Amos was a prophet in the biblical sense, but that is it. I am no prophet and I owe no heritage to prophetic origins. That is why I plan to drop Amos when I get back home because Kiplimo (born after the sun rises and cows/goats have just left for the pastures) is meaningful enough."
Amos Kiplimo Kipyegon, Kenya/USA

26. "Names do have a positive meaning as they tell where one is from and identify one with one's heritage. That is the reason why I decided to drop the foreign name I was given by my parents in the name of Christianity. I have decided to take my rightiful and meaningful African names because even Jesus did not change his name to something else when he was baptised so why should we as Africans change our names to Western names. I think it is a subtle colonialism of names which we should get rid of. My name Chishimba comes from a guardian spirit of the Chishimba Falls that is found in Northern Zambia. Milongo means "queues". I think my great grandfather had a lot of children so he was named Milongo. What does John or Joseph mean?"
Chishimba Milongo, Zambia

27. "I remember two and a half years ago when working in the lab for my masters degree and I asked my fellow lab mates what the meaning of their names were. I had known for a long time what the meaning of mine was - royalty with wealth (Ademola). They were unable to say what their names meant. For the next quarter to third of an hour, they literally disappeared from the lab and got on the internet to carry out name searches for the meaning of their names!"
Ademola Adeyemi, UK
Note: These are Yoruba (Nigerian) names.

28. "What a wonderful and a proud topic for Africans. Names are usually given after tragedy like several still births or after the religious belief of the parents or after the grandparents. My sister is called Bamijoko. She came after 2 previous still born babies. (Bamijoko-come sit down and eat with us) My name Adefemi, means "Big man came to town" "
Kenneth Adefemi Hamilton, Sierra Leone / Canada

29. "I am exceedingly proud of my name! It is a bit annoying that I have to spell my name whenever I call somewhere. But I must say that many, especially elderly people, associate my name to the late Emperor of Ethiopia, HIM Haile Selassie I. That fills me with pride! Yared is a biblical name meaning "Sent from heaven" and Yared was an Ethiopian Saint in the 6th century, who composed the Liturgical chants of the ancient Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. And it's a name that isn't difficult to pronounce for foreigners. Haile Selassie means "Power of the Holy Trinity". So you could translate my name as "The heaven sent power of the Holy Trinity". My two brothers have two even more fitting names. The first is called Maren ("forgive us" Haile Selassie (for what we did to you...) and the second is called Kedus ("Holy" or "Saint") and with the surname this is "Saint Haile Selassie" or "Holy Power of the Holy Trinity". I wouldn't change my name for nothing!"
Yared Haile Selassie, Ethio-Swiss / Switzerland

30. "I recently returned from 3 months volunteering in an orphanage in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. During my stay I was given a Zulu name by the children of the orphanage. They called me Mandla, which means power and strength because I could lift the children above my head and carry them on my shoulders!! I was so proud to be gifted a name that actually carries meaning and love the way the zulu people reflect their hopes and aspirations for their children through the name. This is a tradition that should be preserved and used to maintainan an African sense of cultural identity."
Paul "Mandla" Taylor, UK

31. "My name is Hezekiah an Old Testament name that belongs to a king of Judah and means 'YAHWEH strengthens'. My 4 brothers have the names, Azariah, one of the three Old Testament men the Babylonian king ordered cast into a fiery furnace and means 'YAHWEH has helped'. Zechariah, a minor prophet of the Old Testament, author of the Book of Zechariah and means 'YAHWEH remembers'. Isaiah, a major prophet of the Old Testament the author of the Book of Isaiah and means 'YAHWEH is salvation'. And Malachi one of the minor prophets in the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Malachi and means 'my messenger'. Born in a religious family in Ethiopia (Orthodox Christians) our parents gave us these biblical names, but it wasn't until recently (7 years or so ago) that we became Christians and are now happier with our names."
Hezekiah, Born in Ethiopia, Live in England

32. "My first name Beteselam means house of peace and my last name Tsegaye means my wealth (not necessarily of worldly possessions). Together it could mean my wealthy house of peace. I love my name, I m really a peaceful and calm person and my name makes me feel wealthy."
Beteselam Tsegaye, Ethiopian in U.S.

33. "'Bradley' is a name my father gave me because he like his headmaster in the colonial days of Kenya. 'Ngana' was my grandfather's brother's name and seems to have no meaning - at least I haven't found one to date. 'Kisia' is my dad's name and means born after twins. My father was born after twins. African names sound good and give us a sense of where we come from, especially in these days when we are taking up a Western culture without trying to understand it."
Bradley Ngana Kisia, Kenya

34. "A little bit of care is needed when we name our children after big events. These events may not last long. Names like 'Abiyot' meaning 'Revolution' were very common during the early days of the Ethiopian revolution. It is now futile!! After the new Ethiopian government came to power names like 'Ifoyta' meaning 'quietude' appeared. The revolution is calmed down!! And in the future..."
Jambo, Ethiopia

35. "My name does not really symbolise anything, BUT from the region where I come from which is Kisii the following names are symbolic: Kiage - Someone born during a heavy harvest where Kiage means Granary; Makori - One born on the way(roadside) for a man and Nyanchera for a woman; Ondeu - One born with small body size; Omache - Some one born near a river. African names are good. For example in a party when people introduce themselves, it is easier to identify one who comes from your locality. This therefore means a name is an identity."
Paul Gisemba Atisa

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2010 Journal Article Reprint: "African Names: A Guide for Editors" by Bernard Appiah

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post is a reprint of a 2010 journal article by Bernard Appiah entitled "African Names: A Guide for Editors" (except for this article's list of references and resources.)

The content of this post is presented for socio-cultural, onomastics, and educational purposes.

I republish in this blog difficult to find, obscure, or old online article excerpts, entire online articles, or portions of books with author credits and hyperlinks (when applicable) in order to raise awareness of those articles and their subject matter.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Bernard Appiah for writing this article.


Science Editor • January – February 2010 • Vol 33 • No 1 • 15

Bernard Appiah, a graduate student in science and technology journalism at Texas
A&M University, wrote this article while a Science Editor intern.

"I am an African from Ghana, a country in West Africa, currently attending graduate school in the United States. Recently, some friends—mostly Americans—and I played a game that required finding someone
born on the same day of the week. I was born on Tuesday and needed to find someone else born on Tuesday. Everyone I asked told me: “I don’t know what day of the week I was born on.” I was shocked!

If I had played that game in Ghana— particularly in the Central, Ashanti, and Eastern regions—I could have easily found a friend born on the appropriate day. All I would need to know is some friends’ names. In Ghana, sometimes you can guess the day on which someone was born from his or her name. For example, my son’s middle name is Kwame, which means that he was born on Saturday. But more than sometimes revealing the day on which someone was born, many African names have special significance. And the presence of multiple cultures in the 53 African nations adds to the richness of African names and the difficulty in understanding them. Even in the developed world, some people of African heritage carry African names (for example, Barack Obama).

Science editors with knowledge of African names have a better chance of appropriately attributing, citing, and indexing the many articles that people with African names have written for English language
journals. Having knowledge of African names will also help in communicating with African authors and editors.

African Names: Before Western Influence

If you go to some African countries where Europeans settled, such as Ghana and Nigeria, you may find such surnames as Ferguson and Johnson. But Africans did not have such names before the Europeans arrived. They had their own naming system that reflected the numerous languages they spoke. For instance, Ghana, a country of more than 22 million people, has 46 languages. Akan is the language spoken by the largest ethnic group—the Akans. In a paper titled “The Sociolinguistic of Akan Personal Names”,1 Kofi Agyekum, of the University of Ghana, identified clusters of names. Examples included names based on kinship, days of the week, circumstances of birth, flora and fauna, and occupation.

The Yoruba naming system (in Nigeria) resembles the Akan naming system. Akintunde Akinyemi,2 of the University of Florida, has listed bases of Yoruba names. For example, some Yoruba names are related
to the birth of the child (often describing the physical condition of the baby at delivery, its posture at birth, or its birth order). Some indicate the family’s social status and professional affiliation, and some are intended to ward off evil spirits that could harm the child. Akinyemi has written:
“Tradition allows parents, grandparents, great grandparents, relations, and family friends to give names to a newborn during the naming ceremony. Therefore, a Yoruba child may have as many as 5 or 6 names; however, one name will be used more than the others when people address him or her later in life. In the final analysis, it is the biological parents who decide on the name that a child will eventually use.”2, p 116

In his book Traditional African Names, Jonathan Musere indicates that in African societies there is no limit to the number of names that one may have. “These names go along with various factors, so that right from infancy this process of naming can continue throughout one’s life,”3, p 7 Musere notes. It is believed that as the names accumulate, so do one’s prestige and social standing within the community.1
Such names include chieftaincy titles or appellations. For instance, the king of the Asante Kingdom of Ghana—Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II—used to be called Nana Kwaku Dua.4 “Nana” means “chief or king”, so even before he ascended to the throne, his name portrayed him as king. “Otumfuo” (meaning the “all powerful”) adds another dimension to his social standing. Science editors would not find it easy to address or cite people with many names. Luckily, Western influence has simplified the task.

African Names: The Influence of Western Culture

During the European scramble for Africa in the 19th century, there was widespread introduction of schools and foreign religions (notably Christianity). In part thereby, Europeans also influenced the
naming system. For example, consider a scenario in which a child had five names. Teachers faced the dilemma of which one to enter into a class register. “At school, most people would now use their fathers’ or sponsors’ name, or combine names of these people with their own names,” Agyekum wrote.1, p 226. Religion also has had a big influence on African names. For example, Akinyemi noted2, p 120 that many worshippers of Yoruba hero-deities who became Christians replaced the prefixes of objects of their worship with the new prefix—Olu. Olu is the shortened form of Oluwa, the Almighty God. Some Western versions of African names are translations into English. For instance, in one group in Ghana, Dua (meaning tree or board) has been translated to Woode, and Kuntu (blanket) has become Blankson A (son of Kuntu), Agyekum has noted. Because of Christian influence, such biblical names as Elizabeth, Mary, John, and Peter are also common in Africa. The male names are usually given names, but some—such as Abraham, John, and Michael—can be family names.

Islam has influenced African names, particularly in nations in which Islam is practiced. “Africa, from the Sahara Desert northwards, is almost entirely Islamic and is generally considered more a part of the Arab world than Africa,”5, p xx Julia Stewart, author of African Names: Names from the African Continent for Children and Adults, has noted. “A heavy Muslim influence exists in sub-Saharan Africa where at least fifteen countries have a Muslim majority.”5, p xx Stewart has noted that in the west African country of Senegal, Malik is a popular Muslim male name meaning “king”; in North Africa, Mahmoud—a Muslim male name meaning “fulfillment”—is popular.5, p 87.

An article by Beth Notzon and Gayle Nesom titled “The Arabic Naming System”,6 which appeared in the January– February 2005 issue of Science Editor, may be useful in understanding Muslim African names.

African Names: The Case of Ethiopia

Ethiopia, which has had less European influence than many other African countries, has retained a distinctive naming system. At the 2009 CSE annual meeting, I met an Ethiopian science editor. “Hello, Dr
Mitike, I am Bernard Appiah, and I am from Ghana.” No sooner had I finished than my Ethiopian colleague replied, “I am not Dr Mitike.” “I’m sorry,” I apologized. He had already told me he is a physician from Ethiopia. I had seen “Abraham Mitike” on his name tag and had assumed that the last name was the surname, but I was wrong. He took my note pad and wrote on it his full name as “Abraham Haileamlak Mitike”. “Mitike is the name of my grandfather. My father’s name is Haileamlak, but we Ethiopians do not use our fathers’ [and grandfathers’] names as surnames,” he said. “We try to keep our ancient culture. Westernization didn’t abolish it yet.”

Dr Abraham (I’ve got it now) told me that usually an Ethiopian name follows the sequence given name, father’s name, and grandfather’s name. Thus, his daughter’s name is Asrat (given name) Abraham (father’s name) Haileamlak (grandfather’s name). “When we write scientific papers to international journals, they consider our grandfathers’ names as our surnames. This is not good,” Abraham said. He advises international journals to inquire of authors from Ethiopia which names they should use as surnames and given names.

African Names: When There Is No Western “Flavor”

Ghana’s first president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, had a Western name—Francis. But his “nationalistic” agenda made him drop it. Some Africans, like Nkrumah, do not like to include any Western name. Not only are the adults with foreign names dropping them, they are refraining from giving their children foreign names. When an African name lacks any Western “flavor”, even compatriots may sometimes find it difficult to differentiate a given name from a surname. The challenge for foreign science editors is even greater. To make it easier, some national publications in Africa list names with surnames first, followed by a comma and given and other names. Schools often use this system in the listing of students. Chances are higher that a child who is used to responding to, for instance, “Nkrumah, Kwame” is likely to introduce himself as “Nkrumah Kwame” instead of “Kwame Nkrumah.” In Uganda, this has resulted in a phenomenon that James Tumwine—editor of African Health Sciences—has termed the Ugandan National Examination Board Disease. Tumwine often encounters Ugandan authors “infected” by the “disease”. He said that authors who follow the manner in which the Ugandan National Examination Board lists their names often complain that their surnames are missing when their articles are indexed in international databases. Therefore, he has been advising authors to list their surnames last.

Editors Dealing with African Names

Author guidelines sometimes provide directions on surnames and given names. But Abraham notes that some authors don’t read these guidelines. “When you write to them [about the need to specify their surnames], some even become offended,” he said. The Ghana Medical Journal has a solution for the problem. “We tell our authors to abbreviate their given and other names while maintaining their surnames,” says David Ofori-Adjei, editor-in-chief. However, that solution poses its own challenges for editors and writers. I recently wanted to quote an author of an article in the Ghana Medical Journal for a feature story I was writing. I had to make some calls to obtain the researcher’s given name. Another problem is differentiating researchers or authors. For example, Appiah B. could be Appiah Bernard, Appiah Barbara, or Appiah Benjamin.

Kathleen Spaltro, in her book Genealogy and Indexing, said that when she was indexing names of people in rural Ghana, an academician advised her to “index most of the names in direct order, saying that’s how the bearers were referred to both in speech and in writing.”7, p 110

Some Advice for Editors, Authors, and Indexers

General guidelines regarding African names are necessary. The following may be helpful:
• Don’t assume that the order of an African author’s name follows Western style. If in doubt, ask the author.

• Recognize that someone’s surname may be another person’s given name. Half knowledge may sometimes be more costly than ignorance. Again, ask the author.

• African and other journals must make it clear in their author guidelines how authors should indicate surnames and other names. Authors must follow such guidelines. Adopting a common guideline
will help authors be consistent in writing their names.

• If you talk with someone who has an African name, ask him or her for the correct pronunciation. “Nationalistic” Africans may not take it kindly if you “Westernize” their names. I have an African friend who will even write the phonetic pronunciation of his name to help foreigners pronounce it well.

• For the name of any given African author, authors, editors, and indexers should be consistent in how they attribute, cite, and index it."

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"Judge Dread" (lyrics, information, sound file, & comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases a sound file of and lyrics for the now classic 1967 Rocksteady song "Judge Dread" by Prince Buster.

Information about Prince Buster is included in this post along with the complete text of an AllMusic Review of Prince Buster's song "Judge Dread" by Dave Thompson and selected comments from the discussion thread for that embedded sound file.

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

Thanks to Prince Buster for his musical legacy. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of this YouTube example.
Click for the pancocojams post entitled 1967 Ska Classic: The Pyramids (Symarip) - "Train Tour To Rainbow City" (information, lyrics, sound file, comments). That song includes references to Prince Buster and the character "Judge Dread" who he created.

SHOWCASE EXAMPLE: Prince Buster Judge Dread

jimmytheferret, Published on May 20, 2008

One of Buster's many, many tracks issued in the UK during the sixties, and one of his best. Great sound from 1967 - flower power all around and then this comes along!

"Cecil Bustamente Campbell OD (24 May 1938 – 8 September 2016), known professionally as Prince Buster, was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer. The records he released in the 1960s influenced and shaped the course of Jamaican contemporary music and created a legacy of work that would be drawn upon later by reggae and ska artists.[1]


In 1961, Campbell released his first single "Little Honey"/"Luke Lane Shuffle" featuring Jah Jerry, Drumbago and Rico Rodriquez recording under the name of Buster's Group.[5] In that same year, he produced "Oh Carolina" by the Folkes Brothers, which was released on his Wild Bells label.[2][6] The drumming on the record was provided by members of the Count Ossie Group, nyabinghi drummers from the Rastafarian community, Camp David, situated on the Wareika Hill above Kingston. After becoming a hit in Jamaica, "Oh Carolina" was licensed to Melodisc, a UK label owned by Emil Shalet. Melodisc released the track on their subsidiary label Blue Beat; the label would go on to become synonymous with 1960s ska releases for the UK market.[2]

Campbell recorded prolifically throughout the 1960s; notable early ska releases include: "Madness" (1963), "Wash Wash" (1963, with Ernest Ranglin on bass), "One Step Beyond" (1964) and "Al Capone" (1964). The documentary This is Ska (1964), hosted by Tony Verity and filmed at the Sombrero Club, includes Campbell performing his Jamaican hit "Wash Wash". In 1964 Campbell met World Heavyweight Champion boxer Muhammad Ali who invited him to attend a Nation of Islam talk at Mosque 29 in Miami.[7] That year Campbell joined the Nation of Islam and also started to release material, including a version of Louis X's "White Man's Heaven is a Black Man's Hell," on his own imprint label called "Islam". In 1965 he appeared in Millie in Jamaica[8] (a film short about Millie Small's return to Jamaica after the world-wide success of "My Boy Lollipop") which was broadcast on Rediffusion's Friday evening pop show Ready, Steady, Go!. Campbell had a top twenty hit in the UK with the single "Al Capone" (no. 18, February 1967).[9] He toured the UK in spring 1967 appearing at the Marquee Club in May and later toured America to promote the RCA Victor LP release The Ten Commandments (From Man To Woman). "Ten Commandments" reached #81 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming his only hit single in the United States.[10] By the late 1960s Campbell was once again at the forefront of a musical change in Jamaica; the new music would be called rocksteady. Campbell tracks like "Shaking Up Orange Street" (1967) were arranged with the slower, more soulful rocksteady template as used by Alton Ellis ("Rock Steady") and many others. The album Judge Dread Rock Steady was released in 1967, and the title track "Judge Dread" with its satirical theme and vocal style proved to be popular to the point of parody."...
Click for the article entitled "Biography; Prince Buster: 1938 - 1961; Shuffle up and deal" by PBworks, 2008

From AllMusic Review by Dave Thompson
"One of Prince Buster's most enduring creations, the irascibly authoritarian Judge Dread would also prove his most controversial. Rude boy society was one of the staple themes of Jamaican music, the subject of records as disparate as Buster's "Johnny Cool," Desmond Dekker's "007 (Shanty Town)," "Lawless Street," summed up by journalist Johnny Copasetic as "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Desolation Row" in a nutshell"; and Derrick Morgan's "Rougher Than Rough (Rudies in Court)." "Judge Dread," however, saw them all brought to book.

Up before the magistrate on the usual litany of rude boy charges -- looting, shooting and, strangely, mooning -- the rude boys sit through the opening remarks, then respond: "your honor...RUDIES DON'T CARE!" But that was before they encountered Judge Dread. "I am the rude boy now," he announces, "...and I DON'T CARE!" He then proceeds to live up to his own nickname (and the song's subtitle) of "Judge 400 Years" by sentencing everyone in sight to the most extended sentences he can think of. Appeals for clemency were rewarded with an extra century in jail; and behind his harsh pronouncements, the barristers glumly chorus, "you're rough, you're tough...."

It was only a record, but the real-life rudies were stunned. They were the untouchables, above the law, beyond the law, and here was one of their own, the Prince himself, lyrically condemning them all to the slammer. Immediately, other artists leaped to the defense of the Judge's Victims, before Buster, astonished at the ludicrous uproar he'd created with one single, simple, song, agreed to continue the saga himself with a new release, promisingly titled "The Barrister."

Few records, or actual legal verdicts, come to that, were so eagerly awaited. The results of the rudies' pending appeal dominated street corner conversation; the wiles and ways of the forthcoming barrister were conjectured in coffee bars; the imminent release of the 400 Year Four even made the radio news. But Buster had a surprise in store for everyone. Judge Dread wasn't about to be swayed by overwhelming public opinion. He jailed the barrister.

Again, the uproar was tremendous; more so, perhaps, than even Buster could stand. Or maybe he was simply bored with the whole surreal affair. Either way, a few weeks later he brought out the final installment in the saga, in which the Judge has a change of heart, summons the foursome back into court, turns on a record player, and they all dance the pardon. "Judge Dread Dance (The Pardon)" became one of Buster's biggest hits yet.

All three tracks appear on the Judge Dread album, together with the remarkable home-thoughts-from-abroad "Ghost Dance" and "Dark Street." Sadly, however, the rest of the album struggles to match those same standards, being largely comprised of the space-filling ballads and instrumentals with which Buster habitually padded out the breaks between his classic singles. But that handful of classics is enough to render Judge Dread Rock Steady one of Buster's best loved albums, and ensure that the Judge himself remains one of Jamaican music's most mythic icons."

(composed and performed by Cecil Bustamente Campbell aka Prince Buster)

You're rough, you're tough, you're rough, you're tough
You're rough, you're tough, you're rough, you're tough

Order, now my court is in session, will you please stand?
First, allow me to introduce myself, my name is Judge Hundredyears
Some people call me Judge Dread
Now, I have come here to whoop you,
To try all you rudeboys for shooting black people
In my court only we talk, cause I'm vexed, and I am the rudeboy today
Hugo Hicks?
Yes, sir
Rudeboy Adolfus James?
Yes, sir
Rudeboy Emmanuel Zechariah Zechipaul?
George Grabandflee?

Hmm Adolfus James, I see here you have been charged with
Ten shooting attempts
Five murder charge
Six grab and flee charge

But your honor, I didn't
Hush up, guilty or not guilty?
Not guilty, sir
I don't care what you say, take four hundred years
Stand down

Emmanuel Zechariah Zechipaul?
Yes, sir?
You've been charged with fifteen charge of shooting attempts
Fifteen murder charge
And I heard that you was the one there on Sutton Street
Who tell the judge, 'rudeboys don't care'
Well, this is King Street, and my name is Judge Dread, and I don't care
Now take four hundred years
But ya don't know what I would say, your good honor
Hush up What you trying to do, shoot me, too?
No, your honor, but I
Quiet Four hundred more years for you

George Grabandflee?
Yes, sir?
Stop your crying, rudeboys don't cry, that's what I hear
But I didn't do that, dem frame me, and I don't deserve that

I don't care, hush up, this is my court
You're charged for robbing schoolchildren
Rob with aggravation
Hush up, order

Adolfus James?
Yes sir?
You rob schoolchildren
You foam the peoples' house
You shot black people
But your honor, I didn't
Hush up! Just for talking, I now charge you for contempt
And that is a separate hundred years
I hereby sentence you to four hundred years

I said hush up, hush up
You're sentenced to four hundred years and five hundred lashes
I am going to set an example, I rudeboys don't cry, don't cry
When I was in harbor, I hear you were tough
Court adjourned, take them away

Written by: C. Campbell



These comments are given in relative chronological order based on their publishing date with the oldest comments given first, except for replies. Numbers are assigned for referencing purposes only.

"Classic Big Tune!!!"

2. Missa Bob, 2009
"Chuuuuuune!!! Seleckta, dancehall sell offffff!! lol"

3. ricodawes, 2009
"This was the inspiration for the Judge Dredd movie, starring Sylvester Stallone"

4. The100thAttempt, 2009
"For the comic, possibly, but that is far, far, far, away and better in every way from the movie."

5. Mike, 2009
"Can anyone recommend me some really upbeat ska? Like guns of navarone by 'the specials'"

6. jahdanza, 2009
"Roland Alphonso, Prince Buster, Skatalites."

7. Jah Rich, 2010
"And not a single comment about Mutubaruka version?"

8. tcoreyb, 2010
"@JahRich69 All I ever heard until now was the Mutabaruka version, too. But Prince Buster rules. He is the last remaining living link to the 50s soundclash era and through all of Jamaican music. Long live Prince Buster!" 

9. shabaka, 2011
"Desmond Dekker may have come first, but Buster was just as big influence on ska/rock steady. "Tek dem awey!""

10. 56postoffice, 2012
"This tune still cracks me up,especially before the end when Judge Dread went to the rudie;"Rude Boys don't cry! Don't cry!! When I was in Africa, I heard you was tough!" The rudie bawling his eyes out;"I'm not guilty,sah! I'm not guilty!"No wonder Honey Boy Martin hit back with his "Dreader Than Dread"(that tune is WICKED!)"

11. Pete Mason, 2013
"white man who grew up with this Dub.
My black Auntie Rose showed me da Prince.
look to yourself, only woman who cared about a poor starving white boy was black.
Think I care ? naway.
That woman was more of a mother to me than my own.
colour is irellevant.

Love is a gift."

12. Herb Slim, 2014
"Couldn't be any more true :)"

13. Joel Uden, 2017
"Colour is irrelevant, sooner good people realise that the better."

14. Ava Karkekian, 2018
"Joel Uden race isn’t colour."

15. chukkaman50, 2013
"This was actually based on a true story! The Jamaican government brought in judges from Africa because the local Judges were either corrupt or scared of the rudies!"

16. Percy Barbarossa, 2016
"I heard The Specials version of this, its great that the original got put on youtube, Thank you jimmytheferret"

17. Bergerworld, 2016
"R.I.P Prince Buster. 2016 takes another Great. Sad."

18. Brian Wilson, 2016
"Rude boys will be crying tonight, So many great memories , Rest in Peace Prince."

19. andrew marriott, 2016
"Rude buoys don't cry! Rest up prince"

20. Rab Anderson, 2016
""Hush Up, Rude Boys don't cry!"
The Prince lives on through this terific music, and great lyrics!
I was wearing out the vinyl of a Madness album as a kid. When my dad recognised some familiar lyrics.
He appeared with an old Vinyl LP, with the light blue F.A.B label in the middle .
He Said "this is what your SKA bands are trying to copy!"
It's called Blue Beat! Thanks Dad. Appreciated!"

21. Stephen Day, 2016
"My friend Trevor Harriot, a 17 year old apprentice who came alone from Jamaica in 1966 to work for British Steel in Brierley Hill in the Midlands used to play Prince Buster's music which was very new to us white kids. We were knocked out by it. My favourite "Judge Dread", was released the following year though. I still play it although it's only on CD now. Good times remembered from 50 years ago."

22. Ray Turvey, 2016
"Why did I, a white boy from NW London growing up in the 60`s full in love with blue Beat/Ska? I must have been blessed."

23. Carl Webster, 2016
"My uncle Byah in the early sixties and seventies, used to play all these ska/rock steady songs on his sound system in at Old Bowens, Clarendon Jamaica. He was particular for Prince Buster and Derrick Morgan records. he loved the rivalry between them. My uncle was friends with Buster who had a Duke Box in my uncle shop and came regularly to collect the money and change the records. As a young boy I was so fascinated to see and sometimes have a word or two with this Prince of a man. RIP BUSTER. Your music will live on."

24. ninjabluewings, 2016
"Carl Webster What a lovely memory, you are very lucky to have had this opportunity to actually talk with "The Prince" I love his music and Derrick Morgan alike, Jimmy Cliff too. I bet those records sounded fantastic on that Jukebox"

25. Samuel Cortez, 2016
"Another legend has gone on to Zion...Rest in Zion Rude Boy!!!"

26. 56postoffice, 2016
"One of the true pioneers and a fierce protector of Black heritage...RIP, Prince Buster, the original Rudie."

27. maureen bayliss, 2016
"r.i.p will be missed but boy what a legacy to leave behide for us to enjoy forever x"

28. quentin caille, 2016
"sounds like lee perry's talkin with him nope? was he working for him in the days on the voice of the people sound system ?"

29. Emmanuel Enyinwa, 2016
"+quentin caille Yes. Lee Perry wrote the dialogue. He used to work with Prince Buster after he left Coxsone. Also check out "Public Jestering", the same idea, this time with Perry and another DJ."

30. Donald Morrow, 2016
"One of the most hilarious records ever made, Prince Buster plays this so deadpan that you don't know whether to double over in laughter or haul ass in fear. It doesn't help your decision any when the music behind this is so damn good. That leaves you with only one other option, dance (and pray you are not in front of this judge)."

31. Archive Studios, 2016
"Mohair suits dark nightclubs cool moves. This dude was ahead of his time. Rest up sweet Prince."

32. wa32. gb50
"Just amazing, i love it, it makes me smile every time i play it. isn't that the sign of a classic ?"

33. 56postoffice, 2017
"Tune's 50 this year!! A lot of rudie records came out during the rocksteady era (1966 - 1968) and the early reggae days. This is one of the best, cementing Prince Buster's legendary status."

34. Halie Symmons, 2017
"Ska was the original gangster rap."

35. ninjabluewings, 2017
"What an AWESOME TUNE! just love "The Prince" and his music, this one is a real gem and sounds so clean & crisp, these Bluebeat babies are so hard to find in good condition, I am very slowly trying to get together a modest collection of these timeless classics in clean condition without having to part with lots of money which I cannot really afford to do and I am doing pretty well so far. The thing is whether you can afford them or not the "addiction runs deep" 🤔"

36. Chris Childs, 2018
"i had a friend who used to take me to a club that played all this great stuff back in the day i was hooked from the very first time i heard ska and still love it today"

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1967 Ska Classic: The Pyramids (Symarip) - "Train Tour To Rainbow City" (information, lyrics, sound file, comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases the now classic 1967 Ska song "Train Tour To Rainbow City" by The Pyramids.

My attempted transcription of "Train Tour To Rainbow City is song is included in this post because I couldn't find any lyrics to this song online. Please help correct and complete this transcription.

Three YouTube examples of this song are included in this post along with selected comments from two of these examples' discussion threads.

The Addendum to this post presents information about Eddy Grant, the composer of "Train Tour To Rainbow City". The Addendum also presents information about The Pyramids (Symarip) music group.

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

Thanks to Eddy Grant and The Pyramids for their musical legacies. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these YouTube examples.

(composer Eddy Grant; performed by The Pyramids)

This train is bound for Rainbow City.
All aboard!

Come on and get in.
Here we are goin to Rainbow City
A whole heap of Black people live there.


A lot of Black vulgar women live there
[indistinguishable exchange]
Oh yeah.

For a moment if you care to look out the window you will see the house of Judge 400 years,
better known as Judge Dread.
Spotlight on Jude dread.

Now, if you care to look out the window, slightly to the right, you will see the house of Zacky Paul.
You all know Zacky Pont.
[Of course, mon. I know the guy...]
Alright. I know him well.

A bit to the left please. And a moment of silence for the dead Rude Boy.
You can see his grave.
Silence please.

Carefully to the right, mind you, very carefully
and you will see the house of Prince Buster.
[Who is Buster, Rasta?]
He is a man that has given me competition. So hush up. Hush up.

Two miles now for Phoenix City.
You all know Phoenix City.
[Yes. Yes, mon...]
Alright, so for tell me about that.
[...It’s there]
Rougher than rough
in Phoenix City.
Yeah, I know.

We are now in Phoenix City.
This train travels fast.
[Will it stop?]
No, sir. (pronounced like "sah"). It only stops in on Sundays and today is Monday.

Please! One mile to Skaville and two miles to Rainbow City.
Let me go! Heh! Heh! Heh! Heh!
Ya’ll fit? Rude Boys up there.

We are now in Skaville.
Take ah look to the right.
Take ah look to the left.
Take ah look-
Alright. Look all around
And you will see the bad Black people that live in Skaville.
You see them?
[Oh my, I can’t see them.]
You can’t see them?
Take a look carefully
Your eyesight is bad.
Must be bad.

By the way, we are now in Rainbow City.
[man exclaiming with joy]
Do you like it?
[Of course...]
You see all the big Black bad women
And do you like it?
[Yes, man]
Do you like it?
[Of course …Look at that little thing there mon, that sweet thing.]
Train docks in two minutes.
Quicker the better, quicker the better
All these Black people I go see
[song fades out]
Transcription by Azizi Powell from sound files of this song.

Most of the words are spoken by the male "tour guide". The words in brackets are spoken by "a male passenger on the train". "???" means that I'm not sure what was said. Ellipses (...) means that I'm not sure what was said by the passenger after the words I think that I heard.

Read comment #3 below for Example #2 for a possible explanation regarding the reference to "Zachy Paul" in these lyrics.

Here's a comment that is likely about that same man:
"...Rudeboy Emannuel Zacheriah Zachepaul ! Hush Up ! Order !..Prince Buster King Of BlueBeat..what a lyrical construction !"
That comment is found in the discussion thread for a
Click for the pancocojams post that showcases that Prince Buster song.

The word "bad" in this song has the African American Vernacular English meaning "good".

Example #1: TRAIN TOUR TO RAINBOW CITY the pyramids 1967 skinhead reggae

Bootboysgoonforever, Published on Feb 15, 2009

president label 1967

(eddie grant ) the pyramids
Here are two comments from this sound file's discussion thread
Hadas Hall, 2008
"Roy Ellis is the vocalist , ask him he's still gigging!"

looniechewnz, 2011
"No this is Roy Ellis singing who became Mr. Symarip (Skinhead Moonstomp Etc..)"

Example #2: The Pyramids - Train Tour To Rainbow City

jimmytheferret, Published on Jun 15, 2008

Great slab of chugalong ska from the pen of Eddie Grant in 1967.

"Train Tour to Rainbow City" by Symarip Pyramid
Here are a few comments from this sound file's discussion thread (with numbers assigned for referencing purposes only).

1. paulthepill, 2008
"big up jimmy...i,ve been searching this for years... black vulgar women...nice..."

2. mrdaddylonglegs, 2009
"who the hell is Zacky Pont!!!!"

3. LQUID8R, 2009
"Sounds like he means Emmanuel Zacariah Zachepa h(?) one of the unlucky guys that comes up in front of Judge Dread along with two Gun Tex and george GrabandFlee"

4. Sue Feeney, 2009
"Wow thank you Jimmytheferret. Loved this for 42 years - scary. "You are now n Rainbow City" and I am now in nostalgia heaven!. Skanking around the room here - never knew it was Eddy Grant though. Takes me far away and back to SE London in the 60's - such music and what a time. : ) Sue"

5. Bluemauvey, 2010
" "Who is Buster, Rasta?
He is a man that has given me great competition, hush up!"


6. keasyman, 2017
"This track should be part of the national school's music curriculum!!

7. engine-54, 2018
"true true true!!"


Symarippyramid Music, Published on Jun 30, 2012

There are no comments for this video (as of the date of the publication of this pancocojams post.

"Edmond Montague "Eddy" Grant (born 5 March 1948) is a Guyanese-British musician. He was a founding member of the Equals, one of the United Kingdom's first racially integrated pop groups. He is also known for a successful solo career that includes the platinum single "Electric Avenue". He also pioneered the genre ringbang.


In 1965, Grant formed The Equals, playing guitar and singing background vocals, and the band had two hit albums and a minor hit with the single "I Get So Excited" before having a number one hit in 1968 with his self-penned song "Baby Come Back".[7] The tune also topped the UK Singles Chart in 1994, when covered by Pato Banton featuring Robin and Ali Campbell of the reggae group UB40.[8] The Equals had five further top 40 hits in the UK up to the end of 1970.[9] The Baby Come Back album featured a song by Grant titled, "Police on My Back" which was covered by The Clash on their 1980 album Sandinista!.[10] Willie Nile released his cover of "Police on My Back" on his Streets of New York CD.[11] The Equals' song "Green Light" co-written by Grant from their 1968 album Supreme, was covered by The Detroit Cobras, on their 2007 album, Tied & True.[12]

In this period he also worked as a songwriter and producer for other artists, including The Pyramids (producing their debut single "Train Tour to Rainbow City") and Prince Buster, for whom he wrote "Rough Rider", and started the Torpedo record label, releasing British-made reggae singles.”...

Sunday, April 3, 2011
"A Musical Tribute To Eddy Grant: The Songwriter Behind 'Rough Rider' And 'Police On My Back'
....[Eddie] Grant is a pioneer and trailblazer who has left his mark on ska, reggae, calypso, rock and pop music and perhaps more than anyone else deserves credit for merging and combining the best of Black and White music beginning in the mid-60's all the way through the mid 80's. Many of Grant's songs, whether bubble gum pop, skin head soul, reggae or garage punk always display a lyrical or musical edge of some kind. What's so impressive to me about Grant is the variety of hats he has worn throughout his long and successful musical career. He's been Eddy the songwriter, Eddy the producer, Eddy the singer, Eddy the studio musician, Eddy the studio owner, and even Eddy the indie-label president.

While you may be very familiar with Grant's hits from the 80's like 'Electric Avenue' and 'Romancing The Stone' did you know Grant was the song writer behind a number of iconic ska and reggae tracks? Grant penned Prince Busters rocksteady classic 'Rough Rider' and The Clash's popular rock anthem 'Police On My Back'. That's not to mention the many other genre breaking songs he wrote with The Equals including 'Baby Come Back' 'Black Skinned Blue Eyed Boys' and as a solo artist including 'Hello Africa', and 'Living On The Frontline'.

Blazing out of London in the mid 60's Grant help to found The Equals who mixed up fuzzy garage pop rock with healthy helpings of soul and proto-ska and reggae. The band also made pop culture history by being one of the very first multi-racial bands creating the rough template for 2-Tone bands some ten years later. Signed to the independent label President Records, Grant was asked to work with label mates The Pyramids -- later to become Symarip -- who had backed Prince Buster on his recent U.K. tour. Besides composing songs for the band (and one for Prince Buster himself, the rude classic 'Rough Rider' later covered by The English Beat), Grant also wrote and produced The Pyramids debut single and sole U.K. skinhead reggae hit, 'Train to Rainbow City.' According to an interview Grant did with the Miami New Times in 1994,
"By the time I started playing pop music with the Equals, I had been experimenting with different ethnic forms for a while," Grant recalls. "One of them was ska -- most people don't know that I made the first successful British ska record, 'Train Tour to Rainbow City,' which went to number 31 [on the British pop charts] in 1966. I was the first to add strings to reggae music, also in 1966. The great Prince Buster copied two of my songs -- he tried to steal them, but the law stopped him and he eventually gave me credit -- 'Train Tour to Rainbow City,' which he called 'Train Toward the Girls Town,' and 'Rough Rider,' which was covered by the English Beat. And they credited Buster for it!"
Notice that Eddy Grant gives 1966 as the date for the record "Train Tour To Rainbow City" while other online sources that I've read give that date as 1967.

Since "Train Tour To Rainbow City" mentions Prince Buster's 1967 song "Judge Dread", it appears that Eddy Grant may have misspoken when he gave that 1966 date.

Click for a YouTube sound file of Prince Buster's cover of "Train Tour To Rainbow City" which is entitled "Train To Girls Town".

"Symarip (also known at various stages of their career as The Bees, The Pyramids, Seven Letters and Zubaba) were a ska and reggae band from the United Kingdom, originating in the late 1960s, when Frank Pitter and Michael Thomas founded the band as The Bees. The band's name was originally spelled Simaryp, which is an approximate reversal of the word pyramids.[1] Consisting of members of West Indian descent, Simaryp is widely marked as one of the first skinhead reggae bands, being one of the first to target skinheads as an audience. Their hits included "Skinhead Girl", "Skinhead Jamboree" and "Skinhead Moonstomp", the latter of which was based on the Derrick Morgan song, "Moon Hop".

They moved to Germany in 1971, performing reggae and Afro-rock in Germany under the name Zubaba. In 1980, the single "Skinhead Moonstomp" was re-issued in the wake of the 2 Tone craze, hitting No. 54 on the UK Singles Chart.[2][3] The band officially split in 1985 after releasing the album Drunk & Disorderly as The Pyramids. The album was released by Ariola Records and was produced by Stevie B.

Pitter and Ellis eventually moved back to England, where Ellis continued performing as a solo artist, sometimes using the stage name Mr. Symarip. Mike Thomas, who had moved to Switzerland and met a Finnish girl there, moved to Finland where he worked as a musician, doing the groundwork for the Finnish reggae culture through his band Mike T. Saganor. Monty Neysmith moved to the United States, where he toured as a solo artist.

In 2004, Trojan Records released a best of album that included a new single by Neysmith and Ellis, "Back From the Moon". In 2005, Neysmith and Ellis performed together at Club Ska in England, and a recording of the concert was released on Moon Ska Records as Symarip – Live at Club Ska. In April 2008, they headlined the Ska Splash Festival in Lincolnshire as Symarip, and later performed at the Endorse-It and Fordham Festivals. Pitter and Thomas now perform in a different band as Symarip Pyramid. Their Back From The Moon Tour 2008–2009 was with The Pioneers. In 2009, to celebrate the rebirth of the band and the reunion of the two original members, Trojan Records released a compilation album, Ultimate Collection. Pitter holds all copyright and trademark rights for the name Symarip Pyramid."

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