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Obama, Twa Wakaribisha

from Alter Ego by Dylan Bell

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On January 20, 2009, history was made, and I was honoured to witness it. I was in Washington DC, singing with the Canada’s premeiere Afrocentric chorus, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, for the Inauguration of President Barak Obama. The experience inspired me to compose a new piece, called “Obama, Twa Wakaribisha” (Obama, We Welcome You), in honour of President Obama’s upcoming visit to Canada.

The piece is written in the Kenyan musical style benga, with the choruses in Swahili, to reflect President Obama’s Luo heritage.


Obama! Ndie mwenye matarajio, twa wakaribisha
Obama! Embodiment of Hope, we welcome you

Obama! Ndie alama ya ahadi, twa wakaribisha
Obama! Symbol of Promise, we welcome you

Obama, Ndie aletae muungano , twa wakaribisha
Obama! Healer of Divisions, we welcome you

Obama, Ndio pamoja twaweza, twa wakaribisha
Obama! Yes We Can! We welcome you

Verse 1 (English)

“Wakaribisha” from your Northern Brothers
We stand before you with our hearts full of pride
“Wakaribisha” from your Northern Sisters
We welcome you with our hearts open wide

Verse 2 (English)

From the beginning we have shared our freedom
Shoulder to shoulder at this moment in time
From independence to the Underground Railroad
We will be with you till the end of the line


from Alter Ego, released February 19, 2010
dB - voices, guitar, keyboard, bass, drums
Suba Sankaran - voices


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Dylan Bell Toronto, Ontario

In a word... multifaceted. Toronto-based songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. From a neo-classical choral opus to an unabashed rock song, I've probably written it... or at least working on it. I'm fortunate enough to make my work my play, touring across North America, Europe, and Asia. Visit me at www.dylanbell.ca ... more

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