Linguistics Association of Ghana 2014
Dr. Ọbádélé Kambon
28th July, 2014
University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA)
Ralph McDonald’s song “The Path” is a poignant narrative of the story of enslaved Africans from Africa to the Diaspora and back again through music. Jími Ṣólańkẹ́’s poetic verse that opens the song of 17:12 is an interpolation of arguably the most famous Akan drum text Ɔkwan Atware Asuo – interpreted by Ralph McDonald into English – then translated from English into the Yorùbá performance of the poem Ọ̀nà Là. Ṣólańkẹ́ brings the poem to life in a way that makes it become uniquely its own while paralleling the spirit of the Akan text. In this paper, we will present a stylistic analysis of the literary and oratory tools Ṣólańkẹ́ uses to bring his text to life – tools that encapsulate the greater narrative of the song and of Africans in transition returning forward, back to our way.