South African Xhoza singer Zahara performs her title song "Loliwe", from her recent album in the video below. The song is causing a lot of buzz in South Africa. In part because of its beautiful melody and Zahara's rich vocal quality. However, it is not only the aesthetics of the song that is causing the talk -- it is the confusing lyrics. The narrator in the song tells her audience to wipe the tears from their faces because the train is coming, the train is coming, "loliwe", but then the lyrics make a strange turn in the bridge, saying that heaven is only filled with Christians, so if you want to go to heaven you should pray.
Since the album is not a gospel album, it would seem that the lyrics are somewhat insensitive, even, hyper liberals can argue, politically incorrect as it clearly suggests that there is no salvation for anybody of a different faith. The lyrics are further confusing as the connection with the coming train and heaven is never made clear. Is the train a reference to the Second Advent in which the living in Christ and those that died in Christ are spirited away into heaven -- transited to heaven in a metaphorical train, like Elijah in a flaming chariot (II Kings 2:11)? The coming train is obviously meant to be good news, for it is the reason why they should wipe away their tears and stop crying. But why are they crying in the first place? Are they the one's that should pray? Are they crying because they are not going to heaven? If so, why should the announcement of the coming train be of comfort to them?
Any Xhoza readers or other South Africans of this blog that can help to decipher the song?
I just saw in the comments under another "Loliwe" related YouTube video one YouTube viewer translate the section in question as: "in heaven only the holy ones stay there so if you also want to stay [then you should] pray". Since it is a native speaker's translation, I assume it is much closer than my assumption that it was only Christians staying in heaven. But myself and others are still confused about the connections between the crying people, the coming train, and heaven.