By Patience Raibo
When Jah Prayzah performs Goto, the audience goes crazy and reacts in all kinds of ways. Jah Prayzah’s song Goto is steeped in traditional African belief systems, and reports of people manifesting ancestral spirits during live performances of the song have long been speculated. Now we have the meaning behind the actual song as explained by Jah Prayzah in a Youtube Video.
According to the musician, the first meaning of Goto is a goat, specifically a male goat known in Shona as Gotora.
“As the male goat ages, it becomes smelly, and the smell is unpleasant.Actually, smell is something that can only be sensed through the nose and cannot be seen, touched, or felt.This odour is similar to bad spirits in the realm, we can not see them, but they are real and affect us.”
“Charika,Charika charika” simply means to be cautious, alert, and to avoid bad spirits and omens.”
“Secondly, long ago, Goto could have been used as a trap to catch animals. These traps were created by erosion, and our forefathers simply covered the trenches with grass. Animals attempting to cross would become trapped. Some of the animals were unfit for consumption, so they would rot in these trenches, emitting a foul odour (hwema) ,In the song Goto the foul smell is associated with evil spirits.
The elderly identify with this traditional folklore song that was once sung, mostly at celebratory gatherings.” The songs tells the story of a character who survived angry, flooded rivers, tall mountains, and terrifying, animal-infested forests. The song also describes how the character crosses the river, “charika, ungakaruka wawira!” (hurry up and cross before you fall in!) to encourage himself to defeat all the bed spirits.
“Charika Goto rine hwema,ungakaruka wawira” means “be cautious, alert, and avoid bad traps.” People should take lessons, regardless of religion, whether Christianity, Islam, or African tradition religion, and remember that in the spiritual realm, where our eyes cannot see,“sezvakaita hwema ” there are bad spirits and we have to pray for protection from such evil spirits and omens.”
The song Goto was released in 2016 as part of the album Mudhara Vachauya.
Meanwhile, the musician stated that he will explain the meaning of his songs in response to listener requests on his YouTube channel comments.
” Music is a language, and while the melody can be appealing anywhere, it is the meaning of the song that makes you appreciate, love, and relate to it,” he said.