Milá Melo & Conjunto Dipanda “Quem Quer a Paz?” (Kwacha/UNITA)

by angola45

Who wants peace?

The Angolan people (repeat)

Who asks for justice?

The Angolan people

Who wants the truth?

The Angolan people

Then fight for peace with Savimbi

Then fight for justice with Unita

Angolans are those who love Angola

And to love Angola is to help her to grow, to work on her behalf

No to hatred!

No!

No to racism!

No!

No to civil war, no!

No!

Milá Melo was born Maria Emília Carmelino de Melo on the Huambo province in 1943. She moved to Luanda, lived in the Benfica neighborhood, had huge hits, such as “Vamos à Anhara” and “Tchakuparica”, and was, alongside Lourdes Van-Dúnem, Belita Palma, Conceição Legot, Lilly Tchiumba, Alba Clington, Garda, Tchinina, Sara Chaves, Conchita de Mascarenhas, etc, a very influential and popular singer.

Presumably, given MPLA’s (the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola) grip on the country, her political alignment, supporting Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), led to a career stalemate. This track, with very curious jazzy undercurrents and a rather funky backbone, is particularly explicit of her political work and anticipated a future that was not to be: a civil war did ruin Angola from 1975 to 2002. Note that it is sung in Portuguese and not in Umbundu or Kimbundu, signaling an unequivocal conciliatory tone, probably for propaganda purposes. Notwithstanding its indoctrination, it is a tremendous and rather unusual expression of unadulterated musicianship and a sincere manifestation of hope. Sadly Milá Melo was unable to continue her career while in exile.