Zakes Bantwini tells us the meaning behind Osama lyrics and reveals four hidden words

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Zakes Bantwini
Zakes Bantwini
Photo: Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images
  • Zakes Bantwini has released a lyric video for his viral hit, Osama.
  • The catchy song left fans scratching their heads trying to figure out the meaning behind the words. 
  • In an interview with Channel24, Zakes revealed that the lyrics are not in any particular language, but is spoken in tongues. 
  • There are, however, four secret words in the song which have special meaning to Zakes.


Zakes Bantwini has finally dropped the lyric video to his smash hit Osama.

The singer/producer left fans scratching their heads trying to figure out the meaning behind the words in the song, which went viral in August.

Now that the lyric video is here, fans can finally sing along. But what exactly do the lyrics mean?

Chatting to Channel24, Zakes explained: "The idea was to have a spiritual song which is spoken in tongues. Because when you speak with your spiritual self, you know when sometimes people will pray for something, they sometimes speak in tongues."

The star said he wanted a song that would "touch each and every soul", and in order to do that, he knew he could not sing in any particular language.

"I knew that a language, any certain language, had to be taken out. So, it cannot be English because there are some people who might not relate. It cannot be in my language in isiZulu because some people might not relate. So, I decided to just use tongues as the melody to speak about that lion within you, which Osama means lion," he said.

ALSO READ | Zakes Bantwini tells us about the overwhelming response to Osama: 'I didn't expect this'

There are, however, four secret words in the song which have special meaning to Zakes.

The first word Zakes tells us about is 'Angola', a city which he says he "felt so much love in".

"It was the first city where people could sing along to Wasting My Time, and I was told that they don't speak English."

Zakes also included 'Miriam Makeba' in the lyrics, "because of how amazing she was as a musician and how she fought for Africans."

"'Fela Kuti' as well because he's my muse. And 'Lilongwe' being one of my favourite cities in Africa," he added.

For Zakes, the beauty behind Osama is that the words can mean anything you want them to.

"It is a prayer to someone, it is a spiritual thing to someone, to someone [else] it might be a love song. It's whatever you interpret it to be."

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