African Composers Edition

Online publisher of African compositions


’Mankholikholi’ is a children's game song. It is the Sesotho name for a bird of prey called the yellow-billed kite, but also the name of a mythical creature, and Moerane has adapted the text from a traditional source. When children in Lesotho lose their milk teeth, they ask ’Mankholikholi to send them strong permanent teeth, and they sometimes ask him to give them unripe sorghum to plant as well, but ’Mankholikholi refuses, because they have no suitable grain basket. The music is full of repetitions and delightful shrieks that clearly reflect the fun of the game, and also the call of the kite. The lyrics begin, '’Mankholikholi, heea, heea!' - imitating the bird's call - 'A k’u nkhaketse talane heea!' - Give me unripe sorghum seeds to plant, heea!' To help with pronunciation, a free mp3 of the spoken lyrics is downloadable when a purchase is made.
Duration: 0'36"


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Yellow-billed kite


'Mankholikholi complete score published by ACE

African Composers Edition

'Mankholikholi lyrics spoken by Mpho Ndebele

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