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Vee’s Wabaatsile causes confusion

MOMPATI TLHANKANE
Vee's new song covey different meanings
“There he comes again,” is one of the expressions that certainly sound impolite, but Botswana’s most decorated musician, Vee Mampeezy had no problem associating it to Jesus Christ in his new single called Wabaatsile.

Wabaatsile has now created communication problems among Vee’s fans because the songwriter did not consider the rules for social language known as pragmatics. According to linguists, pragmatics is a branch of linguistics concerned with the use of language in social contexts and the ways in which people produce and comprehend meanings through language.

The communicative intention is determined by the meaning of the sentence. Perhaps in coining the name and concept behind the song, Vee Mampeezy wanted something catchy but linguists usually say that “a communicator must know how not to indulge in miscommunication and incomplete communication”. What Vee was referring to in the song is determined by the meaning of the referring expression uttered. Wabaatsile in Setswana language is one of the expressions that convey disgust in seeing the return of someone known for bringing trouble or someone you simply do not like. In his new song Vee is linking the expression to the second coming of Jesus Christ when Jesus Christ will return to earth in fulfillment of his promises and to fulfill the prophecies made about Him.

The Bible in Matthew 24:30  that Jesus himself promised, “At that time, the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory”.

For Christians, the Second Coming is one of the most anticipated moments in the history of the religion and definitely a Christian alike cannot use such words to describe the Second Coming.

However, even though Vee’s Wabaatsile is clearly ambiguous, this particular phrase in Setswana may

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also be used to convey different meanings such as happiness. In the study of pragmatics, a particular phrase may be used to convey different meanings therefore Wabaatsile can also be used to express happiness in seeing someone who comes along with good things. Therefore, it is possible that Vee may not have used the language appropriately in this situation but did not mean harm by the expression.

Vee who is a proud Christian recently posted a picture on Facebook thanking Jesus Christ for his new Range Rover and continued to use #WabaAtsile to convey his appreciation for all the blessings the Lord has brought in his life.  Even though one fan commented in complaint of Wabaatsile expression, Vee explained that the message c ould be found in the verses where he glorifies Jesus Christ. 

Although Showbiz could not catch Vee himself to explain the meaning of the song, his manager, Prosper Mashabe was able to shed a light about the new single.

“People should not confuse this. Wabaatsile means that Jesus has arrived and our lives will change for the better,” he said. Mashabe said the single is part of Vee’s upcoming album, Champion. He said for now they will push the new single until the upcoming album is released. He said Wabaatsile is just a song, therefore Vee’s Walaola Jeso tagline has not been replaced.

In the end, perhaps a conclusion can be made that the message of Wabaatsile was not transmitted exactly the same as it was in the mind of the communicator (Vee), and the message sent by the artist was not received by the decoder (audience) as intended primarily by Vee Mampeezy.



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