“Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah)” by CKay (ft. Axel & DJ Yo!)
You can probably tell that the word nwantiti is African in origin. And what it actually means, in Nigeria’s Igbo language, is “small love”. And truthfully, we don’t know specifically what such an expression entails in its native context, as it is apparent that the feelings the vocalist possesses for this addressee, i.e. his romantic interest, are in fact big.
So in that regard, this piece reads more or less like your average West African youth love song, i.e. one in which related terminology is being presented to us in both English (being that Nigeria is an Anglophone nation) and indigenous languages.
So for instance, let’s take a phrase like “I want to chop your nkwobi”, as found in the first verse. In the world of West African colloquialisms, the word chop actually means to eat or to have sex with a lady, you know, like you’re going to eat the lady. Meanwhile, nkwobi is actually a type of Nigerian food.
So maybe if a child heard this phrase, they would think something like the vocalist is asking the addressee for grub. But more mature minds would recognize it as CKay basically telling the addressee that he wants to sleep with her.
And so it is with Love Nwantiti, as this is a love that is definitely influenced by the singer’s sexual attraction to the woman he is singing to. In fact outside of touting his strong feelings for her, the main subtheme would be an appreciation of her looks, i.e. the addressee’s body. And in that respect, in traditional African fashion, CKay is able to celebrate that this woman doesn’t rely on any “silicon” or other types of artificial modifications to make herself sexy.
At the end of the day, Love Nwantiti reads like your quintessential teenage love song, so to speak. Maybe at later stages in life, we come to appreciate our romantic interests for more than just looks. But in this present scenario, that’s what CKay relishes most about the apple of his eye.
CKay and “Love Nwantiti”
CKay is a Nigerian musician who may not necessarily be a big name, but he has had one solid hit, that being Love Nwantiti.
This song was originally released via a label called Chocolate City on 30 August 2019. However, it was actually a 2020 remix of the tune, that time around featuring fellow Nigerian crooner Joeboy and Ghanaian artist Kuami Eugene, that became an international hit.
For instance, it broke the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart and topped the UK Indie Chart. And globally it charted in well over 20 nations, including marking the only time CKay has made it onto the Billboard Hot 100. In fact by the looks of things, as implied earlier the Love Nwantiti remix is the only track he’s ever dropped that charted.
But that said, as implied this may be a tune that the headline artist is going to be eating off for a long time to come. For instance, as of the writing of this post another remix of Love Nwantiti which came out on 10 September 2021, this time featuring two other artists (DJ Yo! & Axel), also blew up, i.e. going viral on TikTok.
Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah) was both written and produced by CKay. And based on his discography, he appears to have been in the game since the late-2010s.