Hanitra Ranaivo – ‘Mivalo’


Since the 1950s Madagascar has lost more than 44% of its natural forests and every year more and more land is being deforested. Considering the fact that 90% of all species living in Madagascar are endemic and cannot be found elsewhere in the world, a precious biodiversity is threatened by humans’ constant hunger for resources (CIRAD). Madagascan folk singer Hanita Ranaivo treats the destruction of the environment in her melancholic sounding track ‘Mivalo‘.

Mivalo‘ is embedded in an inter-generational dialogue. Hanita asks her daughter for forgiveness. She realizes that her generation has failed to prevent the environmental destruction. Now, this legacy feels like a heavy burden that she needs to pass on to the young generation.


“I beg your pardon, I did not give you more than that  /  J’implore ton pardon, je n’ai laissé que cela,

I destroyed that little land, guided by my selfishness  /  J’ai détruit ce peu de terre, conduit par mon égoïsme,

I beg your pardon, I did not think about the future  /  J’implore ton pardon, je n’ai pas pensé a ton avenir, 

I sold the nature, guided by greed  /  J’ai vendu la nature, guidé par la cupidité,

. There is no more tree, nothing for our descendants  /  il ne reste aucun arbre dans la forêt … “


A recently remixed version of the track features French rap artist Rohân Houssein.

Lyrics retrieved from video, English translation retrieved from Hanitra Ranaivo’s homepage.

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