Everyday People: Barike – Wan Kantri

When the song “WAN KANTRI” was released in 1992 by Rabaul’s very own legendary band Barike, little did they or the writers know it would quickly become a national hit and phenomena for many years to come.

With Papua New Guinea celebrating its 46th anniversary, songs like “WAN KANTRI” bring back what it felt to achieve peace, unity and independence.

The song was originally written about one person’s journey and then it progressed onto becoming an unforgettable masterpiece, that is performed everywhere by many.

WAN KANTRI was written by Glen Low and pieced together by Kanai Pineri and Donald Lessey of the Barike Band and it was recorded in 1982 and originally sung by the famous Late John Wong.

This song remains as one of Barike’s most legendary hits that led the way forward in PNG music culture, expressing in song about life, politics and the Bougainville conflicts.

As our country celebrates its 46th independence, may we tribute this wonderful milestone of a song in memory of those that have come and gone leaving memories and legacies behind.

“Papua New Guinea yumi mas kamap wan nation, wan kantri, wan femili. Papua New Guinea yumi mas kamap wan nation, wan sol wara, wan pipol.”

The chorus alone speaks volumes of what was achieved to allow our children the benefit of having somewhere to belong, we are, as the song permits, Wan People, Wan Nation, Wan Kantri.

Carol Kidu