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Showing posts from 2017

Afraid in Zulu

Halloween makeup is scary.Afraid or scared, is saba in Zulu.Ngi-saba umbani (I’m scared of thunder).Halloween makeup scares you, iya-sabeka.

Nature made many races that live in different parts of the world.All of them have ugly people, depending on their concept of beauty.For example, standards of judging a beautiful person in Africa are different from China’s.We can be very cruel and say someone is so ugly, he is scary.
Weddings are very stressful.The bride is scared that the groom might not show up.Grooms are also scared of being stood up at the altar. Some people are scared of heights and will not go up Mount Kenya, Tour Eiffel, Statue of Liberty or scale the Great Wall of China.

Sa-ba.The first part is pronounced as in sassafras, the second part as in baba, the term used for father in most languages.

ZULU ENGLISH Mubi uyasabeka. He is so ugly.He is scary. U-Jean Pierre u-saba i-nja. Jean Pierre is scared of the dog. U-Marie u-saba u-pelepele. Marie is scared of chillies. I-America i-saba i-Rus…

Guilty of Eating

The accused pleads guilty to the crime, my lord.

The internet makes food a crime.Don’t eat that.It has too much sugar.Don’t even think about touching that cheesecake.It has gigabyte calories.

The internet has useful information yes, but too much of it can be anti-life.It is up to the individual to use some common sense. For example, olive oil is good for me but I don’t think four tablespoons in a recipe is a good idea.After all, it is still oil. Life is about eating.It is sad to read stories about actresses and models fainting on the job because they are on diets. Food is gas for the body, to get all parts churning so that we can have another day, hustling for the mighty dollar, Russian ruble, Romanian leu or the euro.

Going online before eating is an appetite suppressant because nothing seems good enough.Colour works for me, the way it worked for mama.There must be some colour on the plate: some greens, carrots or pumpkin. Don’t over boil, it murders vegetables.

I therefore stand accuse…

Africanized English

Cellphones are called o-ma-khale-khukhwini in Zulu, translated into: the thing that rings in the pocket.This is not new. Isi-Zulu always adapts to internal and external challenges.

The best way to learn the language is living in South Africa, where the umbilical cord is buried.IsiZulu is called Ndebele in Zimbabwe.
This little blog tries to give non-speakers a whiff of the language.However, English words that have been re-mixed into Zulu are seldom included.There are certain things that came with the Queen of England’s armies, as they took the land through the barrel of a gun and treachery. Salt for example.There was no salt in Africa so Zulu speakers called it u-sawoti.There was no sugar, so they called it u-shukela. The English brought butter to Africa, i-bhotela. A motor car became i-moto.Here are some English words that got an African flavour. 

I-mi-fakela, that is what our ancestors called them.Additions would be the nearest translation.
ENGLISH WORD AFRICAN VERSION Mat, door mat or sle…

Toddlers And Thanksgiving

Toddlers wail and holler because of boring parents, not because of presumed reasons.

He is wet.
She must be hungry. Toddlers cry because parents are predictable.Getting into the stroller is either good or bad news.Good news if it is going out of the apartment or house to interact with the world, bad news if it is going back home to spend another day fenced in, like convicted criminals.

They can have beautiful pink or blue rooms with toys bought from Toys “R” Us, before the business filed for bankruptcy, but toddlers want more, to touch and feel the world.They itch for adventure. That is why they smile at strangers, extend their tiny hands to touch the bus window, point at dogs and run around the mall with mum in hot pursuit. Toddlers are not born equal.Toddlers in the north of the world spend most of their time indoors staring at blowing snow while their counterparts down south in Africa drive their brothers and sisters crazy, because they want to follow them everywhere.Rain is the only t…

Team Leaders vs. Bosses

The team leader is the boss, and there is no re-engineering, renovation, re-naming, re-mixing or gender sensitive way of putting it.

Late for work?The boss doesn’t like it.Bosses don’t call team meetings to discuss such personal issues.Sorry! Team leaders.

The team leader also knows everything about you, especially your capacity to quilt stories. For example, your grandparents (both maternal and paternal) have died more than twice, because you have used them as an excuse for unofficial leave many times.

Team leaders are called by their first names: Hi! Jill.Hi! Jack.The buck stops right there.You don’t like your co-workers.That is understandable, because they are not family.We are all there to work and get paid and not to be liked, although we are a team.

Not with the team leader. The operative word is like.You must like him or her.Think of social media and click the LIKE icon.Why? Let’s say you get lucky and find another job.Who will provide references, the whole team or the team leader?

G…

Comfort in Zulu

To comfort is duduza in Zulu.Turkey cried a lot in 2016 from terror attacks and the world sent words of comfort.Paris also received comforting words in late 2015 and early 2016 when they experienced the same pain.

Edmonton, Canada cried in October 2017 from a terror attack. Canadian politicians sent words of comfort.London has also been hit a couple of times.Mexico, Florida and the Caribbean are still recovering from devastation caused by nature hitting back at our greed, which does irreparable damage to the environment.
On Sunday, 1 October, more than 60 people lost their lives in a country music festival in L.A. when a gun man fired into the crowd.Comforting words have been sent to grieving family and friends. Women in certain cultures cry for two reasons: losing a husband, and thinking about what in-laws will do to them and their children.

Du-du-za.The first and second parts are pronounced as in do, the third part as in Zagreb.
ZULU ENGLISH Duduzathina (Dudu is the short version). A girl…

Threats To Reading and Writing

Business plans include scanning the business environment to identify threats.For example, the fax machine had no way of knowing that it will be put out of business by e-mail attachments. Education should also do some introspection and identify threats to reading and writing.We mocked grandparents for not knowing how to read and write, although they could predict a poor harvest by identifying unusual animal movements.

Reading and writing is no longer a priority because we use mediums that encourage brevity.Twitter laid to rest correct spelling because of 140 characters, which have been selectively doubled, for now. We also don’t have time.We are extremely busy flying from one post to the next and there are so many videos of celebrities to watch, and so little time.That is why Twitter and the fraternity allow us to LIKE, SHARE or RETWEET.

They still provide the section for comments but who uses it?We are scared how they will be received.A comment might be a joke but received as an insult.Wo…

Budgets and Legitimate Expenses

Legitimate expenses in budgets depend on two things, whether it is DIY budgets based on our no-good salaries or wages, or we pay accountants to do it.

Accountants are folks that handle other people’s money because it is too much.Thinking about it gives them migraines.Richard Branson used to lounge on his private island and enjoy nature, before the September 2017 Hurricane Irma that ravaged the Caribbean, gave him sleepless nights. Poor people have more legitimate expenses than the rich: rent or mortgage, sending kids to college, health insurance, food, and transport.Transport in particular becomes a headache, when the family car says enough is enough and breaks down.

Millionaires have accountants that include illegitimate expenses in the budget to hide a few dollars from the taxman.Maybe we should say billionaires.Millionaires are yesterday’s news.
Billionaires do lunch and charge it to their expense accounts.Poor people use credit cards to buy milk and rice because their budgets did no…

Requirement in Zulu

Something is required is funeka in Zulu.

Yoruba movies like the storyline where someone is required to appear before the king. We are required to have a driver’s licence before we drive a car.Married women in certain cultures are required to produce heirs (sons) as soon as possible, otherwise their husbands will take second wives.
We are required to put on clothes before we leave the house, otherwise we will be hauled off to a mental home for walking about in our birthday suits.There is an urgency when something is required or should be done. Fu-ne-ka.The first part is pronounced as in fool, the second part as in necking the last part as in kamala, a Hindi word.

ZULU ENGLISH Funeka. A girl’s name which means it is required.It all depends on the family circumstances when the child was born.Something was required. Ku-funeka si-geze. We should bathe. Sergio, ku-funeka u-hambe. Sergio, you must leave. Philippe, ku-funeka u-lale manje. Philippe, you must sleep now. U-Candice u-ya-funeka e-ofisini. Ca…

Microphones As Dinosaurs

Twitter has made microphones dinosaurs. Professors at Columbia University School of Journalism, especially in the broadcast class, taught us to: treat all microphones as live.

There are many stories of how politicians, news anchors, film crews, TV studio crews and guests, said damaging things because they thought the microphone was off.
Twitter does not have the off button.It is the new microphone and is not limited to one space.It is not cordless or hooked up to an electrical outlet.You tweet, the world picks up and retweets.There is no invitation to be a guest on OWN.It is in our fingertips.It is the power of us. It has inherited the wisdom: treat all microphones as live but added another dimension which is, treat all tweets as war tweets. War tweets are not limited to heads of states who think going to war is like a cricket game, and bat each other about who has the biggest nuclear arsenal.

War tweets are also like the game ping pong, that friends, co-workers, rival musicians, rival p…

Rise in Zulu

Rise is phakama in Zulu.It can also mean lift, like lift your voices and sing or a crane lifting bags of cement.

Maya Angelou, wrote a poem Still I Rise.Oppressed people sometimes rise against dictators.Extremely sick people cannot climb on the wheelchair.They need somebody to lift them up. Airports are great for people watching, especially drivers who are there to pick up somebody they don’t know.They raise name placards for example, Floyd Jones or Sindi Cele.Passengers raise their hands and go to the right driver.

Pha-ka-ma.The first part of the verb is pronounced as in puppy, the second part as in karma and the third part as in money.

ZULU ENGLISH Phakama. A boy’s name which means he should rise. Phakamani. A boy’s name which means people should rise. Phakamile. A boy’s name which means something has risen. I-langa se-li-phakeme. The sun has risen.Please note that it is not sunrise. It is noon because the sun is higher up during the day. Phakami-sa i-sandla. Raise your hand. Phakami-sa ikhanda…

Immigrants and Property Left In Old Country

Recent hurricanes, floods and fires are a wake-up call for immigrants who left property in the old country.What if your house in Europe, Brazil, Mexico, Asia or Africa suffers the same fate?Is it insured?Is somebody doing regular maintenance like giving it a paint job and making sure that land invaders don’t target it?

Immigrants go to Australia, the U.K., Canada or the United States for a variety of reasons: to go to college and work afterwards, to work two jobs to support family and property back home or never to look back because of painful religious and cultural experiences.
It is no problem if they were renting or lived at home in the old country.It’s a different story if they owned property like land, houses or commercial buildings.Most immigrants leave property with family members on the assumption that blood is thicker than water, only to be disappointed when brothers or uncles take the property by force. Children born in Australia, Canada or the U.S. are seldom interested in wha…

Barack Obama's Next Book

Ex U.S. President Barack Obama spends some of his time on his laptop writing about his life in the White House and Congress.Is the first draft already with the publisher?

We don’t know, but I have the inside story on the chapters although I’m not into insider trading.I leave that to the big boys on Wall Street.Please note that the chapters are not in chronological order.Michelle and Barack Obama will decide that.
Chapter One The First Inauguration Chapter Two The Auto Industry Crisis Chapter Three The House Called White House Chapter Four Affordable Care Act Chapter Five Foreign Policy and Veterans Chapter Six Democrats Lose Congress Chapter Seven Government Shut Down Chapter Eight Climate Change Chapter Nine The Second Inauguration Chapter Ten The 2016 Presidential Race
By:Nonqaba waka Msimang