Choices in Zulu

Choice or choosing is khetha in Zulu.

Some immigrants seem overwhelmed by the notion that kids in Canada and the U.S. have a choice especially girls, and cannot be forced to marry at a certain age and to their parents’ choice. Royal families across the world like to choose marriage partners for their kids.  Religion also likes to choose religion.
Khetha.  You can also have two job offers but you choose one.  You choose make-up to complement your skin colour, not kill it.  You choose to go to a university in Australia, and not Egypt because of the language. 
Khe-tha. The first part is pronounced as in cap, the second part as in tally.

A girl’s name.  The chosen one.
A boy’s name, in fact khethani means many people should choose.  We don’t know what was happening in the family when the child was born, but family members were asked to choose.
Khetha, u-ice cream noma i-yoghurt.
Choose.  Ice cream or yoghurt?
Khetha o-mthanda-yo.
Choose the one you love.
U-khetha bani?
Who do you choose?
Ngi-khetha u-Michelle.
I choose Michelle.
Ngi-khetha u-Barack.
I choose Barack.
Ngi-khetha u-Thandi.
I choose Thandi.
Khetha i-golide noma i-platinum.
Choose gold or platinum.
Ngi-khetha i-Cairo.
I choose Cairo.
He has chosen.
She has chosen.
A royal palace of the Zulu kingdom before Zulus lost their land to the British Queen’s armies.
Ngi-khetha umbala o-bomvu.
I choose colour red.
Ngi-khetha umbala o-mnyama.
I choose colour black.

Nonqaba waka Msimang is the author of Sweetness, a South African novel.


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