Skip to main content

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.

ZULU
ENGLISH
Khethiwe.
A girl’s name.  The chosen one.
Khethani.
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.
U-se-khethi-le.
He has chosen.
She has chosen.
Kwa-khethomtha-ndayo.
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.
www.amazon.com

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Black Panther Africa Here and There

Black Panther is about Wakanda a fictionalized country in Africa, but it has delightful snippets of the real Africa.

The movie has tall people, like Kenya’s and Sudan’s sons and daughters. Dora Milaje, the royal guard supervised by Okoye (Danai Gurira) is composed of tall women.Okoye is a common surname or family name in Nigeria, as in Oge Okoye, the actress. There are also scenes where men on horseback are wearing colourful blankets, a common sight in Lesotho, the country surrounded by South Africa.Locals, the Basotho, call these blankets seana marena.The country’s beauty sinks in as one drives from Maseru the capital, up to Leribe and further up the mountains.Great roads too.

Costume design.That’s another snippet about Africa. There is Angela Bassett’s character looking regal, in what is called isicholo in Zulu.Well! it looks like isicholo, a married woman’s headdress. You probably saw the re-mixed version of isicholo in what Beyonce is wearing in the Sorry video. They also speak isiXh…

Black Panther Casting

Chadwick Boseman sure looks like a younger John Kani in Black Panther.That is why the movie won the Best Casting category in my little awards.  Envelope please!

Kani plays King T’Chaka.Boseman is T’Challa, his son.What a striking resemblance.It reminds me of my arrival in New York City some years ago.I used to stare at African Americans because they looked like a cousin, uncle, neighbour, teacher, friend, doctor or someone on the bus. Sure, we learnt about slavery at school, how slave traders stole Africans and how internal wars between chiefs also led to humans being taken to another continent in chains. But being in America, seeing people who look like your world, in Africa, was painful.

“Death is better than bondage.” That is what one character said in Black Panther.Was it Erik Killmonger?I’m not sure but I will double check when I go back.Yes, again.The movie is a cinematic buffet.Don’t talk with your mouth full, as mama would say. We gave the film the Best Casting category for other…

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…