Hot in Zulu

Hot is shisa in Zulu.

June and July are the height of summer in Europe and North America.  It is hot.   People have BBQ’s and grill meat in barbeque stands.  It becomes hot in the House of Commons when politicians disagree.
Husbands and wives divorce when marriage becomes too hot.  Way back when in Africa, parents advised girls about various aspects of marriage: how to respect in-laws, relate to co-wives, raise kids and how to cope with marital problems.  Ku-shisa emendweni (marriage is hot).

Shi-sa.  The first part is pronounced as in ship, the second one as in Salzburg, a city in Austria.

I-langa liya-shisa.
The sun is hot.
It is hot.
A-senze i-BBQ.
Let’s have a BBQ.
Let’s have a braai (BBQ word in southern part of Africa).
It is hot.
Ngi-cela u-lemonade.
May I have some lemonade please?
It is hot.
Ngi-cela u-beer.
May I have some beer please?
Ye-ka i-cellphone.  U-zo-shisa i-bhodwe.
Put down the cellphone.  You’ll burn what you are cooking.
I-ya-shisa i-njini.
The engine is hot.
Ku-ya-shisa e-motweni.
It is hot in the car.
Vula i-air con.
Turn on the air conditioning.
Liya-shisa i-ayina.
The iron is hot.
Ku-ya-shisa emendweni ngane yami.
Marriage is no child’s play, my child.
Ku-ya-shisa.  Si-zo-ya o-lwa-ndle.
It is hot.  We’ll go to the beach.
Ku-ya-shisa e-Equator.
It is hot in the Equator.
Ku-ya-shisa e-Kampala.
It is hot in Kampala.

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


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