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Showing posts from September, 2017

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

Hunting in Zulu

Hunt is zingela in Zulu.People in what is known as the third world hunted game to eat and make clothes, not to create commodities that could be traded at the Sydney or New York Stock Exchange.

British aristocracy who came to ‘civilise’ Africa and Asia killed animals for sport and displayed lion and tiger skins in their drawing rooms.First Nations of Canada and the U.S. were also called uncivilised because they performed ceremonies before they hunted animals that gave them food, skins to keep them warm and make mobile homes, like the teepee.
Yoruba movies indicate that it was normal in Africa to take slaves after wars.Enter European settlers with money.Their hunger for slaves to sell in Europe and the U.S. led to some chiefs invading other villages for the sole purpose of capturing slaves. Sidney Poitier’s film Buck and the Preacher is about the hunting of free slaves, who left white plantations after the abolition of slavery in the U.S.Plantation owners hired men to drive them back to th…

The Art of Conversation

Google has killed the art of conversation.I think twice about asking friends and colleagues questions because I might get the following answer.

“Just Google it.” Ah!Ah! What happened to conversation, chat or small talk?It is all about human interaction, live humans that eat, drink, and visit the loo.It is also about the mouth doing its job.

Google does not speak.It doesn’t have facial expressions that warn me that the conversation is turning sour, or smiles that warm my heart.It is not even heated like some languages that have fire under the belly, but the speakers are not fighting at all.

Conversation is a transport network of highways, feeder roads, traffic lights that shuffle between green, amber and red, stop signs and the cul de sac.
Just Google it, is a cul de sac.It is a dead end, a message that I should get lost, get a life or leave the room.Asking for directions is going to suffer then, because much as we use GPS and Google maps, we still get lost. I was waiting for the lights to c…

Toy Handcuffs

Toy manufacturers have added handcuffs to their inventory.Maybe they’ve always been there as a toy but I never noticed because of toy guns.They seem to be the preferred make believe for growing boys who want to rule the world.It is possible.

Ronald Reagan played with guns in Hollywood and later became the president of the U.S.A.The media loves interviewing famous and notorious people.I can just imagine a convicted murderer on television.
“I’ve always wanted to be in jail.I played with handcuffs when I was little”. A little boy played with his handcuffs in a public place last week.He showed his mum once he heard the handcuffs click but, she was on a trip massaging her cellphone.

I suppose it is all legal, because there must be a body that regulates toy manufacturers.When the cellphone burst into the scene, they made mini cellphones for kids.
Toys can influence career choices.Little boys in India use real cricket bats or make them from anything because of the dream of being the next Sachin …

Blessed in Zulu

Blessed is busisa in Zulu.

In fact, busisa is a verb which means to bless.It can be used in a religious context like saying the pastor or the Pope blesses somebody.It also refers to talent, when we say someone is blessed with a good voice or excellence in mathematics.Some people are not blessed with good voices.They sing off key and are clueless about the injury to the ear.Some families say a blessing before they eat.A blessing is called i-sibusiso, a popular boy’s name. Bu-si-sa.The first part is pronounced as in bull, but a soft -b-.The second part as in sing and the third part as in saffron.

ZULU ENGLISH Busisiwe (Busi for short). A girl’s name which means the blessed one. Sibusiso (Sbu for short). A boy’s name which means a blessing. I-gama lami u-Busisiwe. My name is Busisiwe. I-gama lami u-Sibusiso. My name is Sibusiso. Ba-busisiwe nge-ngane ye-ntombazane. They are blessed with a baby girl. Ba-busisiwe nge-ngane yo-mfana. They are blessed with a baby boy. U-busisiwe nge-ndoda e-lungile. She is b…

Pilots and Autopilot

Texting and driving kills.It makes kids orphans and parents to mourn their kids.That is why I don’t like the idea of pilots texting while driving.Delete that.Texting while flying.

Autopilot.If the plane is flying itself, pilots will be tempted to text while flying. Don’t tell me autopilot is technology.I must call somebody at IATA to explain the whole bit, by placing me in the pilot’s seat.
Autopilot destroys the dream to fly the skies.Kids will be lukewarm to the idea of growing up to be pilots if it is not driving, turning to the right to avoid an angry cloud or slamming brakes to avoid an injured bird.Yes. Birds also get hurt up there in the sky. Who is charge of the plane when it is on autopilot?Technology?I don’t think so.Technology also has a bad day.Battery is low or there is no Wi-Fi.People love the pilot's uniform because it exudes authority, authority to fly steel birds.Passengers sleep on the plane because they know somebody is in charge.
If autopilot is running the show, I…

Donating in Zulu

Donating is nikela in Zulu.In times of crisis like fire, floods and hurricanes, people donate boats, tents, camp beds, blankets, food and most of all, their time to help evacuees.

Donating money is common.It is only a problem when it has strings attached, like drug lords in Latin America telling the church to tone down on anti-drug smuggling sermons, or U.S. polluting industries bribing African politicians to dump hazardous waste on the continent. Ni-ke-la.The first part is pronounced as in nip, the second part as in the French qu’est-ce que c’est?And the third part as in lass.

ZULU ENGLISH Ngi-zo-nikela ngo 100 pesos. I will donate 100 pesos. Ngi-zo-nikela ngo 200 franc. I will donate 200 franc. Ngi-zo-nikela ngo 300 euros. I will donate 300 euros. Ngi-zo-nikela ngo 400 Brazilean Real. I will donate 400 BRL. Si-zo-nikela nge-mali. We’ll donate money. U-zo-nikela ngani? What will you donate? Ba-zo-nikela ngani? What will they donate? Wa-nikela nge-si-khathi sakhe. He donated his time. U-Jesu wa-nikela nge…

Silicon Valley Dress Code

Silicon Valley job interviews need more than a degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or Bangalore Institute of Technology in India. The correct dress code is also part of the equation.

No tie.That is the techie dress code and, no matching jacket and pants known as the suit.You did your research before the interview so you know that Steve Jobs was famous for both Apple stuff and being tie-free.Now it is the norm.Technology-inclined guys just don’t do ties, especially when they launch smart or dumb phones or the ‘thinnest’ computer.

What’s up with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and the gray T. Shirt?Google’s Sundar Pichai is also tie-less most of the time, so is Apple’s Tim Cook.

The tie is an obstacle, a stop sign, a road with a train crossing, a bus that is late or faulty traffic lights.It restricts the Adam’s Apple from the brain, a brain that is needed to create fast and traffic free information to the marketplace called online.

It makes the wearer sweat and constantly mo…

Thinking in Zulu

Cabanga is think in Zulu.Mama used to be mad at me for not thinking.“Awu-cabangi.”She used to say.

It is dangerous when world leaders with nuclear weapons don’t think about the damage caused by their ping pong on social media.When someone wears something unusual, faceless critics on the internet say:What was she thinking? Ube cabanga-ni?
It is nerve-wrecking to hide something in the house, then forget where you put it.You think and think and think, but no clues. Ca-ba-nga.The first part is pronounced as the exclamation c-c-c-, the second part as in Bali, but with a soft -b-, and the last part of the verb as in The Langham Hotel.

ZULU ENGLISH Cabangile. A girl’s name which describes the circumstances of her birth.It literally means the one who was well thought of.Maybe parents had three sons already and wanted a daughter. Ngi-ya-cabanga. I’m thinking. U-be-cabanga-ni? What was she thinking? U-cabanga-ni? What are you thinking? Ngi-cabanga nge-traffic e-ku-seni. I’m thinking about morning traffic. …