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Showing posts from October, 2017

Ten Year-Old Chefs

If little boys are old enough to have favourite dishes, then they are old enough to cook them.

Mama:Use that pot to boil this litre of water.
Little C:Yes mama.
Mama:This is a small onion.I peeled it already.Chop it like this.
Little C:Yes mama.
Mama:Chop these three cherry tomatoes.
Little C:Mama! The water is boiling.
Mama:Great! Drop one cup of macaroni in the boiling water.Don’t cover the pot.
Little C: Yes mama!
Mama:Add a pinch of salt to the boiling macaroni.
Little C:What’s a pinch mama?
Mama:Look at my fingers.See how I pinch the salt?
Little C:Cool.
Mama:Here’s another pot.Add one tablespoon of olive oil.
Little C:Yes mama.
Mama:Throw the chopped onions and tomatoes in the olive oil and lower the temperature.
Little C:Mama, what is a temperature?
Mama:You must be kidding? What do you learn in school?
Little C:Sorry mama. Mama:  It's O.K.  Temperature is here on this stove. High, medium and low. Little C:  Thanks mama.
Mama:This is a strainer.The macaroni is ready.Empty it in the strainer. Ca…

Push in Zulu

Sumo wrestling in Japan.It might look like pushing each other to outsiders.

Stalled car.Some drivers don’t think twice about coming to the distressed driver’s rescue, by helping him push the car away from traffic, and offer any other assistance until the tow truck arrives.It’s something nice to see, not like road rage which can end up in fist fights or gun wounds.
Push is dudula in Zulu. Little boys in Africa love stalled cars.They also rush to push. Catching the bus in Canada is pretty much organized.Wait in line.It is a wrestling match in other countries, with all that pushing and shoving. Elections bring a lot of pushing ideas.The oil industry pushes the idea of jobs when they want to build pipelines.Greenpeace and Save the Artic push the environment, that it cannot be repaired once it is messed up.

Du-du-la.The first part is pronounced as in doom, the second part as in lasso.
ZULU ENGLISH Dudula. A boy’s name.There is a reason why the newborn is given this name.Maybe there is disagreem…

Ads The Internet's Demise

Online advertising overlooks one fact, irritated potential buyers do not buy products that pop up every minute during YouTube movies. They also close pages with three video ads and three AdWords.

Radio station managers tell DJ’s to announce upcoming 20 or 30 commercial-free blocks because they understand that people tune in for the music.Listeners tolerate that, because of the promise to enjoy it without furniture and hamburger ads butting in. Platforms that sell online advertising convince clients that bombarding viewers every minute will increase visibility, and lead them to pick up their product next time they visit the drugstore or car showroom.

It also has a negative effect because it kills goodwill required in the marketplace.Viewers remember irritating ads when they go shopping.They can settle scores by spending money on another product that does not interrupt their online movies every minute.

Radio identified the loss of goodwill, and came up with the solution of commercial free s…

Dreams In Zulu

I can’t sleep.I dream about you constantly. It’s a tired line but men will do anything to bag a date.Phupha is dreaming in Zulu. Dreams are called ama-phupho.Movie producers and musicians dream of making it in the U.S. because of sheer numbers.It’s a bigger market, especially if movies and albums are in English. Hilary Clinton dreamt of living in the White House again and again.Her dream did not come true. Nobody likes bad dreams, but good ones are in short supply. Some Africans dream of going to Canada and the U.S. because overseas education is perceived as superior to local education. Oppressed people dream of freedom. Some people who have experienced wars have nightmares. Phu-pha.The first part is in put, the second part as in palm. ZULU ENGLISH I-phupho. A dream. I-phupho e-libi. A bad dream. Ama-phupho. Dreams. Vuka! Vuka!Ukhale lani? Wake up! Wake up! Why are you crying? Be-ngi phupha. I was dreaming. U-phuphe-ni? What did you dream? Ngi-phuphe ngi-minza o-lwandle. I dreamt drowning in the sea. Li…

Parents Vs. Social Media

Social media is a big mystery to the sun and the moon.These incredible circles don’t understand why online friends and followers don’t follow the forces of nature i.e. the sun dances during the day with all kinds of things clapping.The moon takes the stage at night, casting a blue blanket over sleeping humanity.

Ideally, there should be a place for parents and one for social media such as Google +, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the massive YouTube.The two spaces meet if you follow your parents or your kids are listed as friends on Facebook.
The sun and moon analogy is about knowledge.There is knowledge that is not in the public domain and it can only be tapped by talking to parents or grandparents.It is not, because social media has merged the sun and the moon. Parents are mostly found at home, but kids are not talking to them because they believe their electronic punching bags provide all the answers.They want to know the height of the pyramids of Giza, they punch the electron…

Go Back Home in Zulu

Lonely Canada.If the entity called Canada could talk, it will reveal its sadness when people decide to go back after civil wars in their countries have stopped or when they have saved enough Canadian dollars to build mansions where they were born.

Going back home is goduka in Zulu.It is not only going back, but going back to a space called home.It can also mean going back to a political party you left because you thought the grass would be greener on the other side of the political spectrum.
Grandchildren don’t want to go back home because grandparents spoil them silly.They eat food that is not gluten free and there is no curfew at grandma’s house. Go-du-ka.The first part is pronounced as in GO Train, the second part as in do something and the last part as in kamala, an Indian word.

ZULU ENGLISH Ngi-ya-goduka. I’m going back home. Ba-ya-goduka. They are going back home. Ni-zo-goduka nini? When will you go back? Si-zo-goduka ku-sasa. We’ll go back tomorrow. U-phi u-Pedros? Where is Pedros? Wa-goduka…

WhatsApp and Best Friends

What is up is missing friends’ voices because of WhatsApp, texting, Twitter, Messenger and other finger-generated electronic drums.

Drums, because ancient people used drums to announce the birth of a child, collective harvest, enemy invasion or meetings with the king. You don’t call me.
Didn’t you get my text?

Talking on the phone enables us to play doctor, to diagnose the state of the person on the other line.Did I wake her up?Is he mad at me?She is not listening.He has been crying.She is going to ask me for a favour.The love is gone.
The voice brings either good or bad news.Characters in movies always say there is nothing wrong, when there is.We know when the person on the phone hasn’t had her morning cuppa tea or coffee.We know when he is late for work. Picking up a call or calling somebody also tells us about our position on the mountain.We are way down if friends don’t miss our voices, to hear us smile over the phone.It is also an indication of doom, that our numbers will be deleted, e…

Airports Luggage Mix-Up

Louis Vuitton luggage mix-up at the airport?

I don’t think so.That is fiction because you only see such suitcases in the movies and characters travel in private jets, not economy.

I was tempted to buy a black nylon bag on sale but, taking the wrong bag at the airport carousel after touching down in Strasbourg France, deleted the idea. It’s possible to take someone’s bag because most bags are black.I’ve never seen white luggage before.Even the Queen of England doesn’t have it.Cell phones compound matters because we are always distracted.
Black bags are popular because they travel well.They are stuffed in the aircraft belly, shunted between airports and emptied into carousels.They still come out black after all that aggravation. Travellers also like nylon bags because they inhale and exhale.You don’t need to fold clothes neatly like mama taught you.The more you stuff, the more they expand.

Louis Vuitton doesn’t do nylon and there’s a reason.You are supposed to travel with a matching set.Tim…

Hollywood And Hotel Rooms

Harvey Weinstein’s expulsion from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will not stop sexual accusations against men who yield power, because it is not a hotel.

No smoking in the hotel.No pets in the hotel.No noise after 9 p.m. Hotels have these restrictions to protect their 5 Star or 3 Star rating.It is also to make sure that Room 2201 doesn’t disturb Room 2202.
That is just about it.Hotels and privacy are twins.Hotels cannot regulate what happens between movie producers, directors, actors, actresses, personal assistants, entertainment reporters, camera operators and publicists, behind the DO NOT DISTURB sign. Hotels also provide spaces like the coffee shop, wedding rooms and conference rooms where film people can meet and discuss work in progress, production dollars or euros from the Weinstein Company or Tyler Perry, where films will be shot, possible crews to be hired and talent (actors and actresses).

That is where the Harvey Weinstein accusations come in.The Academy of Moti…

Tourist Hatred

Tourism benefits are well documented.What isn’t, are steps governments take to educate locals about this economic activity.Obviously, local people who work in hotels, bed and breakfast places, restaurants, entertainment centres, historic landmarks or drive cabs understand tourism benefits.

The man in the street might not.He might see tourists as a threat to his religious beliefs or cultural values, especially what he believes is the woman’s place in society.
He might resent their happy faces and photographic paraphernalia around their necks.He might abhor sexual choices not enshrined in his religion or culture. He might hate money tourists use to buy people and ‘adopt’ children to give them a so-called better life in Hollywood. Seasoned tourists know how to behave in certain countries for example, women cover their bodies as much as possible.A man taking a stroll on the beach at night in a foreign country might invite danger.Leaving the tourist bus without telling the driver where you a…

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.