Two in Zulu

The first thing I learnt in French was how to count.  Two is -bili in Zulu.  Nature is fascinating, especially when we see two birds.  There are millions of them out there, but these two decided to hang out and even have kids.

The crack of dawn is kwa-mabili.  Ancient scientists in the land called Kwa-Zulu noticed that there is a point when day becomes night.  That is why they called the crack of dawn kwa-mabili, literally meaning in-between two phenomena.

The English language says two’s company, three is a crowd.  We have two eyes, two hands.  There are two sexes: male and female.  Nature favours two.  Society also.  He is a recluse, meaning he keeps to himself.   But wait!  Everybody is a recluse now, burying our heads in the sand, cellphone sand, that is.
Bi-li, which means two.  The first part is pronounced as in Bill, but as a soft -b-.  DO NOT SAY bilingual.  The second part is pronounced as in leek.

U-mama no-baba, ba-hamba bo-ba-bili.
Mum and dad are walking together.
Ba-ya-thandana.  Ba-hamba bo-ba-bili.
They like each other.  They walk together.
Both of us.
How many are they?
They are two.
Wo-zani la.  No-ba-bili.
Come here, both of you.
Ngi-cela ama-qanda a-ma-bili.
May I have two eggs please?
Ba-ne-zingane ezi-mbili.
They have two kids.
U-ne-zingane e-zi-ngaki?
How many kids do you have?
Ngi-ne-zingane ezi-mbili.
I have two kids.
Ngi-pheka ka-bili ngo-suku.
I cook twice a day.
Ngi-geza ka-bili ngo-suku.
I bathe twice a day.
Ba-thandaza ka-bili ngo-suku.
They pray twice a day.

By:  Nonqaba waka Msimang.


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