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Family in Zulu

Describing family as mother, father and kids is restrictive because it is more than that in many cultures.
The family also includes cousins.  Igazi lami, means my blood on my mother’s side.   Black people outside Africa can relate to this because they sometimes call each other bloods.  They also call themselves brothers:  mfowethu.

The family is called um-ndeni in Zulu and has the following family members.  You do not call them by name:  John, Mary, Zinhle, Sipho, Themba etc. That is disrespect.


ZULU
ENGLISH
Mama.
Mother.
Mam’ncane.
Junior mother.  Your mother’s younger sister.
Mam’khulu.
Senior mother.  Your mother’s older sister.
Baba.
Father/dad.
Babo’mkhulu.
Grandfather.
Babo’mncane.
Junior father.  Your father’s younger brother.
Babe’kazi.
Your father’s sister.
Gogo.
Grandmother.
Khulu.
Grandmother.
Malume.
Uncle.  Your mother’s brother.
Dadewethu.
My sister.
Mfowethu.
My brother.
Gaz’lami.
My cousin, which literally means my blood.
Makoti.
Sister in law.
Ma-ka-Phindi.
Phindi’s mother.
Baba-ka-Phindi.
Phindi’s father.
Ma-ka-Phumani.
Phumani’s mother.
Baba-ka-Phumani.
Phumani’s father.
Ma-ka-David.
David’s mother.
Baba-ka-David.
David’s father.

By:  Nonqaba waka Msimang.

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