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Showing posts from May, 2018

Avoid Someone in Zulu

Missed calls.Friends and lovers are mad at you when you don’t take their calls. Voicemail is a caller’s nightmare.

Avoiding someone is sha-la-za in Zulu. It was avoiding talking to somebody before the advent of cell phones.Friends that have a fall out avoid each other.When things go sour, lovers who had an affair at work avoid each other until the woman resigns.I don’t understand why it is always the woman that leaves. Sha-la-za.The first part is pronounced as in shy, the second part as in lark and the last part as in Zara.

ZULU ENGLISH Musa u-ku-ngi- sha-la-zela. Don’t avoid me. U-ya-ngi sha-la-ze-la.Nge-nzeni? You are avoiding me.What have I done? A-ngi-ku-sha-la-ze-li. I’m not avoiding you. U-nga-thi u-ya-ngi-sha-la-ze-la. It seems as if she is avoiding me. Sha-la-za Gloria.Ku-lu-ngi-le. Avoid me Gloria.It’s O.K. Sha-la-za Sergio.Ku-lu-ngi-le. Avoid me Sergio.It’s O.K. Sha-la-za Shahid.Ku-lu-ngi-le. Avoid me Shahid.It’s O.K. Ba-ya-sha-la ze-lana. They are avoiding each other. Si-ya-sha-la ze-lana. We …

Nature For Sale

The difference between men who have shares in oil exploration and those that work the oil rigs is morning sounds.

Oil barons do not live where they source wealth, under the soil or ocean. They live on acres of land with trees and flowing streams, so they wake up to frogs croaking, birds mating and water caressing slippery stones. Their workers in downtown Toronto or Islington wake up to fire engines at the crack of dawn, wailing police cars, a woman in the top apartment crying because of domestic violence, drunkards singing off key on the pavement and snow crews scraping the white stuff from dirty streets.

Billionaires have the best of both worlds.They buy shares (on bank credit), make profit on that credit and walk away when oil, gold, diamond, clothing factories and car manufacturing stop being profitable. Poor people are left holding the baby, inner city decay. Profits they make enable captains of industry to enjoy peace in serene suburbs, summer houses, and Mediterranean islands.Some…

Countries in Zulu

Wakanda is a country in the movie Black Panther.A country i-zwe in Zulu. Many countries ama-zwe.I-zwe is also land (soil, gold, platinum, and vegetation).

I-zwe.The first part is pronounced as in e-mail, the second part as in the German word Zwilling.
The United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) are composed of many countries, so is the Commonwealth. 
Wars over land are part of history and are still going on, leading to refugees and displacement.

ZULU ENGLISH I-zwe le-thu. Our land. I-Kenya i-zwe le-thu. Kenya is our country. Germany i-zwe lethu. Germany is our country. Brazil i-zwe le-thu. Brazil is our country. Canada i-zwe le-thu. Canada is our country. I-zwe li-kabani? Whose country is it? I-zwe la-mi. It’s my country. I-UAE i-zwe la-bo. The UAE is their land. A-ma-zwe a-ma-bi-li. Two countries. A-ma-zwe a-ma-ni-ngi. Many countries.

Magazines Forever

Magazines relocated online in pursuit of readers that read the world through their fingers as they massage cell phones, tablets or punch keys on laptop computers, but book stores and newsstands still carry some hard copies.

Magazines are cottages built from words and photography.That is why readers that love photography are loyal buyers of the limited magazine print runs.Big is better when it comes to photography.Photo spreads tell a story of lights the photographer used, the models’ makeup, clothes and locations. A very big monitor hooked up to your laptop will also show photos better but not everyone has those massive monitors graphic designers use.Besides, you cannot put a monitor on a table in the garden or park bench, a beach mat, swimming pool, bedside or kitchen table.

Mobility.Magazines are tucked away in briefcases, laptop bags, handbags and shopping bags.They are also easy to retrieve. You just pick it up where you left it and find the page you want.You don’t have to scroll dow…

Dull Knives Cut Deep

Knives, both plastic and steel cannot be recycled for obvious reasons.They will cut through the garbage bag, as all garbage is thrown out in big plastic bags.I suppose it makes it easier for the garbage guys to play some ball, slam dunk the bag in the garbage truck.
Steel knives cannot be recycled because they will also break whatever industrial machine is used to crush the garbage, if it is crushed at all.That is why we keep knives we no longer use.It might be the reason why the English language has the saying, not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
It is not complimentary at all because you don’t tell people in the face, like ‘that’s a great hair cut.’You say it behind their back.You do not write it in an e-mail because electronic mail has wings.It might end up before the knife in question, today, tomorrow or after five years.
Somehow, my English teacher forgot to tell me about it.I discovered it later in life, from a book by Maeve Binchy, which I found in my cousin’s collection. The ti…

Oprah Back Off Doria

Oprah Winfrey should know by now that silence is golden.That is why she should squash rumours that she will interview Doria Ragland, Meghan Markle’s mother in a tell-all interview.

Doria has already told it all, by keeping silent.Other loud-sounding cymbals continue the tell-all.Oprah’s power is not disputable, but she should learn how to walk away, to respect privacy, that she has demanded her whole life.
The world respects decisions she took about her life with Graham Stedman.She should also respect Doria’s decision about how she raised Meghan and why she is mute about how she feels about her marriage to a man known as an English prince. The world respects Doria Ragland.It also respects her need for privacy, to forget the past and submerge in the present and future.She has reasons for her silence and if Oprah respects herself, she should back off and not insist on an interview. What is important right now is the future of the kids, Meghan’s and Prince Harry’s.

Oprah has frightening sec…

This Is Not CNN

The White House or the U.S. President is not the only brick in news coverage, but is definitely its brick and mortar.Therefore, the sitting president’s calibre can determine the number of viewers that tune in to CNN, and news channels in general.

The voracious use of Twitter obviously has a negative impact on television ratings because it is faster than news bulletins and CNN’s six figure analysis panels, an attempt at rainbow opinion presentation. The president said or did something. Is it credible?Is it not? Five or six people at the anchor’s desk give their analysis.Such panel discussions can be redundant, bearing in mind that Twitter already has 2,000 comments since the story broke 30 minutes ago.

Television is synonymous with numbers.Shows are taken off the air if they don’t garner impressive numbers.What is missing from ratings is the public’s attitude to the sitting president.Are more people watching news channels because of the president or are there less viewers? If numbers are …

Cellphones Fodder For Silent Movies

The silent film era is part of the course content in most film schools.There was no dialogue, just good acting that made people laugh or cry. Think about the Mr. Bean television series in the U.K. which was sold to other television stations world wide.

The silent film has been resurrected, thanks to the cellphone which enables lovers not to talk to each other. Text messages are the new messiah for talking to friends and relatives.
Are you done shaving?
Go and warm the car.
I’m taking the dog out for a walk.
The twins are graduating from college this fall.
Can my mum join us for dinner?
Dinner ready. Can you come down from your study?
The game is about to start.Are you coming?
I got a promotion today.
I was fired today.
I’m moving to Yellowknife.
What about us?
There’s no us.
Goodbye.I’ll come back later for my things.
We need to talk. We never talked for two years.
This is reality.It is all normal.In fact, priests and rabbi are no longer needed.Just text your intention to marry the other person.I DO…

Distorted History Lessons

The elite women warriors called Dora Milaje, led by Okoye (Danai Gurira) in Black Panther took me back to school, where teachers told me Egypt has the pyramids and Cleopatra.We also learnt about Joan of Arc, Helen of Troy and Anne Boleyn.

History books did not have Mkabayi ka Jama, the Zulu princess who was born a twin.Her father King Jama had one wife, something unheard of in ancient times.
The king had no male child something that worried her because she believed that she and her twin sister were somehow responsible for that.She took the matter into her own hands.She convinced her father to marry Mthaniya, who gave birth to Senzangakhona, who had a son Shaka. What is history?Let us avoid the dictionary meaning because it is subjective.It depends on who wrote the book, in what language and the intention of teaching kids that history.The Queen of England could not speak the languages of all the countries she conquered so English was enforced in schools through the cane and twisting ears.

Profits And Planet Destruction

Saworoide, a Yoruba film by Tunde Kelani obliterates the fallacy that economic development or urbanisation leads to a better life.
It does, for a few rich people who buy shares on credit, so that a company can go to Africa, Australia or Brazil to dig up gold, diamonds, platinum or suck up oil from the bottom of the sea.Modern day African politicians are also in the game because they regularly promise to bring development after elections.
In the movie, loggers bribe the king and chiefs but are still not satisfied because they cannot cut down trees in the sacred forest.The king also gave them the licence on condition that they plant trees after the logging.Loggers complain that such restrictions cut down their profit. Saworoide is like an octopus.It has many tentacles.The most important one is the symbiotic relationship between humans and the land.One of the characters tells the king that logging has hurt his honey business because bees are gone.

Humans and animals, be it wild life or sea c…

Lights For Home Videos

Lighting your YouTube or home video is still important even if you are using a state of the art cellphone or digital camera.

There are companies that rent lighting equipment but you don’t have to take that route because you don’t have the budget Ryan Coogler had, for shooting Black Panther.You can also find basic lights at the lights section of department stores.
However, the story comes before lighting.Is the video about a child naming ceremony, Bar Mitzvah, wedding anniversary, music video about a pianist, rock video, your 2-year-old’s birthday party or college application video?The story will determine where you put the lights.For example, you shoot low for toddlers because they are running around, so lights would be on the floor.
·Cellphones.Your phone has a torch or searchlight.Use two phones on either side of the subject you are shooting so that the light meets.See the effect. Decide if you like it.For example, you can place them on the floor, to show the actor taking off his shoe…

Email Address By Force

‘We don’t have your e-mail address,’ said the cashier accusingly.

‘No, you don’t.’ Ah! Ah! Is it by force? She wasn’t impressed when I confirmed that it was not an oversight.I don’t give it out because we have a short-term relationship which is detrimental to my bank balance, that is already leaking.

I buy the merchandise that is on sale, pay for it and we part company.Demand for my email presupposes that we are friends like Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey, or business partners developing software that detects hackers and sends a RETURN TO SENDER virus to cripple them. It is not in the Canadian constitution that I give my personal details to shop keepers.They have an ulterior motive which is blowing up my inbox with sales and buy two, get the third one free offers.She looks hurt when I say I keep my email close to my chest because I don’t want junk mail.

She reassures me that it is not.It’s a heads up from them to tell me about the latest shipment from China, marketed as made in Italy.I will…

To hold in Zulu

To hold something is phatha in Zulu.Somebody like Bill Gates holds serious money, u-phethe imali.

Mothers cry at weddings because they don’t know how daughters will be treated by in-laws.They hope husbands will hold them dear, treat them well.Pha-tha is holding something in your hand.Eggs are fragile so we hold them carefully, unless we want to make a monster omelette.

Kids are mercenaries.They want to know what you brought for them from town.Pha-tha also refers to the state of your health.If you are sick, it means you are not holding well.

Miriam Makeba, who introduced the world to isi-Xhosa, her language had a hit song called PhathaPhatha, which means holding somebody here and there.She went back to South Africa after 1994, but was not honoured because she refused to belong to one political party, which was ironic because she spoke for all oppressed people when she was in exile, not just one political persuasion.

Pha-tha the first part of the verb is pronounced as in paternity, the seco…

Rappers The New Royalty

Rap music is social commentary that is mostly understood by people in that game.They talk to each other in their special language through the microphone.They also tend to beat their own drum, how beautiful they are, how many people they love, their cars, their genius and so on.They also diss (disrespect) rivals. That sounds like praise poetry to me.
African kings like the people called amaZulu in South Africa, have praise poems.Departed kings that live in ancestor land now, have praise poetry which is still taught at school.It is called izibongo (praises).

The King’s CV or resume
Izibongo are like a king’s profile on Facebook, Linked In, Twitter or Google.Izibongo have the following information.
·Names and royal surnames (they are more than one)
·The king’s parents and grandparents
·Where he was born and circumstances surrounding his birth
·War history especially the victories
·His wives and children
·His encounter with the British and other colonizers
Rappers can have as many praise poems as t…

Plastic Bags And Buying Vegetables

Using supermarket plastic bags for fruit and vegetables is partly responsible for the proliferation of plastic bags in oceans, rivers, flowerbeds, public parks, railway tracks and highways.It is possible to reduce the number of rogue plastic bags polluting the environment by simply not using them at source: where we do grocery shopping.
I mentioned the importance of recycling at source in a previous blog, The Recycling Bible 8 March 2018. It will be hard initially because it needs a certain mindset like driving.Safety is the key so we don’t engage in stupid behaviour like texting and driving, which could kill someone. We are mindful of traffic lights turning amber, pedestrian crossings, roads full of herds of cattle or elephants out for a stroll, roads near junior schools etc.

Not putting fruit and vegetables in a plastic bag is easier if it’s a few oranges, but a challenge if they are eight because the cashier’s scale is a little square that was designed to weigh them in a plastic bag.…