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Showing posts from July, 2018

Haircut in Zulu

Need a haircut? A haircut is gu-nda in Zulu.It also applies to cutting grass with a lawn mower.

The Queen of England, through her colonial administration forced all African school children in South Africa to cut their hair to prevent lice, but white kids in white schools had long hair they tied with ribbons.Old apartheid photos are quite a revelation.

Spike Lee’s first film was Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads.A brilliant student film, which was followed by more awesome ones.In the olden days in Africa, family members shaved their heads when someone died. There are certain faiths in India that forbid cutting hair. Gu-nda.You say the first part like good, the second like Andalusia in Spain.

ZULU ENGLISH Ngi-yo-gunda. I’m going for a haircut. Ngi-zo-gunda ku-sa-sa. I’ll have a haircut tomorrow. Ha-mba u-yo-gunda. Go and have a haircut. Guido, ha-mba u-yo-gu-nda. Guido, go and get a haircut. Jacques, ha-mba u-yo-gu-nda. Jacques, go and get a haircut. U-ba-ba u-gu-nda u-Leo. Father is giving Leo a …

Love After Death

Meghan Markle, or the Duchess of Sussex, as Buckingham Palace calls her is very fortunate.Her marriage to Prince Harry put on show people who believe that they are family members and want her to acknowledge them one way or the other.

She is fortunate because she is still alive and can decide how she wants to relate to them.Dead people don’t have a choice, especially if they left huge sums of money or fame that can translate to riches.They cannot come back from the grave and put a stop to claims from family members who suddenly love them so much they sue someone for allegedly causing their death. Wealth enables famous people to live a particular lifestyle.It might be toxic, like living on drugs.When they are enjoying themselves, the world never hears about concerned family members that caution them about potential dangers of the chosen lifestyle.

Maybe they did, behind closed family doors and the dead person said, ‘It’s my life.’Well and good.More reason why family members should not surf…

On Top in Zulu

On top is phezulu in Zulu, but the last syllable -lu is dropped and becomes phezu.However, Christians call god, the one who is on top: o-nga-phezulu.

We put all kinds of things on top of book shelves.Folks with fancy homes have a fireplace and a mantelpiece, where they put framed photos and kids’ sports trophies. There should be no shoes on the table where people eat, the bed also.A very rude person is described as, being so rude that he stands on top of the roof.Some Bollywood movies have people inside and on top of buses.

Phe-zu-lu.The first part is pronounced like pace, the second like zoo and the third part like look.
ZULU ENGLISH Gi-be-la phezu kwe-ndlu. Go on top of the roof. Gi-be-la phezu kwe-Mount Kenya. Go on top of Mount Kenya. Ye-hla phezu kwe-ndlu. Come down from the roof. Ngi-zo-fu-nda ngi-be phe-zulu. I will go to school and be somebody on top. Bhe-ka phe-zulu ubone i-zi-nka-nye-zi Look up and see the stars. Ba-the-mbe o-nga-phe-zu-lu. They trust in god. Be-ka u-mo-ba phezu kwe-ta-ful…

Make Soft in Zulu

Thambisa is to make something soft in Zulu.It comes from thamba. When it is soft, i-thambile.

Tha-mbi-sa.You say the first part of the word like tally, the second part as in umbilical cord and the last part as in salsa. Fish is nice and soft, but you cook meat longer if you want it to be soft and easy to chew. Cookies from the oven are soft and melt in your mouth. A man making unsuccessful moves on a woman might have encouraging friends that reassure him, that she will soften eventually.

ZULU ENGLISH Le-nyama i-tha-mbi-le. This meat is soft. Ba-tha-nda i-nya-ma e-tha-mbi-le. They like soft meat. Tha-mbi-sa nga-ma-nzi. Soften it with water. Tha-mbi-sa i-zwi Donald Trump. Soften your tone Donald Trump. Tha-mbi-sa i-zwi Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. Soften your tone Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. A-ve e-tha-mbi-le. She/he is soft spoken. U-ma-ma u-mu-ntu o-tha-mbi-le. My mother is soft spoken by nature. U-ba-ba u-mu-ntu o-tha-mbi-le. My father is soft spoken by nature. U-zo-tha-mba u-Lena. Lena will soften her…

Ban I.D. Photos

I’m running for mayor under the Smile I.D. Party.

I think we’ll get a decent vote because there are many silent objectors to the requirement that we should not smile when we take photos for the driver’s licence, passport, provincial identification card and health card. I understand the requirement that we should remove hats and baseball caps because they partly hide the face.But I’m clueless as to why we should not smile.Why is it a crime?It is a crime because I once sneaked in a smile, and the road transport photographer shook her head and said we should try again.Was she trained in smiled detection?

Politicians that make these laws have never explained why smiles are bad for I.D. photos.Do they distort the face?Do I look like somebody else when I’m smiling? These questions need answers because the current ugly I.D. photos give a wrong impression.We don’t go around life looking like we are constipated or standing on pieces of broken bottles, like Hema Malini in Sholay, the classic Bollyw…

Multi Lingual

Speaking more than one language gives you an extra pair of eyes to see the world outside your arrondissement, canton or village.It’s a plus, not a minus.

It enables you to join the fun when France arrives home hoisting the FIFA World Cup.It allows you to say congratulations when Germany honours Angelique Kerber for bringing home the 2018 Wimbledon’s Women Singles’ title after defeating Serena Williams. It helps you smile when people make jokes in Hindi or Yoruba in a public place or shock them with your reaction when they call you names.Your music selection becomes wider.Food choices become as illustrious as the ocean seabed with all that colour.

You are not irritated by surnames because you can place them in a geo-political and cultural space.You might not like the politics of a particular country but you understand both sides of the political debate. Most of all, you don’t feel inferior and say to other Canadians, Americans or Australians:

Go back to your country.’ By:Nonqaba waka Msima…

Shopping Malls Brisk Business

Grocery store check out.Conversation.

‘I buy all my grandkids’ toys online.’ There are many shoppers like her that take the online express way but that is not an immediate threat to shopping malls, because they are still attractive to people who believe in see, touch and try on, especially for women’s blouses that might be size 38 but sleeves are cut for 34 arms.Shoes that are size 6, might feel like size 4 because feet are not born equal.

Traditional shopping malls are the, I’m bored destination for families where kids who are not hungry at all, binge on hamburgers and onion rings while parents nimbly lift sushi from plastic trays. Should families decide to buy anything frivolous, they can try it on, come out and show wives or husbands, get the required it looks good on you vote, and proceed to the cashier with their credit cards.

In-mall shopping makes it easier to return items that were not needed in the first place.It’s a matter of driving a few blocks from home or hopping on the bus,…

Fetch in Zulu

Fetch is landa in Zulu.

France wants to fetch the 2018 World Cup.Serena Williams wants to fetch the 2018 Wimbledon title for Women’s Singles. Part of bringing up kids is asking them to fetch things.This increases their vocabulary, learn where things are kept at home, how to cook, learn about money and who to fetch if the parent is sick. Pet owners teach dogs to fetch slippers.

La-nda.You say it as in Landau, a town in Germany.
ZULU ENGLISH Themba, la-nda i-phone yami. Themba, fetch my phone. Zola, la-nda i-jazi lami. Zola, fetch my coat. Ngi-zo-landa u-Themba e-day care. I will fetch Themba from day care. La-nda u-Themba e-day care. Fetch Themba from day care. La-nda i-moto e-garaji. Fetch the car from the garage. Si-zo-la-nda u-mama e-airport. We will fetch mother from the airport. Ba-zo-la-nda u-makoti. They will fetch the bride. Ba-zo-la-nda u-baba e-bus stop. They will fetch father from the bus stop. Ni-zo-la-nda i-zi-nku-ni e-hla-thi-ni. You will fetch wood from the forest. U-zo-ba landa nini o-Grace? W…

Wimbledon Serena's Close Shave

Kristina Mladenovic’s finesse in round 3 of Wimbledon 2018 against Serena Williams, can be attributed to burning the midnight oil, working on a game plan.

Although Serena won, the figures 7-5,7-6 are an indication that the game plan worked 80%.What eroded the 20% were her overhead shots designed to remove Serena from the net because Serena flattened them down Kristina’s baseline, landing high up like Mount Fuji. The master plan had mini strategies to deal with Serena’s serve, passing shots, the net, backhand, forehand and ground strokes.Kristina also had a plan to combat Serena’s deceptive shots that look like they will land on the porch but land right inside the living room.

Her hidden agenda was to make Serena run, hoping that she is not as athletic as she used to be.That was a mistake because she did run and saved most of the points, but she is not fit as she was, something she must work on if she continues playing tennis. Kristina also put a top spin on the ball most of the time, but…

Zulu Improves English

English was an outsider when the Queen’s navy and armies landed in Africa, so locals improved it.Ama-Zulu, whose ancestral land is in South Africa, used their language isi-Zulu to improve that language.

ENGLISH WORD ZULU IMPROVEMENT Gold. i-golide. Money. i-mali. Shelf. i-shalofu. Kettle. i-ke-te-la. English. i-si-Ngisi. Step ladder. i-si-te-bhi-si. Steps in a building or house. a-ma-ste-bhi-si. Window. i-windi. The beach. e-bhi-shi. Shirt. i-shethi. Sister. Sisi. Brother. Bro.


National selfie day.National fried chicken day.If there are such auspicious days, I can also celebrate myself by creating and international Me Day which recognises the wonder that is me.

I won’t restrict myself to borders.That is why it will be international.I am international because I breathe the same air with the whole world.The sun also gives me a little bit of its warmth like everybody else.The moon shines blue on me when it is in a good mood and the rainbow sends me a text when it is in full display, like a mischievous peacock, the bird that is the epitome of me-mess. Rainbow colours are equally striking that is why I colour myself beautiful.I am essential to the world because rainbow colours are inter-dependent.We cannot separate them with a knife.They feed on each other.

The international me day confirms that the world will not be the same without me, just as we cannot have one million dollars if a dime is missing.I might be an ant but there is a good reason for being part of the…

Girls' Names Meaning Thank You

Millions of girls are named Sibongile (we are thankful) not only in South Africa alone but throughout Africa, in languages of the soil like Luo, Makonde, Ndebele, Sesotho, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa etc.

The birth certificate will have Sibongile, but it is actually a whole sentence of why parents are thankful for her birth. Si-bo-ngi-le come from bonga, which is thankful in Zulu.It is bringing up kids to say thank you when someone gives them food or a gift.Parents routinely send kids with messages of thanks to neighbours.

Si-bo-ngi-le.The first part is pronounced like seize, the second part like Molotov but replace -M- with -b-, the third part like sing with -a- and the last part as in leg.

ZULU ENGLISH Bo-ngi-we. A girl’s name meaning the one who is thanked. Bongi for short. Bo-nge-ka. A girl’s name meaning thankful. Bongi for short. Ba-bo-ngi-le. They were thankful. Si-ya-ku bo-nge-la. We are thankful for you.Congratulations. U-Za-ndi-le wa- bo-nga nge-mi-fi-no. Zandile showed her thanks with spinach/g…

Thank You in Zulu

Bonga, is being thankful in Zulu.It is bringing up kids to say thank you when someone gives them a glass of water or a gift.Kids growing up in Africa dare not forget because an adult will fire the question.

‘What did you say?’ ‘Forgive me ma. Thank you.’

It is also a popular boy’s name.Bo-nga.The first part is pronounced as in Molotov but take out -M- and put -b-. You say the second part as in singing, but with an -a-: bonga. Merci.  That is thank you in French. Knowing how to say thank you in many languages is a good travelling companion. 
ZULU ENGLISH Bonga. Thank you.A boy’s name, which means giving thanks to a baby boy, the mother’s promotion at work or the rain needed for crops.Families have many reasons to be thankful for. Bong’umusa. A boy’s name meaning we thank the kindness, usually of god. Bonga is the short version of the name. Bong’inkosi. A boy’s name meaning we thank the lord. Bong’isipho. A boy’s name meaning we thank the gift. Bongani. Many people say thank you. Si-ya-bonga. A…