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Showing posts from November, 2018

Dinner With A Cellphone

Paris caf├ęs are famous for people watching.That is why they are popular with writers scouting for characters.They are by no means Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre, but they call themselves writers nonetheless.
The cellphone has come to their rescue.They don’t have to book a flight and disembark at Roissy Airport, to get character ideas.They just wear their designer sunglasses and observe people on their phones, especially dinner dates.Typical scene.

1.She-date confidently follows restaurant host to reserved table, he-date scrolls down his phone.
2.Here’s the menu, your waiter will be with you shortly, thank you says she-date, he-date is still engaged.
3.She-date: Toyima my girlfriend told me about this place.Look at the high ceilings.
4.She-date: Yes.We are ready to order.
5.She-date:Oh! Him?He’ll have the same.
6.She-date:I have a new hair colour.It’s red.Did you notice?
7.She-date: Hmmm! The food is here. Look at that!
8.She-date: Office politics drive me crazy.I’m thinking of start…

Hunting in Zulu

Hunt is zi-nge-la in Zulu.

Morning trains are depressing because of misery painted on passengers’ faces.They left warm beds because of food and woke up at the crack of dawn to go to work. People still living on their traditional land hunt for survival, to get meat they dry for winter, fish to eat and smoke for winter, skins to hide their bodies and animal fat to oil their skins.

Humans are also scared of being hunted, to be captured and forced to convert into the four main religions.It is not a holy conversion, just a form of getting unpaid servants. History tells us that a country called the United States of America needed free manpower.African chiefs responded to the call by waging war on their neighbours solely to sell them to slave traders. That was then, but girls are still being sold as sex slaves as you read this.

Zi-nge-la.You say the first part like zinc, the second like film director Anthony Minghella and the third part like luck.
ZULU ENGLISH Mzingeli. A boy’s name meaning the one w…

A Child Named Thanksgiving

My name is Thanksgiving.

What does it mean, exactly?It means thank you, Siyabonga in Zulu, a language spoken in South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho and Zimbabwe. Kids will be born on Thanksgiving in the United States on 22 November because it is a kid thing to do.They get tired of hanging out in women’s bodies for nine months and decide to make a grand entrance into a world ruled by the question: How much?

Their names will be Siyabonga if parents speak isi-Zulu, or like African names.Africa, just like any other collection of cultures, has naming traditions and one of them is giving kids names that reflect what was happening when they were born. If Donald Trump has any grandkids born this Thanksgiving, he would probably call them Siyabonga, for Republicans losing the House but retaining the Senate during the midterm elections on the 6th of November 2018.

After a wedding or any other celebration, it is not unusual for drunk folks to say to the host:  Ave sesibonga (we say a big thanks).


Yesterday And Tomorrow in Zulu

Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. This lesson will deal with yesterday and tomorrow only, because I can’t think of a way to teach you na-mhla-nje which is today in Zulu.English does not have cluster vowels like Zulu and Xhosa. ZULU ENGLISH I-zo-lo. Yesterday. A-ma-zo-lo Dew, literally means water that formed yesterday. Na-mhla-nje. Today. Ku-sa-sa. Tomorrow. I-zo-lo.The first part has the e-mail sound, the second the Zodiac sound and the last part, the lock sound. Ku-sa-sa.The first part sounds like kudu, the last two as salad. ZULU ENGLISH U-fi-ke ni-ni? When did you arrive? Ngi-fi-ke i-zo-lo. I arrived yesterday. Ba-fi-ke ni-ni? When did they arrive? Ba-fi-ke i-zo-lo. They arrived yesterday. Si-fi-ke e-Nice i-zo-lo. We arrived in Nice yesterday. Ba-fi-ke e-Hamburg i-zolo.

Kids On A Budget

The best time to introduce kids to budgeting is before their first cellphones, when you are still their world, the shining star that radiates all kinds of wisdom.

What also helps is capitalizing on their impatience to be grown-up. For example, giving them money to pay for groceries is a high, they feel grown-up.Cashiers address them directly, give them the change and say have a nice day. Credit and debit cards are money, a form of payment, but paper money is more tangible.It has colours that represent limits: green, brown, red or blue notes. Teaching your kids budgeting at an early age also helps you, because older kids will advise younger brothers and sisters.
“Mom doesn’t have enough money for ice cream.We will buy it next time.”

The stress is paper money because of limit, the very essence of budgeting.Mama used to sit us around the dining table and explain that my sister will get new shoes first because hers had been repaired to death and the shoemaker couldn’t perform miracles.He trie…

Who in Zulu

Who are you?
Who is ba-ni in Zulu. Who won the November 2018 midterm elections in the U.S?
When you visit southern Africa, people will ask you your name (i-ga-ma). You’ll tell them and also say you are from Brazil, Portugal, Poland or Ukraine.
The question is more detailed for locals because they still live in close-knit communities, both rural and urban.The answer should include your last name, your father’s name and grandfather’s. This was important in the olden days because certain families lived in certain parts of the land e.g. above a river or under a mountain range.
Who broke the window?Accidents happen when boys play football or cricket nearby.There’s a knock on the door?Who is it?
Ba-ni.The first part is pronounced like Ba-li, with a soft -b- and the second part like neat.

ZULU ENGLISH U-ba-ni i-ga-ma la-kho? What is your name? U-ngu-ba-ni? Who are you? U-ba-ni o-ngqo-ngqo-za-yo? Who is knocking? U-ba-ni lo? Who is this? U-ma-ma. It is mother. U-ba-ni lo? Who is this? U-ba-ba. It is father. U-ba-…

Getting Drunk Responsibly

Drink but don’t get drunk.

December is around the corner and liquor stores have taken ads all over the place to tell us to drink responsibly, meaning drink but don’t get drunk. Very confusing.They will be out of business if we drank responsibly.We will drink one shot of rum/whisky, one bottle of beer, a finger of tequila, gin or vodka and one small glass of wine.

Bars will be out of business.Bartenders will be out of a job and Hollywood will stop making movies about ‘last call’, a call to have that one last drink to confirm that you are drunk enough to get into your car and drive home. Hollywood especially, because it made champagne glamorous.We see beautiful actors celebrating good news with champagne and clicking glasses.A toast!That is a Hollywood invention that is now touted as global urban culture.

Another favourite movie line is telling the barman that you want a martini: ‘Shaken, not stirred.’ It started with some movie somewhere and got recycled, like all Hollywood scripts.First o…

Cellphones Get Lost Message

Action speaks louder than words.

Therefore, reaching for your cellphone when somebody is talking to you sends one message.I’m done with you.I’m no longer listening to you.I’m now ‘talking’ and listening to whatever I see on the screen, even if it is cartoons. Some people just don’t get it.They continue talking and the cellphone navigator continues to navigate.Oh! She’s smiling.The talker thinks that is a good sign, but the navigator is smiling at the cellphone.

A person who values herself will stop talking as soon as the other person fishes out her cellphone.She must stop talking right there and exit the conversation and the friendship, or remnants of it.People navigate their cellphones because of manners.It is not polite to say: ‘You are boring me.’That is when they remember that action speaks louder than words. You might not realise that you are devalued, but passers-by do, and don’t understand why you don’t get the message although the bus is flashing: downtown, downtown!

Eyes.How abou…

Receive/Accept in Zulu

Receive and accept is a-mu-ke-la in zulu.
It is both because receiving something is not a guarantee that it will be accepted.Take phone calls for example.When you are mad at some people, you reject their calls, send them to voice mail or block them.Therefore, they were received but not accepted.
A-mu-ke-la. Receive food from Ma, a gift; a blessing from the Pope and other religious leaders; a diploma on graduation day; receive the guest of honour for your function or receive a yes, for your love proposal.The ultimate acceptance of an engagement is the wedding.The groom or bride might not show up at the altar, nullifying what was initially received.
A baby boy is called Samukelo and a girl Mamukelo.Kids in Africa are taught to receive food and gifts with two hands, a sign of respect. The bride and bridegroom in an English wedding, accept each other’s rings. A-mu-ke-la.You say the first part of the verb like art, the second like moot, third like the French phrase qu-est and the last like l…

December Family Portraits

Make the 2018 holiday season uber special by organizing family portraits.This means hiring a professional photographer who will come to the designated house to take pictures of grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters and cousins all under one roof.

No, your cellphone won’t do because despite the high quality of cellphone cameras, we still take out of focus pics. Grandparents push phones in your face and you have no option but to say the grandkids are cute, although you can hardly see them.Yes, I can see you in this camping pic, when I can’t.Therefore, cellphone portraits are out of the question. O.K. You don’t want a professional photographer?Get a family member who has the right hardware and it doesn’t have to be $10 000 lenses.Someone who takes photography seriously understands the light source.Is the light coming from a window or desk lamps with white bulbs?
Be creative.Transform the garage into a studio if you have a fantastic garage like those I see in fancy magazines.Take out th…

Share With Your Sisters

Family values.
They mean different things to different people.
They are nothing but, how things are done to bring up kids to prepare them to live in harmony with a harsh world, with people who share the same outlook on life, or not.

Sharing for example.It makes school easier if kids are used to sharing and helps them with their subjects.Jack is more likely to understand what the teacher is saying about quarters, if it reminds him of home. I’ll cut this orange into four quarters so that you can share with your three sisters.

This muffin is too big for you.Let’s cut it in half. From time immemorial, immigrants in Canada and the U.S. had a history of sharing. They settled well and adopted ways to show their affluence: over spending and overlooking the mine, mine, mine song kids sing in a new country.Sharing is often shunned as old country values.
Besides inculcating rudimentary math, sharing is good for the environment because it is not littered with soda cans three-year old kids could not fin…