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Showing posts from January, 2019

Bed Bugs Unaccompanied Luggage

Bed bugs, passengers with no boarding passes.
We live with bed bugs, because of fear: fear to wash our bodies, homes, bed sheets and bed covers.We have taken it to next level, wearing pyjamas in public.The school bus might have some bed bugs because some kids wear pyjamas to school.Ask your kids.They know the PJ crew.
You don’t have anything to worry about if they wear school uniform like Japan, Britain and all countries conquered by the Queen of England.Cabs can also have bed bugs if we rush to the airport wearing pyjamas.
Is it anybody’s business if I regard my PJs as unisex (for both day and night)? Yes, it is, because it is a health issue, especially if you use public transport like planes.
Most people prepare themselves for air travel.They leave pyjamas on the floor or bed, take a shower with nice soap, cut unwanted hair, wear their best clothes and spray some cologne or perfume.This is the desired travel etiquette especially if you are on a long flight from Toronto to Dubai, because…

Oil in Zulu

Oil is a-ma-fu-tha in Zulu.

The Arab world produces oil.  America needs it.  They don't like each other very much.  Such irony.
People on a diet do not want to hear the -o- word.Oil?I’ll get fat like a rhino.What’s funny is that I love olive oil, but hate olives, green, black or any other colour.How do they press out the oil anyway, is what I would like to know?Maybe I should travel to Argentina, Tunisia, Greece, Spain, Italy even California to see how they do it. You drop oil in the wok and stir-fry some vegetables.Some homes have separate pans for frying eggs and steak.You don’t eat pork if you belong to some religions.Gulf countries are famous for oil.Notorious?It depends on who is talking.

It is also used figuratively.U-se-ma-fu-theni means that she/he is living well. Meghan Markle is not living well because of her husband Prince Harry.She has always lived well because she was a working woman with her own money.So, we can’t say use-ma-fu-the-ni because she married someone from the…

Forgotten Hands

International hands’ day? In our haste to Instagram, tweet, Facebook and YouTube ourselves, we forgot to thank our benefactor: hands.It can also be attributed to specialisation, where we separate totality.

For example, we periodically pamper nails with manicures, sometimes using ten colours of nail polish.We also colour them green on St. Patrick’s Day to match the hair dye. The palm is excluded from such adulation, which is unfortunate because it is the seat of the hand.Your hands have lines that look like a V or a Y, depending on how you look at it.

I was brought up by my grandparents, uncles and aunts and they liked interpreting the lines of my palm.I always smiled but secretly wished I would never grow old. How can they determine the fate of a child through palm reading?Call it youth arrogance. Hands should be celebrated holistically because they are life, they make things happen.We are talking about looking at things in their totality but, indulge me.Let’s dissect the word handle.Hand…

Marie Kondo and Books' Debate

Marie Kondo and the book controversy.

I have never watched her show nor read her books, but she seems to have garnered likes and dislikes about her decision to limit her books to 30. The debate should also include reading.Have we read the books we keep, if not, do we have any intention of revisiting them somewhere down the road?If not, why do we keep them?Then there is the question of space, which is in short supply even for the Queen of England in Buckingham Palace and other cottages she owns.
There’s incoming and outgoing traffic.We buy books all the time, so we clear bookshelves to welcome new kids on the block, just arrived from bookstores.That is why we take old books to the local library, used books’ outlets, Salvation Army/Goodwill stores, donate them to seniors’ homes or non-profit organisations or drop them in the garbage bin.

We should also own up that we don’t finish all books.If visitors walked in, picked up a few from my mini-library, would I, from the top of my head, tell th…

Waterfalls in Zulu

A waterfall is impophoma in Zulu.

Waterfalls are my thing so, I’m off to Brazil and Argentina to check out the Iguazu Falls.You wish!!O.K. O.K.That’s too ambitious, broke as I am.I’ll do Niagara Falls instead, which is nearby, but I’ve been there.I can still feel the mist after all these years. I-mpo-pho-ma comes from the sound it makes, pho-pho-pho.Waterfalls break many hearts as they go downtown: caressing rocks, plants and fungi that don’t understand that they cannot stay the night, an hour even a minute.Waterfalls must go down, down and down, like Mary J. Blige in the song I’m Goin’ Down.

Maletsunyane Waterfall is in Lesotho, that country in the belly of the beast (South Africa).It’s is a must-see if you are a tourist visiting the beast.You need good drivers though. Lesotho has tarred mountain roads, but you still have to be careful.I’ll be forever grateful to my aunt Thuli Mokete and Dr. Mokete for giving us their driver who took us to Maletsunyane Waterfall, a 630-feet drop. I-mpo-…

Heavy in Zulu

Heavy is si-nda in Zulu.

Si-nda also means to escape injury or death, but we will concentrate on heavy, for now. Cement is heavy. The office printer is heavy. Whales are heavy and it’s very sad seeing them dead on the beach, after trying to run away from whatever poisoned them.

Miscarriages are heavy on grieving parents.A woman is heavy with child.Polygamy is heavy on women, but it is still practised in Africa and certain religions.It is illegal in Europe and north America, so men have mistresses. It is heavy on workers when car plants and factories move to no minimum wage countries.It’s not, on owners, because they can declare bankruptcy and relocate to another state or country, manufacturing the same thing.
Si-nda.The first part is pronounced like Cindy and the second one like Linda.

ZULU ENGLISH Ma-ma, i-ya-si-nda. Mother it’s heavy. A-yi-si-ndi. It is not heavy. Lo-mshi-ni u-ya-si-nda. This machine is heavy. A-wu-si-ndi. It is not heavy. Joyce be-le-tha i-nga-ne. Joyce put the child on your back. N…

Fault in Zulu

Fault is i-phu-tha in Zulu.

Fault is an orphan because nobody wants it.The general chorus is: it’s not my fault. America has a skeleton government because of a wall reminiscent of the Berlin Wall in Germany that was demolished in 1989.Whose fault is it?President Trump’s, Democrats in the House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate?

Drive-by shootings killing innocent people.Whose fault is it? Accident involving four cars.Whose fault is it?Girls sold to religious slavery, whose fault is it?Boys break a window playing soccer.Whose fault is it? I-phu-tha.You say the first part as email, the second as in put and the last one as touch.

ZULU ENGLISH I-phu-tha li-ka ba-ni? Whose fault is it? I-phu-tha li-ka Mary. It’s Mary’s fault. I-phu-tha li-ka Prince Charles. It’s Prince Charles’ fault. I-phu-tha la-mi. It is my fault. I-phu-tha le-thu. It is our fault. A-ku-lo-na i-phu-tha la-mi. It’s not my fault. I-phu-tha li-ka bani? Whose fault is it? I-phu-tha li-ka Justin Trudeau. It is Justin Trudeau’s fault. I-phu-tha…

Becoming Memoir of a Country

Becoming, Michelle Obama’s memoir is quite a revelation.
For example, when Barack Obama was the U.S. President from 2009-2017, he had at his fingertips, the power to start a nuclear war or react to one. Like other presidents before him, wherever he went he was followed by someone from the military who, as the author puts it was: “carrying a forty-five-pound briefcase containing launch authentication codes and sophisticated communications devices, often referred to as the nuclear football.That was heavy.” President Donald Trump is the current babysitter of those codes that can unleash weapons of mass destruction.Michelle Obama found many things heavy, especially the loss of independence because the office of the President of the U.S. comes with human shadows designed to protect it. The book mentions secret agents, the different bullet proof cars and their responsibility and armed men on rooftops where the president is going to be, reminding me of Olympus Has Fallen directed by Antoine Fuqu…

Where were you? Zulu Translation.

Where were you?It is u-ve-la-phi in Zulu.

At the same time, ve-la is to appear, like show yourself, uncle is calling you. Your mother might say she is going to show herself at the wake of someone who died.Basically, she will go to the wake. Ve-la is the verb.The question u-ve-la-phi can also mean country of origin, which is common in Canada because it is a garden made up of global flowers.I come from Africa and you?I’m from here.When I look people straight in the eye, they change the tune and say: my parents are from the Ukraine or Scotland.There we go.Canada is no man’s land, except First Nations like Ojibwe, Lakota, Cree, Anishinaabe, and many more.
Translation is not a science or nature.We have the sun and moon, and the two never meet for brunch.You were born so you will die one day. That’s the way it is, but translation!It’s a different ball game.We should also tread softly because we might offend somebody when we translate something from another language into our own space, English…

Stopping Fights in Zulu

Bring peace or separating people fighting is la-mu-la in Zulu.

President Trump, a Republican, wants to build a Berlin Wall look-alike.Democrats in the House of Representatives don’t want to give him money for cement, electronic surveillance and guns to patrol it, so the United States, touted as the greatest democracy on earth is limping, because of the shutdown.The fight goes on in 2019. Who will be the peacemaker?U-ba-ni o-zo-la-mu-la? Mind your own business is the opposite of being a peacemaker.People are scared the fist might land in the eye. A little question.Do boxing referees have insurance, just in case professional boxers hit them by mistake or intentionally?
La-mu-la.The first part is like lass, the second like moot and the last one like lass.

ZULU ENGLISH Mlamuli. A boy’s name which means peacemaker.Families fight all the time.Maybe the family is hoping that the child will bring peace. I-U.N. u-mla-muli. The United Nations is a peacemaker. U-Kofi Annan wa-ye ngu-mla-mu-li. Kofi Annan…