Guts in Zulu

Courage is i-si-bi-ndi in Zulu.

Lost in translation.  That is what we have here.  Maybe we should say i-si-bi-ndi means guts. Courage and bravery might be twin sisters because the outcome is something good/positive.
Family encourages someone about to have an operation to have courage.  Be brave.  People who have lost everything in a fire, tsunami or hurricane are brave because they still hope for a better tomorrow.  Women are brave because they give birth.  Some die in the process.

However, i-si-bi-ndi is more than courage or bravery.  It is having the guts to do something bad, which might be criminal or against society’s norms.
I-si-bi-ndi is carrying drugs to Thailand because they don’t play.  They will throw you in jail and throw away the key.  Forget about your embassy in Bangkok.  It won’t save you. 

Being a drug mule to Thailand or any other country requires i-si-bi-ndi because of the consequences.  If you are lucky, you will be deported.  If you are not, you will languish in jail because you did not reveal the source of the product and the name behind it.  You knew he would kill you when you get out. Drug lords have i-si-bi-ndi to take human lives.  
They slit the throat of someone who tried to cheat them in a drug deal.  He walks around Rosebank in Johannesburg with a line of surgical stitches that look like a jacket zipper, quite a miracle he survived.  We therefore cannot say drug lords have the courage to kill.  It is more.  AmaZulu, the people who speak i-si-Zulu call it i-si-bi-ndi.

I-si-bi-ndi.  You say the first part like email, the second like sin, the third and fourth like bindi, the red mark married women in India wear in the middle of their forehead (watch Tamil or Bollywood movies for the cultural context).

He has guts.
You have guts.
They have guts.
U-Themba u-ne-si-bi-ndi a-nga-bu-la-la u-mu-ntu.
Themba has guts. He can kill someone.
U-ne-si-bi-ndi!  Uqome kwi-internet?
You have guts.  You do online dating?
Juan, u-si-tha-tha-phi i-si-bi-ndi so-ku-ngi-sha-ya?
Juan, where do you get the guts to beat me?
La-ma-nto-mba-za-ne a-ne-si-bi-ndi a-da-yi-sa iphilisi.
These girls have guts.  They sell drugs.
U-Dmytro no-Pavlo ba-ne-si-bi-ndi ba-da-yi-mi-sa i-mi-zi-mba.
Dymtro and Pavlo have guts.  They do parks at night.
Please note:  Isibindi is meat, which you get from the store.  Your doctor might recommend it to boost B12 in your blood.

By:  Nonqaba waka Msimang


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