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Showing posts from April, 2019

New Immigrants and Food Prices

Just arrived immigrants and food prices.

The internet has made expectations much easier for immigrants because it has all the information they need about a new country. They even know the time difference between their country and Canada, where they are heading. Despite all that, settling in a new country is still stressful because it is fishing in unknown waters from the language, weather, clothes, new currency, schools, living in apartment buildings with no backyard for kids to practise cricket or soccer, snow, body language and food.

The exchange rate for example.It is natural to look at cashew nuts that are $5 for 100 grams with dismay, because that would be, let’s say 50 shillings where immigrants are coming from.Worse still, they might sadly recall that they had cashew nut trees in their backyard or farm. Looking back will lead to depression and even some regret about coming to Canada.What matters is the way forward, a term you hear a lot at staff retreats.The ideal way forward is …

All Things Atlanta

Atlanta Georgia on my mind.

This blog teaches followers isi-Zulu or Zulu, but there’s a lot we cannot cover here because English doesn’t have many triple consonants, an important ingredient in isi-Zulu, and that makes translation a challenge. Good news though.It just occurred to me that there are some Zulu words pronounced like Atlanta. Say the -i- like e-mail.

ZULU ENGLISH Ntando. A boy’s name which means love. I-nta-ndo. A charm to induce love. Nta-mba-ma. In the afternoon. I-nta-mo. Neck. I-nta-ba. Mountain. E-nta-be-ni. On the mountain. I-nto. A thing. I-nto-mba-za-ne. Girl. Ntombazane. A girl’s name meaning girl. You better believe it. I-nta-mbo.

Celebrate in Zulu

Celebrate is gu-bha in Zulu.

In her book Becoming, Michele Obama, the former U.S. First Lady talks about kids’ events she used to organise including sleep-overs and birthday parties. Kids in north America celebrate every birthday whether it is a just a small cake with five candles, or a designer cake with 18 candles and a birthday gift like a car, for the rich and famous. Parents in Africa are having a hard time because kids have gone global and want elaborate parties they can showcase on Instagram and FB.Some girls are quite creative, and say yes, I love you, just a few months before the birthday, with the hope of expensive gifts and a to-die-for party.Not staging grand birthday parties for girlfriends also leads to break-ups.
Some people have special birthdays like Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister who was born on the 25th of December.Malia Obama also has a unique birthday, 4th of July.
Gu-bha is to celebrate a country’s independence, wedding anniversary and other good news.Gu-bha…

Retirement Mistakes

Retirement.Before and after.

The quality of retirement can be likened to those BEFORE and AFTER ads where a product from some cosmetic company claims to remove wrinkles that were not harming anybody, just being themselves: signposts of roads travelled, rivers crossed, mountains climbed and mistakes. Mistakes determine the quality or non-quality of retirement, and the biggest mistake is ignoring the umbilical cord between BEFORE and AFTER.
Before, is like summer nights, watching the sun caress the landscape and people at 9 p.m., way past its bedtime.After, is the dreaded darkness where it completely refuses to come out and play, which means going to work and coming back in total darkness.
Mistakes made while all parts of the body are lubricated – especially the mind – can lead to forced downsizing from a bungalow to living in a single room, being a ward of the government or old age institutions and more devastating, the loss of love.
It is, because in Europe and North America, it’s easier t…

Very Old in Zulu

Old is gu-gain Zulu.

U-blanket o-gu-gile (an old blanket).

Umuntu o-gu-gi-le (an old person). Gu-ga is used in a negative way, especially for human beings. For example, Brigitte Trogneux-Macron (66), is older than her husband Emmanuel Macron (41), the President of France.

People who don’t like the idea say u-gu-gi-le for him.Her fans say she is older than him (mda-la ku-na-ye), which is factual about the age difference.They don’t say ugu-gi-le, which is disparaging. Clothes get old, collars crack and armpits get worn-out, a concept that is hard to comprehend in Europe, Canada and the U.S. because clothing is so cheap, people buy new things before old clothes get old, if I may put it that way.

They have to be cheap, since they are made with cheap labour in non-dollar and non-Euro countries like China, India and Sri Lanka.Old however, is also a fashion statement, where jeans are ripped apart by a machine and sold for $70. ‘Distressed jeans,’ that’s what they call them. Most poor families use …

Step Aside in Zulu

Step aside is de-da in Zulu.

Blocking the way is intentional and unintentional.Do cellphones make blocking the way intentional? For example, you want to pass but most passengers on the bus are wired for sound: headphones.You don’t want to tap them on the shoulder because touching strangers in Canada and the U.S. can be criminal or regarded as sexual harassment. ‘Excuse me, I’m getting off next stop’.

Our great-great-great grandparents in Africa blocked the way intentionally.Boys did not go to dating sites.They waited for girls near the river and used the classic line:  I can’t sleep thinking about you. Girls will tell them to step aside and let them pass.If they persisted in their advances, they reported them to their brothers, and they had many, because men had three or more wives.
America is prepping up for the 2020 presidential election and it’s good to know that Hilary Clinton is stepping aside and not running for president.Sometimes, the best modus operandi (MO) is to step aside and …

Book Review Shining City

Book: Shining City

Author: Tom Rosenstiel
Publisher: HarperCollins

Re-inventing the wheel is pointless. Therefore, let the author, Tom Rosenstiel, set the table for Shining City, set in Washington D.C., a city of auto traders, trading new, used, re-furbished and stolen political vehicles.
“The Constitution says the president nominates justices and the Senate confirms them.The problem is that everyone else feels they should have a say in picking the next justice.” P. 27.

The author gave these words to James Barlow Nash, the fictitious U.S. president, who obviously doesn’t like the ‘everyone else’ part of deciding who should be a Supreme Court judge.

Nash has a nominee, but his choice won’t get that far if he fails public scrutiny, staged on television cameras, baby cameras and social media.He then hires Peter Rena and Randi Brooks, owners of a political babysitting company - for lack of a better word - to vet his choice, Judge Roland Madison.

He is on the same page with President Nash.Madiso…

My Things Are In Storage

Moving.Change of address.

Moving companies and U-Haul look forward to spring and summer because that is when most people move from rental apartments to homes they have bought; move from apartment buildings where tenants play music the whole night; move to other cities with better job prospects, move to Auckland, Australia to work at the Consulate of Canada, move to Miami after retirement to soak in the sun after decades of mischievous Canadian winters; move because of marriage/divorce or move to join the army. It is very exhausting because of what is in the TO DO list: telling banks, the telephone/T.V./internet service provider, the government, hydro company, post office, schools, the gym, community organisations and other people you deal with that you will no longer be living at 702 Depression Drive.What can I say?There must be a Depression Drive somewhere out there, since life is one long depression.

Most moving companies can, for a fee, fold your clothes and pack fragile kitchen stuff…

Zulu Triple Consonants

This blog is just basic Zulu, because of English, and its limitation.
The Queen’s language does not have double and triple consonants, which makes it impossible to teach you words like ingqondo, ngqongqoza, gxuma, gxoba, gxusha etc.

ZULU ENGLISH Qagela. Guess. Qunga. Be brave. Qikelela. Make sure. Qondisa. Make it straight. Gxoba. Crush, using a pestle and mortar to crush leaves to get medicine. Gxuma. Jump. Gxumeka. Plant a pole, like British seamen that landed in Africa and Asia.They just planted the British flag! Ximba. A surname. Ingqondo. Brain. Ngqongqoza. Knock.Knock! Knock! Who’s there?

Support in Zulu

Support is se-ke-la in Zulu.
A table or chair is not stable, so you push something under the leg to support it.English soccer fans love their teams.They sit in the stands and sing, although I never understood their songs when I lived in Durham.

Working in an office is injurious to your health because of politics.You either support the boss or the assistant boss.The boss was hired after a fancy business degree from Brussels.The assistant boss also applied for the position, after doing the work in an acting capacity for two years. He didn’t get it.Maybe it’s because in the interview, he talked about Deutsche Marks, pounds and francs, instead of saying euro, the money now used collectively in the European Union.
Family supports family.That is the storyline in old mafia movies like The Godfather.They were so many, it resulted in stereotypes about Italians.That is what movies do, programme people to think or act in a certain way.
Se-ke-la.You say the first part like sag, the second like the Fr…