Skip to main content

Twins Natural Wonder

Nyet is the only Russian word I know.  I blame Hollywood which always made Russia the bad guy.  I don’t know what twins are called in Russia.  They are called amawele in the language isiZulu.

Advances in medicine have given us a better understanding of how women carry two individuals in their body during pregnancy, let alone triplets or more than that. 
That was impossible in ancient history.  That is why the people called amaZulu, who live in South Africa, have the present royal family.  It all started with twins. 

King Jama ka Ndaba had one wife, something unheard of in that kingdom, where men had more than one.  The king and queen had one son Phalo who died.  When the queen became pregnant again, she gave birth to twin girls. 
The royal court was aghast.  Twins were a bad omen and tradition had to be followed, which meant killing one of the princesses.*
The king had a naming ceremony for both girls.  He called them Mmama and Mkabayi.  There was rumbling in the royal court.  The king’s intention was clear.  He gave both princesses names, because he had no intention of following tradition.  Mkabayi was the twin that was supposed to be sent home i.e. killed.

King Jama refused.  Princess Mkabayi never married, became a military ruler and persuaded her father to marry Mthaniya.  They had a son Senzangakhona, the ancestor of the present king.

*Source: Buzani kuMkabayi, written by C.T. Msimang
Nonqaba waka Msimang is the author of Sweetness

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Black Panther Africa Here and There

Black Panther is about Wakanda a fictionalized country in Africa, but it has delightful snippets of the real Africa.

The movie has tall people, like Kenya’s and Sudan’s sons and daughters. Dora Milaje, the royal guard supervised by Okoye (Danai Gurira) is composed of tall women.Okoye is a common surname or family name in Nigeria, as in Oge Okoye, the actress. There are also scenes where men on horseback are wearing colourful blankets, a common sight in Lesotho, the country surrounded by South Africa.Locals, the Basotho, call these blankets seana marena.The country’s beauty sinks in as one drives from Maseru the capital, up to Leribe and further up the mountains.Great roads too.

Costume design.That’s another snippet about Africa. There is Angela Bassett’s character looking regal, in what is called isicholo in Zulu.Well! it looks like isicholo, a married woman’s headdress. You probably saw the re-mixed version of isicholo in what Beyonce is wearing in the Sorry video. They also speak isiXh…

Black Panther Casting

Chadwick Boseman sure looks like a younger John Kani in Black Panther.That is why the movie won the Best Casting category in my little awards.  Envelope please!

Kani plays King T’Chaka.Boseman is T’Challa, his son.What a striking resemblance.It reminds me of my arrival in New York City some years ago.I used to stare at African Americans because they looked like a cousin, uncle, neighbour, teacher, friend, doctor or someone on the bus. Sure, we learnt about slavery at school, how slave traders stole Africans and how internal wars between chiefs also led to humans being taken to another continent in chains. But being in America, seeing people who look like your world, in Africa, was painful.

“Death is better than bondage.” That is what one character said in Black Panther.Was it Erik Killmonger?I’m not sure but I will double check when I go back.Yes, again.The movie is a cinematic buffet.Don’t talk with your mouth full, as mama would say. We gave the film the Best Casting category for other…

Toddlers And Thanksgiving

Toddlers wail and holler because of boring parents, not because of presumed reasons.

He is wet.
She must be hungry. Toddlers cry because parents are predictable.Getting into the stroller is either good or bad news.Good news if it is going out of the apartment or house to interact with the world, bad news if it is going back home to spend another day fenced in, like convicted criminals.

They can have beautiful pink or blue rooms with toys bought from Toys “R” Us, before the business filed for bankruptcy, but toddlers want more, to touch and feel the world.They itch for adventure. That is why they smile at strangers, extend their tiny hands to touch the bus window, point at dogs and run around the mall with mum in hot pursuit. Toddlers are not born equal.Toddlers in the north of the world spend most of their time indoors staring at blowing snow while their counterparts down south in Africa drive their brothers and sisters crazy, because they want to follow them everywhere.Rain is the only t…