Waiting in Zulu


Nobody likes waiting for their take-out hamburger and fries order, the bride at a wedding, pay cheque, tender results, election results, the bus, outcome of the credit check, phone calls etc.  Waiting for phone calls from loved ones is a bad idea.  It’s injurious to health.  It’s better to wait for the boss’ call because you know what to expect. 
‘You are fired.’

Linda is a Zulu verb that means waiting.  There are millions of women who have Linda, the English name.  Li-nda, the first part is pronounced as in leak, leap or lit, the second one as in, indie, indie films, that sort of thing.

A girl’s name.  The expected one.  Lindi/Lindy is the popular abbreviation.
A girl’s name which means we are waiting.
A boy’s name.
You must wait for something.
Linda la.  Ngi-yabuya.
Wait here.  I’m coming back.
Wait for me.
U-linde bani?
Who are you waiting for?
Ngi-linde ubaba.
I’m waiting for dad.
Ngi-linde u-Lindiwe.
I’m waiting for Lindiwe.
Ngi-linde u-Sasha Obama.
I’m waiting for Sasha Obama.
Ngi-linde i-hlobo.
I’m waiting for the summer.
Si-linde imali.
We are waiting for money.
Ba-linde i-bhasi.
They are waiting for the bus.
Ba-linde i-fireworks.
They are waiting for fireworks.

You:  U-linde bani? (Who are you waiting for?)

Your friend:  Ngi-linde u-dali wam.  (I’m waiting for my darling, honey, boo, sugar pie, or okomi, as they say in the Yoruba language).
Nonqaba waka Msimang is the author of Sweetness, a South African novel.


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