Zulu Phela

It's over between us.  Divorce lawyer in the middle.

Phela is the Zulu word for finished.  It’s painful when love flies out of the window, especially these days where marriages and love games are played out before strangers, online.

Phe-la can also be used in a positive way like saying work is done, we can go home or graduation, where students look forward to getting jobs.
The first part is pronounced as in pearl or pet, the second part as in lark.

Uku-funda kwami ku-phelile.
My education is over.
Umsebenzi u-phelile.
You are laid off.  There’s no more work.
Lu-zo-phela usizi.
The pain will be over.
O-ku-nga-pheli kuya-hlola.
Everything comes to an end.
Ku-phelile okwethu.
It’s over between us.
Lu-phelile u-thando.
Love is finished.  There’s no more love.
Lu-phelile ubisi.
Milk is finished.  There’s no more milk.
I-mali i-phelile.
Money is finished.  There’s no more money.
I-phelile i-movie.
The movie is over.
U-phelile u-petrol.
Gas is finished.  There’s no more gas.
Imoto yami i-phelile.
My car is finished (a total wreck after an accident).
Nga-phela amandla.
The literal translation would be I lost energy, but it’s more than that. Disturbed. Dejected.  This phrase is used when something overwhelming happens and you are at a loss about what to do.

Nonqaba waka Msimang is the author of Sweetness, a South African novel.  Order it from Amazon.


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