Zulu Vuka

Vuka is to wake up.  Kids don’t like waking up in winter.  Kids who have been around for 30 years also don’t like leaving warm beds.  That is why they hit their cellphones with pillows when the alarm goes off.

 Vu-ka is pronounced like voom, voom, or vulcaniser.  The second part as in karma.

ZULU
ENGLISH
Vuka.
A boy’s name.
Vukile.
A boy’s name, which means they have waken up. (Is it also a girl’s name?  I’m not sure).
Vuka-ni! Vuka-ni! Vuka-ni!
Wake up. (mother to sleeping kids who will be late and miss the school bus).
Vuka Cecile.
Wake up Cecile.
Vuka Tyrone.
Wake up Tyrone.
U-zo-vuka nini?
When will you wake up?
Ngi-zo-vuka ngo-5.
I will wake up at 5.
U-zo-vuka nini umalume?
When will uncle wake up?
Umalume u-zo-vuka ngo-11 ebusuku.
Uncle will wake up at 11 p.m.
Vuka-ni Americans.
Wake up Americans.
Vuka-ni Canadians.
Wake up Canadians.
Vuka-ni Koreans.
Wake up Koreans.

Nonqaba waka Msimang is the author of Sweetness, a South African novel.

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