Showing posts from 2017

Kids And Parents - A Movie Review

A retirement package.Western influence on African culture.Polygamy.Olorun Oba Eto, a Yoruba movie has fans and critics for many reasons.Fans love it because of the cultural or religious licence for a man to have more than one wife.

Critics feel it re-stamps women’s reality that whatever educational and economic heights they reach, society expects them to be in a marriage, any marriage. Al-Hassan B. Taiwo (also known as Ogogo) came up with the story in Olorun Oba Eto. He is not here to answer questions so his intention is all we can work with.
The movie is about a man with electronic stores and other businesses in Nigeria.He is married with four children and is very generous to his relatives and in-laws.In one of the scenes he tells his son that what he does for in-laws makes his wife, who is his mother, very happy.

He decides to slow down and hands over the business to his son Toheeb.While his wife is away abroad, he meets Tundun a small businesswoman, played by Temitayo Adeniyi.
The child…

Ugly in Zulu

Ugly is just two letters in Zulu bi, and it makes sense when you add the necessary prefix.DON’T say it like bill, bike or bipolar.It’s a soft ‘b’.

ZULU ENGLISH Mu-bi. He is ugly. She is ugly. Ba-bi. They are ugly. Ngi-mubi. I am ugly.
It is quite sad when a kid utters that last example.It usually happens in Europe and North America where kids of African or Asian parentage are in the minority.
One little boy ran to his mother crying, “He said I’m Chinese.”The mother, a colleague born in Hong Kong said it’s very hard, despite all the reassurances they give him at home.
Last week, a teenager who might be from Sudan or Congo, was taken off the bus by a Transit inspector because she refused to pay.She had green contact lenses and a blonde weave.Some people born in Africa still bleach their skin. The Zulu word -bi also means bad or evil.

ZULU ENGLISH Izulu li-bi. The weather is bad. Lo-kudla ku-bi. This food is bad (tasteless). I-manager yi-mbi. The manager is bad (very angry). A-ba-sebenzi ba-bi. Workers are ver…

Hollywood and Presidential Elections

The Hollywood Political Party (HPP) will be launched in Chicago in November 2017.

HPP?The party will educate voters that pre-election rallies with their streamers, t-shirts, water bottles, candidates’ fire and brimstone rhetoric, sponsored dinner parties and kissing babies are just showbiz, like scenes in Hollywood movies.
Reality is another matter.Voting for a party or president means changing policies that will affect all Americans, which brings us to President Trump and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), dubbed Obamacare. The man is just delivering on one his campaign promises, promises Republicans took to their constituencies and they voted “Yea”.

It is now baffling that those same Republicans backed down when President Trump set the ball rolling to annihilate from history, that piece of legislation called the Affordable Care Act.Americans wanted Donald Trump. That is why his party controls Congress, but in March 2017, the rookie president withdrew from the floor a bill to replace ACA, be…

Hurry Up in Zulu

Hurry up.Shesha in Zulu.We are always in a hurry.Why?To chase money, I suppose.Anyway, kids must hurry up because the school bus leaves on time.Parents have trains to catch or need extra time to accommodate driving during the summer, because construction is in every corner.

She-sha.The first part is pronounced as in shed, the second part as is shallow or shaadi (Hindi?).
ZULU ENGLISH U-hamba ka-ncane Maeve. You walk slowly Maeve. Shesha Maeve. Hurry up Maeve. Shesha Dimitri. Hurry up Dimitri. Shesha, nge-mali yami. Hurry up with my money. Shesha, nge-moto yami. Hurry up with my car. She-shisa, u-mama u-lindile. Hurry up, mama is waiting. She-shisa, ingane iyakhala. Hurry up, the child is crying. Ngi-zo-shesha. I will hurry up. Ba-zo-shesha. They will hurry up. Ni-sheshe Shane no Colleen. Please hurry up Shane and Colleen.

Following The Boss Online

The boss wants you to follow him on Twitter, FB, Instagram and wherever he flies on the internet.He won’t send an email but he will drop hints.

“You didn’t see the tomatoes from my garden?They are on FB.”
"Our trip to Niagara Falls was great.It’s on Instagram.” Then you realise that work is not about producing products like cheese, dresses, cars, serving customers well or providing a government service.It is about power.He wants to extend the statutory 9-5 power to 24/7.Should you add him as a follower?He might make life miserable for you, if you don’t.

Your co-workers also compound matters because they follow the boss and are always gushing about his posts before the staff meeting.What is funny is that the boss never comments about their posts.He doesn’t check them.Why should he?He is the boss. It’s a good thing he is only interested in beating his own drum, online drum that is, because if you follow him and he monitors your activity, he will realise that you don’t like him.He will a…

Giving Birth in Zulu

Giving birth is beletha in Zulu. The process is uku-beletha.
It is also the act where the mother carries the baby on her back.Beletha is an inclusive word that goes beyond the baby’s arrival.It recognises that the child was safe and warm in the mother’s womb.It is now in a strange place and proximity to the mother’s body helps its adjustment.

The mother breastfeeds the child.She sleeps with the child and carries it on her back.Therefore, the warmth and security that was in the womb continues. The child grows up and sleeps with brothers and cousins, a process which teaches it to love and deal with other people besides its parents.Academics call it socialization. Traditional societies in Africa and Asia had certain customs about giving birth.Their sole purpose was to protect the mother and child because without children, there is no family, no race, no nation. Nobody worried about the husband because he had more than one wife.

The dual meaning of be-le-tha should be seen in that context. T…

Friendship Abuse

I’m thinking of organizing a friendship retreat where friends will be reminded that friendship is a two way stop and not a one way on the Autobahn in Germany.

Fine, there is social media where you learn about your friend’s plans and birthdays but sometimes you want to hear the actual voice, then you stop right there.Depression.
You will punch the number on the speed dial and he will take the call.Hola!What’s up?Then you will listen and listen.He’s not interested in why you called.You listen, until you lie that someone is at the door. You have accepted the fact that he never calls you and that you are the one that organizes concert tickets, World Series tickets, movie premieres, car shows and the boys’ dinner dates (with your plastic money).

All you ask for is twenty minutes of his time to listen about how the dreams you had in college are not happening and you think a good detox, will be using your air miles to go and climb Mount Kenya.
The friendship retreat will have Oprah and Gayle King…

Digital Dis-Information

Sorry. Computers are down. We don’t have the information.

They’ll better rise again because I need that money.I have bills to pay.I don’t know why I owe the whole world, but nobody owes me any money, but that is another blog.
They sold us a lame duck with the digital thing. Computers will make things easier, they said.We will call up information in a second, instead of weeks of thumbing through files. That is how they introduced the wonderful digital Eden.  That was donkey years ago, but the Garden of Eden has weeds and it affects us quite often.One bank had a big printed sign last week, apologising for the slow service because the system was down.

The dis-information about how wonderful the digital highway was going to be is that, they did not tell us about the downside.Yes, the downside.It was going to be up, up and up when computers ran our lives. Drug companies now inform us about the negative sides of drugs we buy from the drugstore.The boys and girls in Bangalore and Silicon Valley…

Turning in Zulu

To turn is jika in Zulu.It can be giving directions, that someone should turn on Rue de France or changing his mind about the relationship.

Ji-ka also mean twists and turns in topography.For example, you know I love British Columbia for its spectacular twists and turns (ama-jika jika).Ballerinas also turn their zero bodies a lot. Ji-ka. The first part is pronounced as in Jill, the second one as is Kamu, an African girl’s name.

ZULU ENGLISH Jika la. Turn here. Jika right. Turn right. Jika left. Turn left. Jika ku-Broadway Avenue. Turn on Broadway Avenue. Jika ku-Calle Virtud. Turn on Calle Virtud. Khombisa ukuthi uya-jika. Indicate that you are turning. Uzo-jika ku-Yonge Street. She will turn on Yonge Street. Ngi-zo-jika ku-Pope Street. I will turn on Pope Street. Ji-kisa imoto. Turn the car around. Aka-hamba-nga.Ba-mu-jiki-sile. He didn’t leave.They turned him back.

Lies At Job Interviews

Management jobs.Interview panels.Job applicants and their lies during interviews.Forget about the well-designed C.V. or resume.That paper gets you to the job interview and the rest depends on your interaction with the interview panel.

It is what you say or don’t say that will help you nail that management position.Therefore, applicants bend the truth a bit, anything to be employed. Interviewer:You will manage six people if you get this job.How are your people skills?
You:I love people.I get along very well with them.

You just blew it.They have heard that lie a hundred times.Just put your cards on the table and tell them that people can be very obnoxious and you hate the thought of being nice to them, because you are the manager. Supply examples.Tell them you hate signing that big card for someone’s birthday.Tell them your birthday is private and confidential and how does the office event planner know it? Tell them you hate explaining your unusual name everyday you meet someone new in the c…

Denial in Zulu

Denial, is a word I associate with Oprah Winfrey.She liked saying her guests were in denial about feelings.

All African countries have customs on pregnancy before marriage, and the common link is consultation between the two families. The girl’s family takes her to the boy’s family and he must answer the question: Do you know her?It’s a great shame if he denies it. Phi-ka is to deny something or someone.The first part of the verb is pronounced as in pick or pit, the second part as in the Indian word kamala or, is it kamal?

ZULU ENGLISH Phika. A boy’s name which means something has been denied.It might sound harsh but maybe the man who got the woman pregnant denied responsibility.“It’s not my kid.”A child lives with its name forever and parents are aware of this.Therefore, there must be a good reason why they give children names that might embarrass them when they grow up. U-phiki-we. The man denied making her pregnant. Mphikwa. Another boy’s name that means the one who was denied. U-ya-p…

Cellphones in Screenplays

Cellphones are in screenplays and why not? They are the current means of communications.But cellphones under the pillow? Maybe I’ve been consuming a lot of Yoruba movies, where one of the two characters sleeps with a cellphone under the pillow.

What did my English teacher say?Two is company, three's a crowd.Where’s the calculator?Let’s add up the situation on the bed.It is three human beings because the caller will the third person.

The ideal situation should be like in theatres where we are told to switch off cellphones.The bedroom is even a more sensitive platform.Parents lock the door to keep kids out because they don’t want them to be spectators of the Wimbledon final singles’ match. Fine.Even if there are no kids around, what will happen if the phone rings when the match is in progress?Someone will pick it up.That is why the person brought it to the bed and put it under the pillow.Right?
What I have seen so far in Yoruba movies is that the owner takes the call and tip toe out of …