Showing posts from 2017

Barack Obama's Next Book

Ex U.S. President Barack Obama spends some of his time on his laptop writing about his life in the White House and Congress.Is the first draft already with the publisher?

We don’t know, but I have the inside story on the chapters although I’m not into insider trading.I leave that to the big boys on Wall Street.Please note that the chapters are not in chronological order.Michelle and Barack Obama will decide that.
Chapter One The First Inauguration Chapter Two The Auto Industry Crisis Chapter Three The House Called White House Chapter Four Affordable Care Act Chapter Five Foreign Policy and Veterans Chapter Six Democrats Lose Congress Chapter Seven Government Shut Down Chapter Eight Climate Change Chapter Nine The Second Inauguration Chapter Ten The 2016 Presidential Race
By:Nonqaba waka Msimang

Hunting in Zulu

Hunt is zingela in Zulu.People in what is known as the third world hunted game to eat and make clothes, not to create commodities that could be traded at the Sydney or New York Stock Exchange.

British aristocracy who came to ‘civilise’ Africa and Asia killed animals for sport and displayed lion and tiger skins in their drawing rooms.First Nations of Canada and the U.S. were also called uncivilised because they performed ceremonies before they hunted animals that gave them food, skins to keep them warm and make mobile homes, like the teepee.
Yoruba movies indicate that it was normal in Africa to take slaves after wars.Enter European settlers with money.Their hunger for slaves to sell in Europe and the U.S. led to some chiefs invading other villages for the sole purpose of capturing slaves. Sidney Poitier’s film Buck and the Preacher is about the hunting of free slaves, who left white plantations after the abolition of slavery in the U.S.Plantation owners hired men to drive them back to th…

The Art of Conversation

Google has killed the art of conversation.I think twice about asking friends and colleagues questions because I might get the following answer.

“Just Google it.” Ah!Ah! What happened to conversation, chat or small talk?It is all about human interaction, live humans that eat, drink, and visit the loo.It is also about the mouth doing its job.

Google does not speak.It doesn’t have facial expressions that warn me that the conversation is turning sour, or smiles that warm my heart.It is not even heated like some languages that have fire under the belly, but the speakers are not fighting at all.

Conversation is a transport network of highways, feeder roads, traffic lights that shuffle between green, amber and red, stop signs and the cul de sac.
Just Google it, is a cul de sac.It is a dead end, a message that I should get lost, get a life or leave the room.Asking for directions is going to suffer then, because much as we use GPS and Google maps, we still get lost. I was waiting for the lights to c…

Toy Handcuffs

Toy manufacturers have added handcuffs to their inventory.Maybe they’ve always been there as a toy but I never noticed because of toy guns.They seem to be the preferred make believe for growing boys who want to rule the world.It is possible.

Ronald Reagan played with guns in Hollywood and later became the president of the U.S.A.The media loves interviewing famous and notorious people.I can just imagine a convicted murderer on television.
“I’ve always wanted to be in jail.I played with handcuffs when I was little”. A little boy played with his handcuffs in a public place last week.He showed his mum once he heard the handcuffs click but, she was on a trip massaging her cellphone.

I suppose it is all legal, because there must be a body that regulates toy manufacturers.When the cellphone burst into the scene, they made mini cellphones for kids.
Toys can influence career choices.Little boys in India use real cricket bats or make them from anything because of the dream of being the next Sachin …

Blessed in Zulu

Blessed is busisa in Zulu.

In fact, busisa is a verb which means to bless.It can be used in a religious context like saying the pastor or the Pope blesses somebody.It also refers to talent, when we say someone is blessed with a good voice or excellence in mathematics.Some people are not blessed with good voices.They sing off key and are clueless about the injury to the ear.Some families say a blessing before they eat.A blessing is called i-sibusiso, a popular boy’s name. Bu-si-sa.The first part is pronounced as in bull, but a soft -b-.The second part as in sing and the third part as in saffron.

ZULU ENGLISH Busisiwe (Busi for short). A girl’s name which means the blessed one. Sibusiso (Sbu for short). A boy’s name which means a blessing. I-gama lami u-Busisiwe. My name is Busisiwe. I-gama lami u-Sibusiso. My name is Sibusiso. Ba-busisiwe nge-ngane ye-ntombazane. They are blessed with a baby girl. Ba-busisiwe nge-ngane yo-mfana. They are blessed with a baby boy. U-busisiwe nge-ndoda e-lungile. She is b…

Pilots and Autopilot

Texting and driving kills.It makes kids orphans and parents to mourn their kids.That is why I don’t like the idea of pilots texting while driving.Delete that.Texting while flying.

Autopilot.If the plane is flying itself, pilots will be tempted to text while flying. Don’t tell me autopilot is technology.I must call somebody at IATA to explain the whole bit, by placing me in the pilot’s seat.
Autopilot destroys the dream to fly the skies.Kids will be lukewarm to the idea of growing up to be pilots if it is not driving, turning to the right to avoid an angry cloud or slamming brakes to avoid an injured bird.Yes. Birds also get hurt up there in the sky. Who is charge of the plane when it is on autopilot?Technology?I don’t think so.Technology also has a bad day.Battery is low or there is no Wi-Fi.People love the pilot's uniform because it exudes authority, authority to fly steel birds.Passengers sleep on the plane because they know somebody is in charge.
If autopilot is running the show, I…

Donating in Zulu

Donating is nikela in Zulu.In times of crisis like fire, floods and hurricanes, people donate boats, tents, camp beds, blankets, food and most of all, their time to help evacuees.

Donating money is common.It is only a problem when it has strings attached, like drug lords in Latin America telling the church to tone down on anti-drug smuggling sermons, or U.S. polluting industries bribing African politicians to dump hazardous waste on the continent. Ni-ke-la.The first part is pronounced as in nip, the second part as in the French qu’est-ce que c’est?And the third part as in lass.

ZULU ENGLISH Ngi-zo-nikela ngo 100 pesos. I will donate 100 pesos. Ngi-zo-nikela ngo 200 franc. I will donate 200 franc. Ngi-zo-nikela ngo 300 euros. I will donate 300 euros. Ngi-zo-nikela ngo 400 Brazilean Real. I will donate 400 BRL. Si-zo-nikela nge-mali. We’ll donate money. U-zo-nikela ngani? What will you donate? Ba-zo-nikela ngani? What will they donate? Wa-nikela nge-si-khathi sakhe. He donated his time. U-Jesu wa-nikela nge…

Silicon Valley Dress Code

Silicon Valley job interviews need more than a degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or Bangalore Institute of Technology in India. The correct dress code is also part of the equation.

No tie.That is the techie dress code and, no matching jacket and pants known as the suit.You did your research before the interview so you know that Steve Jobs was famous for both Apple stuff and being tie-free.Now it is the norm.Technology-inclined guys just don’t do ties, especially when they launch smart or dumb phones or the ‘thinnest’ computer.

What’s up with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and the gray T. Shirt?Google’s Sundar Pichai is also tie-less most of the time, so is Apple’s Tim Cook.

The tie is an obstacle, a stop sign, a road with a train crossing, a bus that is late or faulty traffic lights.It restricts the Adam’s Apple from the brain, a brain that is needed to create fast and traffic free information to the marketplace called online.

It makes the wearer sweat and constantly mo…

Thinking in Zulu

Cabanga is think in Zulu.Mama used to be mad at me for not thinking.“Awu-cabangi.”She used to say.

It is dangerous when world leaders with nuclear weapons don’t think about the damage caused by their ping pong on social media.When someone wears something unusual, faceless critics on the internet say:What was she thinking? Ube cabanga-ni?
It is nerve-wrecking to hide something in the house, then forget where you put it.You think and think and think, but no clues. Ca-ba-nga.The first part is pronounced as the exclamation c-c-c-, the second part as in Bali, but with a soft -b-, and the last part of the verb as in The Langham Hotel.

ZULU ENGLISH Cabangile. A girl’s name which describes the circumstances of her birth.It literally means the one who was well thought of.Maybe parents had three sons already and wanted a daughter. Ngi-ya-cabanga. I’m thinking. U-be-cabanga-ni? What was she thinking? U-cabanga-ni? What are you thinking? Ngi-cabanga nge-traffic e-ku-seni. I’m thinking about morning traffic. …

Coaches' Blues

Insomnia.Coaches know what it means and no dictionary can surpass their definition of the word.

A basketball team loses.The coach is to blame.Baseball is the same.Some guy who has been on the bench for most of the season flexes his arm and wallops a home run to kingdom come.The coach, who was confident about his pitcher keeps his cool and maintains a stiff upper lip, although he is not related to the British royal family.
Not at night.He won’t sleep a wink.The writing is on the wall.He might be reminded of some fine print in his contract then hits the road to the next coaching job, if he gets one. Why is the coach the victim when he is not on the baseball diamond, soccer stadium or the ice hockey rink?Coaches deal with 9 or eleven individuals, who are not twins.Sure, they want to win, get some baseball championship rings, be noticed by British teams like Arsenal or be included in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are individuals.

Some are in love with the…

First Day At School and Teachers

First day at school for kids that survived Tropical Storm Harvey and Hurricane Irma did not happen, because most of the schools in Texas and Florida were affected by the havoc.

First day at school is either fun or full of tears.It is relatively easy if brothers, sisters or cousins attend the same school.School then becomes an extension of the familiar, home. Parents in North America and Europe also do a great job during the summer with school talk, stopping the car and showing kids the school gate, buying school uniform, supplies and backpacks.

That continuity is broken if kids are part of evacuees. Disasters such as Harvey and Irma destabilize very delicate minds.It is painful when kids talk about how they fled their homes on their fathers’ backs or being carried to safety by volunteers.

What we don’t know is the psychological damage: fear of rivers or the sea, nightmares or kids screaming every time it rains or the wind howls.Some kids were sent to live with friends and relatives and th…

Insufficient Funds

Insufficient funds at the ATM is common for ordinary folks because we live beyond our wages or monthly pay cheques.This painful state of affairs does not apply to the unemployed like Venus Williams, Oprah, Alexis Ohanian, Richard Branson and Salman Khan, the Indian actor. We should therefore exercise patience at the ATM when the person currently using it, is taking longer than usual.The warning INSUFFICIENT FUNDS means I used the wrong debit card.Don’t blame me.Most banks have blue in their logos.The person behind me is rolling her eyes by now, but I must pull out the broke card and fish out another one from my bag, preferably another colour. I say a little prayer and hope the orange card will not put another dent on my shame.I listen to the ATM.Something is churning inside and presto! Some green paper comes out. I put the money in my bag and walk away from the machine with my eyes fixed on the ground.I don’t want to look up and see the six pairs of eyes that are fed up.I know what they …

Writing in Zulu

Twitter uses 140 characters, but it is still writing.U.S. President Donald Trump is a great writer.He tweets a lot.

Writing is bhala in Zulu.Kids go to school to read and write.Technology might be here, but writing is still important, except for YouTube, where the camera captures images. Bha-la.You say the first part as in bham!The second part is pronounced as in lull.

ZULU ENGLISH Bhala i-tweet. Write a tweet. Bhala i-email. Write an email. Funda u-ku-bhala. Learn how to write. Gogo, u-ya-kwazi u-ku-bhala? Grandmother, do you know how to write? Cha.A-ngi-kwazi u-ku-bhala. No.I don’t know how to write. Ku-bhali-we.U-nga-bhemi. It is written. No smoking. Ku-bhali-we. A-wu-fune-ki umsindo. It is written.No noise. Ngi-ya-kwazi uku-bhala i-French. I can write French. Ngi-ya-kwazi u-ku-bhala isiZulu. I can write Zulu.