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Showing posts from August, 2017

Take Out in Zulu

Khipha means take out.This includes providing for the family: taking out money for school fees, transport and food.

It is back to school in Canada and the U.S. so parents have provided money for backpacks, lunch boxes and winter sports.
IsiZulu (Zulu beer) the food of the ancestors, has all kinds of customs associated with brewing and drinking it.For example, you take a sip before giving it to a guest, u-khipha u-buthi.It literally means you are taking out the poison. Khi-pha, the first part is pronounced as in keep, the second part as in parcel.

ZULU ENGLISH Khipha ama-tshe. Take out stones (when sorting beans from the farm). Khipha inja e-ndlini. Take the dog outside. Khipha i-selesele e-ndlini. Take the frog outside. (I don’t know how they get in the house). Khipha u-doti. Take out the garbage. Khipha -imali ye-sikole. Take out money for school fees. Alyona, khipha i-moto e-garage. Alyona, take the car out of the garage. Stanislav, khipha i-moto e-garage. Stanislav take the car out of the garage. Kh…

Goodness in Zulu

Good is lunga in Zulu. It is also in greetings.

Question: Ku-njani? (How are you?) Answer:Ku-lungi-le. (I’m well. I’m good. Everything is fine).

Lunga is used for good health, good family relations, financial status, new school or job and good flights.It is also used in anger or warning: I will fix you.A child that plays with fire gets burnt.Elders tell her: The pain is good for you, it fixes you.

Lu-nga also means O.K. or prepare something so that it looks good.The first part is pronounced as in the girl’s name Lulu, the second part as in The Langham Hotel.
ZULU ENGLISH Lunga. A boy’s name which means good.Parents want the new-born child to be good in future, or maybe something good happened in the family when he was born.There is a myriad of reasons why so many boys are called Lunga. Lungile. A girl’s name which means all is good or all is well. Balungile. A girl’s name which means they are all good or O.K. Nokulunga. Another girl’s name which means goodness. Lunga phela. Get ready. U-zo-lunga ni…

Drinking Straws And Lifestyle

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Drinking straws are a problem to the environment, but they should not be the fall guy. We are the polluters because we don’t think about the environmental implications of what we buy from the grocery store, hardware store or coffee shops, our second home.I’ve also seen many Nigerian movies where actors drink beer with straws.

Can this be re-cycled? That is the last thing on our minds as we sip our cappuccino and other iced coffees from straws; carry groceries to the car in plastic bags and drink only bottled water (in plastic bottles) because we don’t trust the water the municipality provides and throw away cellphone charges because we have new phones.
Drinking straws are not new.Just look at those old soda ads.They are a problem now because we can buy a pack of 200 for $1.50 and use them at home.  Sometimes we don’t finish the soda and toss the can out with the straw.
It is not only about drinking straws but lifestyle choices.We buy things we do not need.The evidence is in basements an…

Talking in Zulu

The Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor fight is the talk of the boxing world this Sunday morning.

Talking is khuluma in Zulu.Somebody is on the phone, talking to somebody.I think khuluma is used interchangeably with speak.Some people are soft spoken and are asked to raise their voices a bit, especially in meetings. What we say has led to fist fights, the Second World War or weddings.Sometimes we don’t need to talk, just looking at another person is enough to experience hate, anger or love.

Khu-lu-ma.The first part is pronounced as in could, the second part as in looks and the third part as in money.

ZULU ENGLISH Khuluma.Silalele. Talk.We are listening. Khuluma. Ungesabi. Talk.Don’t be scared. U-Filip, u-khuluma kwi-cellphone. Filip is on his cellphone. U-khuluma no-bani? Who is he talking to? U-khuluma no-Kacper. He is talking to Kacper. U-Agucia, u-khuluma kwi-cellphone. Agucia is on her cellphone. U-khuluma nobani? Who is she talking to? U-khuluma no-Aneta. She is talking to Aneta. Baya-khuluma. They a…

Shop Assistants and Their Games

Shop assistants should change the tired script.

“Oh! That looks good on you.” The top you just tried on in the fitting room has sunflowers.They are big flowers and that adds another two pounds on your body.The yellow exposes the do-it-yourself on your head, regretting why you didn’t stick to the tried and tested natural colour of your hair.The top has purple buttons, which shows that designers also have bad days.

The shop assistant assisting you, is probably a good person, but she has been corrupted by the It looksgreat on you script. She wants to be honest and tell you that the top is a disaster because of your height, weight and the bad hair colour experiment, but she can’t.

Her mother boasts that her daughter is a shop assistant.Her boss calls her a sales representative, the new retail-speak.Her job is to sell as many clothes as possible otherwise the store will go bankrupt and she’ll be out there panhandling.The boss is always reminding them of the competition: online shopping.
I check…

Reading The Will And Cellphones

Script writers always incorporate cellphones in the movies.Authors too.In fact, cellphones are everywhere.I wouldn’t be surprised if they are also in solemn occasions like reading the will.

“Please don’t switch off your cellphones.It is what your brother and father wanted,” says the family lawyer.
Apparently, the dead person (sorry the deceased) left his investment properties, Italian cars and a platinum mine in Botswana to three beneficiaries, but the person who will get the lion’s share of the inheritance is the one with a clean bill of health, cellphone health that is. Let’s say the deceased was highly religious.The family lawyer scrolls down your online history, only to discover that the sites you visit are not appropriate for a choir master.In fact, the family lawyer gasps because some of the photos look like her husband.

That disqualifies you from the inheritance. The family lawyer goes to the next beneficiary’s phone, only to find that the sites you visit are anti-French, and some …

Stopping in Zulu

Stop it is yeka in Zulu.This applies to teen dating where no means no.Organizations such as Save The Arctic or Greenpeace constantly say industry should stop polluting rivers, the sea and the Arctic.

Ye-ka. The first part is pronounced as in year, the second part as in Kalamazoo.
ZULU ENGLISH Yekani. A boy’s name which means many people should stop doing something. Yeka u-ku-phuza. Stop drinking. Yeka u-ku-lwa. Stop causing trouble. Yeka u-busoka. Nansi i-HIV/AIDS. Stop womanising.HIV/AIDS is here. Ye-kani a-manga. Stop the lies. Ye-kani u-dlame. Stop political killings. Ngi-yeke. Leave me alone. Ngi-zo-yeka uku-bhema. I will stop smoking. Ba-ye-keni. Leave them alone. Se-nga-yeka u-ku-lima. I stopped being a farmer. Wa-yeka u-ku-dlala i-baseball. He stopped playing baseball.

Housework is Reflection Time

The only way to take the sting out of housework is to regard it as time to reflect on our lives.We will not include laundry because it is a chore.We must do it because we run out of things to wear whether rich or poor.

Sweeping, mopping or using the vacuum entails moving chairs and tables.That exercise gives us time to do some mental banking, such as moving money from a healthy account to an under-performing one, time to think about taking a pair of scissors and cutting up some credit cards, time to think about putting on the market the apartment you are renting out before the municipality builds a new sewage plant behind the apartment building, and time to think about using vacation time, by going on vacation. Housework involves discarding things, like that old towel that feels like a paper towel and has the colour of a dirt road or buying a new shower curtain because it costs only 20 bucks.

Doing housework gives us time to reflect on discarding relationships that are detrimental to our…

Vegetarians vs The Meat Crew

Cuisine or food? The feud between vegetarians and meat lovers is not necessary because we all food.  You got that right, we all food. The term cuisine is not appropriate for this piece though, because it is art food, with carrots cut in a ballerina way and nectarine slices placed chain-like on the plate. It’s not a matter of us and them.It is ending the life of a cucumber or rabbit so that we can eat.People don’t eat meat for a variety of reasons: religion, how animals are raised and how they are prepared for slaughter and subsequent marketing.It should also be noted that there are many people around the world who eat meat for religious reasons and even offer it to their gods. Beetroot, broccoli, yams and spinach routinely lose their life to make a vegetarian meal.They lived happily in the soil until someone harvested them for the supermarket or farmer’s pot. Moral superiority.Vegetarians cannot claim that their choice is morally superior because they eat dead veggies.Equally, meat lovers…

Smell in Zulu

Smelling in Zulu is -nuka.It depends on the context, because it is used for both good and bad smell. I once overheard a man on his phone at the Toronto Public Library saying his girlfriend had an offensive smell.What is also sad is when somebody is wrongly accused: she has been smelled, u-nu-ki-we. The smell from the oven or pots on the stove makes the family and visitors happy.Lovers call each other names, when love flies out of the window.A president who killed the last dictator might smell a rat that he might be overthrown or killed, himself.

We wash, use roll-on and spray some perfume and cologne because our bodies have natural odours. Putting your hand on your nose when you see food from other cultures is bad, but closing your eyes and smiling at foreign cuisine is good.

Nu-ka.The first part is pronounced as is ‘bienvenue’, a French word.The second part is pronounced as in the Indian word kamala.

ZULU ENGLISH Kwa-nuka ka-mnandi. Something smells good. U-mama u-bhaka i-si-nkwa. Mother is…

Cash As Back-Up

Cash is still king. We were reminded of that last week, when technology went berserk and did not accept debit and credit cards.

The line for breakfast was long: writers like me taking a break from the writer’s block, teens backpacking in Canada, parents with kids in strollers, construction workers in their lime vests, health aide workers with people with disabilities, and pensioners taking themselves out for breakfast. “Cash only please.We are trying to fix the system,” said the cashier.

I had a $20 bill on me, a miracle if you ask me.Some breakfasters left the line to rummage through their handbags for coins and dollar bills.Others sat at nearby tables waiting for the restaurant to fix the electronic bug.Some parents removed certain items from their trays, causing kids to pout and holler.

The scene reminded me of my cash only friend who did not have a credit card for a long time, despite offers from several banks. He sent his kids to school and did everything for his family using cash mo…