Showing posts from August, 2017

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…

Dinner Tables and Inequality

The sun and moon are circles.
There are no country flags billowing on them because they belong to all of us.This doesn’t mean that politicians are not scheming behind closed doors to cut them up into blue, red, green, black, and purple flags, to form the United Nations of the Sun and the United Nations of the Moon. There is no equality in tables because most of them are rectangular: the dinner table at home and the boardroom table at the office.

There is something called the head of the table, which equates to the head of the family.The Chief Executive sits at the head of the table, and the Assistant Chief Executive cannot wait for him to break his leg while skiing in Colorado, so that he can run the company for a few weeks, sitting on that chair. Who sits where in meetings is just as stressful as who has the corner office and the one next to the photocopying machine. The rectangular table is also injurious to your neck because you can strain it as you try to look at the Chairman who is u…

Famous in Zulu

Duma means famous in Zulu.Everybody Googles music video dancers, TV stars, basketball and soccer celebrities.Nobody Googles daycare workers or farmers that grow beetroot and corn.

Du-ma, the first part is pronounced as in do or doom, the second part as in money.
ZULU ENGLISH Duma. A boy’s name, meaning be famous.Maybe his father was famous when he was born or parents want the child to grow up and be famous. Dumile. A boy’s name which means he is famous. Badumile. A girl’s name which means they are famous. Duma kahle. Be famous for good things. U-dume kahle. She is famous for good things. Duma kabi. Famous for bad things. U-dume kabi. She is famous for bad things. U-Rafael Nadal u-dume nge-tennis. Rafael Nadal is famous because of tennis. U-Venus Williams u-dume nge-tennis. Venus Williams is famous because of tennis. U-Donald Trump u-dume nge-Twitter. Donald Trump is famous because of his tweets. U-dume e-Paris ku-phela. He is only famous in Par

CEO's And Trade Shows

CEO’s should man the stand at trade shows. Companies buy exhibition space in convention centres in Warsaw, Riyadh or Toronto to display their products, source new customers and interact with existing ones.

It is therefore frustrating to visit a company’s exhibition stand only to be given brochures and told to visit the website.It really defies logic.What is the point of trade exhibitions?One would think it is an opportunity for a company or group of companies to elucidate their strengths, output and potential. Trade shows have massive budgets that include air travel, hotel accommodation and entertainment for company employees.It is money down the drain if visitors to the company’s stand find junior staff playing with their cellphones and not standing outside to welcome potential customers or investors.

Come to think of it, it is the CEO’s fault for not manning the stand.He or she is the most qualified to sing the company’s praises, past and present.He or she understands current and techn…

Windy in Zulu

Chicago.Why is it called the windy city?Will do some research later.Wind and air have the same Zulu word, umoya.

It can be deadly wind that brings down trees or the breeze from an open window.Someone faints and people try to revive him by fanning his face to give him some air.

Kids in Africa and South America have plenty air.They wake up, have a shower, eat and they are gone to play among nature, play football, cricket or make wire cars.Their counterparts in Europe and North America are cranky because they are indoors for days, thanks to minus zero temperatures.Parents usually bundle them up in warm clothing and take them out for some fresh air (umoya).

U-moya. Remember, -u- is always pronounced as in ooze, NOT as in U-haul.Mo-ya, say the first part as in momentum, the second part as in yard.

ZULU ENGLISH Ku-no moya. It is windy. Lo-moya u-ya-banda. This wind is cold. Tha-tha i-jersey. Take a jersey/sweater. Lo-moya u-ya-shisa. This wind is hot. U-moya wa-so-lwandle. Sea breeze. Ngi-phele-lwa umoya. I…

Dinner Party for my Followers

The problem with the internet is that I cannot invite my followers to a dinner party because of logistics. Canada?No thanks.It’s very cold, says followers born and raised in Argentina.That’s very unfair.Canada is warm, some days.So, where will the dinner party be held?

Anyway, it would be like playing the Lotto because of time zones, unequal currencies (British pound is king when it has no gold, diamonds or platinum), work commitments and visa problems. My followers come from different cultures and faiths so the menu will be quite wide to cater for everybody.I will fly the correct food from any part of the world because I have secured an unsecured loan from Bill Gates.

Let’s say, I’ve ironed out all the logistics and we have set a time and date.Will dinner guests show up?If they do, will I recognise them?How about the host?I cannot imagine the hurt in their eyes when they see me, the real physical me. I tell you, they will ‘unfollow’ me before they get to the airport because, I forgot to…

Growing in Zulu

Grow up is khula in Zulu.Kids grow up overnight I swear.Summer family reunions are full of exclamations:Is this Aquarius?My! How she has grown! Incidentally, weeds are called u-khula.

Cutting your hair is no problem.It will grow again.What should not be allowed to grow is the tiff between North Korea and the United States because the nuclear game has no winners. Khu-la, the first part is pronounced in Kumbaaya, the second part as in laugh.

ZULU ENGLISH Khulani. A boy’s name, which means many people should grow, multiply. Khulile. A girl’s name, which means something has grown. U-su-khuli-le Sandra. You have grown up Sandra. Wa-khuli-swa ngubani? Who brought you up? Nga-khuli-swa u-gogo. I was brought up by my grandmother. Nga-khuli-swa u-malume. I was brought up by my uncle. Nga-khuli-swa ama-foster parents. I was brought up by foster parents. U-zo-khula u-ma u-dla i-mifino. You’ll grow if you eat greens (parents trying to coax kids to eat greens, spinach or broccoli). U-ya-khula lo-mona. This jealousy…

Misunderstood Feet

Feet are lobbying for an international FEET DAY, where they will be pampered and put on display for the whole world to see, but they are at a disadvantage.

They suffer from an out of sight, out of mind syndrome. Nobody sees them except during the summer, all decked out in neon colors, after beauty treatments called pedicures.
In your face things like hair and face get all the fun.People get their hair done at least once a week and endure excruciating pain fixing eyelids and eyebrows.Not poor feet.They are subjected to torture chambers like stiletto heels and running shoes that have not been washed since they left a factory in China. Feet are requesting a little, tiny, choti (small in Hindi) favour, while they work on the logistics of an international FEET DAY.What is it?They want some air.They want to breathe, throw away the shackles.

Translate that to walking barefoot at home or at the family barbeque.Slow down, you cannot walk without shoes in the office because a dress code is in effec…

Crying in Zulu

Crying is -khala in Zulu.

It doesn’t have to be about bad news.You could be crying because of those onions you are slicing, laughing at jokes delivered by Chris Rock, a stand-up comedian or crying in a movie scene like Angela Bassett, a great actress. Kha-la.The first part is pronounced as in car or come, the second part as in lass.

ZULU ENGLISH I-ngane i-ya-khala. The child is crying. I-khale-lani? Why is it crying? I-lambile. It is hungry. Ba-khale-lani? Why are they crying? U-khale-lani? Why are you crying? Ba-ya-khala. Ku-sho-ni-we. They are crying.Somebody died. Musa u-ku-khala. Don’t cry. Thula.Musa u-ku-khala. Keep quiet.Don’t cry. I-nsimbi i-ya-khala. The bell is ringing. U-khala ngani? What do you need?What are your concerns? U-zo-khala.

Ant-Racism Education and Daycare

Anti-racism workshops should include visits to daycare centres to watch the little flowers creating images with crayons, building something with little blocks, skipping rope, singing out of tune, and sleeping after all that hard work.

Canadian daycare centres are gardens because the flowers are from different races and religions.The country puts a high premium on them because they are the future, literally.
There is no economy without kids because capitalism is a beast that needs to be nurtured with new consumers.Many parts of the cycle become stagnant when people get older because they buy less goods. Bringing up kids involves a lot of buying: strollers, snow suits, sneakers, hockey sticks and finally, Linda’s first car.Linda, as a teenager will also oil capitalism through her buying.

Unfortunately, daycare centre gardens lose their leaves and colour as kids swallow what is said at the breakfast table about ‘these people’.They are called ugly names which end up in e-mails at work.

Sorry I'm Late

Punctuality.People in Africa and India should not be too hard on themselves about being late.The whole world is late.

"Is the event 8 p.m. or African time?” “Is the party 9 p.m. or Indian time?”

“Is the lunch 1 p.m. or CP time?”
I learnt about Colored People’s time when I was in college in the U.S.I laughed and told friends about what we call African time.I screened Albela, a Bollywood movie starring Govinda and Jackie Shroff recently.A character could not believe that an Indian journalist (Jackie Shroff) was on time. No problem.The bus is late, so is the train.It’s even funny in Canada where you sit at an event and the M.C. says, sorry, we are running late.Ironic isn’t it?You are not running fast enough if you are running late, are you?

Airlines don’t say their planes are flying late.They just say they are delayed, something you don’t want to hear when you are in Dublin and you must catch a connecting flight in London.Being late therefore is GPT, global people’s time. Nonqaba waka Msi…

Online Dangers

Bringing up kids in the digital age is rough, because most of the chapters in the parents’ handbook are obsolete.Can you imagine how your kids would react to the advice:don’t talk to strangers?

“Dad, you must be kidding.I have 140, 000 Instagram followers.”
O.K. Kids don’t want to hear any old-school wisdom but they must understand that some wisdom is evergreen like, you reap what you sow and that it also applies to online games. What they say online or photos they post might come back to bite them in the butt, when they want to be the next president of France or Argentina.Their skeletons won’t be in the cupboard but in a tweet, a YouTube video or Facebook friends who were cool 20 years ago but poisonous for today’s dreams.

Old school wisdom still kicks in most of the things we do, like applying for a job or choosing a candidate to represent a political party. Former U.S. President Obama is working on his next book and hopefully he will tell us how he was investigated inside out, right to …