Duduza. Bopha. Imbiza. Phapha. Asixoliseni. Amapopeye . . .
What is the power of a single word?
Six days a week, advertising creative Melusi Tshabalala posts a
Zulu word on his Everyday Zulu Facebook page and tells a story
about it. His off-beat sense of humour, razor-sharp social
observations and frank political commentary not only teaches his
followers isiZulu but also offer insight into the world Melusi
inhabits as a 21st century Zulu man.
Over the past few months he has built up a big and a loyal
following that include radio host Jenny Crwys-Williams and
Afrikaans author Marita van der Vyfer. He pokes fun at our
differences and makes us laugh at ourselves and each other.
Melusi asks critical questions of everyone, from Aunty Helen,
Dudu-Zille to Silili (Cyril Ramaphosa) and even Woolworths (why
are their aircons always set on ‘jou moer’?). His fans love him for
his honesty and commitment to pointing out subtle and overt
forms of prejudice and racism.
Melusi’s Everyday Zulu holds up a mirror that shows South
African society in all its flaws and its sheer humanity. Most
importantly, he shows the power of words and that there’s
umzulu in all of us!
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