Wednesday, 15 June 2011


I think it is easier to answer each of the most recent enquiries in a special posting. (I have tried to reply using the comment box but my replies to Kalumiana and Etambuyu, I see, have still not arrived.)

Firstly, the meaning of Kalumianna it means a small, slightly-built man. It is Siluyana.

It is made up of the diminutive prefix Ka-, the root is –lume (ie mulume - man) and –ana the Sisotho diminiutive suffix.

Etambuyu: I am sorry I can’t be of more help here. I happened to find by chance a copy in Bookworld at Manda Hill about a year ago. It was the only one there at the time and although it had some pages missing I, nevertheless, hastened to purchase it. Amuzume hande!

Thirdly, Grace: Musa is the direct Biblical translation. Nasishemo is another Siluyana equivalent close in meaning to Grace.

Several variants are available for “listener”. The first set of names is derived from Itwi, the Siluyana for ears; therefore, a good listener. Other possibilities are Kamatwi or simply Matwi.

Another related name is Muleteetwi (Muleta-itwi) literally ‘ear-bringer’ so a good listener.

Humble: Noocana (*c is pronounced ‘ch’ and oo is a long o) or Noobu

(Na-ubu) both mean associated with small things so born of a humble family.

Another variation is Ikaacana

Matwi is found in the Siluyana proverb: Matwi a mwelwa luyupela kuule. The ears of pauper hear from afar.

Nasishemo: Lya sishemo ku mutala, lya ng’ole ku moyo. A kind one at home but a cruel one in government.

Another useful little book is Silozi Se Lu Bulela by YW Mupatu first published by NECZAM in 1978. It gives a simple Siluyana conversation and explains other more difficult idioms and proverbs.

I hope this is all of help - Keith

1 comment:

  1. Hi Keith and Ida: Just a short note to say how much I am looking forward to seeing you the end of next week. Our team is excited, as always, and we are bringing four newcomers. Should be a great trip. Praying for you guys!