This week's word on CapeTalk's Everyday Xhosa is 'amawele' meaning twins!
Today’s isiXhosa word is AMAWELE, twins says Qingqile - very apt considering the entire country, and the world, is obsessed with the birth of decuplets in Tembisa this week - and whether the story is even true.
The singular is 'iwele' meaning one of twins, he explains.
Can you remember the first time you saw twins Pippa? I must have been around 3 or 4 years old. I was freaked out and fascinated at the same time. I don’t know how many double-takes I did, or the number of times I rubbed my eyes. Then I thought, wow, how cool, two of the same person. And later when I met a pair of unidentical twins who always dressed the same, I figured the word twins also meant people who were dressed the same.Qingqile Mdlulwa, Correspondent - Everyday Xhosa
The reason for the word is the other big story this week, no, not loadshedding, there’s no Xhosa word for that yet, he jokes.
And if it did exist I’d probably not be allowed to say it on air.Qingqile Mdlulwa, Correspondent - Everyday Xhosa
So what has made this word topical this week?
I’m talking about amawele alishumi, the ten twins, (AMAWELE ALISHUMI, because isiXHOSA makes no distinction between twins, triplets, quadruplets, or decuplets in this case. Who were born to a Gauteng woman on Monday night according to one newspaper. Allegedly.Qingqile Mdlulwa, Correspondent - Everyday Xhosa
I say allegedly because nobody has seen these babies apart from a handful of people. Not the provincial government, not the Dept Of Health, not any registered doctor or hospital, not the Guinness Book of Records, not the FBI, not even the CIA. Maybe we should start a new Xhosa game called WHERE’S AMAWELE! The story’s even made it onto CNN, BBC, The New York Post, The Indian Express etc,Qingqile Mdlulwa, Correspondent - Everyday Xhosa