Street lingo proves dynamic, infectious

HARARE - Street lingo, like any form of communication, is dynamic. And, in the digital age, new words spread like wildfire.

They catch on so fast that even Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, surprisingly, are keeping abreast with the home trends.

Usually the catchy phrases and clichés are seasonal, depending on people’s perspectives on the socio-economic, hot and pressing issues.

During the economic meltdown around 2008 and 2009, the most common word was Baccossi, which referred to cheap goods or bargain prices.

With so much expectation of a better future now, the language is no longer on zvakapresser or mahwani or zvakadhakwa which means hard times but the talk is more centred on the brighter side of life like zvirikufaya, meaning things are looking up.

If someone asks how one is doing, “zvirikufaya” is now the likely answer you will get, instead. This has also been used by people showing off their lifestyles.

Pages of zvirikufaya have been opened on Facebook, with Zimbabweans in the Diaspora and in Zimbabwe flaunting their wealth.

In this era one of the words that have been catchy is; Pakaipa! Which literally translated would mean “it is bad.”

However, for Zimbabweans this word has a different meaning when said in the right tone it would mean something that is greatly appreciated or admired.

It can be used to refer to a good song and it would be said like “yakaipaaa!” — It’s bad, as in the late Michael Jackson’s “I’m bad”, meaning: I’m good.

Kwakumberi-loosely translated means — it’s  ahead or in the future but for Zimbos (Zimbabweans) it means whatever it is has suppercedes a certain league or it is beyond the normal good.

Kwakumberi has other suffixes, for example Kwakumberi semuromo waPokello, kwakumberi sekubuda kwaGumbura, kwakumberi sechair yemufundisi, (its miles ahead like Pokello’s lips, like Gumbura’s release from prison and like the pastor’s chair).  Pokello is a local celebrity who featured on

Africa’s popular Big Brother housemates show.

Another word is Kwakuseri whose meaning is the same as kwakumberi.

Zvazvinhu which means, these are big things, is also used to give props to an impressive something, it can be a person, good work, dressing or a phone and many other things.

Sando yako — “your hammer”— the tool which is used to hit in nails, this is used to tell someone they he or she has excelled or outdone expectations.

Another word which is used to imply the same thing as above is ndiwe uneyese — “you have it all” which can also be used to thank someone.

Chakachaya, this word is hard to translate but it is said by someone who is under pressure or in a hurry.

Ndakatsva which in other word means I was burnt or I am burnt out is used to by someone who is broke. Ndakatsva —“I am broke”

Isimbi — metal, is used to describe a hot girl.

Hapana munhu akadai — there’s no person like the, or just the word hapana, is used to refer to something amusing and unbelievable, it can be unbelievably wrong or good.

And then there is the word heavy, which might just be used to say, okay!

    Comments (2)

    chibaba chacho

    ndozvo - 4 August 2014

    Absolute balderdash!

    Johno - 4 August 2014

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