Looking back to the 80s and 90s …

sangoma_dancing_2 Sangoma Baba Liefa of Shoshanguve in homemade traditional attire dancing in celebration of his ancestors *


Here’s a link to an article I wrote in 2011 for the blog at Oxford Dictionaries:

Mandela, ubuntu, and the born frees of Mzansi

In the post I look back over some important lexical items in South African English (SAE) in the apartheid era from the viewpoint of the early twenty-first century, and then at some of the words that emanated from the early rainbow-nation years.

Some of the SAE words I work into the story are:

The TRC was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up in the mid-1990s to hear testimony about injustices committed during apartheid. You can find out more about the TRC at this website of the Department of Justice of the South African government.

A black diamond is a middle class black professional or businessperson in the post-apartheid era.

A tenderpreneur is a well-connected person who amasses wealth by securing contracts and tenders, by implication illicitly, from the government.


* Image by Mycelium101 used unmodified from Sangoma in traditional attire dancing in celebration of his ancestors. Some rights reserved by the creator of the image. Use of this photo does not imply endorsement of this blog by the creator of the image.
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