Karibu tena katika safari yetu ya kuvinjari maneno mapya ya Kiswahili. Kama mnajua, Tanzania mwanamume huoa na mwanamke huolewa, basi somo la leo linauliza: kwa nini kichwa cha habari katika gazeti moja la Dar es Salaam linatangaza kuwa ‘Vijana wa Kibongo waolewa Msumbiji’?
Welcome again to the modem story. In Tanzania a man usually marries (kuoa) and a woman is married (kuolewa). So why did a recent headline announce ‘Dar boys are married in Mozambique ‘?
Vijana wa Kibongo wanakwenda ‘Sauzi’ kubangaiza maisha huko. Wengi wanaishia Msumbuji baada ya ‘kuolewa’ na mishangingi ya nchi hiyo. Inaonekana kuna mayanki si haba waliokwama wakati wakienda Kwa Mzee Madiba. Wakipata ‘mama mlezi’ njiani hawana haja tena kwenda kubangaiza Sauzi. Kwa Mzee Chisano mama hawa huwatunza wajukuu wa Mzee Kifimbo, wanawapatia mavazi, malazi na kadhalika. Mbongo mmoja alidai: “Si unajua tena Wabongo tunavyopenda mporomoko”.
This is amusing but it is also a harsh comment on social conditions in Tanzania. Strange as it sounds the traditional gender roles are being reversed and Swahili grammar follows suit. Thus the young men of Dar (Vijana wa Kibongo) are married to, rather than marry, sugar mummys (mishangingi) of Mozambique. This occurs on the way to South Africa (Sauzi) where they go to look for a better life (kubangaiza maisha). These guys (mayanki) don’t reach Mandela’s place (Kwa Mzee Madiba) because they find what they are looking for on the way. Once they have found a sugar mummy (‘mama mlezi’) they stay in Mozambique (Kwa Mzee Chisano). One other young man of Dar is not surprised that they stay in Mozambique since young men of Dar (Wabongo) like something that makes their life easier (mporomoko).
Sauzi is the new slang for South Africa; it comes from South in English. Also known as Mr Madiba’s place -a nickname for Mandela. Mr Chisano’s place is a reference to Mozambique. Kubangaiza maisha is a colloquial way of saying ‘to get by’ literally ‘to push life’. Mayanki are the youth who ape American ways, the yanks. ‘Ma’ is a Swahili prefix for borrowed words. Mama Mlezi literally means stepmother ‘the mother of raising’ i.e. not birth. Here it has been juxtaposed to mean sugar mummy since these guys are well looked after. Bongo is another name for Dar, thus those who come from Dar are -Wabongo. Mporomoko is something that makes ones life easier, literally something that slides i.e. like the greasing of a palm. Mzee Kifimbo is the figurative Uncle Sam of Tanzania. Thus the grandchildren (wajukuu) refer to citizens of Tanzania.