Cry, the Beloved Country

List of African Words
N to Z
go back to A to M

N to S


Ndotsheni  [Indotshenee]
    ("O" midway between "o" in "pot" and "o" in "born," "e" almost as "a" in "pane", last vowel hardly sounded)

    A Village where Kumalo lives.

Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika [Inkosi sigelel eeAafreeka]
    (Pronounciation: "Nkosi" almost sound like "Inkosi," "sikelele" with "k" as hard "g" and "e" approximately as in "bed,"iAfrika" with "a" as in "father," "i" as shortened "ee")

    Mean "God bless Africa," though in the book it is taken to mean "God save Africa." This lovely hymn is rapidly becoming accepted as the national anthem of the black people. At any mixed meeting therefore, where goodwill prevails. three such anthems are sung ath conclusion, "God save the king," "Die Stem Van Suid-Afrika," and "Nkosi Sikele' iAfrika." This is co-operative, but very wearing. But such meetings are rare.


    (Pronounced as written)


    A city founded by the Vootrekkers Piet Retief and Gert Maritz. Capital of the Province of Natal.


    A city named after the Voortrekker Pretorius. Capital of the Union of South Africa.


Siyafa [Seeyafaa]
    ("i" as "ee," "a" as in :"father")

    Means "we die."

T to Z



    A Plover-like bird. The name is onomatopoeic.

Tixo [Teeko]

    Xosa word for the Great Spirit. The author rejected the Zulu word because it was too long and difficult.


Umfundisi [oomfoondees]
    (The last "i" is hardly sounded. "oo" as in "books," "ees" as "eace" in the word "peace")

    Means "parson," but is also a title and used with respect.

Umnumzana [oomnoomzaan]

    Means "sir"

Umzikulu [umsimkooloo]
    ("oo" is very long as in "coo")


Veld [felt]

    Means open grass country. or it may mean the grass itself, as when a farmer looks down at his feet, and says, this veld is poor.

Xosa [Kosa]
    ("a" is pronounce almost as "u" in "much")

    A native tribe of eastern Cape


    (both "u"s are long as in "coo")

    The great tirbe of Zululand, which overflowed into Natal and other parts.

Part I, Part II