‘WONDROUS WORDS WEDNESDAY‘
is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we have encountered in our reading.
It is hosted by Kathy, over at BermudaOnion’s Weblog.
You can either stop by and leave a link to your own ‘mystery’ words of the week, or just browse the eclectic mix of words that others have discovered, there is always a great selection.
Don’t forget that Kathy and the rest of us, all love to read your comments as well!!
Because there were just too many great new words to discover all at once, this week I am making a return trip into Zimbabwean contemporary fiction book:-
‘The Hairdresser of Harare’ by Tendai Huchu.
… and even then, my Ngozi would still have something to say about that …
NGOZI … In Shona religion, in addition to the guarding characteristics of the vadzimu, there are also avenging or evil spirits, ngozi, and witches who communicate with them. The ngozi are, briefly, the spirits of deceased individuals who were greatly wronged, neglected by a spouse, murdered, or otherwise neglected, and they attack through sudden death of several members of the same family, or through ill people who fail to respond to treatment. Bucher (1980) and others stress the fear with which the ngozi are surrounded, in opposition to the guarding role of the vadzimu.
The seat designed for three was filled with four people with the hwindi leaning over our laps because there was no space for him
HWINDI … is slang for a Zimbabwean tour or bus conductor, reputedly gifted with the special skills of obscene speech and the ability to hang from the open door of a speeding commuter omnibus with one hand.
It was a relief to see Trina leave, because two minutes later a pick-up packed with men carrying knobkerries arrived.
KNOBKERRIE … African clubs used mainly in Southern and Eastern Africa. Typically they have a large knob at one end and can be used for throwing at animals in hunting or for clubbing an enemy’s head. This knob is carved out of a treetrunk and the shaft is simply the branch that protruded from the tree at that point. The name derives from the Afrikaans word knop, meaning knot or ball and the word kierie, meaning cane or walking stick. The name has been extended to similar weapons used by the natives of Australia, the Pacific islands and other places.
Knobkierries were an indispensable weapon of war and during the apartheid era in South Africa they were often carried and used by protesters and sometimes by the police opposing them.
Knobkierries are still widely carried, especially in rural areas. The weapon is employed at close quarters, or as a missile, and in time of peace may serve as a walking-stick.
I find that an author using words and phrases which are local to the area in which the story is set, always adds to to flavour and authenticity of the piece and can only serve to enhance the overall reading experience for me. I had great fun doing some of my own research to fully enjoy this excellent book.