Even if we MLUNGUZ can’t speak much Zulu, there are certain words we have come to know well. Useful words. Words that help you out, like when you’re hanging out. Words like phuza.
So we thought we totally got it about phuza-ing. That it means to raise your bottle or glass to your lips and glug the contents down your throat. And that the thing that you phuza might well have some alcohol in it. So we thought we were on top of it, when it comes to the phuza word. We even know that when someone does a lot of drinking, he or she could end up with a Phuza Face.
But then we heard of this other way that phuza gets used by ZULUZ. As in: Izolo uphuzile ukuye emsebenzini. At first we thought it meant that someone had a bit of utshwala before he went to work. But now we find out that it’s got absolutely nothing to do with drinking on the job. That it’s actually about being late for work. Ini?
And it gets worse. Even more confusing. If you hear someone say: Ntambama ilanga liyaphuza ukushona, you might think that it’s about the sun having a sundowner in the late afternoon. But no, it turns out this has got nothing to do with the word phuza we’ve come to know and love. It’s actually about the sun doing what it does at the end of every day: making that afternoon duck below the horizon, and bringing on the dusk that leads to night. Hmmm. Ngiyaxolisa while I go and phuza my troubles away. Sometimes this language of the ZULUZ is a bit confusing for us.