South African Slang used in the show

AFRICA UMOJA uses commonly used ‘slag’ in the show – below are some of the words so you can understand what is being said. To view, click on the word

  • sangoma
    traditional healer or diviner
  • madala
    Old man; grandfather
  • dompas
    A Pass book. This was a document all African people had to carry with them, at all times.
  • eish!
    an interjection expressing resignation
  • heita
    “hello” or “hi”
  • Shebeen
    illegal drinking-establishment (from Irish sibín), synonymous with speakeasy. In South Africa it refers in particular to unlicensed bars in the townships, and has become a mainstream word. During the apartheid era laws prohibited non-whites from consuming any alcohol except traditional sorghum beer, and taverns selling ‘hard-tack’ became the centre of social activity.
  • tsotsi
    gangster, layabout, no gooder