Xhosa love poem
Umboniso wakho kwisibuko
Ngowona mbongo wam mhle
Kowa, Khawuleza i yanyamala
Ngowokungqibela u "Ndiyakuthanda"
→ French poem ←
Like her language, she is Xhosa
Love poem (umbongo wothando), in Xhosa (IsiXhosa, Xosa, Cauzuh, Koosa), is an official language in South Africa with 8 million speakers. This is a translation into the Southern African language of the Xhosas people, and their famous leader Uxhosa. Xhosa is by the number of speakers, the second language in South Africa. It is a clicks language, which is written with the Latin alphabet.
This Bantu language is mostly spoken in the historic region of Transkei (now Eastern Cape Province). Its phonological system has 3 clicks, borrowed from the Khoisan languages.
The Xh at the beginning of the name represents a "click" consonant which entered the language through contact with the Hottentot people, for whom these sounds are common. Xhosa is very close to Zulu - there is intercomprehension between the two languages - but the speakers consider that thez are two different languages.
Xhosa with the other Nkugni languages belongs to the Zunda subgroup. According to Guthrie’s classification (1967–1971), this would also include Sotho, Venda and Tsonga, The Bantu family is part of the Niger-Congolese family of African languages, the other three major families being the Afroasiatic, Nilo-Saharian, and Khoisan families (Greenberg, 1963; Heine and Nurse, 2000b; Williamson and Blench, 2000).
Eastern Cape Province is the historical cradle of the various dialects of Xhosa (isiThembu, isiBomvana, isiMpondomise, isiMpondo, isiGcaleka, isiNdlambe, isiGaika and isiXesibe).
When the state of South Africa was created in 1994, isiXhosa became an official language, with 8 other Bantu languages (isiZulu, isiNdebele, Siswati (Swati), Sesotho (South Sotho), Sepedi / Sesotho sa Leboa (North Sotho), Setswana (Tswana), Tshivenda (Venda), and Xitsonga (Tonga). The government, through its Department of Arts and Culture, has always sought to promote their use and status in all fields. of the society.
The Xhosas have the specificity of being an ethnic group today very urbanized. Onehey can be linked, linguistically speaking, with the Bantus Ngonis. They lived on livestock, whose social role was important (matrimonial compensation), but agriculture remained their essential subsistence activity (millet, corn).
Their political system involved the existence of a kingdom, where authority was held by members of the royal lineage, causing frequent clashes between royal clans and ordinary clans.
The Xhosas, in spite of Christianization attempts, practiced the fundamental cult of ancestors, which mediated the supposed relations between men and gods. The Xosas have been one of the most disadvantaged and exploited social classes in South Africa, and suffered cruelly the white supremacy during the apartheid. They were once confused with the Kaffirs.