You have to want it!
This issue’s Zulu word is inkomo. Inkomo is a cow. The plural of inkomo izinkomo.
The cow is very important in Zulu culture because it’s a source of food; it’s hide can be used for various purposes; and it’s also a form of currency. Even to this day there are actual instances where the value of some things are calculated in izinkomo. You then have to convert it into rands.
Inkomo is also the word for a person (or group of people) who is particularly bad at something. In the beginning it just referred to people who suck at soccer because they were as useful as a cow on the sports field. Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates are the archetypes of this kind of soccer player.
However, there are also several other applications for this meaning of the word.
For instance, you can be inkomo at running an SOE. So, so many of them.
Inkomo at being the head of the NPA. We all know him.
Inkomo at being president. You know who.
Inkomo at not being a racist prick. You know who you are.
Inkomo at reconciliation. You know who you are.
Inkomo at not having smallanyana skeletons. Bathabile and the ANC NEC.
is You can be inkomo at fatherhood. Guys, this thing is hard but we must keep working on it.
Inkomo at marriage. Ku rough. Inkomo at peeing into the toilet bowl. Some men.
You can be inkomo at fashion. Me. Inkomo at respecting traffic lights. Inner city pedestrians.
Inkomo at rain. Cape Town clouds. Inkomo at driving. Taxi drivers. Inkomo at honesty. Politicians. You can be inkomo at sleeping. Insomniacs.
Inkomo at humility. Rappers. Inkomo at wiping your own ass. Toddlers.
Government is izinkomo at service delivery.
Corporate SA is izinkomo at transformation.
You can be inkomo at anything – sex, dancing, your job, school, whatever – but you don’t have to remain one. Work at whatever it is you’re doing. Practice. Read up on it. Learn from those who are better at it than you.
But most importantly, you have to want to get better at it.
– Melusi’s #everydayzulu by Melusi Tshabalala