On mar­gin

Finweek English Edition - - On The Money Quiz & Crossword -

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

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