[African Languages]

Meanings of commonly used phrases in South Africa

Sometimes (white) South Africans are left wondering as to the meanings of certain African language phrases/expressions etc. that we may hear often.

Term Meaning Explanation
Yebo Gogo "Yes Grandma" This is well-known from the advertising of telecommunications company Vodacom. (Sometimes unwittingly used by people as a general greeting)
Ubuntu Humanity Principle of humanity
Batho Pele "People First" The motto of the South African civil service
Bafana Bafana "The Boys" Name of South Africa's national soccer team
Banyana Banyana "The Girls" South African senior women's football squad
On TV:
Ya Mampela "The Real Thing" SABC 1's new name (since discontinued, because it was WRONG!)
Simunye "We are one" SABC 1's old name
Motswako The Mix ("mixture") Talk show on SABC 2
Yizo Yizo "This is it", "This is reality", "That's the way it is", "This is how things are" A (very good IMO) drama series on SABC1 on Thursday nights

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