Word formation in South Africa has taken a new and faster course. Lately, the media was bombarded with new words that could keep one flipping through the pages of a dictionary for decades in a bid to know their meanings.
I hope you’ve heard about ‘lateism’? If not, then you must be living in another country outside South Africa. Of course, I know you are now conversant with “tjatjarag” and EFF-owned words- “Zupta”.
Last month, EFF Parliament Member, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi came up with another word and I tell you, the word list is gradually growing. The opposition MP released the word after he caught ANC MP Maite Nkoana Mashabane sleeping in Parliament during debate.
Ndlozi, who sighted the ‘sleepist’ satirically warned the MP not to sleep on duty because she is being paid heavily. Even while his observation was objected by the deputy speaker, he maintained that sleeping in Parliament must not be condoled.
“Honourable Speaker, I am worried that this minister that we pay so much, Minister Maite, she’s sleeping in parliament and with that position she is going to fall. I don’t know, what’s happening”.
We pay you, don’t sleep here. We are busy debating and you are busy sleeping. You’re a sleepist, you think we are sleepists here. You are sleeping on duty.”
Maite later fired back saying, “I want to know who this young man is talking to. I want to respond to this young man.”
Ndlozi answered her saying, “Minister, you must sleep while we keep quiet! You are sleeping on duty.”
Perhaps, with time, people will begin to coin words in relation to what one does or is doing. For instance, you might offend someone as a driver and the next thing you might probably hear is: ‘Get away! you drivist’.
Oh! I pray not to see such days in South Africa.