Dr Thokozane Nene (known as “Gxaba lembadada’) was born in KwaHlabisa, North Coast of KwaZulu Natal, on the 19 of September 1944. Nene went to Eshowe Government School and obtained his Matric in 1965. He furthered his studies at the University of Zululand (Ongoye) obtaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1967. In 2001, he obtained a Doctor’s Degree in Philosophy.
In 1971, he joined SABC as a News Reader translating from Afrikaans to isiZulu, and in 2004, he worked at the Supreme Court as an Interpreter. He was the winner of the Amaqhawe (heroes) of Ukhozi FM and the Veteran Newscaster Award. In 2008 he was horned by Muhle Museum as one of the eThekwini Living Legend.
He had deep knowledge of African common practises and culture, he formulated few Zulu words that were not existing before e.g. Ingculazi (AIDS), isikhahlamezi (fax), etc. He also knew how some places and rives in KZN province were named e.g. Umlazi, Amanzimtoti, Sayidi etc.
According to Dr Nene you can expect the analysis of the language from this page, when Musa Gumede asked him he said the following:
“We need to write mostly about origins of the language including figures of speech and idioms that goes with our language, for example 'Sobohla Manyosi' (It [stomach] will go down.)
Brief definition of 'Sobohla Manyosi'
Living during the time of King Shaka was Manyosi, son of Dlekezele Mbatha. This man was a brave fighter, and always distinguished himself in battle. He was capable of eating a carcass of a goat all by himself, and still taking large quantities of beer after that. Manyosi, even in the time of King Dingane, was treated with consideration, and was allowed as much food as he wanted, because he made good use of it in battle.
Then there came a time when amaZulu split, one section going away with King Mpande, and the other remaining with King Dingane. Manyosi followed King Mpande, however, he could no longer hope to get the same consideration as he had got with King Dingane. Then the people began to taunt him saying that his belly would go down. The expression eventually became a standing proverb describing one who would have cause to regret his past actions. [Source: Nyembezi CLS. 1990. Zulu Proverbs. Shuter & Shooter. Pietermaritzburg. South Africa]
We need to develop the language even in the current situations as we are facing HIV/AIDS challenge, which needs some African words when educating the public about it. We need to formulate words that are in line with education programmes of this nature. For instance the word “ Sexuality” which in Zulu means “ uBuzwa”.
We need to prove that the language is a gift from the Creator that we need to use even for the betterment of our health.
Dr Thokozani 'Gxaba lembadada' Nene may his soul rest in peace