There is truly no place like South Africa. Anyone who has lived in the country for a while knows that we have our own…unique way of doing things.
A popular trend doing the rounds on TikTok asks people to show that they are from a certain place without saying they are from that area and a local in the Somerset West Community Facebook group posed the question to fellow social media users.
From our skewed concept of time to the unique things we put up with on a daily basis, here are a few of the best responses:
“I’m coming now now/just now”
South Africans have a unique concept of time. The popular phrase ‘now now’ sounds quite immediate but could refer to any time between the present time and a few minutes to even an hour later.
This is not to be confused with the indefinite ‘just now’ which may refer to an immediate action or one that will take place minutes, hours or even days from now. Basically, if you hear a South African say they’ll do something ‘now now’ or ‘just now’, don’t hold your breath.
In South Africa we don’t say “I’ll see you in about half an hour”, we say “I’ll be there now now” and I think that’s absolutely beautiful 🥺❤️
— Kilgharrar (@DracoSkinKin) January 15, 2021
“When are we getting load shedding today?”
It has become a norm in South African society to experience bouts of load shedding every now and again, so much so that there is an entire app (Eskom se Push) dedicated to managing its schedule.
Eskom controversially introduced these planned rolling blackouts on a rotating schedule in January 2008. Despite us being in 2021, residents are still occasionally plunged into darkness for an average of 2.5 hours and must often plan ahead to make sure their electronics are charged and food is cooked before the electricity is cut.
Lmao imagine your car dies then there’s loadshedding 🤣🤣🤣 https://t.co/JuyEp4rj3n
— Azra 🌊 (@KallaAzra) February 18, 2021
“Nou gaan ons braai”
A South African weekend is not complete without a braai. Come rain or come shine, we seemingly cannot resist throwing a few chops on the coals. Braai’s are so deeply ingrained in South African culture that it’s a tradition practiced on Heritage Day.
Of course, braais are not reserved for holidays only, as South African’s truly do not need a reason to gather around the coals with a beer in hand. Newly engaged? Braai. Matric results out and your kid did well? Braai. You just feel like doing something with your friends/family? Braai.
That spur of the moment decision on a Saturday morning to invite the friends over for a braai 😔
— Lorna (@justbreatheOK) February 20, 2021
“Ag, the robot just turned red”
Foreigners are often confused when South Africans refer to traffic lights as robots, quickly darting their eyes about on search or a Wall-E or Sophia the robot lookalike.
While the origin of this South African-ism is not clear, some believe it is because the electronic lights replaced in-person traffic controllers who used to stand at busy intersections and direct the flow of traffic decades ago.
Got confused in South Africa when my guy said; “Keep coming forward, you’ll see a Robot…”
Ahan, Robot bawo?
Well, South Africans and Zimbabweans refer to Traffic Light as Robot.
So when they say “turn at the Robot”, they mean you should turn at the Traffic Light. pic.twitter.com/MWoqAKDFro
— Demola Of Lagos (@OmoGbajaBiamila) November 10, 2020
“When people zol”
Thanks to Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a blunt will forever now be referred to as a ‘zol’. Her iconic lines ‘When people zol, they put saliva on the paper’ was remixed into a catchy song by South African musician Max Hurrell, cementing the term in the South African dictionary.
NDZ – when people zol🎶 https://t.co/BTZHx4d6ns
— Portia Gumede (@portiagumedesa) December 18, 2020
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