Perched on a mountaintop overlooking Grahamstown, Syracuse University reporters Christine Mehta and Shayna Meliker received a lesson in how to carry on a basic conversation in Xhosa, the indigenous African language and culture prevalent in the region.
Their instructor, Simphiwe Mbakaqana, is a traditional Xhosa nurse who helps young Xhosa men through the rite of circumcision, part of the process of passing into manhood.
Simphiwe taught Christine and Shayna how to greet someone, inquire how they are, and how to shake hands in Xhosa culture.
How are you?: “Unjani wena?”
I am fine: “Ndiphilile”
Nice to meet you: “Kumnandi ukudibana nawe”