Maneno Matamu, a blog, has written an interesting piece on South African and African languages in Ekow Duker’s novel White Wahala.
Maneno Matamu considers Duker’s use of isiZulu and Sesotho, as well as the Nigerian origins of the word “wahala”:
My curiosity wasn’t really satisfied as to the origin of the title. Or rather, I was left to my own imaginary devices to find out how the term got to Constance’s lips. Wahala is a word meaning ‘trouble’ or ‘problem’ in Yoruba – and I was told by my lecturer that it’s a loan word from Hausa. I’ve heard it used in Pidgin Nigerian English as well so one could safely say it’s a nigerian word.
As the word is spoken by a Zambian in the novel, the author decides to interrogate Duker on Twitter:
— Ekow (@ekowduker) January 3, 2015
Duker, a former oil field engineer and banker, is of Ghanaian origin and has lived all over Africa and abroad. He now lives and works in South Africa. His two debut novels, White Wahala and Dying in New York, were published concurrently last year.
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