August 1, 2003
A South African Charts the Slang of his Youth
When Louis Molamu was a young boy hanging out in the doorways of the corner shops in Sophiatown, there was a word in the street argot for the kind of person he has become today. In the 1950s, Mr. Molamu and his majietas (mates) from the neighborhood would have described a senior administrator at the University of South Africa, with a wood-paneled office on the 12th floor looking out over the jacaranda-lined avenues of the capital city, as a situation.
The word situation came from