language is a Bantu language with click consonants (“Xhosa” begins with a click) and one of the official languages of South Africa written using a Latin alphabet. The most popular of Bantu languages, Xhosa too is a tonal language; that is, the same sequence of consonants and vowels can have different meanings when said with a rising or falling or high or low intonation(for a more detailed explanation, refer table of consonant phonemes).
There are again two types in isixhosa-poetry:
- umbongo-mbaliso :Narrative poem where a story is told
- umbongo-nkcazo :Descriptive poem without a story but describing the situations.
Here is a Praise Poem to #Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela 1918-2013 by Patricia Schonstein Pinnock written in Xhosa
Ingqanga ifile – The Bateleur is dead
Ingqanga ifile The Bateleur is dead
Yazalwa sekusaziwa ukuba iyakuphelela phi na
He was born with his destiny written for him
Nangona umzimba wayo wawuthozamile
Though his boyhood was humble
Yaba yingangamsha esebenzela ilizwe
He became a great statesman
Yayihamba njengekumkani kodwa inentobeko
He walked like a king yet was modest
Yakha yaligorha elixhobileyo
He was once an armed warrior
Kodwa yazibeka phantsi izigalo
But he put down his weapons
Yaza yangumfuziselo woxolo
And become an icon of peace
Yayingumthetheleli wabo bacinzelekileyo
He was a spokesman for the oppressed
Nabo babefumene uphum’ aphele
And for the banished
Yawaqhawula amakhamandela ocalucalulo
He broke the chains of apartheid
He taught us reconciliation
Yazamkela iintshaba zayo
He embraced his enemies
Ayizange ibenekratshi kwabo babeyivalele entolongweni
He had no hatred for those who imprisoned him
Silandela ekhondweni layo
In his flight path we follow
Iimpiko zentaka enobuqaqawuli zisikhumbuza ngendoda yamadoda
The wings of a majestic bird remind us of a great man
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela!
Siyakubhotisa Madiba! Hail! Madiba!
Siyakuhlonipha! We honour you!