A Southern African language, created specifically for use in the gold mines by migrant labour during the 1920s and 1930s.

The need for a vernacular was massive, because labourers were coming to the mines of Johannesburg, South Africa, from many different regions of Africa and there were many different language groups who could not communicate with one another. Fanigalo was developed from a hybrid of Zulu, Shona, Sotho and many other languages from African countries.

Some examples of words:

bhambawaya: (n) Wire used for marking plant rows and plant distances.
bhobhojani: (n) A monkey wrench. (from the Afrikaans word bobbejaan, meaning baboon)
zehaira: (v) Leave work or place of work at end of working period.
chaya: (v) Hit.
checha: (Inter) Work hard! Hurry up!

As you can see, the language was geared to the work environment and communication between workers.

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