Word of the day: Scythe 

Say it:sith, si

Part of speech: Noun

Definition: A farming tool with a curved blade and long handle that is used for cutting grass, grain, etc.

Etymology: Latin

Synonyms: Slice, Dissect,Sickle,Hew

Use in a sentence: Barley is cut, either with scythe or machine, when it is quite ripe with the ears bending over.

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Word of the day: Teonanacatl 

Say it:tao-nane-katel

Part of speech: Noun

Definition: Any of several New World mushrooms (Psilocybe and related genera of the family Agaricaceae) that are sources of hallucinogens.

Etymology: English

Synonyms: Mushrooms

Use in a sentence: The rare word teonanacatl, first reported by Sahagun (1569 -1582) is now by Western scholars to refers to any of the hallucinogens fungi.

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Congratulations 2016 Champs!!!


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We like to congratulate our brave little word nerds who took part in the Season 5 of Mzansi Spelling Bee National Finals.

Here are our 2016 Mzansi Spelling Bee National Champions:

2016 Honey Bees Champ – Habeeb Shonubi from Gauteng

2016 Bumble Bees Champ – Bethaba Shazi from Kwazulu Natal

2016 Drones Champ – Zameer Dada from Gauteng

We thank everyone who been supporting 2016 Mzansi Spelling Bee, Siyabonga Mzansi!!!


Word of the day: Isthmus 

Say it: is-mes

Part of speech: Noun

Definition: A narrow strip of land connecting two larger land areas.

Etymology: Greek

Synonyms: Scuff,Nape,Cape,Cervix

Use in a sentence:The country is occupied by broader part of the isthmus between Attica, Boeotia, Corinth, and the two gulfs, and its whole area is estimated by Clinton at 143 sq.

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Authors birthdays: December

Ismail Joubert (7 December 1920 – 23 December 2002), commonly known as Tatamkhulu Afrika, which is Xhosa for Grandfather Africa, was a South African poet and writer. His first novel, Broken Earth was published when he was seventeen (under his “Methodist name”), but it was over fifty years until his next publication, a collection of verse entitled Nine Lives. He won numerous literary awards including the gold Molteno Award for lifetime services to South African literature, and in 1996 his works were translated into French. His autobiography, Mr Chameleon, was published posthumously in 2005.

Tatamkhulu Afrika was born Mogamed Fu’ad Nasifin Egypt to an Egyptian father and a Turkish mother, and came to South Africa as a very young child. Both his parents died of flu, and he was fostered by family friends under the name John Charlton.

He fought in World War II in the North African Campaign and was captured at Tobruk. His experiences as a prisoner of war featured prominently in his writing. After World War II he left his foster family and went to Namibia (then South-West Africa), where he was fostered by an Afrikaans family, taking his third legal name of Jozua Joubert.

In 1987 he was arrested for terrorism and banned from speaking or writing in public for five years, although he continued writing under the name of Tatamkhulu Afrika. He was imprisoned for 11 years in the same prison as Nelson Mandela, and was released in 1992.

Tatamkulu Afrika died on 23 December 2002, shortly after his 82nd birthday, from injuries received when he was run over by a car two weeks before, just after the publication of his final novel, Bitter Eden. He left a number of unpublished works, including his autobiography, two novels, four short novels, two plays and poetry.


  • Samuel Edward Krune Mqhayi – 1 December 1875 – died 29 July 1945
  • Charles Lovemore Mungoshi – 2 December 1947
  • Mamman Jiya Vatsa – 3 December 1940 – died 5 March 1986
  • Lewis Nkosi – 5 December 1936 –  died 5 September 2010
  • Phillis Wheatley – 1753 – died 5 December 1784
  • John Alfred Williams – 5 December 1925 –died 3 July 2015
  • José Carlos Schwarz – 6 December 1949 –died 27 May 1977
  • Tatamkhulu Afrika –  7 December 1920 – died 23 December 2002
  • Pearl Cleage – 7 December 1948
  • Valentin-Yves Mudimbe- 8 December 1941
  • Maria da Conceição de Deus Lima – 8 December 1961
  • Riana Scheepers – 9 December 1957
  • Naguib Mahfouz -11 December 1911 – died 30 August 2006
  • Birago Diop – 11 December 1906 – died 25 November 1989
  • Leslie Esdaile Banks -11 December 1959 – died 2 August 2011
  • Venance Konan – 12 December 1958
  • Sokhna Benga – 12 December 1967
  • Lady Anne Barnard – 12 December 1750– died 6 May 1825
  • Brenda Marie Osbey – 12 December 1957
  • Margaret Bakkes – 14 December 1931
  • Stanley Crouch – 14 December 1945
  • Corey James Hodges- 14 December 1970
  • Carolyn Marie Rodgers – 14 December 1940 –died 2 April 2010
  • Jean-Baptiste Tati Loutard – 15 December 1938 – died 4 July 2009
  • Donald Goines – 15 December 1936 – died 21 October 1974
  • Albert Memmi – 15 December 1920
  • Andy Razaf – 16 December 1895 –died 3 February 1973

Word of the day: Milieu

Say it: mel-yu

Part of speech: Noun

Definition: The physical or social setting in which something occurs or develops.

Etymology: French

Synonyms: Ambient, Atmosphere, Climate, Clime, Context, Contexture, Environs

Use in a sentence: Young, innovative artists thrive in the freewheeling milieu that a big city offers.

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The Countdown Begins!!!


  • Amahle Mbelwa
  • Zameer Dada
  • Innocent Ngwenya
  • Thabo Tau Modiselle
  • Omphemetse Monchwe
  • Ntombifuthi Selepe

Bumble Bees

  • Cwenga Qashani
  • Faizaan Gani
  • Nomhlekhabo Nkosi
  • Boikhutso Matlhole
  • Irfaan Kajee
  • Kearabetsoe Molehe

Honey Bees

  • Tripti Patel
  • Habeeb Shonubi
  • Chulumanco Oliphant
  • Zizikazi Nzimande
  • Didintle William
  • Boikanyo Koena

Authors birthdays: November

Tayari Jones (born November 30, 1970, in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American author and winner of the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. She was educated at Spelman College, the University of Iowa and Arizona State University.

Her first novel, Leaving Atlanta, is a three-voiced coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the Atlanta Child Murders of 1979-81. This novel, which was written while she was a graduate student at Arizona State University, is based on the experience as a child in Atlanta during that period. It won the 2003 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. Aletha Spann of 30Nineteen Productions has purchased the film option for Leaving Atlanta.

The Untelling is also set in Atlanta. Described by Publishers Weekly as Jones’s “deep-felt second novel”, the book examines how the protagonist comes to terms with the loss of key members of her family as a child before having to redefine herself all over again in her mid-twenties.It was awarded the Lillian C. Smith Award for New Voices in 2005.

Silver Sparrow, Jones’s third novel, was published by Algonquin Books in 2011. It was an American Booksellers Association’s number 1 “Indie Next” pick.

Tayari Jones has taught creative writing at The University of Illinois and also at George Washington University, where she served as the Jenny McKean Moore Writer in Washington. She is now a member of the MFA faculty at the Newark Campus of Rutgers University. Her brother is the sports pundit Bomani Jones.

  • Adamou Idé – 22 November 1951
  • Valerie Wilson Wesley – 22 November 1947
  • Mary Walker Phillips – 23 November 1923 – died 3November 2007
  • Zoë Wicomb – 23 November 1948
  • Richard Dogbeh – 1932– died 23 November 2003
  • Nuruddin Farah – 24 November 1945
  • Obo Aba Hisanjani – 24 November 1949
  • Ahmadou Kourouma – 24 November 1927 – died 11 December 2003
  • F.A. Venter – 27 November 1916 –  died 1997
  • Antoine Abel – 27 November 1934 – October 19, 2004
  • Dennis Brutus – 28 November 1924 – died 26 December 2009
  • Achmat Dangor – 30 November 1947
  • Tayari Jones – 30 November 1970
  • Gordon Parks – 30 November 1912 –died 7 March 2006

Word of the day: Narcissist

Say it: na-sisiz-em-na-sist

Part of speech: Noun

Definition: A person who is overly concerned with his or her own desires, needs, or interests.

Etymology: Greek

Synonyms: Egocentric, Egomaniac, Egotist, Ego-tripper, Egoist

Use in a sentence: Attention-craving narcissists had a public forum for their self-infatuation.

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