amandla, interjection

Also amandhla.
Xhosa, ZuluShow more Xhosa and Zulu.
‘Power’, ‘strength’, a political rallying-cry used by liberation groupings, especially the African National Congress. See also Afrika interjection, Viva.
‘Amandla!’ usually elicits the response ‘ngawet(h)u’ or ‘awet(h)u’ (‘is ours’).
1961 ANC pamphlet in H.H.W. De Villiers Rivonia (1964) 77With your support we will win. Amandla ngawethu!
1973 E. Prov. Herald 2 Nov. 3An historic summit meeting of homeland leaders drew to a close yesterday with a the Black Power salute and shouting in reply to Chief Gatsha Buthelezi’s amandla (power) ngawetu (is ours).
1977 Rhodeo (Rhodes Univ.) 30 Sept. 3Suddenly he bellowed Amandla! at the crowd, holding his fist in the air. Twenty thousand voices roared back as one: Ngawethu (The power is ours), raising clenched fists above their heads.
1983 Daily Dispatch 25 Nov. 1Before stepping from the witness box to go to the cells below, Niehaus raised his fist and shouted ‘amandla’ (power). People in the public gallery responded with ‘awethu’ (ours).
1986 M.O. Mtshali in S. Ndaba One Day in June 90The black mob has raised its black fists into an ominous flag of our freedom; its voice rises into a unison of Amandla! Amandla! Ngawethu! Ngawethu! Power to the People! Power to the People!
1990 Weekly Mail 9 Mar. 1Bophuthatswana police had been responding to shouts of ‘Viva ANC!’ and ‘Amandla!’ with clenched fists.
1990 G. Nevill in Sunday Times 30 Dec. 1Remember, the future is certain. It is the past that’s unpredictable. Amandla/Vrystaat.
‘Power’, ‘strength’, a political rallying-cry used by liberation groupings, especially the African National Congress.
Hence amandla noun, a shout of ‘amandla’.
1989 J. Hobbs Thoughts in Makeshift Mortuary 409Rose’s pallbearers approach the other side of the grave and put her coffin down in silence, no ‘Amandla!’ here.
1990 K. Pather in Cue 5 July 2Ja well, you’ve seen it all you say; lots of amandlas, toyi-toyi and just another struggle story line.
1994 D. Forrest in Weekly Mail & Guardian 16 Sept. 29Questions from the floor to ‘our ministers’ reflected subterranean tensions but did not seek to confront or embarrass. For the ministers’ loud ‘amandlas’ and then their plain speaking, and the subdued response, it was a strange and touching spectacle.
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