isibonda, noun

Plurals:
izibonda, izibondas, or unchanged.
Origin:
ZuluShow more Zulu (plural izibonda), head or principal member.
Among Nguni people:
1. A civic leader; a government official.
1907 W.C. Scully By Veldt & Kopje 61He called a great council of the ‘Izibonda’ (literally ‘poles,’ such as those which support the roof of a hut) or elders, as well as the numerous petty chiefs who owned his sway.
1983 Frontline Feb. 38Often the Izibonda (civic leaders) or Bomabalane, act in concert with Abelungu officials.
1985 Blondel & Lamb Parrot’s Egg 60The magistrate ruled the people with the help of the headmen paid by the white government. The Xhosa called them ‘izibonda’ — supportive poles — existing only to support a system above their heads.
1988 Spiegel & Boonzaier in Boonzaier & Sharp S. Afr. Keywords 50Headmen came to be ‘commonly regarded as instruments of alien control, and earned themselves the title of isibonda or “poles” supporting the colonial administration’.
2. The elected representative of each unit of rooms in a mining hostel, acting as an arbitrator of complaints. Also attributive. See also hostel sense 1.
1946 Tribal Natives & Trade Unionism (Tvl Chamber of Mines) 7In the mine compound the pattern is the compound manager, the Induna, the tribal representative — called the Isibonda — and the room headboy, who takes the position of the kraal head.
1962 A.P. Cartwright Gold Miners 221Each room has an isibonda who is elected by the occupants and who conveys complaints and suggestions to the headman.
1977 C. Heever in Optima Vol.27 No.2, 126The izibondas..that is communications committees comprising representatives elected by employees,..which will be spokesmen elected by the occupants of each room, will have an important two-way communications role.
1988 Ramphele & Boonzaier in Boonzaier & Sharp S. Afr. Keywords 157A system of discipline..involves electing one bed-holder from each ‘door’ (a unit of rooms, usually six, which shares one external door) to act as convener, arbitrator and chairman of disciplinary hearings...Such conveners are called izibonda, since their role closely resembles that of men in rural areas who are often used by government authorities to control local villages.
1988 Ramphele & Boonzaier in Boonzaier & Sharp S. Afr. Keywords 160The izibonda system..is monopolised by older men.
A civic leader; a government official.
The elected representative of each unit of rooms in a mining hostel, acting as an arbitrator of complaints. Also attributive.

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19071988