Xhosa, ZuluShow more Xhosa and Zulu ikholwa believer. For an explanation of plural forms, see ama-.
A name given (especially in the past) to a Christian African. Also transferred sense, a westernized or middle-class black person. Also attributive.See also schooladjective sense 1.
1899A. WernerCaptain of Locusts 179These Amakolwa girls — with a spiteful emphasis (Nono was a former pupil of the Mission school, and a regular church goer) — every one knew what they were, for all the airs they gave themselves with their frocks and their starched cappies.
1908D. BlackburnLeaven 33My God, a makolwa! (Christianised native).
1911M.S. EvansBlack & White in S.E. Afr. 84At one time either a native was tribal..or he was a mission Christian, a kolwa or believer.
1944C.R. PranceUnder Blue Roof 56The ‘Kolwas’ have lit a fire which flames like a sudden lighthouse beacon.
1949O. WalkerProud Zulu (1951) 202Through another messenger, a ‘kolwa’ or Christian Zulu, Cetewayo sent his bound copy of the rules read out to him by..Shepstone.
1962W.D. Hammond-TookeBhaca Soc. 64Christians are called by pagans ‘amakholwa’ (believers) or, occasionally, amagqoboka (the pierced ones), while pagans are referred to as amaqaba (those smeared with red ochre).
1980D.B. CoplanUrbanization of African Performing Arts. 159The amakholwa (‘believers’) as African Christians were called, became increasingly bitter about White resistance to their advancement in every field.
1986P. MaylamHist. of Afr. People 85The ranks of the kholwa also produced resourceful, enterprising people. In the last three decades of the nineteenth century kholwa aspired to positions of leadership in the church.
1988B. Guest inLaband & HaswellPietermaritzburg 1838–1988 125The enterprising kholwa (convert) members of the black community..were quick to extend their transport-riding activitoes inland to the diamond fields.
1989Frontline Apr. 12Edendale is one of the few places where blacks have always owned land. There are wealthy people known as the amaKholwa, (that is, bourgeois), whose ancestors were given land as a reward for siding with the English in the war of 1879. These people are resented.
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