Zulu, Xhosa, seTswanaShow more Zulu and Xhosa umama (plural omama), seTswana mama.
Among speakers of Sintu (Bantu) languages: ‘Mother’.
1.Always with initial capital, used as a respectful title. a.Prefixed to a woman’s first name; cf. Ma-prefix1, Mma-, Mme.b.specifically Mama Africa, Mama Afrika:the singer Miriam Makeba, so called because of her importance as a political and cultural figure.
1977Drum Oct. 57 (caption)Peter Davidson and Gabriel Thobejane meet the first lady of jazz, Mama Ella.
1977Daily Dispatch 8 Dec. 13Mothers who have borne eight or more children are automatically referred to Mama Effie.
1987New Nation 19 Nov. 9You are hated by the pillars of apartheid; Loved you are by freedom-lovers...You exposed our African music abroad. You, Mama Africa, took them by surprise.
1989Weekly Mail 15 Dec. 27The next rhyme was on Helen Joseph: ‘Mama Helen, Mama Helen. What do you see?..I see a new land for Soraya, Cecily, Bongani and me.’
1990P. Tshukudu inNew African 18 June 12Mama Afrika back after 30 years...Lady Africa Miriam Makeba jetted in from Paris last week after three decades in exile...Makeba (57) — affectionately called the ‘Empress of African Song’ or ‘Mama Africa’ — arrived for a two week private visit.
1994Sunday Times 24 July (Mag. Sect.) 30Mama Afrika — a documentary on Miriam Makeba airs on NNTV at 20.30.
1982M. MzamaneChildren of Soweto 41His mother said they’d been woken up about three a.m. by the police who took him away...‘Did they say when he’ll be back, Mama?’
1984E. MphahleleAfrika my Music 141Our children have grown up to say, ‘Yes Mama,’ or ‘Yes, Ntate.’
3.Usually with small initial, as a term of reference:a black woman.
1984Frontline Feb. 37Outside there are several aged mamas selling the same wares from the old-style stalls...Both shop and mamas seem to be doing good business, the mamas selling their apples for one cent less than the shop.
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