mbongo, noun

Forms:
bongo, m’bongaShow more Also bongo, m’bonga, 'mbongo, and with initial capital.
Origin:
Zulu, XhosaShow more Adaptation of Zulu and Xhosa imbongi, see imbongi.
colloquial
1. rare. imbongi sense 1.
1875 P. in A.M.L. Robinson Sel. Articles from Cape Monthly Mag. (1978) 198The humdrum tones of the chief’s ‘bongo’, who chanted his praise in the Kafir tongue.
1982 Argus 22 Oct. 14The high-and-the-mighty and minor pooh-bahs alike move around with Mbongos (Zulu praise-singers) preceding them with out-bursts of toadying sycophancy.
2. transferred sense. Often derisive. A representative, or an enthusiastic supporter, of a political group; a political ‘yes-man’. See also jabroer.
1911 E. Prov. Herald 12 Oct.Ministerial ’mbongo talks at Grahamstown. Professor Fremantle addressed a fairly large gathering of citizens this evening in the Town Hall.
1945 Cape Times 29 MayMunicipal mbongo...The Mayor made quite a good case for the appointment of an official who would be a sort of professional praiser.
1948 Cape Argus 16 Sept. 7Government supporters have danced around their Ministers like dutiful, adoring and disciplined mbongos.
1957 Cape Argus 15 June 1They were..a lot of mbongos to hymn the praises of the incompetent Nationalist hierarchy.
1959 Hansard 14 Apr. 3883Mr Raw: It is typical of the contempt with which they regard the problems of those who do not travel round in luxury as the stooges, the M’Bongos...Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. member must withdraw the word M’Bongos.
1976 M. Van Biljon in Sunday Times 3 Oct. (Mag. Sect.) 4A fair sample of expressions which have been disallowed in the House of Assembly including ‘he has a yellow streak’, ‘agitator’, ‘gangster’, ‘stooge’, ‘mbongo’, ‘khaki pest’, ‘fat-head’.
1989 Sunday Times 3 Sept. 29Windhoek advocate and long-time Swapo mbongo Mr Anton Lubowski has visited South Africa to reassure businessmen that a future Namibia will be a good place to invest.
imbongi1.
A representative, or an enthusiastic supporter, of a political group; a political ‘yes-man’.

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18751989