Especially among Sotho-speakers: a paramour; the lover of a married person. Also attributive.
1948E. HellmannRooiyard 50Some married women form more permanent liaisons with a nyatsi (‘back-door husband’), who gives them cash presents every month. Such a woman, unbeknown to her husband, succeeds in earning part of her alleged beer money by having one or more nyatsi.
1959L. LongmoreDispossessed 268In tribal areas, a nyatsi (concubine, paramour — man or woman) relationship worked according to certain rules.
1959L. LongmoreDispossessed 269It was generally agreed that every man in the urban area had a nyatsi, where, however, the practice was more risky than in the tribal areas where there was seldom more that one nyatsi involved.
1980M. Mzamane inBest of S. Afr. Short Stories (1991) 389I wish I was like the other fellows who have dinyatsi (mistresses) to whom they can escape.
1986Drum Apr. 32 (letter)I discovered that she had a ‘nyatsi’. I tried to persuade her to stop seeing her ‘nyatsi’ and she pretended to understand.
a paramour; the lover of a married person. Also attributive.
Hence nyatsarizeintransitive verb?nonce, to enter an extra-marital sexual relationship; nyatsismnoun, the practice of having extra-marital relationships.
1959L. LongmoreDispossessed 278It is not true to say that among Africans nyatsism is an urban practice. It is most decidedly not. Nyatsism is an age-old practice...The original practice was for a man who was married to ‘nyatsarise’ with a married woman.
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