1953R. CampbellMamba’s Precipice 170Like a trapped wolf, the skebenga died, knowing he was caught, but growling curses. [Note] Skebenga means foot-pad or bandit.
1962J. Taylor‘Tsotsi Style’. (lyrics)I got no more food in my stomach Tell me what me to do The skebengas got all the money So I became a tsotsi too.
1964G. CampbellOld Dusty 89These practices must not be confounded with those of the ordinary skebenga, the latter being merely a low-class thief and foot-pad who would rob his mother’s hen-roost.
1970Informant, DurbanHe will not stay at home alone as he fears that a skebenga may come.
1975J. McClureSnake (1981) 164Hau, hau, hau, but he was a real skabenga when he was small, that one.
1978L. Barnes inThe 1820Vol.51No.12, 19Many Zulu words have crept into South African Indian English...Some of the most commonly used are: Skoten (from isikhoteni) — a rogue,..skebengu — thief, [etc.].
1980D.B. CoplanUrbanization of African Performing Arts. 142Following his apprenticeship as an accomplice of White criminals in Johannesburg, a Zulu houseboy, Jan Note, assumed leadership of a community of migrant contract deserters and landless laborers living as ‘skebengos’ (Zulu: izigebhengu, ‘bandits’) in the hills south of the city...Gradually these rural-based peasant marginals were joined by urban proletarians drawn from the informal sectors of the economy...The gang made the transition to an urban-based, multi-ethnic underworld alliance...The gang organized burglaries, robbery, prostitution, gambling, illicit liquor, and dagga smuggling throughout the southern Transvaal.
1982Sunday Times 14 Nov. (Mag. Sect.) 10There were pimps and bums...There were scabangas and scruffs and sophisticates.
1988W. Bizley inLaband & HaswellPietermaritzburg 1838–1988 80The serene life could take a violent turn, as on Sunday afternoons, when ‘kitchen boys’ formed gangs to have skabenga stick fights.
1994A. Levin inStyle Oct. 96An over-friendly Skabanga in Seventies shades and a tatty woman’s blazer.
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