umfundisi, noun

Forms:
fundees, fundisShow more Also fundees, fundis, mfundisi, M’fundis, mfundizi, umfundees, umfundis, umfundise, and with initial capital.
Plurals:
abafundis, abafundisi, bafundis, bafundisi, and (occasionally) unchanged.
Origin:
Xhosa, ZuluShow more Xhosa and Zulu, a teacher (plural abafundisi, vocative mfundisi).
Among speakers of Xhosa and Zulu: a priest or minister; a teacher; also (occasionally) a term of address; moruti.
1825 W. Shaw in C. Sadler Never a Young Man (1967) 64On my saying that the Caffres knew me to be a ‘Fundis’ (teacher) and why should a minister carry arms? Katongo said that might be, but he was not certain that if we fell in with any elephants they would recognise me as a ‘Fundis’.
1833 S. Kay Trav. & Researches 73Never have we been safe; but the Umfundis shall be our bush.
1835 A. Steedman Wanderings I. 51These ‘Abafundis’ (Missionaries) have brought a thing into the land worth more than ten wives.
1837 F. Owen Diary (1926) 44On his asking them what they had learned they replied, we don’t know what we have learned this morning, for the Umfundis (teacher) sent us away so soon.
1854 J.W. Colenso Ten Weeks in Natal (1855) 53One sheet of paper..he had filled with figures of common things around him,..while I was talking with his umFundise (teacher).
1860 W. Shaw Story of my Mission 471He said that since he had been at the Mission Station, he had seen it was a very good thing to have abafundis or ‘teachers’ among them.
1863 J.S. Dobie S. Afr. Jrnl (1945) 78Called at a kraal and got enlightened on road to the umfundisi (missionary).
1871 J. Mackenzie Ten Yrs N. of Orange River 315This person..predicted to Tshaka that..a white man called an ‘umfundisi’ (missionary) would make his appearance and ask permission from Tshaka to build a house in his country, that he might teach them the ‘Great Word’.
1898 B. Mitford Induna’s Wife 151So, Umfundisi,..I think the people of Zulu prefer the god they know to the one whom thou and such as thee would teach them to worship.
1923 Other Lands Oct. 19Their dear old Umfundise was the Moderator-elect.
1931 F.C. Slater Secret Veld 65‘Did you hear a noise,’ he asked...‘No Umfundisi!’ she replied, ‘I heard nothing.’
1949 L. Hunter Afr. Dawn 14Not long after the coming of the Mfundisi (Missionary) they had all been converted and were married in the church...This Mfundisi had built a large hut in which he told the people about Dali — the Creator —..but the Mfundisi called him Tixo.
1949 O. Walker Proud Zulu (1951) 80The Amabunu seek our land, and our labour. The umfundisi — missionaries, they tell us about love.
1955 J.B. Shephard Land of Tikoloshe 25The Mfundisi, the African Minister.
1964 G. Gordon Four People 407A neatly dressed young Xhosa, wearing a clerical collar, walked down the street and smilingly raised his hat as he passed them...She found herself joining the chorus of respectful greeting that went out from the queue. ‘M’fundis!’
1976 A. Delius Border 195A group of children came to the edge of the field to stare at the Fundees and his ‘umlungu’ companion and wave.
1978 B.J. Motaung in Staffrider Vol.1 No.2, 23The people listen like they do to ‘Mfundisi’ at the Old school yard where they attend church.
1980 Voice 29 Oct. 13A staunch anti-apartheid moruti..who..became a roving mfundisi-ambassador of a newly-born ‘national state’.
1983 Pace Oct. 83For six weeks..I had the opportunity to don the mfundisi’s garb in and around Durban townships. I have never been afforded the respect that I experienced..behind that white dog collar.
1987 O. Prozesky Wrath of Lamb 30The white doctors and the white abafundisi or church ministers.
1990 O. Musi in City Press 4 Mar. 6There are too many churches, too many Bafundisi and too many Archbishops.
a priest or minister; a teacher; also (occasionally) a term of address; moruti.

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18251990