Unknown; perhaps from the pronunciation of -sm in Azasm, but see quotation 1990.
For note on reduplication in South African English, see now-now.
1.An adherent of the philosophy of black consciousness. Also attributive.
1987N. Mathiane inFrontline Feb. 24Azasm — known as the Zim-Zims — remain in the Azapo fold.
1990R. MalanMy Traitor’s Heart 258In Soweto, youngsters who said Biko were dubbed Zim-zims, in honour of all the -isms in their ideological arsenal. Dhlamini 1 became a Zim-zim stronghold.
2.The name of a vigilante group.
1991P. Garson inWeekly Mail 20 Dec. (Suppl.) 11The Zim-Zims — not Azapo or PAC-supporting youths as the name suggests, but who are mostly the sons of businessmen — were formed into a vigilante gang earlier this year to protect those whose enterprises were the target of boycotts by the community.
B.adjectiveSupportive of black consciousness.
1989Informant, PietermaritzburgThey’ve accused SACHED in Maritzburg of being Zim-Zim, you know, Black Consciousness.
An adherent of the philosophy of black consciousness. Also attributive.
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