Shisa Nyama is How South Africans Burn Meat in a Delicious Way

Shisa nyama

Credit: Derek Clark

Things would be so much easy to understand if you’ll use the word “barbecue.” After all, that word is universally used and understood. But if you will go to South Africa and you like to devour meat grilled over hot coals, you have to use the word “shisa yama.”

Incidentally, the word has taken many forms to mean the same “things.” Jan Braai of explains about the word in the post What is Chisa Nyama?

What is Chisa Nyama? What is Chesa Nyama? What is Shisa Nyama? What is Shisanyama? They are all the same thing. They are Zulu terms for braaing. The first word in all of them:

Chisa, Chesa, Shisa are different ways of spelling the same thing, and its literal meaning is “burn”. The second word in the phrase, “Nyama” means “meat”.

So the literal defenition of “Chisa Nyama” is “Burn Meat”. But it does not refer to burnt meat. “Chisa Nyama” means “braai”. As is the case with the word “braai”, Chisa Nyama is used as a verb and as a noun. [Read more…]

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