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.

Braai area of Mzoli’s, the famous Chisa Nyama in Gugulethu, Cape Town

  • The action of braaing can be described as Chisa Nyama.
  • To attend a braai, can also be to attend a Chisa Nyama.
  • A braai restaurant (like Mzolis) in a township (like Gugulethu) is known as a Chisa Nyama.
  • To eat braaied meat, can be desribed as eating Chisa Nyama.

If you can help us to expand the above definition and explanation of Chisa Nyama and Shina Nyama, please do so by leaving a comment.

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