“Unemali neh…” – A South African Proverb

Needless to mention how we as a nation have assimilated to an era where we have to stretch every rand and cent due to circumstance. The isiZulu phrase “ Unemali neh” meaning, you have money yeah or you are loaded in terms of cash, is more prevalent than ever before. Tighten our belts is the new normal as uncertainty looms each and everyday. Take for instance our South African historical economical climate and analyse the participants therein and that should at least enlighten you more on the reasons why the mass market now and then have a proclivity to sling the the phrase “ Unemali neh”. Systematically designed – it is not the doing of our own, we have been dealt a bad hand) we are rather forced to live within our means.


When one is seen sort of “splurging” ( whatever that terms means to each individual) they will have to deal with the term “unemali neh”. The herd mentality is more skewed to a survival modus operandi in contrast to the few that blatantly make it their job to disrupt the the status quo and go for the nice things in life.


The month of January is ubiquitously known as one of the toughest month, however the feeling in the air dictates: do not deprive yourself of nice/finer things  in life, side note- only if the pocket allows.

About the author

Khanya Mali is a marketing and brand communications enthusiast with a penchant for building brands on both client and advertising agencies and a “creative” in his own right. “Insights are the bark to every wondering creative work”