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Alternative forms[edit]


Onomatopoeic. Foreigners who came to the townships could not speak the local languages. One theory on the origin of this term is that their own languages sounded like kwirikwirikwiri to the locals. A more plausible theory is that this term was a corruption of the word "korekore". The Korekore are a sub-group of the Shona people in neighboring Zimbabwe.


kwerekwere (plural amakwerekwere)

  1. (South African) A foreign visitor to a township.
    • 2000:Nigerian Man 1 in bar: 'We came here just like every other nation. Just like Indians, Asians, Europeans. But we are the only people they call ‘kwerekwere’. Zaa: '…a derogatory name for foreigners?' Nigerian Man 1: 'They call the blacks ‘kwerekwere’, they don’t call the whites ‘kwerekwere’.[1]
    • 2003: The women in particular recounted instances of being called amakwerekwere by strangers: ‘If they see you are foreigner, you are “kwerekwere”. [They] give the name for all foreigners, “kwerekwere (Hélène). This derogatory term for foreigners refers to the unintelligible sounds of a foreign language.[2]
    • 2006 "the township residents involved in the attacks invaded the homes and businesses owned by 'amakwerekwere' and stole their money and other property. - Weekend Argus May 13/14 2006 p.1.