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Mzungu (pronounced [m̩ˈzuŋɡu]) originally has the definition someone who is ever moving around wanting to see everything. That's because the original Europeans were like that. Assumed uses are also that it is a southern, central and eastern African term for a person of foreign descent. Literally translated it means "someone with white skin" or "white skin". The term is also believed to first be used by natives of East Africa to describe Albinos, though this is more likely a myth. It is now commonly used in most Bantu languages of East, Central and Southern Africa, especially in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia to describe all white people.
In Swahili, the plural form of mzungu is wazungu. The possessive kizungu (or chizungu) translated means "behaving rich". It has now come to mean "someone who has money" and more commonly English, as it is the language most often used by Wazungu in East Africa. However it can be used generally for any European language. Wachizungu, Bachizungu, etc. – literally "things of the rich people" – have come to mean the Western culture, cuisine and lifestyle.
In Kinyarwanda and Kirundi, European people are also known as rutuku which means "red" (after their skin color).The underlying tone for "rutuku" though is in reference to aggression. Though the literal translation is "red", the underlying translation is "aggressor", referring to colonialism and the plundering of African resources by the "white people." The word English has been loaned into Bantu languages as kiingereza in Swahili, chingeleshi in Bemba or lungereza in Ganda.
The term Muzungu is becoming increasingly unacceptable among educated East Africans as it sounds discriminatory describing people by their skin color.
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