nounzama zama, zama zamasinformal South African
A person who works illegally in abandoned mineshafts in order to retrieve metals or minerals.
- ‘the team entered the mine intending to evict the zama zamas’
Zulu, from a reduplication of -zama, stem of ukuzama ‘try, strive, make an attempt to obtain something’. Zama Zama was used from 1994 as the name of a national lottery in South Africa.