According to the Lexico.com, it derives from the Xhosa word "uMzantsi", i.e. the prefix "um"- + -"zantsi" (= "low" or "south").
The term if often used by the popular press as a general term to refer to country and/or its people, as in the following example from arts journalist Kyle Zeeman: "Mzansi mourns the death of theatre legend & 'Skeem Saam' actor Mahuma Paul Rapetsoa" (Sowetan Live 30 December, 2020)
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