Nyaudzosingwi| Breaking down 70 ideophones of breaking

broken eggshells

In lay terms, ideophones are words that stand out (are ‘marked’) and whose form betrays something of (is depictive of) their meaning. The following 70 ideophones (nyaudzosingwi) describe the act of breaking. I made reference to the Standard Shona Dictionary (M. Hannan, S.J.) for descriptions. I have given examples that hopefully betray the meanings of the ideophones. … Read more

35 different sorts of sadza. Or, is it porridge?

There is more to porridge than a simple breakfast cereal dish. Sadza, generally described in English as a stiff meal porridge, is the highlight of traditional Zimbabwean cuisine. Almost any Zimbabwean can make this dish. Growing up, I wasn’t aware of much variety in the manner sadza was cooked. In more recent times, however, I … Read more

Tsumo| 25 Shona proverbs inspired by children

Shona proverbs that relate to children help portray what the Shona understand about children and childhood. Below are 25 such proverbs. 1. Chikomo shata divi, rimwe ritambire pwere. divi: side Inspiration for proverbA rocky or steep hillside might be unconducive for play. ApplicationIt is good to have some commendable qualities and not only bad ones.Even … Read more

5 reasons children struggle with Shona language learning

Children playing 'nhodo'

I have seen corporate advertisements with glaring irregularities, following a poor attempt by salesmen and marketers to communicate in the Shona language. In almost similar circumstances, most of my attempts to read through paragraphs of Shona text haven’t been exactly a smooth sail. The scenarios of the marketer and myself are a manifestation of the … Read more

Traditional medicine| 50 plants to take you back to the basics of medicine and healing

In many parts of Zimbabwe, reliance is still placed on traditional medicines due to their affordability and ease of access. In some cases, there are cultural and spiritual considerations that come into play. Below are 50 plants that are used to treat various diseases and ailments. 1. Mugan’acha lannea discolor An infusion of the bark … Read more

Zvirahwe| Riddle me these 30 Shona riddles

Riddles are sometimes considered a form of folklore. To some extent, they reveal the thoughts and expression of a people. Below are a number of common Shona riddles, with some context to help you get the gist. 1. Mangwanani chinofamba namakumbo mana, masikati maviri, manheru matatu. Munhu (Human) No other animal that exists today is … Read more