Zvirahwe| Riddle me these 30 Shona riddles

Why a riddle? Riddles are sometimes considered a form of folklore. Their function ranges from education to entertainment, revealing the thoughts and expressions of a people. Below are 30 common Shona riddles (zvirahwe), with some context to help you get the gist. 1. Mangwanani chinofamba namakumbo mana, masikati maviri, manheru matatu. Munhu (Human) No other … Read more

Tsumo| Generational wisdom from 20 Shona proverbs

Proverbs are regarded as a source of knowledge and wisdom passed down through generations.Below are twenty Shona proverbs together with an explanation of what inspired each proverb, and its application. 1. Guyu kutsvuka, kutsvuka zvaro asi mukati rizere masvosve. guyu (onde): fig Inspiration for proverbThe fig fruit ripens from pale green to yellow or red … Read more

6 things worth knowing about traditional practices when faced with a disease outbreak

The traditional values of Zimbabwean people are centered on strong family ties and hospitality. Members of a family rely on each other for support and show solidarity in the various facets of life. Nevertheless, things are not always as rosy as they are supposed to be. A family could easily and unbearably become the greatest … Read more

Tsumo| 20 Shona proverbs inspired by animals

fish swimming in aquarium

Traditionally, hunting and agriculture have been the primary means of livelihood for the majority of Zimbabweans. It is therefore not surprising that a large number of Shona proverbs relate to animals. Below are 20 Shona proverbs inspired by animals. 1. Bere zvarakatya, mapapata aro mangani? mapapata: remains – scattered bones, generally of an animal Inspiration … Read more

Should children maintain their native language?

To speak, or not to speak? There is a widely held view or belief that children should learn to speak their native language. By native language, I mean the mother tongue or the language of one’s ethnic group. This view is supported by the notion that native languages promote diversity, help children understand their heritage … Read more

Beliefs| 13 strange beliefs; from trapping death, to generational curses

Most superstitious beliefs and practices are rooted in uroyi (witchcraft). Uroyi involves the infliction of harm upon others because of jealousy, greed, revenge, or simply because one can. A competence which one inherits from their ancestors is known as shavi. It is common to hear people say of a witch, ‘she possesses shavi reuroyi,’ as witchcraft is known to … Read more

Kudhonza (female genital practice)| When women go to great lengths for great …

A young girl’s story While attending boarding school back in 1989 at a respectable church run institution located outside Harare, Ndaizivei (not real name) was forced to stretch her labia minora at the tender age of nine. ‘I told the other girls I was not going to do so, and when the matron caught wind … Read more