A tale of the moon, cycles and the seasons The names of the months tell a story of Zimbabwean life in traditional society. A tale of time told by experiences and culture, inspired by the climate of the land. They present a view of time witnessed beyond sunrise and sunset. In this setting, the country’s climate is characterized by a ...

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. I should however warn you, ...

Culture and language are inextricably intertwined. Over the past year or so, I have done a lot of research and writing on Shona culture and related matters. Consequently, I have also done a lot of research on the Shona language. Lots of people have asked me why I do it, obviously surprised that I studied nothing of that sort. I ...

It is common knowledge that a few Shona words have an Afrikaans influence. I recently came across one that I found surprising, leading me to do some digging up. Along the way, I got to learn some interesting things about Afrikaans. If your prefer, choose a link below to go straight to the particular heading, otherwise just read on. List ...

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 have come across some very ...

Over the past few months, I have taken time to analyse over 200 Shona proverbs, just out of interest. Some of them have motivated me to gain an understanding of the context from which they were constructed, be it a cultural practice or natural phenomenon. Others I have had to first understand literally, while others I have found to be ...

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 someone unpopular should at least ...

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 struggle children have with Shona ...

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 and roots is used to ...

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 known to switch locomotion modes ...

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 and is fleshy and sweet. ...

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 institution of disunity one can ...