Madimikira| 28 idioms from the 1968 novel ‘Tambaoga Mwanangu’

After reading China manenji hachifambisi I wrote on idioms (madimikira) that the writer, Mordikai A. Hamutyinei, used in the story. I decided to do the same while reading Tambaoga mwanangu. Tambaoga mwanangu is a Shona novel written by Giles Kuimba, and was first published in 1968. Set in ancient times, it is a story about … Read more

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

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

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