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

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

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 ApplicationThings are not always what they seem. 2. Chisi hachieri musi wacharimwa. Inspiration … 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