Ukama| Use these 5 rules to get your Shona family vocabulary right

The Shona trace a person’s descent through the paternal line In Shona society, a person’s descent is traced through the paternal line. This means both males and females belong to their father’s patrilineage (rudzi) and not their mother’s.  Only the males will continue to pass their family identity to their children. Because of this, a … Read more

Meanings of the Shona names of months| A glimpse into Zimbabwean life in traditional society

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 … Read more

What makes a woman? There’s a hundred and one Shona nouns to describe ‘her’: mazita anoreva vakadzi

The below are only some of the many Shona nouns used to describe women, including a few gender neutral ones. Most of the descriptions given are from the Standard Shona Dictionary, Revised Edition, M. Hannan, S.J. You will also notice that some of the nouns appear in more than one section. Ways to address a … Read more

Still trying to figure out why they just won’t speak Shona? Well, picture this.

They have no idea how to convey their thoughts in Shona I imagine the times I have tried to use Shona in phrasing a thought or feeling and just failed outright. Outside the home environment, I have used English to learn almost everything I know. As a result, I find it easier to describe my … Read more