Bedside clock


  1. Period just before dawn

    Mashambanzou – These are the ‘wee hours’ of the morning. Elephants take bathes to cool off.

  2. Dawn

    Rufuramhembwe – It is the time of weak sunlight – when sunlight first appears. This is the browsing time of the duiker, when it is cool. Duikers are notorious for crop raiding; therefore, traps can be set for them in the fields.

    RunyanhiririNhiriri is a wild cat. In agricultural areas, livestock is preyed on by such predators.

    MavambakuedzaVamba means ‘commence.’ Edza means ‘be light/ bright.’

  3. Morning twilight

    Rukungurima. Kweru – This describes the period between darkness and daylight, from dawn to sunrise.

  4. Early morning just after sunrise

    Mazambambira – When dassies sun themselves. Mbira is the Shona word for dassie – a small herbivorous mammal.

  5. Time of morning when dew is still on the ground

    Rugumabeto. RupumhadovaGuma and pumha are words that mean ‘to shake off.’ Beto refers to water that is suspended on grass. Dova is the word for dew.

  6. General, for very early morning


  7. Rungwana-ngwana

  8. First heat of day

    Madziyamushana. Madziyazuva. Rudziyakamwe Mushana refers to the morning sunshine.

  9. General for morning

    Mangwanani – This is also the opening statement for the Shona morning greeting.


  1. Daytime

    Masikati – This refers to the time of the day from about midday to late afternoon. Masikati is the opening statement for the Shona afternoon greeting.

  2. Sunset

    Madeukazuva Deuka means ‘set.’

  3. Evening Twilight

    Rukungurima. Rukunguvira Rukungurima is used again to refer to the evening twilight. This is the period from sunset to dusk.

  4. Dusk

    Mazeruza. Rufuramhembwe. Ruvhunzavaeni – Duikers also browse at dusk. When it is beginning to get dark, travellers will seek somewhere to put up for the night.

  5. Early evening

    Mazariramombe – This is the time cattle are put away to their kraal, after having spent the day grazing.

  6. Evening

    Manheru.Madeko. ManhokoManheru is the opening statement for the Shona evening greeting.

  7. Night

    Usiku – This is commonly used to refer to the darkest hours of the day.

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