These stories are based on the accounts of ordinary Zimbabweans - the experts from whom the content on ZimbOriginal is sourced.

Nyaudzosingwi| Many Shona words for 101 English verbs

By ZimbOriginal | March 2, 2023 | 0 Comments

Modifying verbs Adverbs are words that modify or describe words such as verbs, adjectives, clauses, sentences, and even other adverbs. It is easy to think of adverbs as words ending with -ly, but that is not always the case really. Now, look at the example sentences below which have adverbs (in bold). Tarisai sang badly. Musa … Read more

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

By ZimbOriginal | February 9, 2023 | 0 Comments

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

A Shona legend| The vaHera’s chief and a cave

By ZimbOriginal | January 8, 2023 | 0 Comments

A legend is a traditional story that is believed to be true. Some legends on the origins of the Shona people detail how large societies separated, resulting in smaller groups heading in different directions. One such legend is that of Dukute, a chief of the Hera people. The legend of the vaHera’s chief Dukute and … Read more

Polygamy in traditional Shona society, as told in ‘Tambaoga Mwanangu’

By ZimbOriginal | October 31, 2022 | 6 Comments

A polygamous family I’ve just started reading ‘Tambaoga Mwanangu.’ This is a story about how an eighteen year old boy, Tambaoga, went about trying to solve the mystery of the murder of his father VaMupakaviri, the king. I haven’t gotten to the end, but I’m sure he succeeded. Tambaoga came from a polygamous family. The … Read more

4 stories on ‘mutupo’ and modern society

By ZimbOriginal | June 25, 2022 | 0 Comments

1. A breakdown in the transmission of cultural knowledge My grandmother is over a hundred years old. Now too old to live alone, she lives with my mother. I pay her a visit one Sunday afternoon. We spread a reed mat (rukukwe) outside the house and sit while watching two toddlers as they play. I … Read more

Indigenous religion in Zimbabwe| 5 key ‘chivanhu’ ritual festivals

By ZimbOriginal | March 30, 2021 | 12 Comments

Recurring cycle-based religious festivals For this story, I will refer to indigenous religion in Zimbabwe as chivanhu. This is a term used to refer to the traditional way of life of the indigenous peoples of Zimbabwe. It is also commonly used in reference to beliefs and practices of indigenous religion. In indigenous religion, the ordinary … Read more

The Tembo-Shumba Samaita clan

By ZimbOriginal | February 14, 2021 | 12 Comments

1. Their totem changed from tembo to shumba Tembo-Shumba (‘Zebra-Lion’) is the totem of the present day Mutasa people. The Mutasa people were not always known as such. The dynasty’s totem was changed from tembo to shumba, and the dynasty’s title was changed from Chikanga to Mutasa. In ancient times, rulership was passed down a family, forming a … Read more

Tsumo| 20 Shona proverbs to inspire good work habits

By ZimbOriginal | November 30, 2020 | 6 Comments

Tsumo on work tell a story of a hard-working society, and give the picture that agriculture was the mainstay of the economy of the Shona people. The most important activity of the greatest number of people was the growing of crops for food. When the hoe came into existence with the spread of the Iron … Read more

broken eggshells

Nyaudzosingwi| Breaking down 70 ideophones of breaking

By ZimbOriginal | October 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

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


My 5 ingredients for helping children with Shona language learning

By ZimbOriginal | September 12, 2020 | 4 Comments

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 … Read more

Learning solutions

Get the full ZimbOriginal experience. Library, language learning, and more.

Our newsletter

Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

    About Shungu

    IMG_3954 1

    Shungu is the voice behind ZimbOriginal. She has a restless hand and a penchant for discovery. Her upbringing is fairly balanced between an urban and rural setting. The urban - pretty basic and spent almost entirely in boarding school. The rural - not so glorious and filled with all the dreaded chores that come with keeping a rural homestead going. Shungu is a qualified chartered management accountant and currently lives in Harare, Zimbabwe. Learn more.

    Connect with us