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

Kudhonza (female genital practice)| When women go to great lengths for great sex

By ZimbOriginal | November 10, 2019 | 2 Comments

Ndaizivei’s story While attending boarding school back in 1989 at a respectable church run institution located outside Harare, Ndaizivei (not real name) was forced to stretch her labia minora at the tender age of nine. ‘I told the other girls I was not going to do so, and when the matron caught wind of the … Read more

Zvirahwe| 30 riddles to solve the riddle of the forgotten Shona riddles

By ZimbOriginal | November 1, 2019 | 6 Comments

Chipari/ Chirabwe / Chirahwe/ Chirapi The above are all Shona words for ‘riddle.’ A riddle is, simply put, a trick question. Zvirahwe put to test one’s understanding of the language, environment or setting from which the question or statement is constructed. Below are riddles, some of which I have used to reveal traditions and ways … Read more

Madimikira| 20 idioms from the 1981 novel ‘China manenji hachifambisi’

By ZimbOriginal | October 20, 2019 | 10 Comments

China manenji hachifambisi, chinomirira kuti mavara acho aonekwe While reading the novel China manenji hachifambisi, I was reminded of the countless Shona and English novels I read as a child. In particular, I remember how we would swap books, and set targets with a group of friends on the number of books to complete over … Read more

Cultural astronomy of the Shona| Interpreting how the moon, stars, and planets are perceived

By ZimbOriginal | September 30, 2019 | 2 Comments

Just like in other parts of the world, the Shona held their own beliefs about the sky and celestial bodies. An understanding of such beliefs and concepts could be a foundation for raising awareness on and arousing interest in astronomy for the average Zimbabwean child. Below are some interesting insights on astronomy from the Shona. … Read more

Nyaudzosingwi| 70 ways to fall in Shona: Ideophones that describe falling (with examples)

By ZimbOriginal | September 21, 2019 | 10 Comments

Nyaudzosingwi bring out emphasis The following 70 nyaudzosingwi describe the act of falling. Reference was made to the Standard Shona Dictionary (M. Hannan, S.J.) for descriptions. Examples are by ZimbOriginal. I like to use an ideophone for emphasis, as it invokes very clear and vivid imagery in the mind of the listener. In my examples, … Read more

No to Xenophobia| A word to the wise. 10 ‘tsumo’ (Shona proverbs) on friendship and enmity

By ZimbOriginal | September 7, 2019 | 0 Comments

It’s a vicious cycle of hate A headline from today’s paper reads, ‘South Africa migrant attacks: ‘Why can’t we live with peace?’ Then another reads, ‘Anger in Nigeria as South Africa xenophobic attacks spark looting.’ As the chaos continues to unfold, more violence only begets the very thing it seeks to destroy. In Shona proverbial lore and … Read more

Beliefs and Superstition – ‘Shura’| 14 signs for the superstitious Zimbabwean

By ZimbOriginal | August 26, 2019 | 2 Comments

Shura noun: mysterious occurrence/ bad omen (and less often a good one) verb: symbolise or warn of bad luck (and less often good luck) plural: mashura The lives of many Zimbabweans are influenced and affected by beliefs and superstition which some refer to as chivanhu. While this Shona word (chivanhu) generally refers to our indigenous … Read more

Celebrating Women Humanitarians| 25 ‘Tsumo’ (Shona proverbs) to celebrate our sheroes

By ZimbOriginal | August 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

Today we celebrate World Humanitarian Day Celebrated every year on 19 August, World Humanitarian Day is directed towards paying tribute to aid workers around the world. These are individuals who often risk their own lives to save and improve the lives of others. This year, special tribute is paid to Women Humanitarians, recognizing their commitment, … Read more

Collection of tradtional Shona pottery

Hari| Zimbabwe’s traditional pottery

By ZimbOriginal | August 12, 2019 | 2 Comments

Indigenous pottery From records of early travelers and anthropologists, it has been established that pottery was made in large quantities in Southern Africa, with pottery of the type belonging to the earliest Iron Age having been found in Zimbabwe. Techniques used for pottery have been handed down generally by women from generation to generation. Naturally, … Read more

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

By ZimbOriginal | July 31, 2019 | 0 Comments

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

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    About Shungu

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    Shungu is the voice behind 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.

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