Stories

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

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

By ZimbOriginal | June 20, 2019 | 8 Comments

This post was last updated on 7 April 2021, after I wrote the post titled ‘Indigenous religion| 5 key ‘chivanhu’ ritual festivals.’ 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 … Read more

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

By ZimbOriginal | June 15, 2019 | 4 Comments

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.

By ZimbOriginal | June 7, 2019 | 0 Comments

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

coffin in hearse

5 death premonitions: how these led me to discover what they don’t tell you about spirits and the afterlife

By ZimbOriginal | June 3, 2019 | Comments Off on 5 death premonitions: how these led me to discover what they don’t tell you about spirits and the afterlife

Premonitions Not so long ago, I got to know about the philosophy of stoicism and learned how it could be practiced to figure out the best way to live. In the article I read, the writer presented ways to make stoicism a daily practice. One of the tactics he presented is called ‘memento mori’ which, … Read more

untangle your roots from these amazing details on 15 of Zimbabwe’s indigenous trees

By ZimbOriginal | May 27, 2019 | Comments Off on untangle your roots from these amazing details on 15 of Zimbabwe’s indigenous trees

I got the chance to drive through a vegetated area, taking a break from the bustling city pavements and potholed tar roads. I was wowed by the diversity of plant life, and realised how much I didn’t know about indigenous tree types. Here’s what I found out about the following 15 indigenous trees. Mutsamvi It … Read more

Mitupo nezvidao| 6 interesting things about Shona totems, praise names and poetry

By ZimbOriginal | May 19, 2019 | 12 Comments

This post was last updated on 19 May 2020. Did you know that Shona clan poems (nhetembo dzemadzinza) which are recited in line with totems (mitupo) and praise names (zvidao) are in essence an expression of compliment recited as a reward for commendable acts? The ‘mutupo’ system is an important source of ancestral and family … Read more

Mombe yemadiro| Here is one sacrificial ritual you probably never heard of

By ZimbOriginal | August 17, 2018 | Comments Off on Mombe yemadiro| Here is one sacrificial ritual you probably never heard of

‘mombe yeumai’ was paid many years ago It has been decades since Ratidzai was married customarily and the bride price known as ‘roora’ or ‘pfuma’ was paid. A cow should have been paid as part of the brideprice to honour the bride’s mother ‘amai’ for her role as the nurturer and caregiver.  However it is common that … Read more

Mukwerera| A step by step guide on how to make rain in Shona

By ZimbOriginal | November 1, 2017 | Comments Off on Mukwerera| A step by step guide on how to make rain in Shona

This post was last updated on 07 April 2021. rain-asking It’s a hot day in the village of Dhenya under Chief Chivero in Mhondoro. I have paid the village elders a visit ahead of their annual rain asking ceremony, known as ‘Mukwerera.’ The ceremony involves performing a ritual during which beer is poured over the … Read more

IDEOPHONES| 70 nyaudzosingwi starting with ‘a’ and ‘ba’

By ZimbOriginal | November 12, 2016 | Comments Off on IDEOPHONES| 70 nyaudzosingwi starting with ‘a’ and ‘ba’

An ideophone is a word that evokes an idea in sound, often a vivid expression of certain sensations or sensory perceptions e.g. sound, movement, colour, shape or action. Such words are especially common in African languages. In Shona, ideophones are called Nyaudzosingwi. The ability to interpret or understand these words relies largely on knowledge of … Read more

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    About Shungu

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    Shungu is the voice behind zimboriginal.com. 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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