We Asked Some Zim Creatives To Share Their Favourite Vernacular Sayings
International Mother Language Day (IMLD) was first announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999 as a day of worldwide observance of linguistic and cultural diversity. It was formally recognised in 2008, which was then established as the International Year of Languages. It is estimated that there are about 1500-2000 languages spoken in Africa.
We asked some Zimbabwean creatives to tell us a favourite saying from their Mother Language and its meaning. These cool kids had some interesting things to say.
Nqobizitha ‘Enqore’ Mlilo – Founder Nafuna TV
“Hamba juba, bazokucutha phambili.” -Ndebele
Literal meaning is “Fly pigeon, they will pluck your feathers ahead”.
This proverb is mostly used by boys trying to court a girl whose advances are rejected.
Chief Koti – Radio Personality
“Khavave naduvha lavhudi, ndaaaaaa” -Venda
“Have a wonderful day.” ‘Ndaaaaa’ is a salutation, a sign of respect in the Venda culture.
Sokostina – Actress/ Media Personality
“Chakanaka chakanaka, mukaka haurungwe nemunyu.” -Shona
It means that if something is good/amazing, don’t spoil it by adding things that make it sour.
Tehn Diamond – Hip Hop Artist
“Hatingafe nenyota makumbo ari mumvura” -Shona
Directly translated it means we can’t go thirsty while our feet are in the water.And speaks to me and the state of our nation, that with all the potential and resources we have there’s no excuse to not at the very least thrive. All we need is here, it’s up to us to make the best and most use of it.
Albert Nyathi – Arts Practitioner
“Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu” -Ndebele
I am because you are.