There’s big difference between how English and indigenous African language people express themselves and just to put a disclaimer; this is not a racist or a tribalist article, it’s just for laughs. For instance, when Africans speak; they are not only verbal about it but also use body language and also mimic sounds to add a few imaginative effects into their expression or story telling. Below are few examples that show how a Xitsonga person and an English speaking person express themselves. English Speaker: Wow! Nice Hair! Xitsonga Speaker: Loyi u rhandza ngopfu swilo wee, se u taku i yini leswinga lukiwa manjhe? A swiRead More →

We’ve always heard sayings such as “it is impolite to speak with your mouth full” or “never eat off a knife when having a meal,” these are taboos and are predominantly English. Do you know of taboos from other places or people around the world such as Tsonga people? According to, the word taboo refers to “an activity that is forbidden or sacred based on religious beliefs or morals. Breaking a taboo is extremely objectionable in society as a whole. Around the world, an act may be taboo in one culture and not in another.” While English people would say “it is taboo,” TsongaRead More →

Why do we have names? It is for recognition purposes and to also identify one from the other but in Africa, names are a form of a statement. They are either personal stories by parents, a reminder to an individual affected by the birth of a child whereas some names are honorary, symbolic and ancestral – this also applies in Xitsonga culture. As modern and open-minded individuals, we seem not to mind naming our children using names from other ethnic groups. If you’re not Tsonga and would like to give your child a Xitsonga name, below are common unisex names and together with their meanings.Read More →

What’s the first thing you do when you see someone in Africa? Greet them! There’s no denying that greetings around the world differ from culture to culture and are sometimes shaped by our religions, customs and beliefs. This is why we would like to teach you a few ways Xitsonga people greet one another. Like in any other language, there are terms or words used for “good morning,” “good afternoon” and “good evening”. In Xitsonga, these type of greetings are suitable for when greeting the elders, a group of people or the people you respect highly: Avuxeni (/ah-boo-share-ni/) meaning ‘good morning’ – The word ‘Avuxeni’ literallyRead More →

The Pendoring Awards 2018 walked the talk on Thursday night with a true first: an awards ceremony in our 10 indigenous languages only. With English sub-titles for the untransformed. The winners were announced at a high energy evening – a celebration for all those in the creative industry who have excelled in driving the use of our indigenous languages in advertising. Hosted and MC’d by linguist and comedian Pule Welch (who holds an Honours degree from Wits University specialising in the phonology of African languages), with entertainment from rapper and poet Sho Madjozi, comedian and Actor Anne Hirsch, eclectic band Bombshelter Beast and the queenRead More →

If you’re familiar with phrases such as “Actions speak louder than words” or “What goes around comes around,” you might have depended on proverbs to guide you into living a meaningful life.   Or you might have heard them from your parents or elders who used these sayings as a warning so that you avoid doing something you may regret. A proverb refers to a short, pithy saying that expresses a traditionally held truth based on common sense or experience. They exist in more than one culture and language but doesn’t mean their meanings are not universal. Below are seven Xitsonga proverbs you may like.Read More →