Is There a Rule To Wearing Xibelani?

This is a knee length skirt typically worn by Xitsonga women. A lot of people have shown interest on how to correctly wear this skirt.

Traditionally, it is worn around the waist for dance purposes. However, some Tsonga women have been spotted wearing it differently yet interesting. We believe the  idea is to make it an everyday wear and not an item only taken out for special occasions. Take a look at the ladies below.


May’buye Azanaia Ntimane from Ka-Mageva, Limpopo

Image By: Halama Ink Media

Ntimane whose name can be loosely translated as May’buye iAfrica hails from Mageva, a small village in Giyani. She is wearing Xibelani as an off-the shoulder top. Wondering why it looks so small? It’s because it belongs to her daughter, Amani who is also an ambassador of Halama Ink Media. Very creative!


Hlulani Masingi from Ka-Mhinga, Limpopo

The Founder of Shangazine describes her everyday style as bold and eccentric. Xibelani is the most versatile clothing item she has, “you can wear it as a skirt, a top and a dress depending on how long it is.  You can also wear it to any occasion whether Xitsonga-related or not, you just need to be creative,” says Hlulani.


Sho Madjozi

While some people may think Sho Madjozi wears her Xibelani over her shoulders for music videos, stage performances or photoshoot purposes; she is no stranger to this trend.


There’s also some non-Xitsonga peeps who have been wearing Xibelani…


Kgosi Modisane based in Bryanston, Johannesburg

Image By: Instagram

Kgosi also known as @krayzik on social media is a lifestyle and entertainment writer. He was spotted at the 134th edition of the Sun Met that took place on 27 January 2018 wearing Xitsonga regalia.

Do you think Xibelani should be strictly worn on the waist? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter and IG using our @shangazine handle.

RELATED: The Evolution of Xitsonga Women’s Traditional Wear

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  1. I heard about this magazine on 702 I’m impressed keep it up I will suggest that you have column where you can explain why people are called Vatsonga/Machangani between there is a very thin line that differetiate then hoping to see an article about it Halal vatukulu va gwambe na dzavani

  2. Hi there

    I’m just very excited about this magazine and wish you all the best of success. I recently visited Muti wa Vhatsonga (I hope I spelt it correctly) which is about 90ks from Phalaborwa. The guide entertained me to some very exciting facts about the Xitsonga culture and what the village represented. I am one of your #fans.

  3. Initially in tradition the rule was that it is for adult women,since we live in. The global village what is stopping our ladies,the fashionista to showcase the beauty of xibelani, vatsonga/Machangani are proud people when it comes to culture and beauty .lets have designer’s who can show.the world the beauty of it.
    Currently there is no rule to my knowledge, Xibelani is made for ku tinyungubyisa na ku bomba tsena leswi hi swona swi endla ku va ni nkokelo ka.mixaka yinwani

  4. The Xibelani comes from Mozambique, that is where the first ones were made by tsonga people and it comes from the dovani and the matitikani. These are a symbol of femininity and were symbolic in the rites of passage for the woman as they entered puberty. Although these days there is not much taboos as in the past, it is respect to cultural values and heritage to wear it on the waist because waering it somewhere else in the name of fashion kills our cultural values.

  5. WOW I am so impressed to see Shangazine. Keep on promoting our culture. I once had this idea back then. Go girl

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