Ngano- Inganekwane / Storytelling


One might think that Zimbabwean Culture is complicated with the diversity just like the rubix cube. If you take your time to study our culture it is quite interesting and fun. Here is one tradition that also describes the type of people to expect in our country. Zimbabwe is known to have great story tellers, from Musicians, actors, dancers, and writers all telling a story in different ways. This brings us together be it young or old everyone likes a good story.

In the past stories were told by the elders (grandmothers, grandfathers, grandaunts, and grand uncles) they told stories to teach lessons to the young ones and to entertain them. There was nothing satisfying than a plate of mhandire (roasted maize) and roasted peanuts while sitting by the fire under a full moon listening to a story. Laughter would fill the air and children would sing along to the songs in the stories.

Once you hear the word ‘Paivepo’ you know you have started on the journey through time. Story telling was a time machine and still is.One would draw lessons of respect, loving one another, honesty, why we should not trust strangers and most importantly UBUNTU from these folk tales. Story time brought the young closer to their elders, as they will sit and listen to them talk and they would not talk back. This is why Ngano/ story time is important in our culture.
Sadly now it seems like this tradition is being swallowed by the modernization of society, the internet, the youth spending most of their time watching TV and playing on their phones is leading to the demise of this beautiful tradition. There are other means that are being used to curb the fast decline of the tradition of Ngano, this is through poets, writers, actors and musicians to name a few.

When you visit places like the Great Zimbabwe Ruins in Masvingo, the Matopo Hills in Bulawayo and the Chinhoyi caves in Chinhoyi to name a few, these places are safely preserving the stories that we grew up to, you get to find out the history behind storytelling and how it came to be as these enclosures have a story to tell. A beautiful story about Zimbabwe.

By Elizabeth Taderera