Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Rhodesian Lore and Legend

LORE AND LEGEND

SOUTHERN RHODESIA PLACE NAMES

Published by;
The Chief Information Officer,
Information Services Branch.
Division of Native Affairs,
Salisbury
September, 1960

(Re-compiled by my daughter, Denise)

FOREWORD

Numerous interpretations are placed on the names of Southern Rhodesian towns, villages, mountains, rivers and hills and, in a country where the written word is barely 70 years old, some such names must remain highly debatable subjects. They have been influenced by many languages and dialects; they tell of great migrations and successive waves of people passing to and fro – the Ba Rozwi, the Ba Venda , the BaSuthu, the AmaNdebele, not to mention older established inhabitants such as the AmaKalanga who lived in parts of Matableleland.

To decide the origin of many place names knowledge of numerous languages is necessary. IT must be realized that where the ChiShona favours the letter “r” Sindebele uses “l” instead; likewise “chi” in ChiShona is represented by “isi” in Sindebele. The Mashona will say Chinoya and Chirukwe, and the AmaNdebele Sinoia and Silukwe. Allowance must also be made for the English influence and the interpretations placed on the spoken word at the turn of the last century. Jahunda bcame Gwanda and IKwelo, Gwelo.

There is nothing truly African in such phenomena for, evening countries where the written word has existed for centuries, the process of corruption and distortion has affected many place names, i.e. Gloucester has become “Gloser”, Greenwich, “Grinisdge”, and Teignmouth has changed to “Tinmuth”.

This ABC of some Rhodesian places and geographical names indicates perhaps more than anything else how many varied people have contributed towards the development of our Country. To retain atmosphere, we have on occasions preferred literal translations from vernacular idiom rather than corrupting and distorting even more by expressing ourselves in true English.

We must acknowledge assistance from the pages of N.A.D.A. for some of the material in this booklet.

There are variations to many of the following stories and, as is the case in many countries, a committee is charged with the task of deciding the correct spelling of place name. In Southern Rhodesia this work is performed by the Geographical Names Committee.

AMANDAS (CONCESSION)

A famous old witch is reputed to have lived in a hill some two miles west of the present Concession – her name was Manda and the village came to be called after her, Amands’s.
She is said to have been hanged by Africans who lived in the area fro misleading them. B Before her death she prophesied her spirit would return and, shortly afterwards, a large swarm of bees took up residence in the cave where she lived. Local people say the bees represent her spirit.

BELINGWE

A lofty mountain in the District of that name, about 100 miles south-east of Bulawayo. Belingwe is said to derive from ku-berenga, to count or mark out, the passive being ka-berengwa to be marked out, or distinguished. From this it is a small step to Berengwa and so to Belingwe. The old Bantu attributed strange events to this mountain. It was said that it could set itself on fire and roar like a lion, and so yaka berengwa (it was marked down - as something peculiar).
Mzilikazi and Lobengula hunted in this district and, as the AmaNdeble utilize the “l” in place of the Shona “r” the gradual change to Belingwe can more readily be appreciated.

BINDURA
A township 50 miles north-east of Salisbury in the Mazoe District. The name is probably a corruption of the Chi-Zezuru phrase Chi pindura mkuka, meaning “turn the game”.
The following legend is accepted by the people now settled in the Bushu Reserve at Shamva

The locality concerned was once occupied by a Chief Chipadze and his people who were of the Tosoko Totem. Another Chipadze of the Nyoni mutupo (totem) came to the area, married one of the Chief’s daughters and settled there. Later he killed the Chief and took over the area.

The tribal spirits of the deceased Chief, Chipadze Tsoko, occupied Bindura hill. Chipadze Nyoni came to an arrangement with the spirits whereby he would observe the religious ceremonies, necessary to satisfy them while they, in return, would supply meat for his people.

Each year in November and ox was taken to a flat rock at the foot of the hill. At a signal given by the Chief, the dunzwi( high priest) seized it by the horn. If the ox then died the following message was sent out to the surrounding kraals; Gomo ra Madzimbabwe, mhuka dza kumwe dzinga pindurgwe, meaning, “Hill of the Chief’s grave, the game in the outlying areas may be turned.”
The initial phrase, it is suggested, merely indicates the source of the message, as does “London Calling” today.

Thereafter, on an agreed day the veld was set on fire in a wide circle round the hill. Then, it is alleged, the death of the ox having indicated the spirits’ willingness to co-operate and guide the flames, the fire burnt in towards the hill concentrating the game in an ever shrinking area until the creatures were burned to death or killed by the people.

If the ox did not die on being seized by the priest there was no message and no concerted firing of the veld.

The hill became to be known as Chi pindura mhuka which became corrupted to Bindura.

BULALIMA-MANGWE

The native district in which Plumtree is situated. The name appears to be an artificial combination (post pioneer) of the names Bulilima, the area in which the Balilima dwelt under their Chiefs Mzwazi, Menu or Mengwe, and Mangwe, probably so called from the river of that name on account of the number or mangwe trees in that region.

The Balilima lived in the western portion of the present native district, the eastern portion being the area known as Mangwe. The name therefore was merely a convenient description of a neighbourhood combining the two areas.

The Balilima may have been so called on account of a habit of ploughing fields abandoned by others, for Balilima can mean “They ploughed the abandoned field.”
Note. – Prior to the AmaNdebele invasion, the Balilima were called Waririma.

BULAWAYO
(Correctly koBulawayo (Sindebele), meaning “the place of the killing”)

This was the name given by Lobengula to his first kraal. His reason for this was that when he came to the throne the Zwangandaba, Ngobo and Nduba regiments refused to accept him. A tremendous battle took place at the Zwangandaba Kraal, in which Lobengula was victorious. After the fight, when asked what he would call his kraal, he replied; “ I have been killed by my people. I shall call it ‘koBulawayo’.”

CASHEL

Named after Sub-Inspector R. Cashel, of the British South Africa Company’s Police.

CHIBI

A district south of Fort Victoria, derived from the name of Chief Chivi. This name was bestowed by the Rozwi Mambo and means dirt or sin. The reason for the naming is obscure, but may be due to some crime committed by the original Chivi.

CHILIMANZI

A district between Umvuma and Fort Victoria. Correctly Chirimuanzu, meaning “it is in the garment”. The original Chief Chirimuanzu had a celebrated garment made of rock-rabbit skins.

ENKELDOORN

The early Afrikaaner trekkers settled in this district which they thought was very much like the plains of the Orange Free State. It was called Enkeldoorn, “Single Thorn”, because the area was singularly free of the Izinga – thorn trees; where trees grew they were generally ama-gonte, the heavy timber so useful in providing shade for the cattle.

FILABUSI

(a) Mambo –mPfulabuso; (b) Sindebele - eMfelabuso meaning (a) mpfula to manufacture; buso a face.
Thus, because a man there was struck in the face by a manufactured weapon (an arrow), (b) eMfelabuso means “death in the face”. The common version is merely a mispronunciation of the vernacular name.

FORT VICTORIA

Fort Victoria is the oldest township in Southern Rhodesia and was settled by the Pioneer Column in 1890. It was the first of three forts built by the Column and was named in honour of Queen Victoria. Of the other two forts, Salisbury has grown to be the largest city in the Colony, while Fort Charter passed into oblivion, no settlement ever rising around it.

GADZEMA

A rail siding on the Salisbury-Bulawayo line, and a village on the Hartley-Sinoia road. The name is a corruption of the ChiShona ku dzima meaning to put out (fire).


GATOOMA

Said to be named after a hill near Golden Valley, Kaduma. Kaduma is a Sindebele phrase meaning “it, which does not thunder or make a noise”. It is likely the hill concerned was venerated as some early shrine but was silent – no tribal spirits spoke from its depths.

GOKOMERE

A kopje near a mission station of that name situated about ten miles north of Fort Victoria. Goko (outer shell) and Mere (noise or din). The kopje has an outer ring of stones like a fortress. This was further fortified and thus turned into a powerful stronghold. The kopje has caves and afforded good protection to its defenders. The name then, has a reference to the din and tumult of the attackers outside the Goko, for it was within that the people of the neighbourhood took refuge from their enemies. Though the words Goko and Mere are both commonly used throughout Mashonaland, they are of Rozwi origin.

GUTU

The name of a district, so called after the Chief of the area. The full name is Guta Misewe, from Guta (filled) and Misewe (arrows). This is the name of a caterpillar with spiky hairs like arrows stuck on its back. The first Chief Gutu was a man with a very hairy back.

GWAAI

The name refers in the first instance to the river and is a Sindebele corruption of the Sesutu word Ukayi. The river was so named by Basutu hunters from the Kalahari Desert, who, thirsty and lame, on hearing of water n the vicinity, came on crying:” Ukayi? Ukayi?, meaning “Where? Where?”

GWANDA

A district and village south of Bulawayo, so called from Jahunda, a hill some twelve miles south-east of the present Gwanda village. The word is said to be Sesutu or Karanga. The corruption to Gwanda is reputed to have occurred at the hands of one Andy Nicholson, who could not manage the true pronunciation and so called it Gwanda. The Africans were unable to give any meaning to, or explanation for, the word Jahunda. There is a prickly weed in the district known to the Ndebele, Basutu and Karanga as gwanda but this is not associated with the present name, Gwanda.
(note: It was this same Andy Nicholson, prospector, whose name is perpetuated at West Nicholson, a few miles south of Gwanda.)
The vehicle registration for Gwanda is “J” after Jahunda because of other “G” towns in Southern Rhodesia.

GWEBI

A siding near Salisbury for the Gwebi Agricultural College and the Gwebi Veterinary Experimental Station. The name has developed from “hairless”, like a worn out kaross, and is allegorical of the sparseness of vegetation in the area until European methods of farming were applied.

GWELO

The late Col. Carbutt wrote, “Gwelo township was originally known to Africans as Senka after the kopje of that name. This was at lease indicative of a fixed spot, unlike the name of Gwelo which is applicable to anywhere along the course of a river one hundred miles in length.”
The Gwelo River near its source and down to almost where it joins the Shangani, has carved steep slippery banks in the plain over the years. When the AmaNdebele first settled in the area, the woman are said to have found it very difficult to draw water, in fact they could never find an easy place to climb up from the river bed with their full vessels. Accordingly, they often spoke of “the steep place” (ikwelo), and the river came to be known as iKwelo, eventually becoming Gwelo.


HARARE (HARARI)

The original name of Salisbury Kopje and now given to the large African township in Salisbury. Named after Harare, an outcast of a Southern tribe, who later settled on the Kopje and prospered. Harare was later murdered by another outcast, Mbani, who in turn met the same fate at the hands of two brothers, Chiweshe and Wata, whose descendants are still prominent chiefs in Mashonaland.

HARTLEY

Hartley, together with the Hartley Hills, was named after Henry Hartley, who originally discovered gold in the area and later in the Mazoe District with Dr. Carl Mauch. The present town of Hartley was founded in 1901 on a site chosen by Cecil Rhodes. Old Hartley, which was settled in 1891, was situated about 18 miles to the east of the present town but was later abandoned.

INSIZA

A district and railway station east of Bulawayo, in Matabeleland. The name is taken from a river of that name which flows through the district. Derived from the Sindebele verb uku-siza (to help). The reason is unknown.

INYANGA

A place in the Eastern Districts; the name may have derived from “The place of the Witchdoctors”.

INYATI

A Native Department Station and a Mission Station in the Bubi district, Mtabeleland. Named after the Enyatini Royal Kraal, where lived one of Mzilikazi’s Queens, Loziba. The actual site of the kraal is at present occupied by the Mission, the Native Department Station being some two miles to the west. The royal kraal was subsequently moved to the Umzingwane area. Inyati means “buffalo” and Enyatini, the locative case, means “At a place of the buffalo”.


KARIBA
(Correctly KARIWA, ChiShona dialect)

At this spot the Zambezi suddenly narrows from some 700 yards to 100 yards or less, where without any gradual change it leaves the sand country through which it has passed and enters rock formation with large cliffs and boulders on each side of the river. Two of these boulders were at one time apparently close together and the river gradually made a passage between them, leaving a transverse piece of rock joining them and forming a bridge. Within the memory of living Africans, this bridge became finally worn through and was washed away by the action of the water. This will be easily understood by those who have visited the Gorge, for there the placid Zambezi suddenly becomes a roaring torrent.
Riwa is a lintel such as one sees in ancient ruins. It is also that part of a trap, which falls down on its victim. It is cognate with ChiShona kutiya, meaning to set a trap, and also with Chinyanja diwa, meaning a trap. The old Swazi (Muzonkendaba) tradition is that in their migrations they crossed the river on the riwa. The great Kariba Dam is sited in the gorge, near the spot where the “bridge” existed.

KAROI
(or KAROYI)

Here we have a name in the process of corruption for thought it is unusual (or it has been unusual in the past) to allow vowels to follow one another in ChiShona, the dropping of the ‘y” does not affect the pronunciation or the sense.
Karoi is the name applied to a Land Settlement area north of Sinoia, in the neighbourhood of Urungwe. The area has taken its name from the river Karoyi, which flows there.
Two explanations are offered as to the origin and meaning of the name. Muroyi is the ChiShona word for a witch; the prefix “ka” frequently has the sense of a diminutive, and so ka-royi – the little witch. One explanation for this name is that witches and others who dabbled in sorcery were thrown into this river, which carried their bodies in flood time down to the Angwa; the others is that thought small (hence the diminutive -ka-) the river is peculiarly dangerous, treacherous, wayward, witch-like, when in flood during the rains.

KHAMI
(Correctly KHAME)

A river in Western Matabeleland. The word is Sesuthu meaning “slow” or “almost stationary”. To those who know the river, the reason for the name is obvious.

LALAPANZI

There used to be a vlei at Lalapanzi, in which the old transport riders’ oxen used to sink up to their bellies, giving the impression of lying down. Hence Lala – lying, panzi – down.


LUNDI


A river in Southern Mashonaland. Correctly, the word is Runde from warunda, the expression used by Africans to describe a river running bank high. The Lundi rises near the Gwelo kopje and has a wide catchment area; assisted by plentiful rains in the Selukwe hills, it fills rapidly and usually remains full throughout the season. When a pot is full to the brim the Karanga say Nde, hence Ru-nde.

LUTOPE

A long river about 20 miles south of Gokwe, in the Sebungwe district. The ChiShona word dope means mud, while the prefix ru– implies length – hence Rutope means “the long stretch of mud”.
This exactly describes the river, for all that is usually visible is a long stretch of reeds growing from the mud, in the middle of which is shallow water, quite unseen unless sought.

MACHEKE

A village named after a river on the Umtali Road. It means “you have divided or cut” and, as the plural Ma- of respect is utilized, it would seem to refer to the division of a tribal area by a Chief, the river most likely marking the boundary.

MAFUNGABUSI

A very large plateau and tract of territory in the south-est portion of the Sebungwe district in Matabeleland. The word in the language of the Abasankwe means “rising dust” or “whirlwind”. The area is so called because whirlwinds are very common in that neighbourhood.


MAKWIRO

A railway siding (and its vicinity) on the line between Salisbury and Hartley, about 20 miles north-east of Hartley, which gets it name from several ranges of small hills and from the ascent to the siding from the valley to the east.
The name is a corruption of the ChiZesuru word Makwira meaning “You have climbed”.
It is said when the original Chief Zwimba and Chief Chivero first came to this country from Guraushwa, north of the Zambezi, they traveled round looking for land on which to settle. During their journey Zwimba developed a sore leg which impeded his progress. He lagged behind in the valley while the others climbed the hill to a place now known as Makwiro. There they had to wait some time for Zwimba to overtake them. When he eventually reached the top they greeted him saying Ma Kwira Here? – “You’ve climbed, have you?”
Later when discussing their travels with Zwimba the place was always referred to as pa ma kwira – “The place where you climbed”.

MANZAMNYAMA

A river in Western Matabeleland, known also as the Nata River. The word is Sindebele for “Black water”, and the river is so called on account of the number of deep, dark pools to be found in its course.
In the early’ forties, this river enjoyed the reputation of “first flowing out of Southern Rhodesia, then flowing back again”. This was caused by the flooding of the Makarikari Salt Pans in Bechuanaland; the Nata was unable to empty itself and flowed strongly back towards its source.

MARANDELLAS

Marandellas is a corruption of Marondera, the family name of a one-time local headman. Marondera derives from the Shona verb ku rondera, meaning to follow. The old headman Marondera was given the name by the BaRozwi.

MASHABA

A village and neighbourhood where many of the hills are reddish in colour. The name is derived from ChiShona mavu mashava (red soils), only the word mashava (red) having been retained in a slightly corrupted form.
Another explanation is that the BaVenda, during their trek diagonally across Southern Rhodesia, used these hills as a beacon from the Selukwe range (Selukwe derives from the Venda word Chirugwe – “ a stone pig pen”. They said – “we must make for there – the Red Hills” – Makomo Mashaba. Mashaba as a name persisted.

MASHONALAND

Roughly speaking the North-Eastern half of Southern Rhodesia is Mashonaland. Almost certainly derived from the Zulu phrase tshona langa meaning the setting sun (i.e. the west). When early transport-riders were setting out from Natal fro expeditions to what is now Southern Rhodesia, their Zulu wagon drivers were frequently asked by those near whose kraals they passed were they were going. The drivers replied emtshonalanga, i.e. towards the sunset, or westwards. The phrase became distorted by those Europeans who neither understood the meaning nor the succeeded in mastering the pronunciation, into Mashonaland.

MATOPOS
(Correctly Matobo)

(a) Mambo; Amatombo; (b) Sindebele: Amatobo.
It is said that with the people of Mambo tombo means a mountain, and Amatombo mountains. Mzilikazi apparently altered the name to Amatobo though no special significance attaches to the change.


MATSHEMHLOPE
(Correctly Amatshamhlope)

A Sindebele name meaning “white stones”, given to the small river, which divides the central part of Bulawayo from its suburbs. The name suggests that the bed of the river is strewn with white pebbles. This is not the case. It is derived from the whitish, stony hills at the source of the stream in the Water Works Kopjes.

MAZOE

The name comes from Manzovo, the place of the elephants.

MCHINGWE

A river, along the banks of which, in the vicinity of here it is crossed by the Bulawayo-Shabani road about 15 miles from the latter, grow a large number of palms known as mchingwe. It is believed that its is from these that the river takes its name, though such palms are to be found in greater numbers on the Ngezi River, 40 miles from Shabani. It is a matter for regret that these sturdy and attractive looking palms are dwindling in number.

MELSETTER

Named after Melsetter, on the Long Hope Sound, Isle of Hoy, Orkney. The settlement was first made by Thomas and Dunbar Moodie (Mudie) who named it after their ancestral home in the Orkney Islands.

MIAMI

A district north of Sinoia, which taking its name from the river Mwami ( a wart hog) which flows there. The word is ChiKorekore, but the reason for its being so called is obscure.

MPANDAMATENKA

A stream on the Mafeking-Wankie Road, a favourite camp for explorers. The word is of Mnanzwa origin and means “inviting trade”. It is often pronounced “Mpandamatenga” which suggests Sindebele origin; the verb root pand means “to scratch around, to seek out”, and tenga, “ to buy”. This confirms the “inviting trade” theory quoted above. The Mpandamatenga Road skirts the western boundary of Southern Rhodesia and is still used in parts by contractors.


M’SONNEDDI

A large plain in the Umvukwes, Mazoe district, some 23 miles north of Concession. It stretches from the hill Msorondoni to the Msengedzi River. It is aid by the old men that the present word is derived from muswewenhede, which in turn is a corruption of the ChiZezuru muswewedede, said to mean “the tail of the baboon”. It is held that the description was applied to the plain because of the way the stretch of country twists about.
An interesting point is that while the old men of the neighbourhood agreed that the whole word muswewenhede means “the baboon’s tail” (muswe =tail, plus we=possessive particle) they are unanimous that they have never heard of a baboon nhede, although dede is used in some areas.

MTILIKWE

A river rising in Gutu district. A swift flowing stream which, when in flood, rushes over its boulder-strewn course forming waves. These dancing waves are likened by the Africans to a mirage on a hot day – galloping waves, the way they gallop, i.e. tirikwe tirikwe.

NDANGA


The name of a district east of Fort Victoria. The district derives its name from the chief. Years ago the ancestor of the present Chief Ndanga, then known as Mtsatsuri, and his younger brother, Gutu, quarreled. The former left the Gutu district and conquered and settled in the country know known as Ndanga. Gutu then followed him with the idea of settling also in the Ndanga area. Chief Mtsatsuri then changed his own name to Ndatanga (ChiKaranga dialect) meaning, “I was the first here”. In time Ndatanga contracted to Ndanga.

NORTON

Norton, a small township twenty odd miles from Salisbury, is situated near Porta Farm, where the owner, Mr. Joseph Norton, his wife and family and several of his employees were murdered during the Mashona Rebellion in 1896. The township was named in memory of the victims of the massacre.


NYAMANDHLOVU
(Correctly NYAMAYENDHLOVU (Sindebele) meaning “ Flesh of the Elephant”.)

Old Africans assert that the name has nothing to do with Lobengula’s regiment similarly designated. They say that Mzilikazi, on his journey north, divided his houses. The king’s son, Nkulumana, came through the Matopos with Gundwane and his following, while the King himself, with his followers, traveled too far west and arrived at the Makarikari Salt Pans, where Gundwane’s messengers found him and guided him to Ntabayezinduna. At Tsholotsho, or somewhere in that vicinity, they saw a pan shaped like the head of an elephant, and questioned, the local people said that the name of the pan was Shololezhowa, meaning, “Head of the elephant”. Old Africans still give it that name. Mzilikazi named the whole area Enyamayendhlovu, meaning “At the flesh of the Elephant”. Mzilikazi’s own kraal was, of course, named after the senior regiment Umhlahlandhlela.

ODZI

The name of a river in the Umtali district. The word is derived from Chimanyika ku odza or ku hodza, meaning to “cause to rot”. The river is subject to sudden and fierce floods and gets its name from the number of dead bodies which are brought down by its waters on such occasion.

PENHALONGA

The name of a village and valley in the Umtali District. It was originally given the name Penhalonga Mine, and is not an African name. The mine was named after Count Penhalonga, who, together with Baron Rezende, first formed a company to explore for minerals in the Umtali River. It is derived from the Portuguese words pena, pronounced penya, meaning “ a rocky mountain”, and longa meaning “large” or “long”.

POPOTEKWE

Another river rising in the Gutu district, which winds its way in and out of numerous granite hills. Derivation therefore popoma, meaning “waterfalls” and kwe cf. kwesekwese, “everywhere”. The nature of the country results in many waterfalls on its winding course.


QUE QUE

The road sign by the riverbank near Que Que says the stream and town’s name derive from kwe-kwe – the noise that the frogs make. Others say, however, that in the early days both Mzilikazi and Lobengula had cattle posts in this district and, as a result of rinderpest and scab which wiped out most of the beasts, the area became known as ilizwe lwesikwekwe – the country of the scab or mange. Isikwekwe has evolved to the truncated from kwekwe.

RUSAPE
(Rusapa, Rusapi)

The name comes from Massapa which means sandy soil – the place of sandy soil.

SALISBURY

Salisbury, the capital city of the Federation and of Southern Rhodesia, was founded on September 12th 1890, and was originally named Fort Salisbury, in honour of the then Prime Minister of Great Britain, the third Marquess of Salisbury. As time went on “Fort” was dropped.

SAUERSTOWN

Named after the Hon. Dr. Hans Sauer, on whose farm a large part of the township is situated. Dr. Sauer was one of Rhodes’ companions at the famous Matopos Indaba and a member of the first Mashonaland Legislative Council.

SEBAKWE

A river rising in the Charter district and flowing into the Umniati in the Gwelo district. Correctly, Chiwake from Kuwaka, meaning “to build” in ChiShona; and so, “that which was built up, or had been built upon”, indicating a barrier or moat such as people had built on The Range – Enkeldoorn kopjes – which was occupied by Maromo or Hakonya during the rebellion.


SELINDA, MOUNT

A hill and forest south of Chipinga, on the Portuguese border. A corruption of Chirinda or Cherinda. The hill to the north-western edge of the forest had a precipitous approach and wide views over the surrounding country. There the inhabitants used “ to wait for” – ku-rinda - the advance of the hordes of Mzila, Ngungunyana and other marauders.


SELOUS

A small rail siding and village near Salisbury. It is named after Frederick Courtenay Selous, D.S.O., the hunter and guide who led the Pioneer Column to the site now occupied by the City of Salisbury. Selous was killed on active service with the 25th Royal Fusiliers during the First World War.

SELUKWE

Just outside Selukwe is a bald, oval, granite kopje so like the stone pigpens the BaVenda used to build. On their trek to the south during the migrations they used this hill as a landmark (from which they could see Makoma Mashaba – Red Hills – see Mashaba). A Venda pigpen was called chirugwe.
Later the AmaNdebele, who use “S” for “CH” and “l” for “r” changed the name to “Selugwe”. The “g” and “k” in Sindebele are sister consonants and as has happened in other cases, English spelling has preferred the “k” – hence Selukwe.
Another explanation as to the district’s origin is that the name derived from the sound of falling rain su-ru –ru.

SHANGANI

A river in Central Southern Rhodesia – the name is a Sindebele corruption of a MaKalanga word Hankano meaning junction. The name was originally applied only to the junction of the Gwaai River and the river that is now called Shangani.

SINOIA

The name derives from the Chief of that name Chinoi. The old Chief Chinoi used to take refuge with his people in the Sinoia Caves when the AmaNdebele impis raided in the district.

UMTALI

This name is a corruption of the ChiManyika word mutari meaning piece of metal. The reference is probably to the findings of gold in the old Penhalonga alluvial diggings.

WANKIE

Named after the original Chief Whange. A Chief Wankie or Whange still administers his tribal area and claims affinity with the MaLozi across the river in Barotseland.

WEDZA
(HWEDZA)

The name means “day after to-morrow” – it can also mean a milk pail. There are many mountains in the Colony named Wedza – called thus because “you will only reach it (them) the day after to-morrow.

ZAKA

The name of the Native Department Station in the Ndanga district. The site is very low-lying and gets its name from kwa-ka-zaka meaning “to where it is going down”, hence, low country.

Thanks to Denise for her assistance.

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home