Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Kid Songs and Rhymes of







We Crossed Over (Traditional Song)  

Ndebele & Zulu


Go Forward (Shoo-shoo!) (Call and Response Song)  



The Biggest Rooster (Circle Game)
Sorida MP3  
  • MP3 - this song has an MP3 recording
  •   - this song has a Video recording

About the Shona Language and Dialects

Misodzi Sithole wrote to me about the Shona language...

The word Shona was infact a term created to describe a group of related dialects namely Zezuru, Karanga, Manyika, Ndau and Korekore. Before then, and even now, many self identify using their dialectical identity rather than the word Shona. Likewise I tend to identify myself as a muNdau (Ma- or VaNdau [plural]) although for official documents I would list Shona as the other language spoken.

Some may prefix all the dialects with the Syllable /Chi- / so that Ndau is also known as ChiNdau and so forth.

Ndau or ChiNdau, because of the area being once ruled by the Shangani originally from South Africa at a point in history, also has an interesting fusion of words that are in some related South African languages. For example the -l-; -hl- found in certain Ndau words are not found in other Shona dialects and do not appear in the Standard Shona dictionary. To the outsider, it may be hard for them to understand when one speaks ChiNdau.

However, the same can be said about words that are unique to the different dialects. I was just fortunate that I had the opportunity to study the dialects.

Thanks for documenting this for posterity.

Here are some of Mama Lisa's recent posts about the music, culture and traditions of Zimbabwe:
  • Ndondo is a traditional game played by Shona boys of the Tangwena people, living on the border of Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The game is played with gourd shells, sticks, and corn cobs. 2 players or 2 teams face each other. The corn cobs are set up on both sides of the players. The ndondo is […] Read more »
  • This is a protest song and it is traditionally sung at funerals. It was important during the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. Senzenina means “What have we done” with the implication “what did we do to deserve this?” (Also spelled “senzeni na”.) Here you can see the original lyrics, with an English translation and a […] Read more »
  • Mama Lisa Home Image
    In addition to this blog, I also host Mama Lisa’s World. Mama Lisa’s World is a large collection of children’s songs and rhymes from countries all around the globe. Matt, a music teacher from Rhode Island, wrote a question to me, the other day, about Mama Lisa’s World: Hey Mama, I love the concept of […] Read more »
  • Michelle wrote me… Hello! do you by any chance know of the song named Guru Ndiani from Zimbabwe? It is a children’s game song similar to a ring around the rosie type of song. Thank you, I appreciate it. Michelle If anyone is familiar with this song, please post it in the comments below. Thanks! […] Read more »

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