Mwedzi yeGore muchiShona (Months of the Year in Shona)


Ndira (January)

– The month of January is called Ndira in Shona. Named after black beetle of the same name. Often people refer to January as “mwedzi weNdira”, or month of the Ndira beetle.

Kukadzi (February)


Kurume (March)


Kubvumbi (April)

– Kubvumbi means month of showers. Normally in Zimbabwe rains are characterized by heavy down-pours and thunderstorms. It is at the end of the rain season that soft rain showers arrive in April.

Chivabvu (May)

- Named after the last green maize, chivabvu, before season end.

Chikumi (June)


Chikunguru (July)

– Named after the nhunguru wild fruit from the munhunguru tree. Its redness, which blends in with the colors of the budding musasa and mutondo trees underscore this dominant color in the month of July.

Nyamavhuvhu (August)

– Literally means “the windy one”. Windiest month of year just before the first rain.

Gunyana (September)

– September is a slow month – long after the harvest season several months shy of the first rains. This is a period of relaxation. People seat around, on the ground often folding/crossing their legs.

Gumiguru (October)

– The tenth month, from gumi, the Shona word for ten.

Mbudzi (November)

– Often called “Mwedzi weMbudzi”, or month of the goat. This is the month when most goats are pregnant. Wilbert Sadomba, in “Using taboos and Proverbs as Oral Archives of Indigenous Knowledge” eloquently describes this month as follows,

“Women are regarded with the sanctity of nature because they possess power of regeneration through their fecundity. This is reflected in a number of values, beliefs and taboos. November is known as Mwedzi wembudzi, the month of the goat. November marks the period of regeneration of both, flora and fauna following the first rains. With abundance of food, herbivores of all kinds start to reproduce and November is the peak period for this process of regeneration. This observation led to the development of the taboo that forbids marriage during the month of November. The taboo was developed to avoid accidental killing of pregnant animals for marriage or other ceremonies. The punishment suffered by people who marry in November is unreasonable breakdown of the marriage or some such calamity as failure to have children”.

Zvita (December)

– Zvita in Shona means "thanks". December is therefore a month of reflection and thanksgiving to the ancestors. Many activities, socially forbidden in the month of November can now be executed. Marriages can occur and beast can be slaughtered for the occasion, ceremonies to welcome back spirits and memorial services for the deceased are conducted in a festive atmosphere.



© 2004 Solomon Murungu & Zambuko Projects® Unlimited