How To Greet In Shona

Welcome to our guide on how to greet in Shona. Shona is one of the largest ethnic groups in Zimbabwe and their language is widely spoken in the country. For any visitor or newcomer, a simple greeting can go a long way in breaking the ice and establishing relationships. Here are some tips on how to greet in Shona.

  1. Greetings for Different Times of the Day
    1. Morning Greetings
    2. Afternoon Greetings
    3. Evening Greetings
  2. Greetings for Different Occasions
    1. Festivals and Celebrations
    2. Sorrowful Occasions
  3. Conclusion

Greetings for Different Times of the Day

Just like in English, greetings in Shona vary depending on the time of day. Here are some common greetings for different times of the day:

Morning Greetings

  • Mangwanani - Good Morning
  • Mugadzhe Wakanaka - Have a Nice Day

Afternoon Greetings

  • Mhoro - Hello (used for both hello and goodbye in the afternoon)
  • Maitasei - How are you?

Evening Greetings

  • Makadini - Good Evening
  • Makatendeka - Good Night (used when leaving someone)

Greetings for Different Occasions

Shona culture is rich in tradition and there are different greetings for different occasions. Here are some examples:

Festivals and Celebrations

ShonaLiteral TranslationEnglish Equivalent
Oita BasaWell DoneWell Done

Sorrowful Occasions

  • Samatenga - I share your pain
  • Mweya Wangu Unoyera - My Soul is Weeping


Learning how to greet in Shona is a simple yet powerful way to show respect and connect with the locals. It is always appreciated when foreigners try to learn a local language and show an interest in the culture. By following the tips in this guide, you'll be able to greet locals in a more meaningful way and foster deeper connections.

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