Greener Journal of Social Sciences

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Greener Journal of  Social Sciences Vol. 3 (5), pp. 292-298, May 2013

  ISSN: 2276-7800 © 2011 GJSS

Research Paper

Historicity of Some Ndebele Toponyms in Zimbabwe


Sambulo Ndlovu


Great Zimbabwe University Department of African Languages and Literature.


Email: matsilaneg @ gmail. com


Names can be a repository of a people’s past, experiences can be ordered into toponyms and the toponyms intern preserves the past experiences. This paper looks at some toponyms as named by the Ndebele and analyses how these are derived from history to Ndebele place names. The paper also analyses the sound and morphological processes that take place for Ndebele toponyms to be derived from history. Particular emphasis is placed on the history that led to the derivation of the toponyms and how the names preserve that history. The paper analyses Ndebele toponyms under categories of history that are; the royal Ndebele history, colonial history, post colonial history, Ndebele military history and those from past topography, topography and past activities. People name their environment, hence the names are taken from Ndebele areas in Zimbabwe that are Matabeleland, Bulawayo and Midlands provinces. 

Key words: Toponym, Ndebele, Historicity, Matabeleland, Bulawayo.

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