Nambyans (SHONA, RHODESIA; Zimbabwe)



IndexAfricaZimbabweShona →  Nambyans


Featured: Karanga, Matabele, Shona; ®Lemba, ®Atonga


According to Kisembo et al. (1977:p125-6[1]; Onibere, 1984:p103)[2], the only Shona-speaking people in Rhodesia who still practise traditional sex education are the Nambyans. Women are known for their expertise on giving sexual pleasure, and grandmothers together with “another old woman” instruct the girl in coital techniques after menarche, which she is to imitate. Medicines are given to regulate menses and to make her more attractive. “She is instructed to abstain from sexual contact during her menstruations and she is sent back home. There she begins tying beads around her waist for attraction. Sex-education for Nambyan boys begins with their first wet dream”. The boy eats a cock with his grandfather, who tells him to refrain from sexual intercourse over a period of four months, to allow medicines that are to make him “more virile” to do their duty. If his grandfather is a medicine man, he might give him more medicines for “sexual prowess” should he need it later in life (Aquina, 1975, II:p11-3).








Janssen, D. F., Growing Up Sexually. Volume I. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology

Last revised: Sept 2004


[1] Kisembo, B., Magesa, L. & Shorter, A. (1977) African Christian Marriage. London [etc.]: Chapman

[2] Op.cit.