• Search
  • Lost Password?
Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

Wondrous Words Wednesday 15th May 2012


‘Wondrous Words Wednesday’ is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we have encountered in our reading.

It is hosted by Kathy, over at BermudaOnion’s Weblog. You can either stop by and leave a link to your own ‘mystery’ words of the week, or just browse the eclectic mix of words that others have discovered, there is always a great selection.

Don’t forget that Kathy and the rest of us, all love to read your comments  as well!!


 My words this time are, I am sure, just the first of many from this delightful book, set in Zimbabwe, which I have just begun to read:

‘The Hairdresser of Harare’ by Tendai Huchu.



Amai Ndoro was the fussiest customer to ever grace a salon. And she would not let any ordinary kiya-kiya touch her hair

KIYA-KIYAWhen you asked a Zimbabwean how they were managing in the difficult conditions, the answer would often be, “tiri kungokiya-kiya!”, meaning they were using all sorts of imaginative skills to make ends meet. Kukiya-kiya means many things; anything really to make a living, usually outside the formal forum. Everyone kiya-kiyad in order to survive.  It didn’t matter
whether it was legal or illegal, some things just had to be done to create income. Indeed, by the time the unity government was formed, Minister of Finance Tendai Biti was asked where they were getting the money from his answer was ‘taka kiya-kiya’, leading his critics to label him Minister Kiya-kiya. The pejorative insinuations aside, this was a formal acknowledgement of how Zimbabweans had to survive in a decade when things got really twisted. They had to kiya-kiya and may still have to in the present decade, given the conditions.



… plus Charlie boy, our barber, who always came in smelling of chibuku

CHIBUKUThe traditional alcoholic drink of Zimbabwe, is chibuku, meaning ‘the beer of good cheer’. This potent beer is usually served up in buckets, which are passed around between partakers.



It seems that nowadays whether it’s AIDS or MUTI or just the way things are, children become the victims

MUTI In colloquial English and Afrikaans the word muti is often used to refer to medicines in general or medicines that have a ‘miraculous’ effect



“The Kombi’s from Kamfinsa were all full

KOMBI … Kombi, from German: Kombinationskraftwagen (combination motor vehicle), with side windows and removable rear seats, both a passenger and a cargo vehicle combined. (Pictures and detailed description available by clicking here.)


Enjoy the rest of the week everyone, I’m off to find me some great new words!



Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

View all articles
Written by Yvonne