Ngano (folktales) are basically stories that are told as a form of entertainment but at the same aimed to educated. They are usually told after supper before bedtime around a fire, because this is a common rest time that people are relaxed and can be telling each other stories. Children however can be found telling each other ngano anytime. In between the tale there can be a story and the narrator usually sings it and all the people listening join in to the singing.


The stories usually are fiction. They can involve talking animals, animals working in a hotel, and they are usually stories from long ago and believed to have been written by some ancient writers. When telling a folktale one begins by saying Paivapo (A long time ago) and the listeners respond all at once saying jefunde (i failed to find a meaning for this one, perhaps someone can help in the comments). To end the story the narrator then says Ndipo pakaperera sarungano (that’s where the ancient story teller ended).


The practice of folktelling however seems to be no longer practiced both in urban and rural areas.Growing up in Gokwe, elders in my family never told us folktales that much but we would always pick them from other children telling us and that’s how I got to know most of them. In my opinion however, if I’m to have kids I think I would only be telling my kids folktales so they have a good appreciation of our culture but at the same time I feel the tales do not expose and grow my child’s mind. I’m still torn between the importance of the folk telling practice.


I aim to find some folktales and put the list here.