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Sjava’s Tsonga line on Night & Day – This is what it means


On Night & Day, Sjava plays with two Xitsonga words of the Hlengwe people, which are “Cawuke” and “Xinyori”.

Who are the Hlengwe people?  

  • The Hlengwe people are one of the largest sub groups of the Tsonga ethnic group, and the most famous Hlengwe person in South Africa is the iconic Dr. Thomas Chauke.

  • Sho Madjozi is related to the Hlengwe people.

Why am I telling you about Dr. Thomas Chauke? 

  • Dr. Thomas Chauke is the lead member of the legendary music group, Thomas Chauke na Shinyori Sisters.

  • Thomas Chauke na Shinyori Sister have made 35 albums, 34 of them are part of a series titled Shimatsatsa.

  • Dr. Thomas Chauke’s is popularly known as Xinyori.

Who is Xinyori? 

  • Xinyori is the founding father of the Hlengwe people.

  • The word Xinyori means snail’s shell, the snail and its shell are sacred totems of the Hlengwe people.

  • Cawuke/Mavasa is Xinyori’s grandson.

What does all of this have to do with Sjava?

“… back seat no Chauke, ngiphete ishinyori…” – Sjava uses the word Xinyori as a substitute for Shimatsatsa, which is a gorgeous woman in Xitsonga. Sjava supports this line with a follow up in Sepitori, as lepyatla and ximatsatsa mean the same thing in this context.

In conclusion, the line is just a basic word play on Dr. Thomas Chauke na Shinyori Sisters and their Shimatatsa albums.

Hi khensa leswi mi nga hlaya,


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