Similarities between Shona and Shemitic languages: Part Two


LIKE the Bantu, the Hebrew people associated their skin colour and existence with the soil.
Adam was called a son-of-the-soil because mankind was made out of moulded clay.
In Zimbabwe this ‘mwana wevhu’ (son-of-the-soil) concept remains strong as our people are still black and thus still resemble the soil.
The same is not true for non-black Jews because they are not descendants of Israel, but European converts to Hellenic Judaism.
On the contrary, in Arabia, the concept of being children of the soil and Adam was embraced until long after the time of prophet Muhammad.
The Quran stresses the blackness of Adam, that of Abraham’s descendants in numerous verses.
Abraham was the same race with Adam, so where his descendants the Ishmaelites and Israelites.
The only descendant of Abraham who came out with a phenotype other than that of his ancestors and kinsmen was Esau who was appropriately named red (edom) and hairy (esau).
He went further to racially estrange his descendants from their ancestral phenotype by marrying multiple foreign wives; a thing strictly forbidden by Abraham.
On the other hand, the descendants who kept Abraham’s laws and covenants (the Israelites and Ishmaelites) intermarried among themselves or married Egyptian or Ethiopian women.
Abraham himself conceived Isaac with Sarah his half-sister (different mother) and Ishmael with Hagar, her Egyptian maid.
Isaac conceived Esau and Jacob with Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel, son of Abraham’s brother Nahor. And Jacob married Rachel and Leah, daughters of Laban, Rebekah’s brother.
Ishmael was also given an Egyptian wife and all these efforts were aimed at conserving the race of Adam and Abraham.
This strict tribal intermarriage policy was inherited by African Hebrew groups like the Remba, who were only allowed, and are still encouraged, to marry other Africans besides members of their own tribe.
According to the scriptures, Moses, Paul, Zipporah, Jethro and so on were Shemites and descendants of Abraham but were mistaken for Hamites (Egyptians and/or Ethiopians).
Abraham, Joseph, all Israel and Yahshua (Jesus), among others, would escape to, and hide in, Egypt from famine and hostility from northern groups like Canaanites, Greeks and Romans in a bid to blend in.
This shows that the Israelites were indistinguishable from the Africans by mere visual inspection.
This is similar to how the Remba look no different from the rest of the Zimbabweans though their history, culture and genetics betray them as Shemitic.
Now back to the linguistic connections.
Notable Hebrew words with unquestionable similarities to chiShona include ‘ima’ which means mother and is similar to ‘amai’. ‘Aba’ which means father and is similar to ‘baba’.
And ‘bani’ which is plural for children and is similar to ‘vana’. The Hebrew word for thank is ‘todah’ which is similar to the Shona word ‘tenda’.
Words like ‘barack’ meaning ‘bless’ and ‘salem/salam’ meaning ‘peace’ in Hebrew are used in Remba poetry in Shona sounding forms like ‘baraka’ and ‘saramu’ respectively.
At this juncture, the name Zhou, which is used as a last name by the Remba, predates other names and titles such as vaMwenye (foreigners) , vaShavi (Sabaean traders), valungu (lords), vaSoni (masons) and so on. However, it does not have its origins in chiShona as is often assumed.
The Remba had no totem culture when they entered Africa.
The totem culture was. and continues to be exclusively a Zimbabwean trait that is not as evident in neighbouring countries like Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa and Botswana. But because the name Zhou is similar to that of the Nzou (Samanyanga) lineage in the chiKaranga dialect, which uses the elephant totem, many wrongly assume that the two are the same.
Rather, the name Zhou is derived from the Hebrew word ‘Yah-hodah’ (judah) which literally means God’s praise.
In short, the Hebrew people called the tribe of ‘Yah hodah’ (Judah) Yhw which is pronounced as ‘Jehu’. The word Jew has the exact same origins and thus the similarity in pronunciation between Zhou and Jew.
The Remba also brought with them Shemitic names like Saddiq (Sadiki), Solomon (Seremani), Hamish (Hamisi), Hajj (Hadji) and so on.
Festivals like ‘Pesa’, derived from ‘Pesach’ the Hebrew name for Passover, are still observed particularly by some Lemba people in South Africa.
In Malawi, there is a ceremony similar to ‘mapira’ which they call ‘sadaka’. The word ‘sadaka’ is from ‘sadiq’ which is Hebrew for righteous.
There are also Hebrew words which function much in the same way as those in chiShona. ‘Wa (va)’, ‘ha’, and ‘la’ (previously ‘ra’) mean ‘the’ and ‘to’ respectively.
When used in biblical Hebrew, the language sounds more Bantu.
There is also the ‘a/e’ which was used in ancient Hebrew before a noun to stress a title.
For example, the ‘e’ in ‘Eben la Hakim’ turns the phrase ‘son of the wise’ into a name.
In Arabic the letter ‘I’ plays a similar role and in this case would read ‘Ibn la Hakim’.
It is also used in the word ‘Adonai’ meaning my lord, with the ‘a’ adding affection and respect.
In chiShona ‘a/va’ play a similar role when used before a noun.
The word ‘mupurisa’ is a title for policeman and would be used in second person referencing.
When ‘a’ or ‘va’ is added before the title, as in ‘vamupirsa’, respect is added to it and it changes from a mere title to a sort of name which can be used in first person referencing.


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