Calling the community

I was visiting a village in Venda the other day and needed to talk to the community about when I would be collecting baobab fruit.  During the day people are scattered and busy with other chores so it’s difficult to get to speak to everybody at the same time. 

The headman’s wife was so excited about us coming she immediately jumped up and said that she would ‘ledza tshimbi’ which means to beat the gong.  The gong used here is a plough disc hanging from the tree.  It worked well after a few beats community members started gathering under the meeting tree (Nyala berry) to hear the news. I guess our modern equivalent of beating the gong to gather the community is the beeps, chirps and whistles of our mobiles as they remind us to look at our newsfeeds, facebook updates and tweets!

Nina Geraghty