Bhaibheri Idzva ReChishona Launch
Amid the continuing bad news emerging from Zimbabwe, Bible Society of Zimbabwe is able to share some positive news about its work; in late February 2009, the New Shona Common Language Bible – Bhaibheri Idzva Rechishona was launched. Shona is one of the country`s three official languages and the mother tongue of the majority of the population.
‘The whole nation witnessed the event because it was shown on the main evening television news,’ says General Secretary Ikabodi Chinyati, who was interviewed on national television. ‘The launch and the publicity surrounding it have created a surge in demand for the Shona Bible, and many people are coming to Bible House to ask for a copy. We really need to increase our stock. We printed nearly 11,000 copies and will probably need about 30 000 more to meet the demand.
‘The event was well attended, despite the fact that it coincided with an executive meeting of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, representatives from the Roman Catholic, Methodist, Apostolic, Dutch Reformed, Anglican, International Bible Society, Scripture Union, the Catholics Bishop’s Conference to mention but a few. The guest speaker was the Southern African Director of Scripture Union, Mr Kudakwashe Gumende.’ The new translation comes exactly 30years after the publication of Bhaibheri Rinoera – the Bible in Shona produced with and without the deuteronical books to cater for both Protestants & Roman Catholics. ‘Although this earlier translation is very popular, it contains terms that are not used in the Christian faith but are related to the traditional religion,’ explains Mr Chinyati. ‘Svikiro’ for instance, means spirit medium,’ but it is used in this Bible as the ‘mudzimu unoera,’ or holy ancestral spirit, is being used for Holy Spirit and there are many more examples like this.
‘It also contains typographical errors, which distort the meaning of some of the text. The new translation uses more up to date language and it has larger text, so it is more easily readable.’