Zenda Simbirori is a Zimbabwean totem/mutupo/isibongo. The totem has a very long history among the indigenous societies which include the Shona, the Ndebele, Tonga, Venda, Kalanga, among others. Every totem has a branch which distinguishes it from the others. In Shona, these small branches are referred to as chidawo in Shona. In this particular instance, Simbirori is the chidawo for the totem.

Zenda Simbirori, which belongs to the main Zenda cluster has a close relationship with the animal monkey and its taboos include refraining from certain foods. It has for long been used as a form of identity; identifying people of a particular totem with a unique social, economic, or historical background and past. It was thus a common unifying factor which bound together individuals, families and clans.

Totems in Zimbabwe are not a thing of the past despite the changes that have come with time. Many people are still identified by their respective totems. Like other totems in Zimbabwe, the Zenda Simbirori totem is used in addressing people, by and large the elders, and is associated with family dignity and respect. It has also been used in praise poetry, thanksgiving, even in times of mourning.

See Totems, Zimbabwe.

Shona Praise Poem

Maita Zenda,
Maita Simbirori,
Muchererakure. Zvaonekwa Kakomarara.
Maita mwana waBuru,
Maita basa Mamburuka.
Hororo yangu yiyi,
Vatsori venyika,
VaSupai, vanofamba nomudenga.
Kuziva zvenyu vokwaChipadze,
Varere Chipinduramhuka,
Gomo ravo,
Aiwa zvaitwa Zenda,


  1. , Zenda Simbirori,Harare Tees,retrieved:16 Mar 2015"