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Nozibele le Meriri e Meraro Nozibele and the three hairs

Written by Tessa Welch

Illustrated by Wiehan de Jager

Translated by Lorato Trok

Language Tswana

Level Level 3

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Bogologolo tala basetsana ba bararo ba ne ba ya go rwalela dikgong.

A long time ago, three girls went out to collect wood.


Letsatsi le ne le fisa thata mme ba ya nokeng go ya go thuma. Ba ile ba tshameka monate, ba gasana ka metsi ba itumetse.

It was a hot day so they went down to the river to swim. They played and splashed and swam in the water.


Fa ba tswa mo metsing, ba lemoga gore letsatsi le setse le phirimile. Ba itlhaganela go boela kwa motseng.

Suddenly, they realised that it was late. They hurried back to the village.


Fa ba le gaufi le gae Nozibele a itshwara molala. A lemoga gore o lebetse sebaga sa gagwe kwa nokeng. “A re boeleng morago ke a lo kopa” Nozibele a kopa ditsala tsa gagwe. Fela bona ba gana ba re ke bosigo.

When they were nearly home, Nozibele put her hand to her neck. She had forgotten her necklace! “Please come back with me!” she begged her friends. But her friends said it was too late.


Nozibele a boela morago a le esi.O ne a fitlhela sebaga sa gagwe mme a boela gae. Ka go ne go setse go fifetse, o ne a timelelwa ke tsela ya go ya gae.

So Nozibele went back to the river alone. She found her necklace and hurried home. But she got lost in the dark.


Erile a sa le kgakajana, o ne a bona go tuka lebone mo ntlong nngwe. O ne a itlhaganelela kwa teng,mme a feta a kokota.

In the distance she saw light coming from a hut. She hurried towards it and knocked at the door.


O ile a makala fa mojako wa ntlo o bulwa ke ntšwa. “O batla eng fa?” Ga botsa ntšwa. “Ke timetse, mme ke batla lefelo la go robala” “Tsena, eseng jalo ke tla go loma!”, ga rialo ntšwa.

To her surprise, a dog opened the door and said, “What do you want?” “I’m lost and I need a place to sleep,” said Nozibele. “Come in, or I’ll bite you!” said the dog. So Nozibele went in.


“Nkapeele dijo!” ga rialo ntšwa. “Fela ga ke isi ke apeele ntšwa dijo,” ga araba Nozibele. “Apaya, eseng jalo ke tla go loma!”, ga rialo ntšwa. Nozibele a apeela ntšwa dijo.

Then the dog said, “Cook for me!” “But I’ve never cooked for a dog before,” she answered. “Cook, or I’ll bite you!” said the dog. So Nozibele cooked some food for the dog.


Mme ntšwa ya re, “mpaakanyetse bolao!” “Ga ke isi ke baakanyetse ntšwa bolao!”, ga araba Nozibele. “Mpaakanyetse bolao eseng jalo ke tla go loma!” ga rialo ntšwa. Nozibele a baakanyetsa ntšwa bolao.

Then the dog said, “Make the bed for me!” Nozibele answered, “I’ve never made a bed for a dog.” “Make the bed, or I’ll bite you!” the dog said. So Nozibele made the bed.


Nozibele o ne a tshwanetswe ke go apaya ,go feela le go tlhatswetsa ntšwa ka gale. Ka letsatsi lengwe ntšwa ya re “Nozibele gompieno ke tshwanetse go etela ditsala tsa me. Pele ga ke boa o be o feetse ntlo, o apeile dijo ebile o tlhatswitse dilo tsa me.”

Every day she had to cook and sweep and wash for the dog. Then one day the dog said, “Nozibele, today I have to visit some friends. Sweep the house, cook the food and wash my things before I come back.”


Erile fa ntšwa e fetsa go tsamaya, Nozibele a ntsha meriri e meraro mo tlhogong ya gagwe. O ile a baya moriri wa ntlha ka fa tlase ga bolao. Wa bobedi ka mo morago ga setswalo. Mme wa boraro a o baya kwa lesakeng. Morago ga foo a sia ka lebelo le legolo a boela kwa gaabo.

As soon as the dog had gone, Nozibele took three hairs from her head. She put one hair under the bed, one behind the door, and one in the kraal. Then she ran home as fast as she could.


Erile fa ntšwa e fitlha ya batlana le Nozibele. “Nozibele o ko kae?” ga goa ntšwa “Ke ka fa tlase ga bolao” ga araba moriri wa ntlha “Nozibele o fa kae?” ga goa ntšwa “Ke fano mo morago ga mojako” ga araba moriri wa bobedi “Nozibele o ko kae?” ntšwa ya goa gape “Ke ka fa lesakeng”, ga araba moriri wa boraro

When the dog came back, he looked for Nozibele. “Nozibele, where are you?” he shouted. “I’m here, under the bed,” said the first hair. “I’m here, behind the door,” said the second hair. “I’m here, in the kraal,” said the third hair.


Ntšwa ya lemoga gore Nozibele o e tsieditse. Ya tloga, ya tabogela kwa motsaneng go ya go batla Nozibele. Erile fa e fitlha kwa motseng ya fitlhela bomorwarraagwe Nozibele ba e letile ka dithupa tse dikgolo. E ne ya tshaba mme ya se ka ya tlhola e bonwa gape

Then the dog knew that Nozibele had tricked him. So he ran and ran all the way to the village. But Nozibele’s brothers were waiting there with big sticks. The dog turned and ran away and has never been seen since.


Written by: Tessa Welch
Illustrated by: Wiehan de Jager
Translated by: Lorato Trok
Language: Tswana
Level: Level 3
Source: Nozibele and the three hairs from African Storybook
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 International License.
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