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Mbongolo Donkey Child Umwana wakwa Punda

Written by Lindiwe Matshikiza

Illustrated by Meghan Judge

Translated by Chester Mwanza

Language ChiTonga

Level Level 3

Narrate full story The audio for this story is currently not available.


Kasimbi kashonto nkikakabona cintu cakali kugambya.

It was a little girl who first saw the mysterious shape in the distance.

Umukashana umunono ewabalilepo ukumona icinjelengwe akatalamukila.


Nibakaswena mufwafwi, bakabona kuti wakali mukaintu ulaada.

As the shape moved closer, she saw that it was a heavily pregnant woman.

Ilyo icinjelengwe cafikile mupepi, amwene ukuti ni namayo uwali sana pabukulu.


Aka kana kasimbi, cakutayowa kakaswena munsi amukaintu. “Twelede kubasunga,” elyo bantu bonse bakazumina. “Tulabasunga amwana wabo.”

Shy but brave, the little girl moved nearer to the woman. “We must keep her with us,” the little girl’s people decided. “We’ll keep her and her child safe.”

Nensoni shakwe, umukashana umunono alikosela na ukupalama mupepi na namayo. “Tufwile twamusunga pamo naifwe, “umukashana umunono uwatemenwe ukwikala na bantu ali ipeleshe. “Tulemusunga bwino na umwana wakwe.”


Imwana wakali munzila kuti atumbuke. “Tonka!” “Kamuleta ngubo” “Amulete menda.” “Tooonkaaaaa!”

The child was soon on its way. “Push!” “Bring blankets!” “Water!” “Puuuuussssshhh!!!”

Panonofye umwana ali munshila. “Sunka!” “Leta amalangeti!” “Amenshi!” “Suunkaa!!!”


Nibakabona kana, bonse bakagambwa. “Imbongolo?”

But when they saw the baby, everyone jumped back in shock. “A donkey?!”

Nomba ilyo bamwene umwana, bonse balitolokela kunuma mu kusunguka. “Punda?”


Bonse bakatalika kukazyanya. “Twakamba kuti tulabasunga amwana, aboobo mbotuti tucite.” Bamwi bakati, “Kuti tubasunge, balatuletela malweza.”

Everyone began to argue. “We said we would keep mother and child safe, and that’s what we’ll do,” said some. “But they will bring us bad luck!” said others.

Bonse batampile ukusushanya. “twacitila tulesunga umwana naba nyina mutende, efyo twalacita, “efyo bamobamo basosele. “Nomba bakatuletela ishamo!” efyo bambi basosele.


Imukaintu wakalijana alike alimwi. Wakakatazyigwa azyakucita amwana oyu waandene. Wakabula cakulicita mukamwini.

And so the woman found herself alone again. She wondered what to do with this awkward child. She wondered what to do with herself.

Efyo nomba namayo aisangile eka nakabili. Taishibe ifyakucita na icinjelengwe ca mwana. Taishibe ifyakucita umwine.


Limwi wakazumina mwana wakwe alimwi kuti wakali nyina wa Mbongolo.

But finally she had to accept that he was her child and she was his mother.

Panuma alisuminafye ukuti ali mwana wakwe elyo nao ali ninyina.


Niyatakali kukomena Imbongolo, nicakali kabotu. Pesi Mbongolo eyi yakakomena limwi yakatalika kushupa kubbala kumusana. Mbongolo yakasola pesi tiyakacikonzya kupona mbuli muntu. Banyina bakali kulema kapati. Cindi conse bakali kunyemede. Zyimwi zyindi bakali kumupa ncito yabanyama.

Now, if the child had stayed that same, small size, everything might have been different. But the donkey child grew and grew until he could no longer fit on his mother’s back. And no matter how hard he tried, he could not behave like a human being. His mother was often tired and frustrated. Sometimes she made him do work meant for animals.

Nomba, ngacakuti umwana talekula, alifye umunono, fyonse nga fyalipusana. Lelo umwana wa punda alikulile sana icakuti aleka ukukumana mu numa yaba nyina. Elyo nangu eshe shani, ificitwa fyakwe tafyali fya buntu. Inshita yonse ba nyina balifye abanaka na icifukushi. Limo limo balemupela incito sha nama.


Mbongolo yakanyongano. Yakanyema kapati akambo kakuti tiyakangulukide. Bumwi buzuba, lunyemo lwakaindilila, wakababbakela banyina mane bawa ansi.

Confusion and anger built up inside Donkey. He couldn’t do this and he couldn’t do that. He couldn’t be like this and he couldn’t be like that. He became so angry that, one day, he kicked his mother to the ground.

Punda alifye awa lubana elyo atampile ukumfwa na icifukushi. Teti acite icili conse. Teti abe ifili fyonse. Ali fulilwe sana icakuti, ubushiku bumo, alipantile ba nyina bapona na panshi.


Mbongolo yakanvwa nsoni. Yakatalika kubalika calubilo.

Donkey was filled with shame. He started to run away as far and fast as he could.

Punda alyumfwile insoni. Atampile ukubutuka ukuya ukutali sana.


Niyaleka kubalika Mbongolo, akali masiku. Mpona yakalivwunga akoona.

By the time he stopped running, it was night, and Donkey was lost. “Hee haw?” he whispered to the darkness. “Hee Haw?” it echoed back. He was alone. Curling himself into a tight ball, he fell into a deep and troubled sleep.

Ilyo Punda alekele ukubutuka, palifita, aluba na ukuluba. “Hee haw?” atotosha munfifi panono panono. “Hee Haw?” Iciunda caumfwika. Ali eka. Aipeteka sana, apona namutulo utwine twine utwamalangulushi.


Niyakabuka Mbongolo, yakajana mwaalumi ulinvwu munsi lwakwe. Wakamulanga mumeso akwe, wakabona bumi bubotu.

Donkey woke up to find a strange old man staring down at him. He looked into the old man’s eyes and started to feel a twinkle of hope.

Punda ukubuka asanga shikulu bantu uwo taishibe alemulolesha. Alolesha mu menso yakwa shikulu bantu atendeka ukumfwa icicetekelo.


Mbongolo yakaunka mukukala amwaalumi ooyo. Mwaalumi wakisya Mbongolo bwakupona. Mbongolo yakanvwa akwiya. Bakali kugwasyanya akuseka antomwe.

Donkey went to stay with the old man, who taught him many different ways to survive. Donkey listened and learned, and so did the old man. They helped each other, and they laughed together.

Punda aile mu kwikala na shikulu bantu, uwa mufundile inshila sha kwikalilamo ishingi. Punda alyumfwile na ukusambilila, cimo cine na shikulu bantu. Baleyafwana na ukusekela pamo.


Bumwi buzuba, mwaalumi wakalomba Mbongolo kuti imubbale akumutola kumulundu.

One morning, the old man asked Donkey to carry him to the top of a mountain.

Ubushiku bumo, shikulu bantu aipwishe punda ukumusenda pamulu wa lupili.


Nibakasika atala akati kamakumbi, bonse bakoona. Mbongolo yakalota kuti banyina baciswa kumane bayanda lugwasho. Nakabuuka…

High up amongst the clouds they fell asleep. Donkey dreamed that his mother was sick and calling to him. And when he woke up…

Pamulu mu makumbi basendama. Punda alotele banyina abalwele balemwita. Ilyo abukile…


…makumbi akayabaila antomwe amwenzinyina.

… the clouds had disappeared along with his friend, the old man.

…amakumbi yaliya pamo na umunankwe, shikulu bantu.


Mbongolo yakazyiba cakucita.

Donkey finally knew what to do.

Panuma punda alishibe ifyakucita.


Mbongolo yakajana banyina kabali balike kabalilila mwana wakasoweka. Bakalangana kaciindi kalanfwu. Nibakamana, bakakumbatilana cagunzu.

Donkey found his mother, alone and mourning her lost child. They stared at each other for a long time. And then hugged each other very hard.

Punda alisangile ba nyina, beka balelosha umwana uwalubile. Baliloleshanya akashita akatali. Elyo bakumbatana sana.


Mbongolo abanyina bakazyiba bwakukala antomwe. Ashonto shonto bantu bakatalika kuyaka mang’anda munsi lyabo.

The donkey child and his mother have grown together and found many ways of living side by side. Slowly, all around them, other families have started to settle.

Umwana wa donkey na banyina bali kulila pamo elyo balisanga inshila ishingi ishakwikala pamo. Panono panono, bonse ababashinguluka, balupwa bambi balitampa ukwikala bwino.


Written by: Lindiwe Matshikiza
Illustrated by: Meghan Judge
Translated by: Chester Mwanza
Language: ChiTonga
Level: Level 3
Source: Donkey Child from African Storybook
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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