A language of Zimbabwe

Alternate Names
Chinambya, Nambzya, Nanzva

90,000 in Zimbabwe (Chebanne and Nthapelelang 2000). Population total all countries: 105,000.


Matabeleland North province: primarily Hwange district; Lupane and Binga districts; Bulawayo.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


None known. Slight pronunciation difference in Jambezi area. Reportedly most similar to Kalanga [kck].

Language Use

Also use Dombe [dov], English [eng], Ndebele [nde], Shona [sna], Tonga [toi]. Used as L2 by Dombe [dov].

Language Development
Literacy in Ndebele and English. Nambya is rarely written and not taught in school, so educated young people will often choose Ndebele [nde] as their mode of communication, unless speaking to other Nambya. NT: 1993.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Glossonym: Nanzva by the Ndebele. Ethnonym: Banyai. Christian.

Also spoken in:

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