Expressing your Feelings in isiNdebele

Salibonani bangane (hello friends). If you are new, please start at the first post at the bottom and work your way up to this, the newest post.

Lamhla, let us look at a summary of the feelings in isiNdebele. Once you know these words, you can express how you feel better. That is your emotions, not just "to feel with your fingers" which for interest's sake uses the verb "ukuphuthaza". For more about writing sentences, we have over 42 lessons up on the Lessons tab for you to learn isiNdebele formally:


Remember that "uku-" in front of a verb just means "to".

To cry - ukukhala (or ukulila),

Win - -nqoba, -phumelela, -ahlula,

Gentle - -chuma, 

Happy - -thokoza, -thaba,

Rejoice - -jabula,

Sad - -dana, 

Frown - -hwaqa, (-jamela is to frown angrily at someone/something),

Fear/fearful - -esaba (-tshaywa luvalo)/ -esabeka,

Disgust - -cunuka, -cunula, -nenga,

Anger - -hlukuluza, -caphula, -zondisa, -thukuthelisa. If you have a bad temper (Wena ulaka),

Surprised - -mangala,

Silly/ foolish - -phukuzela, -ganga, ubuthutha,

Embarrassed - -phoxa,

Confused - -dideka, -phithizeka, phambanisa, 

Different - -ahluka,

Excited - -duda, -phaphatheka, -vusa, -phakazela,

Sympathise - -khalela, -zwela, -lilela,

Shy - umuntu olenhloni,

Calm - -thula, -thulisa, ukuthula,

Disappointed - -dumala,  -dumaza, -dana, -danisa,

Frustrated - -jiyeza, -jiyeka,

Sick - -gula,

Sneeze - -thimula (it is like a feeling),

Dirty - -ngcolisa,

Contempt - ukudelela.

Which others do you know? Leave a comment with other feeling words that you think of.

Here are example sentences:

uchumile - she is gentle.

siyathabile/ siyathaba - we are happy.

udanile - she is sad.

sahlukene lalabobantu - we are different from those people.

izinto lezi zahlukile - these things are different.

To those who would like to write something for us to post, please email your writing to We are working on a simple Northern Ndebele booklet which we can email to those interested when it is done. For those who would like to ask questions, or help others with questions they ask, please look under the community tab for any comments:

We appreciate the engagement, abazawami, as we would like it to be easy and fun to learn isiNdebele. If you would like to work with us, please email

Sahle kuhle.

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