Hehe love poem
Mwigigi gwangu gulimkilole
Utunzi wangu lunofu
Wangufye ukimbile uyaga
→ French poem ←
Love poem translated into Hehe (Kihehe, Ikihehe, Ekiehe, Ehe), a Bantu, Niger Congo language of Tanzania, close to bena language.
I have never meet a girl of this ethnic group, but i dream about her in nice coloured clothes. In my dream she dance around the campfire, in the sound of the drums. "Kukwenda" pretty Hehe!
The Bantu language, hehe, is an agglutinating language spoken in southern Tanzania, in the Mufindi districts of the Iringa highlands region, and near Dodoma. This language count perhaps 900,000 speakers.
If in general the language is rather called kihehe, the word unmistakably designates the ethnic group.
The kihehe can be subdivided into five dialects: the kihehe (the main and the standard) spoken in Kalenga, the dzungwa (district of Kilolo in the Udzungwa mountains), and the other three spoken further east of the Udzungwa mountains, and which are, the yenge, the kami and the hafiwa.
The linguistic area of Hehe is surrounded by many other languages which all will influence it, even if we consider that the language which influences Kihehe the most, is Kiswahili, because this language is used for teaching.
It seems that around the 15th century a group of Bena split into two to give two other groups, the Sangus and the Hehes.
The name Hehe (Muhehe, Vahehe, Wahehe) comes from their battle cry "he", which got them called so by neighboring tribes, and Europeans when they were fighting the Germans.
The Hehes were steppes hunters who today cultivate cassava and millet. Their social organization depended a lot of an unilinear filiation system with a masculine tendency, which made the woman a person relatively foreign to the group.
During a long time, they contracted, with the neighboring ethnic groups non-aggression alliances that were based on the beer pact ritual.