Chipinge chiefdoms explored

Chipinge district is the southern-most district in Manicaland province. It is bounded on the north by Chimanimani district, Masvingo on the west and Mozambique on the eastern side. The Save river form the western boundary of the district, and drains the western and southern portions of the district. The north-eastern part is drained by the Buzi river.

Ndau is the main language in district. Ndau word is said to be a derivation from the people’s traditional salutation “Ndau wee!” in greetings and other social gatherings. When the Ngonis observed this, they called them the Ndau people – the name itself meaning the land. The ancient Ndau people are historically related to the Karanga tribe, and were already in Mozambique and parts of Zimbabwe by the 1500s, and because of the large scale conquest by the Ngunis in the 1820s a lot of Ndau ancestry evolved to include the Nguni ancestry and bloodline. This is evident in the wealth of Nguni /Zulu words in the names and surnames.

Some of the Chipinge chiefs are; Mutema, Musikavanhu, Garahwa, Mpungu and Mapungwana

CHIEF MUTEMA

Vatsanga tribe of the Ndau dialect and Ngombe totem. The chief is normally referred to as Mutapi or Mambo by his subjects. Succession is collateral-based . The tribe comes from the Rozvi under Shiriyedenga. Some movements included the Shangana under Gungunyana, though most have departed there are still some remaining. Some of the sub-divisions by headmen in the chiefdom include Mabuyaye, Chikwanda, Chivunze and Nduku.  Mutema is closely related to Makuyana who now controls a portion of his people. During drought they approach Chief Musikavanhu for rain.

Below is the succession tree for the chiefdom:

https://www.zimtribes.com/search/links/surname/mutema/member/

Kraals under the kingdom include:

Mabuyaye – The area is called Chisanga. They are Matsanga tribe with Chindau as their widely used language, with Moyo as their totem Sithole chidau.

Kraals include; Bamarere, Charuma, Chigaro, Chengono, Goko, Hanugurwi, Mabuyaye, Mafahuni, Mandiyambira, Manesa, Mutsanangura, Maunganidze, Mukutyo, Mindu, Mudzimwa, Muzare, Mukokota, Mukuyaya, Mundidini, Munyokovare, Mupfambi, Mushakavanhu, Nechekukuti, Nemashapa, Nedangura, Panganayi, Rukandi, Tawona and Hwapera.

Nduku – The area is called Ngaone. They are vaNdau by tribe , with Simango as their totem with Dede(Dhlakama) chidau. Maoneyi came from Zimunye and worked for Munodani (Chief Mutema) as a police boy for many years, and was then awarded with headmanship. He came with his family, including his father Musiandaka.

Some of the kraals under Nduku include; Bingepinga, Chaweta, Chichichi, Fitsaro, Hlangani, Makwehe, Marwendo, Matandana, Murepa, Museye, Mutema, Mutendadzamara, Nduku, Nedanhe, Nengwani, Ngwaudzo, Rukasha, Samutsa,

Chikwanda– The area is called Charurwa. They are Matsanga by tribe with Chindau as their widely used language, and Moyo as their totem with Sithole as chidau. Dengure was given headmanship of Muzvare but died without children. His brother Mukanangana was killed in the war with Shangaana. Both died before Machiso. Their father Mamunye was a younger brother of the then chief Mutema.

The main kraals include; Chikwanda, Gapa, Kufakwezve, Madzapanda, Mahlangana, Makazowoneyi, Makocheredze, Mariausiku, Matenderekwana, Matsaka, Mawunze, Muvecha and Mandifura.

Chivunze – The area is called Chivunze. They are of the Matsanga tribe with Chindau as their widely used language, and Ngombe as their totem with Sithole chidau. Chiripandova is believed to be son of Matsikachando (chief). He had no brothers to succeed hence his eldest son did.

There are a couple of kraals which include include;  Chayenera, Chitende, Chivunze, Kunjenjema, Magodoro, Manyaya, Matoranheme, Matyabadza, Muturikwa, Siyakaya, Singizi and Ziyapenduka.

Chamwakaona Community.

The area is called Ngaone under headman Nduku. They are Matsanga by tribe with Chindau as their widely spoken  language and  Moyo  as their totem with Sithole/Ngombe/Semwayo  as chidau.

——————————————————————————————————- CHIEF MUSIKAVANHU

Area is called Dondo and they are vaDondo by tribe, with Chindau as their main language. Their totem is mvuu, with Mlambo as their chidau.

Nyakuvima was the rainmaker to the Rozvi mambos. He deserted with the charm (muti) and was waylaid at Chibuwe hill and killed by a Rozvi army (impi) who cut off his head and took it back to the mambo. His wife escaped and went to Duido (present area). The head never reached mambo as it swelled and finally burst, giving birth to the Sabi river. Nyakuvima’s wife gave birth to a son who became the first Musikavanhu and to who she handed over the rain making properties.

Movements in the area include; Shangana Nguni impi, e.g Mpungu and Gungunyana (Mapungwana). Those who moved out include some who went to Bikita/Zaka where life was not so grim during the Nguni overlordship.

Below is the succession Family Tree for the chieftainship:

https://www.zimtribes.com/search/links/surname/musikavanhu/member/

Some of the kraals under Musikavanhu include:

Musikavanhu– Njachiwe, Chapo, Chabvukwa, Gona, Magaha, Makudza, Manyezu, Muchakagadza, Munyamana, Mupambi, Murenje, Musikavanhu, Peyisayi, Takara, Tamawako, Tuzuka and Tauya.

Headman Zamchiya – The area is called Chihomo. They are Mudondo by tribe, with Ndau as their main language. Their totem is mvuu, with Mlambo as their chidau. This headman derives from a junior house (younger brother) of the 5th Musikavanhu. For this reason the Zamchiya people seem to feel they have a right to recognition as a separate chieftainship.  Kraals include; Chimambo, Fukayi, Hakwata, Kungayi, Maduku, Mahachi, Mamuse, Madenga 1, Madenga 11, Manzwire, Mapundu, Mariya, Mavaringana, Mubuyaye, Mufukwa, Mhlanga, Mutumwa, Muumbe, Mwanyisa 1, Rimayi, Tutayi, Zikuyumo and Zamchiya.

Headman Dumisayi – Names of the areas include; Madzutsu, Chibuwe and Gumira. They are Mudondo by tribe, with Ndau as their main language. Their totem is mvuu, with Mlambo as their chidau.  

Kraals include; Betura, Chibuwe, Dambamuromo, Dumisayi, Gumira, Machiya, Mapondo Mukomba, Maronga, Masimbe, Mayanga, Mbengo, Mbeure, Muchaiana, Musapingura, Muzondakaya, Mwandina, Mwanyisa 11, Ndapingwa, Ndunduma, Nyakumanwa and Tapera.

Headman Mukwakwami –   Area called Sone. They are Ndau by tribe, with Dziva as their totem and Mlambo chidau. .Kraals include;  Bangura, Chiyaza, Chimene 1, Chimene 11, Chanava, Jenya, Kanikani, Kondo, Kanondeya, Machapuya, Maguta, Mandibayi, Mayengeni, Mhute, Mukondo, Mukwakwami, Muswera, Muyambo, Mwatsura, Mwazowoneyi, Ngwarayi, Sakuiye, Shashekwa, Siyawakisa, Tembani, Tinoyengana, Tanhechawa and Zireni.

——————————————————————————————————- CHIEF GARAHWA

Area called Garahwa or Ndowoyo. They are vaRozvi (vaSanga)  by tribe, with Ndau as their main language. Their totem is Moyo, with chidau Kumbuya or Ngombe.  This tribe is an offshoot of vaRozvi, with the first Garahwa being thought of as the eldest son of Mutema. They migrated from Mbire (Hwedza area) which at the time seems to have been the centre of the Rozvi empire. They took up occupation of their present country on finding it vacant and to their liking. Some movements into the area include those from Chisumbanje , Mutambara in Melsetter. Kraalheads seem to have more action in allocating land.

Some of the kraals include; Bebe, Chadamoyo, Chinguwo, Chinyamukwakwa, Chisumbanje, Chiwenguwengu, Foridye, Garahwa, Gavire, Konjana, Kufamuni, Mabehe, Malashi, Machona, Mambarangwa, Mandeje, Manyanga, Maparadye, Mapokonyore, Machobe (Mashubi), Marega, Musunde, Matikwa, Mavune, Muhlambi, Munaka, Musawonyerwa, Mutoki, Mutumbami, Mutumburi, Muuyana, Sozayapi, Tandikayi, Mutechana, Zimvumi and Chigodo.

Chisumbanje Community

They are subjects  of chief Garahwa. They are Ndau by tribe with Naonyama as their totem and Sigauke as chidau. The clan migrated from Mutambara’s country during the time of Kureregava. They settled in their present area with Garahwa’s permission and Chisumbanje  married Chikau, a daughter of Garahwa. He eventually left but “gave his name” to Masunde, who then succeeded his father. Chisumbanje therefore regards the chief as their sekuru.

Maparadye Community

They fall under chief Garahwa. They are Ndau by tribe with Mashava as their totem and Garavati as chidau. The clan’s origin not readily available but it’s said the first Maparadye married Garahwa’s daughter and so established a relationship which stand till this day.

Chinyamukwakwa Community

They are under Mbasasani area, in chief Garahwa. They are vaNdau by tribe, totem being Kumbula, with Sithole as chidau. Said to have lost his position when Garahwa registered himself as Chief at Chipinga, as Chinyamukwakwa was old to travel. ——————————————————————————————————- CHIEF MPUNGU

They are Shangana by tribe and language with Khumalo Ndabayazita as their totem. Their forefathers came with a Nguni army. When Gungunyana was killed, Mpungu decided to settle in the present area. They fall under Ndowoyo Tribal trust lands. Some of the villages include; Kaitenjwa, Machopa, Magoda, Marufu, Mpungu, Mugunyana, Murijo, Saringo and Tebe among others. ——————————————————————————————————–CHIEF MAHENYE

They are under Ndowoyo Tribal Trust land, and their area is Mahenye. They are Hlengwe by tribe and language. Their totem is Hombo or Honje (snail) with chidau as Wuyachisa muulo. The tribe migrated from the south during the time of Banga. They say they come from kwaZulu. In order to settle in the present area, they had to drive away Makoni and his people, who on being defeated migrated to a place called Mukupi. Makokwe was chief Mahenye at the time of the occupation.

Some of the kraals include; Chigumeta, Chimbi, Chingela, Hlamarani, Matukuteya, Mahenye, Mahohoma, Mwanamuni,Ndhlondhlo, Puzi and Ukete.

——————————————————————————————————–CHIEF GWENZI

They are Ndau by tribe and language, with Ngombe (moyo) as their totem and Sithole as chidau. They are said to have come from Mbire (no known reason) and are an offshoot of the Rozvi. They regard chief Mutema as the paramount Chief.

Below is the succession Family Tree for Gwenzi kingdom:

https://www.zimtribes.com/search/links/surname/gwenzi/member/

Some of the villages include; Gwenzi, Hlekisana, Munamba, Munasi, Sita, Siyonamezi, Zibuke, Chikangayiso, Madhlope, Mariseta, Marufu, Masocha, Mugondi and Muzite. ——————————————————————————————————–CHIEF MAPUNGWANA

Falls under Tamandayi Tribal Trust Land and their area commonly known as Mapungwana. They are Ndau by tribe and language, with Dube as their totemand Mhlanga their chiNdau. The tribe was living in the present area before Europeans came.

Below is the succession Family Tree for Mapungwana chieftainship:

https://www.zimtribes.com/search/links/surname/mapungwana/member/

Some of the kraals include; Chijiya, Hlayiso, Hlinzana, Kwenenhu, Mabeure, Machowiro, Makumba, Mapungwana, Mapuba, Marifiye, Mashevedze, Matanga, Muchayendepi, Mufoya, Mukabaniso, Muradzikwa, Musimbo, Ngocheni, Pikana, Kobeka, Sakabuya, Siyapeya, Younga and Zibinda.

Misheck Samanyanga is a freelance and passionate history researcher and founder of Zimtribes.com, an online platform that encourages people to document their history and build generational Family Trees to help current and future generations so that they know who they are and where they come from. He can be reached on info@zimtribes.com

Source: National Archives of Zimbabwe et al

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2 Replies to “Chipinge chiefdoms explored”

  1. The author has no choice of words or he does not know the difference. Madzviti are not Tsonga people, but a Nguni tribe of Soshangane dynasty.
    These are scattered in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South African.
    The Tsonga people originated from Central and East Africa somewhere between AD 200 and 500, and have been migrating in-and-out of South Africa for over a thousand (1,000) years.

    Mozambique: 4,100,000

    South Africa: 3,300,000 (2019 population estimate, StatsSA)

    Zimbabwe: 5,000

    The Tsonga people include Madu called Mandzawu, xhosa, swati and Zulus subdued by Soshangane after he was send by Tshaka to takeover. On getting there he admired the beauty of the land and the humility of the people instead ruled over them and trained them Tshaka style of fighting. Some of his people are Mzila and Mawewe who children to Soshangane

    No the Ndau. Ndau (also called chiNdau, Chindau, Ndzawu, Njao, Sofala, Southeast Shona, Chidanda) is a Bantu language spoken by 1,400,000 people in central Mozambique and southeastern Zimbabwe. The major varieties in Mozambique are called Shanga and Danda; that in Zimbabwe is simply called Ndau or Ndaundau. Ndau is part of a continuum with other neighboring varieties of the Shona group (e.g. Manyika, Karanga) and has often been included as a Shona dialect. The 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe accorded Ndau status as an official language.

    1. Thank you for your contribution. Our history was passed on orally and there are bound to be discripancies, inacuracies and myths depending on the researcher’s sources.

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