The Gora, gwai/mukuruvambwa was the popular gwai dynasty. Devera is one of the Gwai dynasties though little known when compared to Gora. There were also links between Gora and a group that accompanied Nyamhunga, a dynasty that reached Zambezi-Sanyati confluence area, who were displaced in 1957 and relocated to Hurungwe (partly Kariba). However, the Nyamhunga people’s gwai chidawo is commonly referred to as Zambu. We do not know if this Zambu is associated with Zambu, one of Derere, chief of vaShawasha people, who led them from Mahungwi to Wedza, these were expert iron smiths who made knives, spears, axes etc, but Nyamhunga people are most likely an offshoot/descendents of the Gora dynasty. This makes the writer somehow think that Devera mentioned above may actually be Derere. However Derere’s totem was Soko and possibly the splinter group could have changed their totem to Gwai.
Both Devera and Gora had come from the territory between the Mubvinzi and Nyaguwe where a ruler named Kanyoka had a daughter who married the ancestor of the Chikwaka mbano/matemayi dynasty. Conflict between the mbano and gwai groups, with Rozvi involvement, led to the former dynasty coming to rule the disputed area, while Kanyoka’s grandson moved to Chivero’s country. There he was given land in the Matanha area, east of Nyundo tributary, and founded the Gora dynasty. This would have been before 1800.
Gora was a nickname given to one of their ancestors, Mavudzi, by the Varozvi. While entertaining the Rozvi he composed a lyric which likened himself unto a vulture (Gora) which does not settle until he spies a prey. The Rozvi understood his request and agreed to give him an area in which to settle. This area lay between Muvande and Nyundo rivers.
Mavudzi was the first to hold the name Gora , he was succeded by his son Muwunduri, who in turn was succeeded by his three brothers Chawasarira,Wanokorerwa and Marigumura. Next to succeed was Zinu the son of Rerezo, son of Wanokorerwa. Zinu was succeeded by his full brother Dzvairo. Next was Chirimuta, son of Benura, son of Masango – father not known. Next to succeed was Munako, son of Mafuridze, son of Munyongani, son of Masundasora, son of Marigumira. Next was Chigamba, son of Zinu , followed by Mhike also a son of Zinu.
The order of ruling were as follows: Mavudzi(Gora)–>>Muwunduri–>>Chawasarira–>>Marigumure–>>Zino–>>Dzvairo–>>Chirimuta–>>Munako–>>Chigamba–>>Mhike–>>Zinyama
Gora claimed to have granted Nherera settling rights in his area east of Nyundo. When tribal leaders were called to Salisbury, Nherera through some guile managed to procure the Chieftainship of the Matanha area. Since then Gora became subservient to Nherera. This resulted in constant bickering and misunderstandings between Gora and Nherera. Eventually Gora set up his own court in defiance of Nherera. It is claimed that Nherera usurped Gora’s rights when the latter fled in fear from the guns and foreworks at Edward V11’s coronation celebrations in Salisbury. Thus it was claimed that the Rozvi gave Gora land and he in turn allowed Nherera to settle.
The more prosaic truth is that in the late 1890s, the NC Hartley found several different groups in Matanha and put Nherera over them for convenience sake. In 1953, Gora was recognized a headman and it was decided to place him under Mashayamombe. This group is still agitating for an independent chieftainship, but the size of the tribe doesn’t warrant more than a headmanship. Some villages under Gora included; Zinyama, Chimbito, Dzapata, Fere, Gora, Kabanda, Kwaramba, Manyere, Mubaiwa, Mudzingwa, Musarurwa, Muzanenamo, Ngoroma, Tafira, Tsuro, Karanda, Katsambe and Tazvivinga.
Gora claimed all the land east of Nyundo, however, this seems rather extravagant, as both Mashayamombe and Nherera had large concentration of followers east of the Nyundo, to the north and south of him. Gora’s influence ends on an unknown stream between Karanda kraal and Matebe kraal. To the north his influence reaches as far as Tsuro, Mubaiwa and Dzapata kraals. To the east they are bound were European farms. To the west the boundary was the Nyundo river.
Kraals affected by the boundary are Karanda and Katsambe. Katsambe claimed to have settled in his present area well before both Gora and Nherera. Gora was the first followed by Nherera. Ever since the rebellion his people have been under chief Nherera. Katsande’s kraal split from him and they are related by marriage. These 2 kraals were reluctant to speak out and whom they preferred allegiance to. However, they had no strong ties with either and did not seem to mind who their leader was.
The sheep totem (gwai, hwai, imbelele) is commonly called chuma or machuma referring to women beads. The clan is normally composed of quiet people from both sexes. The females are smart intellectuals, beautiful and heavily built. The males are tall, slender and average competitors. They do not eat mutton like any other clans who do not eat the flesh of their totem. They normally use chuma, mukuruwambwa or zambu as their chidawo.They praise themselves as follows:
Maita Gwai, Maita mukuruwambwa, Maita zambu, Vane chuma chisingaverengwi Vakatorerwa umambo naMabvakure, Maita hwai yangu iyi, Ikachema kunofa dangwe, Ukaidya unopera mazino, Maita vana vaMbarure, Maita vana vaChigondo, Vanemumba makazvarwa murungu, Zvaitwa mhuri yaNyamhunga, Zvaitwa mhuri yaGora, Maita zvenyu vari Goromonzi, Vari Mharamasimbe, Kuziva zvenyu vari Manyewe, Vari Baramhanya, Tatenda vari Mburwi, Zvaitwa, Zvaitwa Gono, Zvaitwa Gumbi, Zvaitwa Gwai, Maita vari Mhondoro, Maita Sembe, Chuma-Chitunge, Tinotenda vari kwaMashayamombe, Tinotenda Chinhove changu chichi, Zvaonekwa vari Doworo, Maita mwana waGora, Zvaonekwa Gwai rangu iri, Zvaonekwa Mukuruwambwa. Zvaonekwa Mushambadzi. Zvaonekwa Kota. Zvaonekwa Muzanarwo Zvaonekwa chibaba chavose MHIRIZHONGA.
By Misheck Samanyanga
Sources: Largely from D.N. Beach & National Archives