Mutasa kingdom (district)

Historical Background of Mutasa Chieftainship.

Mutasa District is one of seven districts in the Manicaland province of Zimbabwe. Mutasa district is located 30 km from Mutare and stretches up to the Honde Valley, which is about 100 km northeast of Mutare along a tarred road that branches off the Nyanga road. The area extends from the eastern border of Zimbabwe into Mozambique. The area receives annual rainfall of about 850 mm to 1000mm annually and a relative average mean temperature of 2 -30˚C. Mutasa area covers areas such as Honde Valley, Hauna, Erin Forest, Zindi, Penhalonga to mention but a few.  Founder of this society is believed to be Tendayi from the house of Chikanga. Tendayi from the house of Chikanga was banished from the clan by his brother Vumbe and went into hiding becoming known as Chifambausiku.  Tendayi was astonished by Vumbe conduct. This culminated in return of Tendayi to overthrow Vumbe and reign as Mutasa Chief. The Mutasa people are Shona speaking whose territory stretch into now Mozambique. They were originally known as the Chikanga. However, wars over succession and factionalism within Manyika dynastic politics led to groups splitting from one another.  This then led the Mutasa people to recall their lineage to have rooted from the house of Chikanga. In the early days of the Mutasa dynasty, the clan came into contact with Portuguese textile traders and entered into business with them. This conduct resulted in trade which resulted in Tendayi acquiring armoury to protect his kingdom. His people obtained jewels and other precious materials in return of gold and ivory. Mutasa chiefdom adopted the custom of being carried in hammocks or chairs by their subjects as way of superiority and authority. During their migration from the north of Zimbabwe to the east the Mutasa clan passed through the north-western region of Mozambique, an area known as Sena. Various ancestors of the clan are buried along the route they took.  They passed through Gorongoza a place in the heart of Mozambique. Southwards, the area is bordered by the Jindwi dialect also known as Chibocha. Mutasa clan is thus believed to have emanated from Mozambique.

Mutasa totem is the lion/ Shumba Murambwi. Oral tradition thus exposes out that, clan praise is of the Tembo-Shumba, the Zebra-Lion a mythical totem animal that serves as the emblem of the Mutasa people. Interestingly, by integrating together the attributes of Lion and Zebra into one creature, the Mutasa clan creates a scared totem.  Shumba Murambwi praise totem glorifies the Lion’s courage, braveness and fear it inspires in other animals. The male zebra is known for being well-endowed and its member resembles a green maize stalk when aroused. This line is a subtle boast of the attributes of the men of the clan. The totem also celebrates the marvel, beauty, sophistication and virility of Zebra. By fusing the two animals, Chief Mutasa was regarded as the well-dressed one.

Due to colonialism and resettlement coupled with globalisation the society is mixed with different tribes with different totems. However, with good leadership qualities Chief Mutasa and his headman have maintained and crafted values to respect both men and the environment. 

Richness of Mutasa Kingdom

Agriculture dominates the Mutasa dynasty due to ubundant land, availability of water, sound and vibrant human resources which have transformed Mutasa area into a self-sustaining society. Mutasa is a society that is egalitarian and its people respect its core values, norms and tradition. Royalty and respect of traditional chief Mutasa had paid dividend in economic and social development in Mutasa dynasty. Traditional leaders that is chief Mutasa, headmen and cowboys have played a central role in mapping societal development in Mutasa district. The economy under Chief Mutasa has boomed in agriculture, forestry, and mining, tourism and electricity generation. It is prudent to credit traditional leadership in Mutasa district in working flat out to unveil and utilise resource in Mutasa for community development hence national development. It is also critical to finger out that economic development in Mutasa area has improved and advanced social lives of ordinary people as we witness the traditional leaders are in a position to provide basic human needs to the people, creating opportunities for youths hence community prosperity. It is therefore prudent to credit the roles of traditional leadership in community and national development.

Abundant land for cash crop cultivation has earned Mutasa area the status of being a rich belt in Manicaland. Fair fertile land distribution by traditional leaders have born positive fruits as everyone in Mutasa area is a custodian of adequate farming land. Honde Valley became famous for Banana, sugarcane, avocadoes and yams growing. The area annual rainfall is high and possibly the factor behind the growing of these cash water demanding crops. Products from Honde valley have dominated the Mbare (Harare), Sakubva (Mutare) markets places and all major supermarkets such as OK, Spar and Pick n Pay Zimbabwe. Exports are also done as bananas and yams are exported to Mozambique and South Africa respectively. Growing of fruits such as peaches, apples, peas, and mangoes is being done commercially in the area. Cash crop farming has transformed people’s lives and the community at large. Ordinary people in Mutasa society are able to buy food, build permanent shelter and access to cheap health cares and fund for education. Thus the profits return from selling of cash crop enormously transformed Mutasa community and its people. It is therefore, prudent to credit the role of land distribution by Chief Mutsa. Chief Mutasa is playing his roles and duties to eradicate poverty and underdevelopment in Mutasa area.

Forestry development has transformed the lives of Mutasa people. With the ability and good leadership qualities in Mutasa traditional leaders, they have managed to distribute land for the growing and processing of timber. Areas such as Erin Forest Nyakupinga, Penhalonga and Sakarombe are famous timber hubs. Establishment of Wattle Company and Allied Timbers in Mutasa district is a clear indicator that the area is developing economically. Timber production is done commercially and the product is being processed into finished product in Mutasa area. Much credit is given to traditional leadership who by authority vested in them managed to fairly distribute land and other resources to people to erect community development. Social progress has also been witnessed as the area leaders are creating building blocks for employment creation. Wattle Company and Allied timbers are employing a sizeable number in the Mutasa community. Creation of employment improved living standards of ordinary people. People live healthy and have access to better primary health care, quality education and infrastructural development. The community is also benefiting from the establishment of these timber processing companies as witnessed by infrastructural development established by the companies. Road construction, construction of schools, hospitals and shops are indicators of economic and social development in Mutasa area. Timber production tremendously developed Mutasa area as the area inhabitants enjoy formidable and commendable good quality living standards. Thus traditional leaders are playing their roles and duties of community development.

Power generation in Mutasa area is an economic indicator of community and national development. Abundant rainfall received by Mutasa area have transformed the area to be a power generation society. Hauna electricity scheme was built from May to December 2016 and commissioned in 2017 with the beginning of rains. The station has a capacity of producing 2.3MW of electricity and a transmission of 33kv into the national grid. The brains behind this idea is a clear highlighter that Mutasa area is developing under the stewardship of Chief Mutasa. Power generation for domestic and national use significantly helped the operations at Wattle and Allied Timbers. These companies require adequate electricity for operations. Operation that need electricity such as schools, hospitals are not much affected by national load shedding hence executing their jobs diligently. It is therefore prudent to credit roles being played by Chief Mutasa and his team to develop Mutasa Kingdom.

Culture and the traditional leadership

Culture is the opium of every society. It is the role of tradition leaders to guard jealously its cultural norms and values. Like other Shona communities Chief Mutasa practises the rain making ceremony, kurova guva, and masvikoro among others. Rain making is a traditional ritual for the rains. This is done at every start of the raining season. Brewing of tradition beer is done to perform the rain making ceremony. It is believed that by performing such ritual acts the Mutasa area annually receives adequate rainfall. Kurova guva is a Shona traditional way of bringing the dead spirit in the family and society at large. Respect of totems in Mutasa area is also practised. As the area is inhabited by different people with different totems, the Chief thus crafted preservative measures to guard these species. People in Mutasa are ascribed to different totems such as Lion/Shumba, Soko/Monkey, Nyati/Bufallo, Humba/Pigs, Nhewa/Leopard, and Moyo. Thus killing of these animal spicies is a punishable offense in Mutasa kingdom. Cutting down of traditional fruit trees is also a punishable offense. These trees include, muhute, mutamba, musekesa, munzviru, and mutohwe. Such trees provide the Mutasa people with delicious juicy that is healthy.

The traditional leadership has managed to erect sound and vibrant systems to map economic and social progress of both community and national development. Preservation of culture is being done as a way of integrating people. Therefore, Chief Mutasa has developed Mutasa district.

By Leon Chigwanda – Researcher with Great Zimbabwe University

99 Replies to “Mutasa kingdom (district)”

    1. Congratulations to the New Substantive Chief James Ndorikanda Mutasa officially taking over from the Courageous Acting Chief[Lovemore Pasipanodya Mutasa] Son of the Late Chief Pasipanodya Mutasa] New Chief Mutasa [James] officially took over on the 23 rd of March 2023 and is going to be Installed on a date to be announced shortly. It was a long journey and a long wait after the whole Mutasa family representatives had gathered and came out with the nomination of Ndorikanda’s Family who later chose James as their choice. Congratulations Shumba. makorokoto Changamire Mutasa. Zvaitwa wariBingaguru. Wanachirera nherera. Wari Chirowarowa Warikutsoka. wari Jenya, Mahwemasimike, Mapwepwe, Wezenze. Warigowera.’Nyika yaMutasa iri mumaoko enyu. Chengetedzai nhaka musingatyi. Walk tall.Dadai nenhaka yatakasiirwa neMadzitateguru edu. Machinda ose ngatibatanei nekutsigira mubvuri wedu, Zvekuita chimbimbindoga kwete.. Ushe madzoro.Imba by imba ndikokufamba kweHumambo. Next time huchadzokawo and hazvinetsi kana zvichitewedzerwa zvakanaka. Kune wakaita humbimbindoga akatiza netsvimbo dzaana Sekuru wedu tose nekusaida kupfuudza dzoro kune wamwe, dzichakupandukirai tsvimbo idzodzo. and i know mawekuona chimoto nadzo kuti aah makairasa. Chero mukadzoka nadzo hapana achadzitora. Garai nadzo . ndiko kurwarawo kwewarume wakuru kuita sepwere. Munobudisa mifananidzo muine tsvimbo dzamakatiza nadzo DzaanaSEKURU kuita benzi rinonwa muto wamwe wachida kusewa. Chigarai nadzo kusvika nariini. Kana maifunga kuti haugarwi HuMambo pasina tsvimbo idzodzo n’anga yenyu yakamurasisa. Bingaguru rakadawira rikatipa pfungwa dzekutsvaga dzimwe. Agara Ndorikanda James. Awe Mambo muchida musingadi. Kune dzimwe dzimba dzinofunga nguwa dzese kuti they are so special kudarika dzimwe dzimba aaaah guys. hamusi vana VaTendai mega. Thats why it takes ages tichiita gakawa risingabudisi chinhu. Wasting precious time’ Ndini Ndini are you the only ones. Kupinza mhepo mumba. tese tiri Zvizukuru zvaTendai . Wait for your TURN. Haurambi uriwe Mambo wega wega Educated as some are, but with stupid brains and no direction. no focus. Wake Up. Wrongly given advice . Ones more Congratulations Chief James Ndorikanda Mutasa . You have got a huge task lying ahead of you putting the house in order pose panoda kuswatanudzwa kuitirawo wachazotewera. We certainly hope you shall rise to the occasion and raise the Paramount Chief Of Zimbabwe CHIEF MUTASA flag high within our beloved Zimbabwe ,the Region and the World at large. Yose imhuri yenyu kubva KwaMutare kusvika Nyanga kupinda Mozambique. Hapana anobvumirwa kufa ngenzara. Why??
      With all our support Machinda/ Vazvare neVarongo / sorrounding Farms, plantations and Mines within your Jurisdiction we have all the confidence in you and May God grand you all the necessary wisdom and many more years of good health.

      1. Hi Kira . I reckon you are aware that that there is the issue of the Muponda chieftainship falling under the current Mutasa . Would it not be a good thing to revive the Muponda to reside side by side with Mutasa since trickery was used to disposses Muponda , happens to be tezvara of his land. From where i see it, Muponda starts at Nemaunga ,Chidzinzwa,Chidazembe and down the east side of Honde river down to the border . That will make Mutasa great for restituting and correcting wrongs of the past . Mutasa will still remain with areas under the shumba headmen from Mandeya , Katiyo, Muparutsa , Samanga, and in fact all areas to the west of Honde river to the current bounderies with Makoni.

        1. We of Mutasa, we are basically the originals, you can’t establish headmanship as chieftainship, chill bro

      2. iniwo ndiri chizukuru cha Tendai tininogara buhera ana sekuru vedu vakatiza ku Bingaguru taakudawo kudzoka kumusha kumusasa

    2. Ini ndaikumbirawo tsananguro nekuziva the Mukaritsvoda House of the Mutasa four headman kuti imba ipi?

      Mukaritsvoda anga ari ani? Did he have an English name?

      Mukaritsvoda waitonga kupi mudunhu raMutasa?

      Mukaritsvado hushe hwake hwakagumisira rini since there are three Mutasa headman.

  1. This is insightful. I am wondering if the authors can cite their sources for credibility- that is important in historical writing. A novel by I. M Zvarevashe, title Dzinza raVagovera VaChirumhanzu naMutasa has very important narratives about the Mutasa.
    Concerning tradition and culture, I am wondering why there is no mention of the Bingaguru rekwaMutasa?
    The historical background also ignores key figures such as Mutasa women, like Matida and others who played a key role in the traditional electoral processes. Also, H.K Bhila’s Trade and Politics in the Manyika kingdom is an important piece to think with.
    Good work comrades. This work you’re doing is important.

    1. The history of the Manica Kingdom has been distorted over the years owing for the most part to its preservation and transmission (oral). While I certainly found the narrative informative, I have additions I’d like to share based on my own studies. The name ‘Mutasa’ would be a good place to start. Jason Machivenyika and a few other historians – whose manuscripts I’ve been lucky enough to read – attribute its origins to Nyamubvambire’s (the original Mutasa) line’s alien practice of being buried extended in the supine position “vakati tasa” as opposed to prone “vakasungwa mbira dzakondo”. The latter practice was the norm during Muponda’s reign as mambo we vaManyika and before, this is evidenced by the small round graves that can be found in the area to this day. Mutasa is therefore a title to be given to any ruling descendant of Nyamubvambire’s rather than an actual name.

      As for the Mutasa totem, it was stated correctly that its praise poetry and heraldry reveals a weird blend of mbizi (samaita) and shumba totemic praise. The story goes, Nyamubvambire (whom I have learnt is also part of many other tribes’ origins story – there is need to investigate) a great hunter, married Mambo Muponda’s daughter, then progressively usurped the king’s power a process which culminated in him claiming first born son status whereupon he took on the shumba totemic identity and the kingdom. His original totem is mbizi/samaita.

      As for Matida, HE is definitely an important figure. Matida was Muparutsa and Chifambausiku’s father. He was exiled and killed by Bvumbe, his brother, forcing his sons to exile with their maternal relatives (mambo Makoni and the Vaungwe) until they came of age and avenged their father’s murder.

      There are many more interesting stories. I’m willing to share and trade.

        1. No it’s not, Shumba Samaita Mutasa are the originals to the rule of Mutasa chieftainship. They were also the ones that rule, First and Second Dynasties of Manyika Empire (360AD-1900). Mbizi Tembo split from Shumba Samaita, as Mbizi-Shumba it’s just a praise name not a totem.

      1. Interesting take on the matter. Are you able to email whatever you on this matter: Samaita Mutasa/Mbizi-Tembo. You can email it to me:

      2. Oh wow this made quite interesting reading.I am however from Manicaland and would want to know more about my origins.I am from the Chisamba people whose totem is Soko.Most of these are found in Dora Pinto. Anyone with an idea on how these people ended there.I know we are very closely related to the Mambondiani,Zimunyas, Mabiya, Bvirindi ,Mambwere etc.My father refers to me as Ashe and do most people.My father was born in a chieftaincy family and over time we have heard stories about Chief Chisamba.

        1. @luciankomo. Ini I’m a Chisamba my surname is Chisamba but we use dziva totem. Yeah there is a lot of history that we are yet know.. originally from zambia but a lot of our ancestors ended up in mozambique then people vakatanga kupararira in zim . Vakawanda bari mamutare they use Chisamba or kambuyi. Then my grandfather alone moved to mrewa

      3. Mr Muparutsa
        Hello and how can I get in touch with you for some direct questions I am interested in
        My name is Rev Fr Sam Jr of the Anglican Church and operating in Hwange Mat North

        How ever by birth I am from Nyanga and my Fore fathers came from Nyanhundu and around Juliusdale area
        Totem is Shumba Tembo

        Refards
        ±263 773 897 286

      4. Nyamubvambire would be correct to identify the 2nd wave of migrations from west Africa to great Zimbabwe around 700AD. This group later moved up to the Zambezi south of Angola and settled there. The Portuguese found them there very organized. However from this group the so called Manyikas left and went south to Penhalonga ( a Portuguese family name of their Kings in Portugal). Anyway, this group identified themselves as Chikanga, which is still a suburb in Mutare.

        I don’t know much about their totems but all I know is my people are from this group, are Shumbas. They lived paGuta paBingaguru. They were very connected to the Portuguese with whom they conducted business. However the Portuguese were not interested in building institutions and educating the people, so when the British came they were ready to switch, which enabled mission stations to be constructed etc.

        So I grew up and went to school paNyakatsapa, an American institution, while the British missionaries built Saint Augustins and Tsonzo primary and Mutasa Primary schools. The Americans also took over Old Umtali which became a mission station. The city had moved downhill into its present site as they could not bring the railway line the Christmas pass.

        So Manyikas were blessed in that we had business knowledge, academic institutions, a hospital at Hartzell, and a city at Mutare. Additionally our standards of living improved as we mingled with the whites and missionaries. These people were not perfect, but the Penhalonga gold mine enabled the economy to grow. The rich geography, weather and vegetation just made things much easier as you the was known as Nyika Nyoro. Also the railway line through Beira enabled travel, although the Portuguese were you known for anti black improvement.

        When Lobengula deserted Bulawayo there was a shift in development as this opened a direct linkage with South Africa and Botswana as the railway line enabled easy transport and business to this day.

        We later had a government clinic kwaDada, and of course townships paWatsomba and paZongoro, and Vumbunu etc. One thing to our great advantage was that we did not have a police station. Hapana munhu waibira umwe. Kwakusina mbavaba. Amen for that.

        I notice that colonization kwaMutasa was positively inclined. Ive not come across records of conflicts with the Whites. Our people looked for positive things. If there was any, that must have been quickly resolved.

        Positive development and partnerships are very important. History in every part of the world has shown that conflicts are retrogressive in nature and drive away new ideas and investments.

        I hope that we can keep on developing with the hope that this can uplift our country.

      5. Quite an interesting read. .and very insightful … please do get in touch with me. My totem is Mbizi Samaita and would like to learn more about where my tribe came from ….I also have some questions I think you can be able to shed more light on

        1. that’s my totem too.. samaita mbizi mutasa.. i’m also trying to find out more about our origins and our families

      6. Can you elaborate more on Bingaguru, Mahwemasendeke, seems you are gifted better about our totem or lineage mambo!

      7. Hello Tadiwa . Am happy that you raised the issue of the Muponda chieftainship. Surprisingly its still distinct and stands alone with its headmen from Nemaunga ,Chidzinzwa, Chidazembe,Samaringa,Chipunha ,Saruwaka and Sarupinda who are of the Nyere Nzvidzi totem as well as Sahumani and Nyamaende . Mutasa will still be chief along with Muponda. Apparently Mutasa is the only district with one chief. Buhera has 7 and Nyanga 5 for eg

    2. Greetings to you. Was going through the comments after reading this amazing article. And saw this.

      Am also a Mutasa based in SA am interested in knowing the origins and everything about the lineage. I’ve tried looking for the Novel you noted but can’t seem to find it. Can you advise or refer me? Humbly asking with thanks 🙏🏿

      1. The following books will certainly help:
        1. Dzinza raVagovera vaChirumhanzu naMutasa by Ignatius Zvarevashe . Available at Mambo Press shop Harare

        2. Mutasa Manyika Dynasty 1695-2000. By Aeneas Chigwedere. Mutapa Publishing. They have a Facebook page.

        Mwenemutapa Nyamubvambire, a descendant of Mwenemutapa Nyatsimba Mutota is the founder of the Mutasa ruling house. He was Mutapa from 1692-1694, dethroned , then seconded as Manyika ruler by Rozvi Mambo Changamire Dombo who had overrun the Portuguese In effect he dethroned then Manyika ruler Mambo Muponda of the Chikanga Dynasty. Nyamubvambire’smutupo was Shumba Tembo. His sons Goveranyika and Mhepo founded the Mutasa and Chirumhanzu dynasties.

  2. As a Muzvare Mutasa myself I remember my Aunt telling me about Tendayi Mutasa the founder of the clan. Im a muera shumba, and our praise poem starts with the words Maita Shumba, Maita Mbizi.

    1. Hello Chipo
      I did subA etc back in 1964 with a Chipo Mutasa who later went to the UK. My mother is a Mashingaidze, Irene. Mashingadze, Mandisekwe, and Manzonzo are brothers whose original family name is Manzonzo. My father is Masvikeni. These people lived at paGuta just below Bingaguru. Mashingaidze and others, Chimbadzwa, Mandisekwe. etc purchased Tsonzo farms while some remained paGuta.

      Research shows that around 700AD, the Shona people moved from West Africa to the Limpopo. This group later settled at Great Zimbabwe. A second group , the Mbire also came down from West Africa to the same area. However, in search of salt. a group moved up to the Zambezi River around Angola area. These groups were discovered by the Portuguese who found them very organized. However, from this group some decided to go back south. These identified themselves as the Manyika and out of them emerged the Chikanga people who settled at what is now Penhalonga. (By the way Penhalonga is a Portuguese name for kings of Portugal). This is just a short narrative of the Manyika people. They traded with the Portuguese and later decided to go with the British as you all know.

      WaManyika were known for saying “Mari yakazara mubank). As you know history is replete with sad stories as people fought for dominance. Families fought, There are stories of Chikanga and Chimbadzwa and Mutasa.

      However some of us were fortunate to be born in the Manyika group and to have been raised there. I love these people and their culture, except that “Wangodya mhamba”. Ndiri muera shumba, Mumanyika chaiye.
      As a matter of fact Karakajera Chimbadzwa married Tete waMhaiyo wangu.

      Our people found value in doing business and forming partnerships with others. Hence the econmy in Mutasa is quite progressive. This where we find value addition. We als have great tourist sites etc. I hope we will continue to progress this way.

      1. Hi William, I was wondering if you could assist me in filling some knowledge gaps. My mother is a Mashingaidze too. However, she was born and raised in Wedza. Little is known about her paternal grandfather (Mashingaidze aka Demautare), who originated from Manicalaland. His totem was Tembo Samaita. In my research efforts to date, I have been unable to identify the branch of Mutasa that Mashingaidze descended from. Let alone the origin of the name itself, despite how common it is. Are you knowledgeable on the subject and if so, able to advise what you know? I have not been able to establish a family tree connection with any of the Mashingaidzes that I have met from the Mutasa area. I would be most grateful. Cheers, Farai

  3. Tendai Mutasa was not the Founder of Mutasa Clan .Tendai was actually alive in the 1890s.The Orignal totem of Mutasa is Mbizi.Tendai started to call himself Chifambausiku as in Shumba thus his Descendents are now using Shumba as a totem .

    1. Tendai and others are children. The history really goes back to as far back as 700AD. The Chikanga group emerged fro the group that had gone up from Great Zimbabwe and settled at the Zambezi south of Angola and were trading with the Indians and Portuguese in salt and other minerals. The Manyika so to speak left and went south to around Penhalonga. There were some conflicts within them which caused a split. Others went inland to Maungwe while those that remained identfied themselves as Shumba Chikanga Mbizi etc. As later generations Mutasa had three wives but favoured the middle wife sidelining the first familily and his son Chimbadzwa. So Chimbadzwa became Ishe while the second family retained the chieftainship. I remember back when attended Chief Pafiwa’s installation in the 60s paGuta.

      Well later Abisha( Bambzonke) of the first family Chimbadzwa later became chief sideling his elder brother Misheck.
      Now I dont which family is in charge.

      But apart from that the Manyikas have a rich history and a great place. I wish all Zimbabwe had developed along those lines of emphasizing economics and culutre and spirituality.
      Tiri waBasazve isu. This enabled us to take advantage of the coloniser, working with him to extract knowledge, business, and to a great extend make him work for us, building institutions and cities, roads, and railway lines. I think this was a great idea. How’s that for a change?

      Sorry I did not make some references although I have some from my research.

  4. Mutasa is now Shumba & Mbizi at the same time,this could have been done to unite the people pave way for reconciliation after protracted wars of succession being ignited by the presence of Portuguese traders.

  5. am very keen to read about our Zim clans and totems especially the mutasa clan ‘Tadiwa Muparusa’ please share some more, credible referral texts would be appreciated.

    Great job good people.

  6. Thanks for the narratives. However there is also Zengeni called Shumba gwara. Is there any relationship between Shumba Gwara an Shumba Mbizi/Samaita. Can Someone explain it with reliable references? Also in Mutare Zengeni was also a big name anyone who knows what happened to the Zengeni Clan.

    1. The Zengeni clan are the same Shumba Gwara, Shumba Samaita who fled the heart of the Mutasa Land following internal brutal fighting including the aftermath of the famous Hondo yepaMhanda. They fled to Nyaronga now Penhalonga.

      1. My Ansestors are also from Mutasa can anybody help me, my fore father was called Hamadziripi does anyone know him and what really happened to him imo Mamutasa please help.

        1. Wariwo wanhu awa. My martenal grandmother is from the Taengwa family who live behind Bingaguru on the other side paZongoro Mundenda area. She used to talk a lot about wanhu wekwa Zengeni. It appers she was related to them. If you ever get to Mutare you can check with the District Commissioner.

          1. Some mysterious things happened within the Zengeni Clan, and they had to consult N*angas and then the Svikiros WekwaMUTASA told them that they had to have a’ Mzvare’ in that DUNHU who will be there as ISHE and everything cooled down and upto today, that arrangement is still in place,

        2. Wanhu awa wariyo. Check on FB as well. Takaenda kuschool paNyaktsapa newamwe wacho. Waigara paGuta below Bingaguru.

        3. Hamadziripi is familiar name . I went to scholl with some of them paNyakatsapa. Wango fanirwa kunga wariyo pa Guta. People move nut uaenda kwaMutare the Fistrict Commissioner can assist.

          1. Quite interesting to hear and know about Mashingaidze surname.This surname is mentioned by my seniors as related to us – SHUMBA MAEREKA-lion totem -YEMUTSOKA.Hanzi taigara padare rimwe chete- ihama dzedu chaidzo.ASI THEY SAY INADDITION our sHUMBA IS the LION which reigned as from the time of Vaera SHIRI-HUNGWE of Gt Zimbabwe..I wish someone could help with more details.Ahh but if we could all agree to DNA testing it could show who our forefathers are..!..

        4. I can put you in touch with a Hamadziripi whose ancestral home in Sakarombe but now established in Mutasa. Mazvita

      2. inisekuru vababa vangu Shumba Gwara was one of the warriors who fought in that battle iyoyo yepaMhanda , which was the last battle between Mutasa and Makoni and Mutasawon that battle due to supirior war tactic by the following warriors
        Zengeni
        Muchirawehondo
        Mapara
        Muchinguri
        Muparursa
        Murahwa
        Nyamunhu(Munzara)
        Mapenzauswa
        to mention just the finest of the Mutasa warriors .

        handichaziva some of these magamba edu .
        My father and all the Munzaras of Shumba Gwara , and the Zengeni people were given land direct from Chief Mutasa based on that history . Takanzi endai munogara kwakarwirwa nematateguru enyu , ndiko kune midzimu yenyu , Chinyamatsiru was given to us for resting place , they believed kuti even vakazoshaya zvavo vairamba vachirwira kuchengetedzwa kwenzvimbo . Chinyamatsiru ndomaiitwa mapira ehondo sezvaiitwawo ku Bingaguru. Ndokusaka zvakare imba yekwedu yairidzirwa pfuti parufu uye ngoma ye shima , significance yehugamba ihwohwo. That is why I love that place Mukoyi.

        A point to note , most Zimbabweans migrated from Tanzania ,kwete West Africa but East Arica , mostly because they were in searchof aerable land and gold . Tha is the reason why all our languages are similar in one way or the other to Swahili. Many people , esp blacks spread from Tanzania , some went west, some north and some South

        1. But take note – kugara kwakakwirira means – you’re part of the original people -RULERS.iVO vana sekuru vedu NYAMUDEZA/MAEREKA Groups lived among HIGH MOUNTAINS similar to the Gt Zimbabwe Rulers.Pane history isina kutsanangurwa zvakazara apa..There is mention of ancient RULERS in Manicaland uye tunnels yet to be discovered..

          1. I’ve been enjoying the discussions from the sidelines for quite some time and am encouraged by the interest generated and a genuine desire by to trace our own origins. I have equally come to terms with the sad reality that our history is now so distorted that we will never know the truth. This is due to a number of factors which include genuine omission, a fragile human memory and the more sinister motives such as manipulation of facts as people seek to gain legitimacy. It goes without saying that it is not so long ago when devine assassinations were a common occurrence in the succession arena and we all know history is written by the victors.

            Nonetheless, we’re all here trying to reconcile the points of differences. It is important therefore to understand that we should capture as much information as possible as more gaps e will appear as nature takes its course. Let’s go forth and ask our elders decant their knowledge of history and tradition without getting to bogged down with arguments about authenticity. The greatest harm as already been inflicted upon us through the displacement of people following the Land Appointment Act and the stripping of African consciousness as consequence of urbanisation and globalisation.

            The account passed down to me places our point of arrival around late 1600s. The clan was led by two brothers coming down from the area near Tete in Mozambique. The older brother brother died just before crossing a river near Ruchera in Nyanga. The Mutasa as we know them today are direct descendants of the older brother. So are other Shumba Gwaras from Tsonzo going down. The remaining brother took charge as they proceeded south but some of his children stayed in the area now known to us today as Nyanga and Juliasdale. These people were displaced to create farms which now form the Nyanga National Park and Forestry up to DC. Starting further up they include vana Saruchera, Maereka, Sadomba, Mawoko, Sakarombe. After defeating vanaMakombe who were settled in the area now known as DC the brother stopped there in the area called Nyamandwe. [SaKupwanya (tsungo) and saNyamandwe] munhu umwe just like [Murahwa (tsungo) and Mutasa]. Nyamandwe itsungo kuna Mutasa meaning by own custom Mutasa has no jurisdiction and doesn’t collect taxes. Pahukama hwedu shumba dzese kubva mwaSakupwanya kusvika Ruchera madzibaba kuna Mutasa, Mandeya, Murahwa hence the arrangements highlighted above. Some may suggest otherwise but that would be misleading and probably born out of ignorance or mischief.

  7. Thank you very much for the information piece. I remember very much my father telling about Mutasa being a Mbizi but marrying our great Aunt thereby ursuping the Shumbas . I am however interested in knowing the origins of Shumba Gwaras and the names of the chiefs using that totem/chidawu and the praise poetry ( kudetemba) of the Shumba Gwara .

    1. Iyi ndiyo history yandozivawo uye ndiri shumba gwara sakarombe(lion totem). Shumba Mbizi from what I heard was muzukuru waShumba mutasa gwara(lion totem) who asurped the kingship

  8. Our totem is Mbizi Samaita that’s the original totem of our founding father Nyamubvambire. All Tembo are the same Samaita, Mazvimbakupa, Mubaiwa they all come from Samaita. Shumba Gwara ndiSamaita. Shumba Mhazi ndiSamaita. Shumba Murambwi , Nyamuzihwa naGurundoro havasi vedu. Hatisi vamwe chete

  9. Dear Douglas

    I acknoledge your response. However I am requesting sources/references to the below response if possible for me to be convinced that it is not cooked stories but real facts;

    “…. fled the heart of the Mutasa Land following internal brutal fighting including the aftermath of the famous Hondo yepaMhanda. They fled to Nyaronga now Penhalonga.”

    I also have feew questions,
    a) who was fighting who? Zengeni v/s Mutasa or what and why Zengeni was affected since he was not of Mutasa family?
    b)Kindly explain about Hondo yeMhanda? Which year was it fought? How did it affect Zengeni? Who started that Hondo
    c) the Word Nyaronga means what? Why did Zengeni had to settle in Nyaronga?

    Regards,

    1. semachinda aMambo Mutasa wakarwa hondo yepaaMhanda Mutasa vs Makoni, after wakunda, Mambo akawapa nzvimbo dzawo dzekutonga ndoosaka kuine matunhu anoti eg Muparutsa, Zengeni, Mapara,Mukoyi, Mapenzauswa, Muchirahondo,Mwoyoweshumba aqnd so on,

    2. Hondo yepaMhanda was the last combat action between Chifambausiku and Makoni. Machinda ese had to be involved and many of their children and subjects were conscripted. Hondo yacho went on for days which was rather unusual those days. It ended with a “truce” but there were no significant changes to boundaries. I don’t think they ever changed since. Even the earlier native commissioners inherited the same disputes over tax jurisdiction

  10. Anyone with any information of why Zengeni was so Popular. I remember Anna Mwale even singing a song kwaZengeni? Someone used to also sing kwaZengeni kunogaiwa mari yepepa.

    “Wariwo wanhu awa. My martenal grandmother is from the Taengwa family who live behind Bingaguru on the other side paZongoro Mundenda area. She used to talk a lot about wanhu wekwa Zengeni. It appers she was related to them. If you ever get to Mutare you can check with the District Commissioner.”

    What was uique ngevanhu vekwaZengeni that people were always talking about them? Anyone with any information I would really aprreciate.

  11. My name is Nyasha Chiparaushe and I’m a Tembo Samaita Mutasa. I am a direct descendant (great-great-great-great grandson) of a man named Mutanhaurwa. I don’t know if he was a king or a chief but that is what is said in my family. He was from Mutasa in Mutare, Manicaland. The story is that there was a fight for Kingship between some families and mine was included, so my family ran away to Wedza and created Chiparaushe Village which still stands today. In fact my paternal grandfather is the reigning sabhuku of the village. Anyone with the last name of Mutanhaurwa we might be hama and Chiparaushes tiripano madzisamaita.

    1. Interesting History. Teteni Matsvimbo the son of Masvikeni fled Manicaland ( Vumba) along with his brothers Mandonga and Madzivanyika and settled in Gutu . These claimed to be Chief Mutasa’e sons and of samaita tembo origin . There is no history of their mother to date . Anyone to with the information as to who was Teteni Matsvimbo ‘s mother ?

  12. Hello
    After following the thread above i would also want to know more about my roots, i am a Mbizi Tembo (manjenjenje) my surnane is Mutasa. My dad suffered a stroke when i was young and growing up he could not explain fully where exactly we came from and if he had other siblings besides a sister whom he said migrated to Mozambique at a tender age but part of his history was his grandfather/ father was chief mutasa who fled the hospital after being admitted and was never to be seen. Word has it that his relatives went in search for answers from spirit mediums and was told he walked to the mountains (Ninga) to die there where his forefathers were buried.

  13. Would also want to know if the Tembo / Samaita people are the same as the Dube people of South Africa ..do the come from the same ancestor ..? ..how are they related . If indeed they are

  14. Uuum this is very interesting reading for me. My father tells me we are the Senna people from Gorongoza in Mozambique. What you have written coincides with what he narrates to us. We are of the Tembo/Samaita clan.

  15. Need to know more why combining Mbizi and Shumba? Anyway was very esteemed and motivated to watch some Jaji, Kandeya, son reciting their detembo during their fathers funeral! Wish can do the same!

    1. One side I have been told is pana vakaroorana same mutupo which was/is a taboo hence the offspring was labelled contaminated and they said Shumba idzi dzaita mavara and ndopakazobva ana Samaita.

  16. Interesting read. Pane vane ruzivo here nezve vekwa Dzenga vakatamira kuDewedzo vachibva kwaMutasa. Mutupo uri iwe Tembo Samaita. Mamwe mazita. Mu lineage mavo kumadzibaba nemadzisekuru kuri kubuda mazita akaita saBimha/Tsenga/Bvumbi. Vane nhoroondo iyi mungabatsirewo here.

  17. Very Insightful article. Have studied the history of my family through tracing my lineage and am still discovering more. However of interest is the fact (or maybe school of thought rather) samaita was never the praise name of the family but Shumba Gwara is the correct totem. I am told kuti Shumba samaita was actually mocking to mean that the totem had been contaminated hence Shumba dzacho dzanga dzava nemavara and this was as a result of inter-marriages and the kids born were then identified thus. Kinda made sense to me as there can’t be a totem with 2 animals. But it’s interesting reading all these contributions. And I was gifted a copy of the Shumba Gwara booklet by a friend of mine, will try and locate the book.

    1. Kindly locate the book and send me it’s pdf on my WhatsApp or email address.

      If possible kindly send me the book title and author too.

      I sincerely request that copy
      Regards,

  18. I think you need to dig deeper on this topic. Ini mutupo mbuya wangu wakanditi Shumba Gwara. But what I know my family migrated from Mozambique, Nenhanga Chiefdom. My great grandmother was pabarika mumusha wane Nenhanga, but my great grandfather chased her away because wakahaka mhepo pawari. Sekuru wangu wakati handifemhwe ne mukadzi. We migrated to a place called Bhasera.but now we use surname yekuti Kamunjoma.

  19. Hi
    Thank you for the information, very interesting article and discussions. I am Shumba Mutasa. I actually still have a lot of grey areas which I want to be cleared. I am still researching the origin, history (which includes names of the leaders/chiefs) and the chidao/detembo for the Shumba Mutasa Clan/dynasty. I t seems the information/history told and written have many conflicting stories. The totem issue is the most confusing area. Is the totem emblem a real Shumba (lion) or Mbizi (zebra)? Maybe if the information includes the names of the most important elders of the Shumba clan from Nehoreka it will help to clear the grey areas and the confussion.

    Who are the biological sons of Nehoreka? Some suggested that Nehoreka died without no known family and the Nyamuzihwa line of chief Mutoko is attributed to Mapahwe Son of Mukombwe. Also some scholars suggested that Nehoreka was originally of Nzou – Samanyanga totem and then changed to Shumba after his settlement in Mutoko. Thus another grey area which needs clarification.

    How is Shumba Mutasa related to other Shumba totems such as Murambwi, Samaita, Nyamuzihwa, Mhazi, Mhari, and Shumba Gwara? If they are related and from one root why is it that some Shumba totems emblem are Mbizi (zebra) instead of Shumba (lion)?

    Thank you very much for the research.

  20. Congratulations to the New Substantive Chief James Ndorikanda Mutasa officially taking over from the Courageous Acting Chief[Lovemore Pasipanodya Mutasa] Son of the Late Chief Pasipanodya Mutasa] New Chief Mutasa [James] officially took over on the 23 rd of March 2023 and is going to be Installed on a date to be announced shortly. It was a long journey and a long wait after the whole Mutasa family representatives had gathered and came out with the nomination of Ndorikanda’s Family who later chose James as their choice. Congratulations Shumba. makorokoto Changamire Mutasa. Zvaitwa wariBingaguru. Wanachirera nherera. Wari Chirowarowa Warikutsoka. wari Jenya, Mahwemasimike, Mapwepwe, Wezenze. Warigowera.’Nyika yaMutasa iri mumaoko enyu. Chengetedzai nhaka musingatyi. Walk tall.Dadai nenhaka yatakasiirwa neMadzitateguru edu. Machinda ose ngatibatanei nekutsigira mubvuri wedu, Zvekuita chimbimbindoga kwete.. Ushe madzoro.Imba by imba ndikokufamba kweHumambo. Next time huchadzokawo and hazvinetsi kana zvichitewedzerwa zvakanaka. Kune wakaita humbimbindoga akatiza netsvimbo dzaana Sekuru wedu tose nekusaida kupfuudza dzoro kune wamwe, dzichakupandukirai tsvimbo idzodzo. and i know mawekuona chimoto nadzo kuti aah makairasa. Chero mukadzoka nadzo hapana achadzitora. Garai nadzo . ndiko kurwarawo kwewarume wakuru kuita sepwere. Munobudisa mifananidzo muine tsvimbo dzamakatiza nadzo DzaanaSEKURU kuita benzi rinonwa muto wamwe wachida kusewa. Chigarai nadzo kusvika nariini. Kana maifunga kuti haugarwi HuMambo pasina tsvimbo idzodzo n’anga yenyu yakamurasisa. Bingaguru rakadawira rikatipa pfungwa dzekutsvaga dzimwe. Agara Ndorikanda James. Awe Mambo muchida musingadi. Kune dzimwe dzimba dzinofunga nguwa dzese kuti they are so special kudarika dzimwe dzimba aaaah guys. hamusi vana VaTendai mega. Thats why it takes ages tichiita gakawa risingabudisi chinhu. Wasting precious time’ Ndini Ndini are you the only ones. Kupinza mhepo mumba. tese tiri Zvizukuru zvaTendai . Wait for your TURN. Haurambi uriwe Mambo wega wega Educated as some are, but with stupid brains and no direction. no focus. Wake Up. Wrongly given advice . Ones more Congratulations Chief James Ndorikanda Mutasa . You have got a huge task lying ahead of you putting the house in order pose panoda kuswatanudzwa kuitirawo wachazotewera. We certainly hope you shall rise to the occasion and raise the Paramount Chief Of Zimbabwe CHIEF MUTASA flag high within our beloved Zimbabwe ,the Region and the World at large. Yose imhuri yenyu kubva KwaMutare kusvika Nyanga kupinda Mozambique. Hapana anobvumirwa kufa ngenzara. Why??
    With all our support Machinda/ Vazvare neVarongo / sorrounding Farms, plantations and Mines within your Jurisdiction we have all the confidence in you and May God grand you all the necessary wisdom and many more years of good health.

  21. I am a Tembo Samaita Mutasa and I am researching on names like Gumboretsonzo, Chifambausiku, Madzonganyika, Goredema and Run’anga. Madzonganyika is supposed to have migrated from Mutasa Being a son of the Chief, to somewhere in Mashonaland West (specific ally Zvimba). Knowing that our history i oral and there a a lot of inaccuracies sometimes due to self prise of the story teller, I am trying to verify some for the stories so as to clarify my history. there is a lot of commonality with various takes on this platform so Let’s keep forging ahead. great work.

    1. Ndizvozvo chaizvo Tembo. I am also researching on Madzonganyika going backwards to Mutasa kingdom. Madzonganyika was buried at Makwidiba(I am yet to locate ninga yake) One of his sons Kaswaurere is buried at Kaswa. His grand children,
      like Goredema, Run’ganga, Zinate, including me are now settled at Kwa Run’ganga near Chikaka in Zvimba. The main point of my research is our link to our chieftainship in Mutasa. This chieftainship, from oral history was bestowed to Gumboretsonzo, father to Madzonganyika after he had killed a troublesome buffalo (nyati). Help in researching on this. My contact is Marshall Runganga 0775519002

      1. I think your story supports the anecdotal evidence of what was happening in the area around 1830, give or take 20 years. There were two succession battles muhumambo hwewaChikanga nanaMakoni, respectively. Alliances were formed between the rivals in the two warring Chiefdoms. I believe the usurpers won in the land how known as maMutasa and they started fighting amongst themselves. Whereas our neighbours (Nyati/Shonga/Makoni) managed to put out the insurrection. The last battle to be fought as a result of this upset to traditional succession rights was fought in 1886 pagomo reMhanda. Long story and some of the evidence is now circumstantial as oral history becomes fragile with recollections and sensational as you rightly pointed out.

  22. I am a Tembo Samaita Mutasa and I am researching on names like Gumboretsonzo, Chifambausiku, Madzonganyika, Goredema and Run’anga. Madzonganyika is supposed to have migrated from Mutasa Being a son of the Chief, to somewhere in Mashonaland West (specific ally Zvimba). Knowing that our history i oral and there a a lot of inaccuracies sometimes due to self prise of the story teller, I am trying to verify some for the stories so as to clarify my history. there is a lot of commonality with various takes on this platform so Let’s keep forging ahead. great work.

    1. You may be interested to know that Tsonzo is the area adjoining Moyo Weshumba. It’s diagonal to Nyakatsapa which is where Binga Guru is located. Therefore, I would conclude on the balance of probability that you are one of us, Shumba Gwara

  23. Hello Tadiwa . Am happy that you raised the issue of the Muponda chieftainship. Surprisingly its still distinct and stands alone with its headmen from Nemaunga ,Chidzinzwa, Chidazembe,Samaringa,Chipunha ,Saruwaka and Sarupinda who are of the Nyere Nzvidzi totem as well as Sahumani and Nyamaende . Mutasa will still be chief along with Muponda. Apparently Mutasa is the only district with one chief. Buhera has 7 and Nyanga 5 for eg

  24. Thanks very much ne information guys ini ndiri samaita mudzani werenje asi vakuru vedu vakaita re-locate years back kuenda masvingo uko takagara paukama saana samaita so hakuna achaziva zvakanyanya ne history yekufamba kwavo asi toziva kuti midzi yedu ndi Mutasa chete so ndafara kuverenga nezverudzi rwedu.

  25. I am a descendent of Mutasa on my maternal great grandmother’s side.Her name was Martha Mutasa but I understand they also used Chimbadzwa as their surname.I would be grateful if anyone has any information on this family and lineage.+447979029320.

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