Tracing Gutu history

Gutu district is the third largest district in Masvingo province after Chiredzi and Mwenezi and is located to the northern side. The name Gutu is said to have originated from Chinomukutu wemiseve , meaning, the one with a load of arrows. This is according to the historical folklore of the Gumbo clan who took over the area from the Shiri clan through killing them by poisoning the fruit trees in the area called Gona. Chiefs in the district include; Gutu/Gadzingo, Munyaradzi, Chiwara and Serima.

Gutu Map

CHIEF GUTU/GADZINGO

Gutu Tribal Trust Land is the larger of the 3 T.T.Ls falling within Gutu district. It falls almost entirely under the paramount chief Gutu/Gadzingo who also has followers in the other tribal areas of the district. The area is bordered by Buhera to the east , Bikita, Devure and Chikwanda to the south, and Europeans farms to the west and north The Nyazvidzi N.P.A is to the north-east of the T.T.L.

The chief is known as Ishe like in most Shona clans or vaShe in plural. He is not Changamire as in Njanja clan. They refer to themselves as vaGutu as Karanga is perceived to be too general like Shona. Some informants pointed out that they are vaKorekore, having sprung from Musana who is Kore kore chief around Bindura. Their mutupo is Gumbo with Madyirapanze as their chidawo.  However, they claim that their original totem is Makuwapasi but this is no longer being used owing to its rather earthy interpretation. Madyirapanze is said to have been conferred on the sons of Musana who left Musana (Bindura) and thus chose to “eat outside”. This is not offered as a definite explanation of the praise name though.

As alluded above, the Gutu people came from Musana and the leaders of the migration were sons of chief Musana. The Gutu people came to control an area stretching from Enkeldoorm through Eastdale Ranch to the present T.T.L. Much of the former part fell under European farms. Nyazvidzi was also formerly part of Gutu’s country. The only big group in the area which is not part of the Gutu clan is the Munyaradzi community, who are vaHera, who occupied the area when the Gutu people came into the area. Most of these were driven back east of the Nyazvidzi into Buhera and those that remained were absorbed into the Gutu people.

Family tree of Gutu is as follows:

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

Gadzingo community

Gadzingo Makuvaza was regarded as Ishe by his subjects or Muchinda wa Gutu. Makuvaza was the son of Chief Gutu Chaurura and later became Chief Gutu himself.

Some of the villages include; Bere, Chamisa, Chibodo, Chidembo, Chikomo, Chinembiri, Chinyama, Chipenzi, Dambwara, Gandashanga, Guvamatanga, Hamandawana, Hamandishe, Humanikwa, Isingu, Jayaguru, Jinjika, Kokerayi, Kurambwi, Machinya, Madende, Madondo, Madzana, Mahachi, Makuvaza, Mandaza, Maradze, Mashanda, Mashingaidze, Mawire, Mazonyanya, Mupandawana, Muchadenyika, Muchena, Mudzitiri, Mugadza, Mukadziwasha, Mukoroverwa, Mumanyi, Munamati, Munangarwa, Mupuwi, Murambinda, Musekiwa, Musota, Magaya, Muzorori, Nyota, Peresu, Potoriro, Ririmuvanhu, Rukowo, Runyowa, Shamu, Tarume, Tatira, Tazarurwa, Taziveyi, Tigere, Tofa, Vengesayi, Watungwa, Wicho, Zariro, Zvenyika and Zvishiri.

Subdivisions included Mukoroverwa and Guvamatanga areas. Mukoroverwa is the area north-west of Chishamba stream. Mukoroverwa is their senior kraal head and tries petty cases but is not an autonomous judicial authority. Kraals that fall into this group include; Mukoroverwa, Hamandawana, Mazonde, Musekiwa, Madondo and Taziveyi.  Then Guvamatanga is the area bounded by the Devure river to the west down to the confluence with Matsayi and then up Matsayi to the fence. It has the following kraals; Chipenzi, Ririmuvanhu, Muzorori and Mupuwi.

Chipenzi disputes Guvamatanga’s seniority. Guvamatanga may take cases but his people can go direct to Gadzingo or Gutu. Chamisa and Chinyama are senior kraalheads but do not prepare cases from other kraals, nor do they have a defined area.

CHIEF MUNYARADZI (formerly headman)

They are VaHera, with Shava totem. The chief is appointed by elders and kraalheads of the clan, and appointed by chief Gutu. They claim they were given this area by Mambo Rozvi as a reward to their great mother for rain-making. They originated from Nyashanu in Buhera, and claim to have settled here before the Matebele and Europeans invaded the area.

Way back when Mambo VaRozvi was paramount chief of Southern Rhodesia there was a great drought and all rain-makers were called to Matopos, all failed to make rain except Munyaradzi’s mother, and as a reward she asked for this area and it was granted. Munya’s mother was from then considered a wife of Mambo VaRozvi and had to take his Chidau, i.e. Moyondizvo.

When Gutu and his people arrived, Munyaradzi made friends with him, and he was allowed to remain where he had settled.

Munya claimed to have been a chief in his own right, but because he has few followers he was made a headman under chief Gutu. A portion of their land was cut off when Europeans farms were surveyed – a porton was lost to Gadzingo and Makumbi. Nyamande was extended across the Soti river.

Below is the Family tree extract for the clan:

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

Movements in and out the area

Movements into Munyaradzi area included Nyamande, Musarurwa and Zinyemba people. In addition, other kraals came in including Munatsi from Denhere, Magombedze from Matarutse and Marekedzi from Gadzingo. Movements out of the area included; Zingwangwa to Nyamande and Wushendibala took half of his kraal to Chita.

VillagesVillages that comprised of the community by then include:

  1. Mutunhe – Munyira, Rutsvara, Jiri-Amos, Chihaka, Mugore, Regwi, Wunganayi, Mukirivani, Gotosa and Musengi.
  2. Chesvingo/Chikombingo – Chikombingo, Makove, Bvanyu, Ndibgwo, Hapagarwi, Perukayi, Kubvoruno and Chemhere.
  3. Bvumburwi – Munyaradzi, Madziva-Mashura, Muzavazi, Chifamba, Tabva, Kuvarega, Takavingwa, Madzima, Nyodzo, Shumbayerwa, Ticharima, Tevera, Torovanda, Gwaradzimba, Maravanika, Bareni, Chakwesha, Garariza and Madzima.
  4. Rugwedutu – Rafomoyo, Masunda and Muchove.
  5. Chavanda/Zvavahera – Zvavahera, Boora, Murozvi, Mugota, Zvigove, Mukozho, Mubayiwa, Magaya from Zinyemba and Magumbezi from Maburutse.
  6. Muchirara – Tichati and three kraals from Musarurwa.
  7. Rochecheza/Gonye area – Gonye, Magara, Mareva, Rutsere, Muwandi, Mukiyo, Motowanyuka, Muzenda, Banditi and Chivasa (a Nyamande Kraal)
  8. Chihonga – Manjuzu, Mandishaya and Manyutehwa

Boundaries

Their traditional boundaries include a large portion of the European Farming area. Starting from where the fence cuts Matsai, down the stream to Dewure and follows Dewure till it meets Soti, then up the Soti river to where Wazizi joins, then up the Wazizi to the fence.  Their present boundary is pretty much the same, except that they have lost Rasa and the portion along the western side of Soti occupied Nyamande people.  The boundary between Munyaradzi and Nyamande South of Gonye school is the Mandisa river.

Major sub-divisions of Munyaradzi’s area include Gonye. Gonye people are not related to Munyaradzi people except now through inter-marriages. They originate from Makoni and their totem is Nyati. Munyaradzi allows Gonye to hear very minor cases and hence are regarded as a major sub-division of the community.  The Gonye were given permission by Munyaradzi to settle in the area and they are regarded as Munyaradzi’s people.

Villages under Gonye include; Gonye, Rusere, Marewa, Magara, Mukiwo and Muwandi –Guramatunhu. All cases from these kraals are brought to Gonye and he settles them if he can or else passes then on to Munyaradzi.

Munyaradzi is the land authority for the whole area and he allocates the land and he gives permission for any sell of land. On the spiritual side, their Svikiro (spirit medium) was Gorire and used to live in Chesvingo, where the spirit of their great grand mother lived. They used to perform their own rain-making ceremonies, and no other clans join them and they do not proceed to any more superior svikiro. Harvest festivals are held regularly  but rain-making ceremonies are not performed every year.

When a Munyaradzi successor has been selected, the svikiro speaks to him through the medium of the moment like Gorire.

The headmen perform the usual administrative functions such as assisting in arresting wrong-doers, and notifying thr District Commissioners of any irregularities within the area.

For any developmental projects, permission is sought from Munyaradzi first and these include among other; schools, clinics, roads and the like.

CHIEF CHIWARA

Are vaDuma by tribe of Moyo totem with Sahayi as their chidawo. Succession is collateral based like most patrilineal Shona societies. Chiwara was originally a nickname for Matafi (probably a praise name) and this was adopted for the dynasty. The name Mamvura applied to the original dynasty. The Chiwara people claim that during the reign of Bingwa , the area now occupied by Mupata and Magombedze fell into the Chiwara  area. They also claim that these two groups used to be controlled by Chiwara, though this is not authenticated.

Some of the villages include; Bupe, Chikanda, Chikwati, Chingombe, Chivavare, Chekure, Dumbu, Gozho, Gudza, Jakata, Kundinya, Mabuku, Makada, Makumbe, Makweva, Manzunzu, Mapfuwa, Maradze, Marufu, Shuro, Muchowo, Mudukuti, Mudzimurega, Munyanyiwa, Mupinga, Murira, Maruve, Musendo, Musina, Mutambara, Mutema, Mutsengi, Muzvimwe, Muzota, Nevanje, Nyambuya, Rufasha, Shumba, Shuro, Tsvangirayi, Zinhata, Zheve and Zvamashakwe.

Subdivisions include Mutambara area and crown land. Mutambara is a senior kraalhead and this was acknowledged by Chuwara though he refutes that he has any judicial powers.

Boundaries

The traditional boundary appears to be from Mugezi/Devure confluence up the Devure to the Mukuro river, then to the Shuku and across the water shed to the Mungezi and down the latter to the starting point. The present boundary is substantially the same.

Functionally the chiefs performs duties like in most Shona chiefdoms.

CHIEF SERIMA

They are Korekore by tribe of the Tsivo, Gushungo totem. These originally come from Zvimba. After the death of Zvimba, their chief which occurred during some tribal fighting they fled to Rupati where their uncle Tazvareva was living. They lived under him till his death. It seems since then they have been ruling the area. According to sources, Rupati was occupied by a son of Gutu called Chipenzi. Chief Chirumhanzu organized a raid by the Ndebele on Chipenzi and drove him out of the area, and then Chirumhanzu put Serima as the chief in charge of the area. It is believed that before Gutu could retaliate, Chirumhanzu made friends with him and the matter was dropped.

Serima claims that the area they now occupy is much the same as that which they have always occupied except that it has been made smaller due to the European farms.

Some of the families comprising the chiefdom included; Toziyana, Gofa, Manjengwa, Chikwekwema, Mushayike, Rugara, Mapurazi, Besera Madubeko, Gondongwe, Bani, Muduba, Nyanda, Mubvekeri, Mubaiwa, Muzondo, Chikanya, Matizha, Pindura, Masendu, Serima and Pasipamire.

Serima Family Tree extract is as below:

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

Detembo for Gumbo MadyirapanzeMazvita Gumbo,
Maita zvenyu Madyirapazhe ,
Shava huruyakapamba Gona Gararamasango,
Chipauro chamafuta Chikodza mhandara,
Godza muto mhuru inobva Gona,
Vezheve tsuku,

VeRufura Mushukuru we Gona,
Vane chitangachisisazari ngombe,
Chinotozozara musuwezvita
Maita vari Masakadya
Maita vari Njaidza
Vari mhiri kwaNyazvidzi
Vari Hwiri
Vari Zvomutumbwe
Vari Raubwi
Vari Muharu huru

Varichikomo chaMabwazhe, Chisema, Sambiri
Chikara chapazhemwongo
Chifambanamana
Chifuramakuru Mazondo tinodya
Maita vari Svikire
Maita vari Maturi
Vari Chivende
Vari Hubvumwe
Chipatsamakuru Godzamuto

Chakada mutema muzvare Mataruse,
Hekanhi vari Raubwi,
Vari muhari huru,
Vari chikomo chaMabwazhe,
Mhare yokurwa yaiganza kunge handira,
Zvaitwa Chisema, Sambiri,
Chikara chapanze,
Chifamba namana,
Chifuramakuru, mazondo tinodya
Maita vari Svikire,
Vari Maturi, Vari Chivende ,
Vari Hubvumwe, Chiputsamakuru; Godzamuto,
Vari Hwiru ya Mazonde vokuda nyama,
Vanoera gumbo remombe asi mutumbi wayo vachidya,
Shava yangu yiyi, Chitanga, Chikanyamatope,
Maita vari Mapfukudza kunodyiwa boora nechirimo,
Naka muchadya makunguwo huku dzarova,
Hekanhi Madyirapazhe, Ganyamatope,
Kuti vane nzara vaponewo,
Hekanhi Musipa,


Marera Nherera Matsikapasikuzororahuvata,
Hekanhi Gutu, Hekanhi weGona, ndisingei,
Senga nhundwa, senga musoro pane romo neziso,
Hekanhi Mhandamakan?a, Matakuradumbu,
Matangakunwa muviri une nyota,
Vatambi vemuGanyiro,
Matsika pachena napanerima,
Hekanhi Masangedzwa,
Bvumazvirema,
Teveratsimba mutsvairo wenzira,
Hekanhi Murendo, Mushaya chirashwa,
Mafuta tinozora,
Runyanga iginamombe,
Gumbo mubhadha, dovo tinowadza,
Nyama tinodya, mukaka tinomwamwa,
Muswe inhawo, ndove indozura mumba ,
Zvaitwa Chitova, mushukuro wegonamombe,
Aiwa zvaitwa Gumbo,
Chinemukutu, maKorekore.

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. For assistance in creating your Family Tree or documenting your family history, kindly send an email to info@zimtribes.com

Source: National Archives of Zimbabwe, www.totems.co.zw et al

If you would like to contribute to research efforts by Zimtribes to document and promote the history of each tribe in Zimbabwe click the button below.

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22 Replies to “Tracing Gutu history”

    1. Padetembo app vakasiya Chitova, chinotova nedzavamwe. Plus the narration lacks understanding of crucial figures in the Gumbo clan, Zaka is a family member and is missing here why? The history and the mutupo needs to be properly written. But on a fair note, the research is great.

    1. This mutupo is not what we grew up knowing. Hekani Gumbo Chitovaadyirapazhe.
      Vanodyirapanze nokutya vaera shiri
      Hekani kumushukuri WeGona Gomo rinoera
      Vari zvomutumbwe vari masakadya.
      Titanga chisizari Mombe chinozara musi wezvita. Hekani Chinemukutu, Gomo rinoera. Hekani Godzamuto

  1. How about headman Mutema and Nerupiri are they stand alone tribal leaders? Are they in chief Gutu or çhief Chiwara.

  2. What about Chidembo son of Chivige son Risina
    Why not mention this important component of Gutu history

  3. From encyclopedia Who is Who Gumbo clan originated from Eswathini came to Zimbabwe with Mzilikazi and only settled in Gutu after defying the King’s order.

  4. Ko vana va chinomukutu ndivana ani vese ..aiba nevakadzi vangani ..and the other vaira gumbo vari ku ndanga kuzaka chii kuna chinomuktu pachake i jus want to here from those who reall understand this clan and drom those who do really measures the leg VANOIRA GUMBO VANA CHITOVA TOVA CHIPAZHEMWONGO CHIPAURIRO CHEMAFUTA CHIKODZA MHANDARA MADYIRAPANZE WEGONA CHITOVA SAMBIRII HURU YEKURWA VARI HWIRI

  5. I want to believe that the author did not make a thorough reserch on the Vaira Gumbo totem before he posted his story online…..Surely about about.50% of Masvingo Province consists of vaira Gumbo i.e in Gutu and Zaka Districts.The author is only explaining about Gutu and completely leaves out VaNdanga of NeNdanga Chiefzainship.What does that really depict if the totem of Gumbo is not devided like Soko,Shumba and Moyo.Can thr author revisit this issue and give us a fully detailed history aboit vaira Gumbo

  6. Munyori bvunza isu tikuudze dzinza redu .My grandfather is 102yrs now . Vane full info kwete yamatipa iyi pane pamasiya

  7. There are some distortions in the write up but some truths can be acknoledged
    The gumbo clan originated from Bindura yes and Musana the father of the 5 men who left their father and journed south to Nharira where they settled
    The five were Munyikwa who was the eldest He secured his chieftainship in the far East of Nharira
    The other brothers namely Namashakwe Nendanga secured part of the district and established their chiefdoms as well
    It was Mambwazhe nicknamed Chinemukutu because of the quiver of arrows he carried who achieved the greatest oral history claims that he is the one who saved the rain maker Makumbi from a Rhinoceros which was terrorising people around Gona ,Hwiru and Mukaro area
    For killing this monster he extended his jurisdiction and was also honoured by the settlers who named the area Gutu after failing to pronounce Chinemukutu
    Mambwazhe Chinemukutu of the chidao Mukuvapasi
    With time the people distorted the Mukuvapasi chidao to Madyirapazhe
    The gumbo people in Musana are still called Mukuvapasi
    This Chidao encompasses all Gumbo people
    The family tree is now complicated
    But we can start from Musana
    Then the five brothers Munyikwa,Nemashakwe, Nendanga ,Mambwazhe and Chesvino
    I will try to follow Mambwazhe and leave others From
    Makuvaza son of Chaurura
    Chaurura son of Mudambirigwa
    Mudambirigwa son of Chirambamurivo
    Chirambamurivo son of Risina
    Risina son of Mambwazhe
    Mambwazhe son of Musana
    Currently from Mambwazhe we have remained with a few in the 8th generation
    Majority are the 9th and 10th generations

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