Hurungwe chieftainships at a glance

Hurungwe District is located in Mashonaland West province of Zimbabwe and is fairly the largest district  in the province in terms of physical expanse and population. The main town is Karoi, which is located about 200kms from Harare by road. The district depends more on farming, with Tobacco being the main cash crop, followed by cotton. The chiefs in the district include: Chundu, Kazangarare, Dendera, Nematombo, Mujinga, Dandawa and Nyamhunga. There are a couple of service centers which include; Kazangare, Kasimhure, Nyamakate, Tengwe, Mwami, Zvipani, Chitindiva, Mudzimu and Chidamoyo, with Magunje being the main growth point, and one urban center at Makuti and National Park stations.

Chief Chundu

These are Tonga (Soli) by tribe of the Bere totem, with Nyagu as their chidau. They occupy the north-eastern part of the district and originally from the Zambezi escarpment. A lot of migration however took place since the displacement from the Zambezi river with families from nearby farms in the district coming in. Below is the Family Tree link for chief Chundu’s  lineage:


Chief Kazangarare

These are Korekore by tribe of the Nzou totem, with Samanyanga as their chidau. Their history is a bit vague but is known that they are descendents of Mutota and that they originally came from Guruuswa. At first their ancestors settled at the Dete Valley area and later left for Ruvanga  (their present area). Kazangarare gave his sons Dendera and Garara their own areas. Dendera got Ruvunze (an area in the farmlands) but was later moved to the Magunje area. Garara got an area called Dunga (also farms) but he didn’t get official recognition after the occupation and seems to have faded into oblivion.

Some of the kraals that constituted of the chiefdom included; Chitaunike, Gondo, Donora, Mukwesha, Kazungu, Nyakurazare, Kamuchenge, Matesanwa, Katena, Mafuwa, Washayanyika, Kachidza, Zau, Magwira, Varetta, Dandamira, Kapuka/Zuze, Zinyenge, Mafungautsi, Mukambi, Dipuka, Muroiwa/Karima, Muyengwa, Murehwa, Musikwenyu, Zvikonyo, Mupakati and Magwedebure.

The Family Tree for chief lineage is as follows:


Chief Dendera

These are Korekore by tribe of the Nzou totem, with Samanyanga as their chidau. They occupy the north-western part of the district which include Magunje growth point.


The group originally came from the Dande area of Chipuriro. They are descendants of Mutota and are related to chiefs Chisunga, Chitsungo, Kazangarare, all of whom have the same totem and chidau. Early ancestors are reputed to have been elephant hunters. One such ancestor, generally honored as having founded the Dendera chieftainship, was Chatsukameso (the one with red eyes), also known as Chatsurameso.  Chatsukameso parted company with his relatives (ancestors of chief Kazangarare, who he addresses as sekuru) at a place called Deve – a large vlei in the Mukwichi area. The name Dendera derives from the ground hornbill, It is said that Chatsvukameso, whilst on the trail of elephant during a hunting expedition, was pleased by the repeated low hooting sound of the ground hornbill. He stopped to enquire of his servants (varanda) what it was that gave this pleasant sounding call, but which was seldom seen. He was advised that it was the Dendera birds, and so the nickaname became attached to him. Succeeding chiefs have all ruled under this name. Some say it was Nyamavere who first assumed this name of Dendera.

They found people of the Tembo/Mazvimbakupa totem in the area when they arrived. These were subjects of a chief “Nyamusiya”. Fighting ensued, and the Tembo people are said to have fled to Zambia.

Some of the kraals include; Chiyangwa, Chigede, Mbereko, Chinyembere, Chigumbura, Chivere, Karenga, Dzunguichewa, Kangausaru, Ngorezha, Mashayamombe, Maguranyanga, Makanyaire, Matsika, Mazvimbakupa, Kawandi, Mahwadu, Wendera, Kandengwa, Magumbura, Makumbirofa, Dendera/Mupamombe, Chitemerere, Honzeri, Kwakwiyo, Matope, Mpokuta, Mudyavanhu, Joga, Makayi (new kraal 1967), Seremwe, Hondo, Kambamura, Zindanga, Zharare, Muchoraringa, Murimbika, Kandororo, Kapungu, Makumbe, Nziradzepatsva, Dzvete, Tadzimiwa/Banki, Bopoto, Maplanka, Mudekwa, Mutema, Gonga, Zunzanyika, Kadema, Matanga, Nyamufukudza, Sikanya, Kapengautowa, Nyamadzawo/Nzara, Zendanemago and Gawa.


The tribal trust land/European farming area fence forms one boundary, and the common boundary with Chanetsa and Nematombo is Murerezhi river.

Below are some of the chiefs who ruled the Dendera chiefdoms:

Dzakukameso, Nyamavere, Chinopisa, Mashonga, Mashorapayi, Muchenje, Mutarachisa, Nziramasanga, Murodza, Chivere (1910 to 1012), Chigede (1920 to 1928), Mupamombe (1930 to 1952), Mupanganeye Musokota (1959 to 1960), Kahama (1959 to 1960), Mutema Obert (1960 1966), Chenge (1966 to 1968), Mavunga Rameki (1968 to 1984 and Kerecheni (from 1984)


Chief Nematombo

These are vaBudya of Mutoko by tribe, though they now claim to be VaKorekore because of the language they speak. They are of the Shumba totem, with Nechinanga as their chidau. They occupy the western part of the district. Some headmen under chief Nematombo included  Chanetsa and Zimhowa. Chief Zimhowa  were Karanga by tribe of the Mhara totem with Chikonamombe as chidau. Then there was Chief Chanetsa who was downgraded to headman under chief Nematombo in July 1961. He was a Zezuru of the Nhari totem with Nyamakwembere as Chidau.


The ancestors are claimed to have migrated from Guruuswa and Mutoko and they claim to be descendents of Nehoreka. They were under the leadership of Dokotoko and were of the same migration as Makope (in Chiweshe Tribal Trust land). Dokotoko was not a chief, but merely an ordinary man or commoner. He came on a visit here and found the Marindi people near Gache gache. Dokotoko had two sons, Ngendongara and Chinehasha. They fought the Marindi people and drove them west of Sanyati river to Chief Msampakaruma’s country. Much later Chiefs Dandawa, Dendera, Matau, Mudzimu and headman Chanetsa, Mzilawempi and Nyamhunga, were moved into his traditional area, thus considerably reducing his domain. Even today, much of the area claimed by Nematombo permits of increased settlement. His country, he claims stretches from Tengwe river to the shores of lake Kariba – about 60 miles.

Some of the kraals under Nematombo included; Majinjiwa, Machona, Nyamadzawo, Matsika, Mazvauri, Paratema, Madima, Chigara, Mateta, Muuna, Wasakara, Chikwata, Bunda, Wamiridza, Kadowonda, Chawasarira, Chendamora, Ngoshi, Kademaunga, Masati, Gumiremhete, Jochore, Choto, Chitau, Dandaratsi, Zikonyo, Ziome, Soraidoma, Matenga, Kunzekutema, Makiwa and Meja Biri.


The western boundary is the 4-wire cattle fence; the southern is Tengwe river, whilst the eastern boundary is formed by a portion of the Tengwe and Murereshi rivers, then to Nyaodza  and then to the shores of Lake Kariba. Headmen Mzilawempi and Chanetsa both have their own defined areas of jurisdiction though they are part of Nematombo.

Below is the Family Tree link for chief Nematombo’s lineage:

Headman Chanetsa

Chief Chanetsa was downgraded to headman under chief Nematombo in July 1961. He was a Zezuru of the Nhari totem with Nyamakwembere as Chidau and now absorbed into Korekore. The tribe originally lived in the area known as Mbowe, which is Lomagundi district. The boundary was the Angwa river at a place called Siso, and then to Chikonohono hill, and then to the Manyami river (Hunyani), then to Silver Mine, then to Nadzuka (vlei). Originally, a man called Nyamakwere lived in this area. He had four eyes: 2 in front and 2 at the back. The original Chanetsa people are said to have migrated from Guruuswa and they sought assistance from Nyamuswa who also lived in this area under chief Nemakonde. Nyamuswa was the principal mhondoro and they asked him to come and fight for them against Nyamakwere. Thereafter, he gave them his son, Nyachawa, to be their mhondoro and to help them in the administration of their area.

The title Chanetsa , according to legend, derives from one Kamukapa, who went to the Makorekore to fetch certain tribal drums; he therefore “suffered for the country” – Chanetsa. Makumbe appears to have been the first one to use the title. Official records bear out the claim of the headman that he was previously a chief and they have not forgotten this and a claim for the restoration of the chieftainship is bound to come up in the future.

The group’s recent history is not very clear but it appears that they were moved into the present area circa 1942/43 and the area was regarded as belonging to Nematombo. The headman claimed that he was advised to move further down to the Musukwe river, where many of his subjects lived but he refused and hence remained in Nematombo’s area with no real boundary being defined. But later, when Land Husbandry commenced, an attempt was made to establish the boundary between Chanetsa and Nematombo. The old road to Zvipani was taken as the boundary in the west , but it’s not clear where was the boundary between Chanetsa and Mzilawempi.

Headman Mzilawempi Zimhowa

Are VaKaranga by tribe of Mhara totem and Chikonamombe as chidau. The group are a branch of Chief Mashayamombe of Chegutu/Hartley. They were under the control of Zimhowa (who is reputed to have been the first headman), and lived in the Gwelo district under chief Chiundura. After some years Mzilawempi led the people to Hurungwe where they were settled in Chief Nematombo’s area. People loyal to headman Chanetsa were living in the area and they were expected to give allegiance to Mzilawempi or move to Chanetsa’s own area further north. Some remained whilst other moved.

Some of the kraals who came with Mzilawempi were; Maplazi, Mufi, Sifelani, Tendekayi, Sichakala, Masocha/Mzilawempi, Muchakure, Fantiso, Matare, Kiwa, Matoto, Magama, Mafishi, Nikisi, Tachiona, Nyikadzino, Wurayayi, Sikonzapi, Matiki, Philip and Takanayi. Some of the kraals of vaKorekore who remained and didn’t move to Chanetsa’s area included; Makoshore, Karima, Beremauro, Charingana, Mudengezerwa, Nyakuziranga, Nyamutora, Nyarumwe, Waniridza, Mutungambera, Mukakatanwa and Dandaradze.


Chief Mujinga

These are Vambire (Korekore) by tribe of the Tembo  totem, with Mazvimbakupa  as their chidau. Circa 1899, one Chimusimbe who had come from Shangwe west of the Sanyati and married into the tribe, was appointed headman, by the then native Commissioner on 31 March 1900. He was appointed chief following the death of Kapuma despite objection from the tribe and even Chumusimbe himself.


The tribe is said to have originated from Guruuswa and are related to chief Chihota of Marondera. Mudanyota is the earliest known ancestor (Sikarudzi) and he found the country unoccupied when he arrived here. It’s said that Karimanzira migrated from Guruuswa leaving his father Mudanyota behind. Some of the kraals included; Bisheri, Chinyenze, Mujinga/Chieta, Dabvu, Dimba, Goremusandu, Kanongota, Kasengezi, Mazura, Makisi, Manhenga, Maravanyika, Marumazvitsva, Matambura Matiza, Muparaganda, Mandizha, Ndekeri, Nyamuderu, Nyawisa and Tavaguta.

When asked about the vast largely vacant Piriwiri area and of the possibility of settling more people therein, the chief agreed that they can accommodate more people but he emphasized that if the Government wanted to settle more people, let them not send more VaKaranga as they didn’t get along very well – they preferred other smaller groups of different  as VaKaranga would even usurp their chieftainship.


Commencing at the intersection of the Tengwe European farming area/tribal trust land fence with Tengwe river; then down the river to the confluence with Sanyati river and up Sanyati to the confluence with Piriwiri river, then up Piriwiri to the boundary of the tribal trust land and generally northwards along tribal trust land boundary to the starting point.

The chief lineage Family Tree is as follows:


Chief Dandawa

These are vaGova (Korekore) by tribe of the Tembo  totem, with Mazvimbakupa  as their chidau. Chieftainship was first recognized in 1900. In an attempt to steamline the tribal organisation, chiefs Dandawa and Chundu were ‘resigned’ and both tribal groups placed under one chief which proved unsuccessful. Headman Mudzimu is under chief Dandawa  and they are of Gumbo (Madyirapanze) totem and Korekore by tribe.

The Dandawa people, like those of Mudzimu, Chundu, Nyamhunga and others , originally lived along the Zambezi valley and their area was located close to Mana Pools game reserve. Their tribal boundaries were the Zambezi river (in the north), Sabi river in the east, Chikuti river in the south and the Mahongwe river in the west.

The group was moved to their present area, Rengwe in 1958 and when they moved to Rengwe, they found some VaKorekore people (ex Sipolilo district) in their present area. These kraals were assimilated into their chiefdom. Some of the kraals include; Matore(Gumbo/Madyirapanze), Matengaifa (Nzou Samanyanga), Katswere (Nzou Samanyanga), Katuma (Nzou Samanyanga), Manyembere , Munuwa (Nzou Samanyanga), Chiwanza (Nzou Samanyanga), Chagioma (Nzou Samanyanga), Mudzongachiso (Nzou Samanyanga), Zunza (Nzou Samanyanga), Nyamandu (Nzou Samanyanga), Mufurutsa (Nzou Samanyanga), Gwenzi (Nzou Samanyanga), Gwara (Mbano/Matemayi), Rukanzakanza (Mbano Matemayi), Tevedza (Shava Mhofu), Gunduza (Shava Mhofu), Tsungura (Shava Mhofu), Gwatura (Shava Mhofu), Mbamuchena (Shava Mhofu), Kangwara (Shava Mutenesanwa), Chishato (Shava Nematombo), Kondo (Shava Nechiromo), Ndoro (Shava Mufakose), Nyamawe/Chipangura (Bere Nyangu), Manzungu (Nhari Makwembere), Chisora (Shumba Nechinanga), Kufandirori (Shumba Nechinanga), Sirani (Mawongera), Varetta (Mawendera), Chitawu (Zambu Hwai), Gandawa (Mhizha Macheka-field mouse) and Mataruka (Mbiti/Mbire).

The kraals who were found in the area and assimilated included; Samvubu (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Dandawa/Matsviru (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Kamanura (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Goremusandu (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Chidoma (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Nyarongwe (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Chidyafodya (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Mugurameno (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Matiza (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Nyamukayiwa (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Patsikadova (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Chifuradombo (Moyo Chirandu), Karoko/Guveya (Moyo Matere), Charewa (Moyo Matere), Majinjiwa (Moyo Nematombo), Chawasema (Soko Wafawanaka), Chiworeka (Soko Wafawanaka), Nyamaromo (Soko Wafawanaka), Tayena (Soko Wafawanaka), Chiyangwa (Soko Wafawanaka), Gwaze (Soko), Penyayi (Soko), Hutotso (Soko)

Below is the Family Tree link of chief’s lineage:

Headman Mudzimu

VaGova (Korekore) of the Gumbo, Madyirapanze totem. The tribe claims to be descended from one Nyamatinhiri (possibly another name for Mudzimu), who migrated northwards to Chirundu from Musana reserve in Bindura. Apparently relatives of Nyamatinhiri became tired  of the long journey from Guruuswa and settled in Musana. Others deflected to Gutu and Ndanga districts where the Gutu and Ndanga chieftainshis were set up.  All these chiefs taboo Gumbo (Mudzimu, Musana, Gutu and Ndanga). When Nyamatinhiri arrived at the Zambezi, where he decided to settle, they encountered the Vambara people and they conquered them leading them to flee to the northern part of the river. The country was called Gova (big river) and its boundaries were; to the north was the Zambezi river, to the east was Nyakasanga river (Dandawa) and to the west Share river (Nyamhunga). They lived east and west of where Chirundu bridge is now.

Around 1956, the entire community was moved to Hurungwe. They claim to have been told that they would drown if the dam wall will burst so they should move to the higher ground. The tribe comprised of about 13 kraals which included; Mudzimu (Gumbo Madyirapanze), Kapandura (Gumbo Madyirapanze), Nyakuritsika (Gumbo Madyirapanze), Bandora (Soko Wafawanaka), Karambamuhoro (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Nyamhondoro (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Kwarirandura (Nzou Samanyanga), Kawanje (Nzou Samanyanga), Nyamaropa (Matere of Nemakondo), Karenga( Matere of Nemakondo), Zvikonyaukwa (Shava mhofu), Masheedzanwa (Zambu Chuma) and Maringapasi.

Those who were found in the area and switched their allegiance to Mudzimu included; Muwaira (Soko Wafawanaka), Chirasasa (Shava Mhofu), Matenga (Shumba Nechinanga), Murasiwa, Mudzwamutsi, Jera, Marumezvitsva/Mhazi, Gasura 1, Mutauwa, Charuma/Kadyafodya, Mutematsaka, Kandiya, Coffee/Manenda and Gasura 11.

There were also some families who moved into the area mainly from Masvingo and these included; Manjongwa, Marangwanda, Muvengwa/Chitiki, Mudzingi/Chipere, Mukucha, Goromondo, Mangarai, Kwirirai, Musekiwa/Masiyanwa and Mapfuwamara.

Headman Matau

They are vaShawasha by tribe of Mbano Matemayi totem with Korekore as their language. Was recognized as headman in 1948. Originally, Matau and his people lived near mount Urungwe, along the upper reaches of the Rukomechi river. In the old days, Matau’s forebearers were sent up the Highveld to spot the vultures feeding on dead elephants shot by Dandawa’s hunters. This detection of vultures helped them to locate the dead elephants and they took the tusks to Chief Dandawa and this became a custom. This led to Matau being awarded headmanship by Dandawa. The group was also moved to the present day location in 1958. Headman Matau’s mhondoro is called Chinenyanga.

Some of the families under Matau were; Nyambaro, Dzorani, Bakasa, Kapesa, Murimbika, Kabatamuswe, Chiwara, Makanyaire, Gonye, Kademaunga, Nidzebonde, Uzambe, Chabata, Mandinda, Katemanyoka, Bvunzawabaya, Kachemaedza, Mande, Matau, Madzvambeya, Chapupu, Elias/Muvhitori, Munyuki, Bere, Gudure and Jangwa.

Regarding the boundaries; in the west is 8-ways fence with Chief Dandawa’s area, in the north is chief Nyamunga at Kanyati river, in the east is chief Nematombo where there is 4-way fence, with headman Mudzimu on the south.


Chief Nyamhunga

These are Korekore by tribe of the Gwai  totem, with Zambu/Munawa  as their chidau. They occupy the north-western part of the district. They were moved from Zambezi  around 1957 to pave way for Kariba Dam. It is believed that Nyamhunga is an offshoot of Gora from Goromonzi who then  moved  westwards and settled at the confluence of Sanyati and Zambezi rivers. Their Chisi days are Mondays and Thursdays. Tribal spirit was Nyanhewe. Related to Chiefs Nematombo, Dandawa and Headman Mudzimu who are all of the VaGova tribe. They do not eat the bones of a mutton for fear of losing teeth.


The tribe is said to have its origin from Guruuswa. Little is known about the past than that the early ancestors lived a peaceful, though backward existence along the Zambezi – some say they are an offshoot of Gora dynasty in Goromonzi. They were hunters and fishermen rather than agriculturalists – their crops were continually raided by elephants  and hippos. They were first moved to the Badze river area of Chief Nematombo. Here they found a lot of kraals “who were born under chief Nematombo but who had switched their allegiance to headman Matau (under chief Dandawa) whose area it had been proclaimed”. Then the area was stated to have been given to Nyamhunga, “so the people paid tribute to him rather than move to Matau or Nematombo areas.” These kraals were accepted into the community. Subsequent to this, Nyamhunga was given a difficult area (the present one), and some of the kraals found there chose to move with him, whilst others chose to remain behind and pay tribute to Headman Mudzimu.

The community is, for some reasons, a very loose one. There is little loyalty to the chieftainship by kraals other than those comprising the original community. Continual movement has not been conducive to building of a strong society. Little in the way of community development/local government can be expected until the people have settled down properly.

Kraals who were part of the original community at Gova are: Nyamhunga (Zambu), Chinokopota (Zambu), Kakwenya (Zambu), Mapfungautsi (Zambu), Karowamatanda (Zambu), Maurukira (Zambu), Karombe (Zambu), Chamononyonga ( Moyo Matere), Makudzashamba  (Shonga/Nechiru), Mpombwa     (Shava/Mhofu), Dzombe (Ngonya/Gushungo), Murota (Nzou/Samanyanga), Chimurewo (Nzou Samanyanga), Zambezi (Tembo/Mazvimbakupa) and Bakasa (Soko/Wafawanaka).

Those who left Nyamhunga community included; Chirovapasi, Makwenya, Mapfuwamara, Chisandau, Maringapasi, Muparaganda, Kandiye/Chikupo and Nyakasikana.

Those who were found in the area and changed their allegiance to Nyamhunga were as follows: Masanga (Ngonya/Gushungo), Chineviringa (Nhari/Unendoro), Zakariah (Nzou/Samanyanga), Mutinha (Nzou Samanyanga), Muparu (Shava/Mhofu), Bvungo (Shava Mhofu), Musauke (      Soko/Wafawanaka), Kapamara (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Chiumburukwe (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Kanyurira (Mbano Mademayi), Mazindori (Zambu/Munawa), Jera 11 (Moyo Matere), Goredema (Shumba/Nechinanga).

Then later, there were VaVhitori who joined the chief who now regard themselves as per of the community were: Musekiwa, Mupandagwara and Kadondo.


Commencing at the intersection of the Kamazi river with the 4-strands cattle fence, then down the Kamazi to its confluence with Nyadara river, then up the Nyadara to its intersection with the 8 strand game fence, then along this fence  to its intersection with the 4-strand cattle fence , then along the fence towards the Karambazungu gate, past this gate and back to the starting point.

Some of the chiefs who reigned were as follows:

Zheke, Ndingi, Chisodza, Chipembere, Kufawepasi (01.07.1924 to 11.09.1961), Chinyandura (01.10.1961 to 30.06.1974), Mupandagwara (01.07.1964 to killed 16.06.1978), Kwaipa Zebedia (03.10.1978 to 19.12.1984), Chiyangwa (from 1984)

———————————————————————————————————By Misheck Samanyanga

Source: S2929/2/9-10

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History of the Zvimba dynasty

Zvimba district is located in Mashonaland West province, in central northern Zimbabwe, sharing bounderies with Guruve district to the north, Mazoe to the east, Harare to the south-east, Chegutu the south, Kadoma to the south-west and Makonde district to the west and north-west.

The Zvimba chieftainship was founded by Neuteve Chihobvu who migrated from Guruuswa (thought to be in present day Tanzania). Chihobvu was Neuteve’s father and is the founder of the tribe in Guruuswa. Neuteve left his father’s kingdom and travelled westwards in search of a country for himself. This was probably part of the same migration as such other chieftainships like Chiweshe, Chipuriro, Chivero, Chirau and Magondi. When he arrived in the now Zvimba area, he complained that his feet were swollen  (Ndazvimba makumbo). He was thereafter nick-named Zvimba. At the time, the Rozvi governed the country and Tambare (thought to be Nemakonde) allocated the land to Neuteve, driving off Svinura’s people. Zvimba’s clan are of Gushungo totem with Zezuru as their main dialect with Korekore also in some areas.

Neuteve had three sons: Nemahunga, Negondo and Pokoteke. To the eldest, Nemahunga, was allocated a tract of land where Msengezi purchase area is today. Negondo married a sister of Gwenzi (a member of the Chivero community near Chegutu /Hartley), but was unable to father any children, so he invited his young brother, Pokoteke, who helped him to father Chambare and Pokoteke. These two were regarded as Negondo’s sons.

Zvimba family tree is as per the link below:

Neuteve’s successor in the Zvimba chieftainship was Negondo, who was followed by Pokoteke. The later gave a tract of land to Chambara (where Martinspur is today). This area was called Chikanga. Pokoteke himself retained control of the area between Karoi and Hunyani rivers. He married a Chikunda woman (from Portuguese East Africa) and had two sons , Kakomwe and Chidziva.

After Pokoteke’s death, Beperere assumed the chieftainship on the grounds that his elder brother Chambara, had his own inheritance (Martinspur farm). The news of the death was slow in reaching Chambara, but when he heard of it and came to pay his respects, he incited trouble. He wanted both areas, but many people backed Beperere, because Chambara had been away in his own area for many years and was regarded as a virtual stranger. Chambara had the support of Pokoteke’s sons, Kakomwe and Chidziva, and he sought and obtained assistance from the Rozvi, who had spears which instilled great fear.

Beperere’s people took refuge at a hill called Chakona, and were soon surrounded by Chambara’s warriors. Beperere summoned his sons to him and gave to each a horn of a wild animal, as follows: Baranje (eland), Nyamangara (kudu), Gwewera (sable), Dununu (tsessebe) and Chimbamauro (bush-buck). He himself had a horn carved from bamboo. They assembled in an unplastered hut on top of the hill and blew their horns in unison, giving off a terrifying din. A great wind arose and carried the hut (complete with occupants) to the far bank of the nearby Hunyani river. Beperere seeing the fear of his brother, shouted across the river: “You have failed “(wa kona) – hence the hill is called Chakona to this day.

Chambara was unable to cross the river, but shouted back: “Young brother, let us fight now for the country!” to which Beperere responded: ”Do you know what we are fighting over? Are we not brothers of the same womb? Is it not proper that each son should receive his inheritance? You, elder brother , have your country, this is mine!”

These words annoyed Chambara, who shot an arrow across the river at Beperere. The arrow landed into the sand near Beperere, who shouted: “So! It is you who has the audacity of war – yet you have no aim!”. He plucked the arrow from the sand, broke off the head, and spat on the shaft, saying: “Look, brother, my aim is true, but do not touch this arrow when it reaches you for you will surely die!” He shot it back across the water, on its way the arrow turned into a cockrel and settled on Chambara’s head, depositing its droppings in his hair. The BaRozvi loughed at him and withdrew their support. Thus Beperere got the country.

Chambara became insane and died shortly afterwards, and Beperere shared out the country amongst his sons. To Baranje, he gave Bangasefu (Banket) and he did the same to the other , with the exception of Chimbamauro, who began to sulk and beat his drums loudly every night until he was given land near Darwendale.

Thus originated the present subdivisions, of the Zvimba area: The chief’s own dunhu, and those of Dununu, Nyamangara, Chimbamauro and Nyamukanga (Chambara’s son).

Movements into and out of the area

Chief Mashayamombe tried to conquer Chief Zvimba’s people but was driven off. One, Chimanga, a kraal head from chief Nyandoro’s country, came to settle in Zvimba’s area, and was given a wife and a small piece of land. Chimanga is regarded as a “Muzukuru”, who officiates at the succession of chieftainship ceremonies. The following also came from other areas: Chitsinde, from Chief Hwata, Kutama from Chief Gutu, Mariga from Chief Nyashanu, Mucheri from vaRozvi. In recent times, Chief Nyabira’s people dispersed themselves, and many settled in both Chief Zvimba’s and Chief Chirau’s countries.  In addition, Madzima moved from Chief Njanja, Runganga from Chief Mutasa, Chaparadza from Gokwe and  Masiyarwa from Chief Chihota.

On the other hand Chief Serima moved out to Serima tribal trust land. Chief Serima shares the same totem (Tsiwo/Ngonya).

Totem praise

Maita Gushungo,VokwaNzungunhokotoko,Muchero waNegondo,Maita Tsiwo, Usavi hwavamwe varume,Vambwerambwetete,Kugara pasi kusimuka zvinohwira vhu,Musati hutukwa,Mutupo ndowenyu,Tatenda varidzi venyika,Vakabva Guruuswa,Varidzi vamazhanje.Maita vokwaZvimba,Vazere muChakona, Vene vamachiri namakute,Vano kutizira kunenge kudyara nzungu,Vakapangura nyika inoIchakatsitswa nezamu,Vomutupo weGushungo,Vari chipata, Zambezi naMaringohwe,Aiwa mwana waZvimba,Zvaitwa vaNgonya.

Compiled by: Misheck Samanyanga

Source: Mainly National Archives

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Kariba Chiefdoms unpacked!

Kariba district is located in Mashonaland West province of Zimbabwe and is widely known for its majestic Kariba Dam, along the might Zambezi and is one of the biggest man-made lakes in the world. The Lake is about 1,300 kilometers upstream from the Indian Ocean, along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Kariba town is a tourist town due to its vast waters and wildlife. One can enjoy game viewing, boat cruises, fishing and hunting among other leisure activities.

Lake Kariba

Kariba district mainly constitutes of four (4) traditional chiefs – Mola, Msampakaruma, Nebiri and Negande, with Nyamhunga falling between Hurungwe and Kariba. These were some of the traditional leaders who were displaced from the Zambezi river to pave way for the construction of the Kariba Dam around 1957. After displacement each of the four chiefs was allocated an area on the lake shore to establish Fishing Camps and these include, Msampakaruma, Charara, Sibilobilo, and Makuyu camps. In some cases, old villages were used for these camps. I will not dwell much on other chiefs on the eastern side who primarily fall under Hurungwe, as these will be covered in a separate dedicated article.

Chief Nebiri

These are Shangwe by tribe of the Shoko-Ncube totem. Their chidawo is Chirongo. The area as a whole is called Nebiri, and it has various sub-names , such as localities bearing names of rivers and streams like Chifudze, Hwadze, Kasvisva etc.


For the Family Tree of the chiefdom till the time of Chief Matashu, kindly follow the link below:

The name Nebiri is derived from the name of the valley, it was never a personal name. The chiefs have always been called Nebiri and this is now a traditional name. This tribe was granted chieftainship by Chief Chireya who falls under  Gokwe. Chireya was regarded as paramount chief in Gokwe where he had six headmen under him where all functioned as independent chiefs with headman status. This is because there was no post of paramount chief that existed and promoting them to chiefs would make them independent of Chireya. In addition to the six, Chiefs Nenyunga, Nebiri and Negande all regard Chireya as their senior.

The Nebiri family married from the Chireya family and became vazukuru to chief Chireya. Because of this relationship, Chief Chireya agreed for them to have an independent community but they had to pay for their land with blood in the form of human sacrifice. Kasusira, their first leader, agreed to be beheaded in order to earn the soil for his people. Similar ceremonies were conducted for others, such as headman Nembudziya, etc.

Nebiri family are still responsible for assisting in the selection of chief Chireya , though they are not the only ones who have this function. Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, spiritual installations were conducted , but since the native commissioners have been taking part in the selections all spiritual functions associated with succession have ceased.

At these ceremonies,  string of black beads (matimba) had to be placed around the successor’s neck. Chief Chireya had the responsibility of installing (placing matimba on)  most of the chiefs and headmen in the Kariba-Gokwe district. Although chiefs are no longer installed with Matimba, the significance of this function still persists in certain respects – for example, Chiefs Mola or Nebiri would not dare spend a night at Chireya’s village because they have never been presented to the spirits.

Rain ceremonies are usually held each year, at a place near the chiefs’s kraal. Gifts are also sent annually to Nevana, the rain svikiro (spirit medium) of the Vashangwe residing in the Gokwe district.

Masava/Masaba Community (Chief Nebiri)

It’s important to mention the Masava group who were appointed by Chief Nebiri as headman. These are also of the Soko totem (Chirongo) and Vashangwe tribe. Masava was appointed around 1939 by Chief Nebiri as Sadunhu and was selected by the elders of the group. Basis of selection was collateral successon (patriarchy). These occupy the Bembera-Chifudzi area.

Chief Nebiri was muzukuru to Masava – that is , the mother of chief Nebiri was the daughter or sister of the Masava family . Masava was a bodyguard to chief Nebiri, thus they came into this area together. Masava first settled at Vuranduli  and were relocated to Chifudzi to after the construction of Kariba dam. Some of the vilages under Masava included; Gasura, Mapinda, Masava, Tapererwa or Mazezewa, Basaroukwa, Marairomba, Makumbirofa or Kanegocheka, and Makwerere or Marundura.

For the Family tree, kindly refer to the link below:


Chief Negande

Negande people are VaShangwe by tribe of the Shava, Mhofu totem, with Gamanya Kuenda as their chidawo. They border chiefs Mola, Nebiri, Nenyunga and Siabuwa. They use both Tonga and Shangwe as their languages. The chief is normally referred to as Mwami by his subjects.


Kamkota, son of Chireya, was given this area and the people regard him as their ancestor. Kamkota was given a branch of a tree by Chireya and he was told to go forth and start his own tree. When they came to the area, they found people of the Sakurebgwa tribe, whom they fought and drove off. Their ancestors then settled in the very place where the tribe is still living today – these were not affected by Kariba dam displacement.

There were some movements into the area with two kraals from Mola, that is, Moswera Kahusu and Magwama and these settled in Dela. Makaza kraal moved in from Sinakatenge and settled at Munengi.

The Family Tree of chieftainship is as per the link below:

Some of the villages in Negande included; Chibanka, Kanengocheka, Katizandima, Makaza, Mapwatu, Mazabuka, Mazinyo, Negande, Siachamwaika, Siachikalanga, Zimonyo, Jeke, Mafuriranwa/Jatakalula, Magwama, Malobokela, Marumasangu, Murota, Miyozi, Siachakanzwa, Sianjalika, Mudenda, and Siansangu Makaringe.

Chief Msampakaruma

Were also affected by Kariba dam and move further south in the interior. Before displacement they occupied the area between Sanyati and Bumi before being moved in 1956. They are baGova (Shona) by tribe and of the Shoko totem going by chidawu Wafawanaka. Common names of occupied areas include Marowa, Chidyamugwamu, Karongwe, Chisanga and Gunguwe among others. The chief is normally referred to as Ishe by his people.


Even the oldest Sampakaruma last interviewed didn’t recall legends of his tribe living anywhere other than the Zambezi, possibly meaning they were some of the first Shonas to come to Zambezi. The tribe was conquered by the Ndebele tribe and made to pay taxes to the Matabele king in tobacco.

The basis for selection of a chief is collateral and follows roughly four main houses. Among these people a new chief is chosen by the vazukuru and the makota. The muzukuru puts matimba on the chief- Nemawana is the muzukuru and it’s a traditional name. The first to hold this office was a son of the first chief’s sister. The name and responsibility are passed on to the next successive generation.

Other vaGova chiefs who lived in the east of these people were Nyamhunga, Dandawa, Chuundu and Mudzimu. Although these are of the same tribe, Sampakaruma claims no relationship. When Sampa lived in the Zambezi he had two abalisa, Litswara and Chitondo, who ruled their own small areas  and were subservient to chief Sampa. However, since they have been displaced to the bush, they have not been given areas and they are no longer as functional making them to be regarded as mere kraal heads.

It is said that when chief Sampa shifted to his new settling ground, he carried with him his ancestor , Kasengeri – that is he dug up his bones and transported them to their new burial ground. Kasengeri is their tribal spirit and he used to speak to them through the medium of Pinchisi, alias Kasengeri, a son of Chinodakufa. For the Family Tree, kindly follow the link below:

They claim that chieftainship should alternate between four houses – Chavonga, Maguranyonga, Morepori and Nyamadzawo (Chigwededza). Some of the villages found in Msampa are; Chibayamagora, Chikwasha, Rudondolo, Mugara, Mashowedzana, Mutanaugwa, Matengambiri, Msampakaruma, Siantumbi, Kuchacharika, Chibumba, Chunsiya, Chipura, Djumba, Kashambe, Mutandira/ Katandira, Mutimutema, Siachazangwa, Marambo, Mashonga, Matekenya, Siamatari, Munanga, Chakazamba,Honye, Mapokotera and Mutukura.


Chief Mola

Were equally affected by Kariba dam and moved about 15 kilometers further into the interior- They are the closest to the Zambezi river. Before displacement they occupied the area between Sengwa and Bumi or Ume river. They are baTonga by tribe and of the Nyoni totem going by chidawu Mushanga Muyuni. Common names of occupied areas include Bumi, Chitenge, Dove, Mayove,Kalundu, Mangwala, Chiweshe among others. The chief is normally referred to as Mwami  by his people.

Unlike the Shona patriarchy selection of chiefs, Mola use matrilineal succession with nephews (sons of sisters) taking prominence in selection, this is similar to most Zambia tribes, including the Tonga of Bamutala (across the river). Successors are selected by the makurukota (the equivalent of masadunhu in Shona). Masvikiro or mhondoro play no part in these functions.


As far as the tribe can recall, they came from the Zambezi and can hardly trace their history or origins beyond this point. They do not claim relationship with the surrounding tribes or chiefdoms.  Prior to their displacement in 1956, Chief Mola and his people occupied the southern bank of the Zambezi, from Sengwa to Bumi (Ume) rivers. Their neighbors across Sengwa were Sinakatenge and Msampakaruma across Bumi. Chiefs Nebiri and Negande were neighbors to the south living some distance from the Zambezi river.  The main Chief Mola and the majority of his subjects lived upstream around Sibbilobbilo area with a few living in Bumi’s Kasonde area , just close to the current Bumi Hills and this is where he used to appoint his nephew as headman or subchief to handle issues and oversee that area.

All Mola people were affected by the displacement, and apart from two kraals, all settled around their chief. The two kraals excepted were Jeke and Siampamba – the latter is still under Mola’s control, while Jeke switched allegiance to Chief Negande.

Some of the villages (sabhuku) included; Dumbula, Gwangwaba, Jeketera, Kai, Lutope, Masaba Kayungwa, Siachiwa, Siakaloba, Siachitema, Kubanyawu, Siampanda, Siamavu, Simuguga, Chalibamba, Liyongwesha, Mujokeri, Musana and Zvamoyo (Chirume). Chirume was a minor Muchinda of chief Mola on Kasonde side and he controlled Liyongwesha, Mujokeri, Musana and Zvamoyo.

There were two subdivisions of the Mola community – Chirume and Siachamwaika (Bokisi). Chirume was a minor subdivision of the community.

Sialonje was a muzukuru of chief Mola and was responsible for appointing successors to the chieftainship. He was appointed by Chief Mola (Siajeya) around 1941. He was of the Soko totem (Chirongo). This privilege has been passed down to the present generation.  This family holds a prominent position in the chiefdom. This group lived on the Bumi near the present day hotel. The area they currently occupy belonged to chief Nebiri. Some of the villages under Sialonje included Chigwagwa, Shangwe Siandima, Lusinga (Siamabechu), Majomba, Mola Mutami, Sianembwa and Viringana.

Chieftainship structure

For the Chiefdom tree, kindly refer to the link below:

Bounderies with other chiefdoms

Ndepa mountain range is the boundery with Nebiri, whereas the Bumi river is the boundery with chief Msampakaruma. The boundery with chief Negande is not so clear-cut. It is approximately as follows: Starts at Ndepa, then follows a north-westerly direction to Marambwa, a pool or pan, then to a strean called Sonda, which flows into the Sengwa about fifteen miles north of the Dela.

Rain ceremonies are held each year, and gifts are sent to Nevana (the rain svikiro in Nemangwe, Gokwe).

By Misheck Samanyanga

Source: Mainly from the National Archives records.

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Historical music insights in Africa

Music has been part and parcel of humanity for a long time. Not every sound is musical, but sound has meaning and sometimes the meaning of sound is specific to its context.

But when it comes to archaeology there is scant evidence of music or sound producing artefacts from southern Africa. This is because of poor preservation of the mostly organic materials that were used to manufacture musical instruments. Rock art offers depictions of musical instruments as well as scenes of dancing that can be linked with music performance, but here only music-related artefacts will be discussed.

I conducted original research as well as a survey of the literature available on these artefacts. Ethnographic sources were also consulted in order to attempt to provide a broader contextual background against which knowledge of the archaeological implements could be expanded. The Percival Kirby online musical instrument repository has also been used. Music archaeology is multidisciplinary in nature.

The result is one of the first reports on southern African sound- and music-related artefacts.

Research in music archaeology in southern Africa has just begun. Available evidence dates back from around 10,000 years ago, from the Later Stone Age up to the Iron Age. The artefacts fall into two groups, namely aerophones, where sound is produced by vibrating air, and idiophones, where sound is produced by solid material vibrating. These artefacts include spinning disks, bullroarers, bone tubes that could have been used as flutes or whistles, clay whistles, keys from thumb pianos (also called lamellophones or mbiras), musical bells and an ivory trumpet. The list is not exhaustive and more research needs to be conducted.

These music-related or sound-producing artefacts are made from various materials, including bone, ivory, metal and clay. The artefacts show how integral sound and music production was in the socio-cultural practices of people in the past, most likely for entertainment and rituals. Sound production and music making is a sign of being fully human.


Recent experimental work established that some Later Stone Age bone implements from the Klasies River Mouth and Matjes River sites are a spinning disk and a bullroarer respectively. Their replicas produced powerful whirring sounds and they can be referred to as sound-producing implements even though the purpose of the sound or their use cannot be clearly ascertained. They could have been used as signalling implements, toys, in ritual settings or in musical contexts, among others. Nowadays these implements are seldom found in the region.

A flat disc shaped like a mollusc with a hole through its thin end.
Bullroarer found at Matjes River. Joshua Kumbani

Bone tubes, mainly in bird bone, have been recovered from Later Stone Age contexts from the southern and western Cape of South Africa and some were also recovered from historical contexts. Previously, these bone tubes were interpreted as sucking tubes and beads. But morphological analysis – or studying their form – has indicated that considering the various lengths and widths as well as their smoothened ends, they could have been used as flutes or whistles. There is no a clear-cut distinction between flutes and whistles.

Brown flute-like tube with etchings on it.
Bone tube from Matjie’s River. Joshua Kumbani

If they were used as flutes they were single tone flutes since none has finger holes that can enable the production of more tones. Some of the archaeological bone tubes bear chevron and cross hatching patterns, but it is not clear if the decorations have a meaning or were just made for aesthetic purposes. The San and Khoe people in South Africa used reed flutes in the past. Flutes are still used today by various cultural groups in South Africa, for example the Venda people in South Africa use flutes when performing the tshikona dance.

Round, brown acorn-like object with a hole in one end.
Clay whistle from Mapungubwe. Joshua Kumbani

Clay whistles have been recovered from the sites of K2 and Mapungubwe from Early Iron Age contexts. Similar clay whistles are very rare and are not mentioned ethnographically, but it has been said that the Basotho herders in Lesotho used similar whistles. Whistles can also be used during a musical procession or as signalling implements in sending a message.

An ivory trumpet was recovered from Sofala site in Mozambique. It has a blow hole and some decorations on its body.

Intricately carved brown object.
Ivory trumpet from Sofala site in Mozambique. University of Pretoria Museums

Ivory trumpets are not common in southern Africa, but are known in west Africa. For example, in Ghana among the Asante people they had a spiritual significance and were associated with the royal court. Ivory trumpets are also said to have been used to announce the arrival of kings. The trumpets that are found in southern Africa are not in ivory.


Thumb piano, lamellophone or mbira keys have been recovered from the Later Iron Age contexts in Zimbabwe and in Zambia. This idiophone became popular with the introduction of iron technology and it is still used today. Some popular musicians play the lamellophone, for example Stella Chiweshe from Zimbabwe. Mbira is closely associated with spirituality, especially among the Shona people of Zimbabwe. The lamellophone is now a common musical instrument globally.

A small, brown, rusty metal object in the shape of an oar.
Thumb piano key from Great Zimbabwe site. Foreman Bandama

Musical bells were found in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia from Later Iron Age contexts. Both double and single bells existed and, for example, at Great Zimbabwe both were recovered. Ethnographically, musical bells are known to have originated in West and Central Africa and they were most likely introduced to southern Africa through trade. These idiophones are said to have been played to announce the arrival of kings. Musical bell

Musical instruments are seldom found in the archaeological record and are not easily identifiable, so there is a lot of debate among researchers when it comes to identifying these instruments from the archaeological record. Some instruments may not have been musical instruments per se but rather sound-producing implements that were used to convey certain messages or used for ritual purposes.

By Joshua Kumbani, Phd candidate

Extracted from

You can now Print your Family Tree

The latest feature helps you print your Family Tree after designing it,

Are you interested in knowing your family history, where your great grandparents came from, what their tribe or race was, what their professions were and much more? Family history seems elusive these days as parents and elders no longer relay this important information to their children and grandchildren. This has also been exacerbated by a surge in urbanisation and gradual decay of the extended family concept. Few families document family history and a sizable number of the young generation do not know beyond their grandfathers.

It is therefore important to record this information in a way that will make it easier and convenient for future and current generations to access . This is the main focus of, a website that helps Zimbabweans to document and preserve their family history for centuries to come. Registered members can easily construct their family trees and send links to relatives and friends. The platform also provides an opportunity for prolific history writers to showcase their talents and write about history of places, names, great people, country etc.

To construct your family tree, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Open and click on register or login if you already have an account- try to complete all or the most important details.
  2. After registering, log in and click on “Lineage” tab and click on the node (box) with your name (the border will turn blue).
  3. Add family members from your parents up to the last known grand father and down to your children using the “Add Parent,Sibling,Child” buttons.
  4. Click on “Save” button after adding the family members.
  5. After saving, click on “Details” and you will see suggested relatives who you share surname or totem with.
  6. Go to homepage and search your surname, totem, chief, town or village.
  7. Click on the Surname and you can view the Tree and there is an option to Print.

Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe (UMP) Dynasty

UMP map-Google

History is the opium of every society. A well-documented history is the preservation of societal culture and life. This article looks into the values, traditions and customary principles of VaZumba people in present day Mashonaland East province of Zimbabwe. Thus, this will help in tracing the clan, chieftainship and genealogy. Their cultural practices, respect of norms and values constructed a sound and efficient group of people. The society is egalitarian and it’s supported by peasant farming including other hand craft activities to earn a living.

Geographical Location and Historical Background of Uzumba Dynasty.

Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe (UMP) is geographically located in Mashonaland East Province of Zimbabwe. As per the 2012 census, the population stood at 112,611. It is important to note that, through the government authorities the area was subdivided into Uzumba and Maramba Pfungwe. However, this dynamic change did not affect the roots of the people but only created gap in areas of habitation. Thus, currently the people are occupying Uzumba, Muswe, Nakiwa, Nyadini, Karimbika and Dindi villages. The area receives relatively adequate rainfall sufficient for crop and animal husbandry. Mineral deposits such as gold are also found in the area. History reveals, that the Ndowe people migrated scattering into the whole of Zimbabwe. Their family roots is traced from Seke communal lands. In fact, one of the Ndowe ancestors is believed to have landed in Seke area under the Vhuramavi clan. However, control over resources and clan ownership caused mayhem and anarchy within the Vhuramavi and the Ndowe people. This culminated in migration of the Ndowe people to the present day Uzumba. The area is blessed with rich agricultural soils and this has significantly improved the society through subsistence and commercial agricultural development. Favored by these nature blessings agriculture boomed through the use of cow dung/ ndowe, hence their name was frequently used as the Ndowe people. The Ndowe people were thus also referred to as Eland/ Shava/ Mhofu yemukono people. 

Chief Nyajina Genealogy.

Oral tradition reveals beyond doubt that, the great Sororoziome Nyajina was the founding father of Vazumba clan. The revelations show that, Sororoziome Nyajina landed in Seke communal groups but later migrated to present day Uzumba. He migrated with his family and followers. He managed to secure a rich area where his clan developed tremendously. Sororoziome Nyajina was of the Shava/Mhofu yemukono totem. Upon his arrival in Uzumba, the aged Sororoziome passed the reigning powers to his elder son who became the first chief of the rich land. His name was Nyanhewe.  He regrouped the clan into a more centralised and focused people in transforming their land. He also transformed his security to guard jealously his people since they were new people in the area. His mission was accomplished as he managed to defeat weaker groups and subduing them into Uzumba clan. Chief Nyanhewe was blessed with one son named Nyahuma. However, old age and body exhaustion numbered Chief Nyanhewe’s days on the rich soils of Uzumba. He died and was buried at Marowe Mountain leaving his son Nyahuma the seating Chief. After Chief Nyanhewe’s death, Nyanhewe became the family guardian spirit/ svikiro known as Bvukura or Bvukupfuku. As the name implies he was responsible for the upkeep of his children and clan. His role was also extended in chief selections and dispute management.

Interestingly to note is that, Chief Nyahuma upheld his elder’s cultural belief of having one spouse. His marriage was blessed with four sons namely Kanodzirasa, Mukonde, Kawoko and Chikuwe. It is common cause that, Chief Nyahuma taught his sons their culture and values. Control over their territory was their priority and they promoted unity among the Uzumba people. However, Chief Nyahuma died mysteriously. Ownership of his legacy became disputed amongst his four sons. Oral tradition reveals that, dispute originated between Kanodzirasa and Mukonde. The dispute was over who was the elder son to take control of the rich land of their fore-father. Through the help of svikiro Bvukura or Bvukupfuku, Kanodzisira lost the chieftainship battle to Mukonde. However, Kanodzirasa angered the spirit mediums and his descendants were cursed and were prohibited from retaining chieftainship. Mukonde was regarded as the first son and family legacy was bestowed to him. Being the incumbent chief Nyajina, Mukonde extended his love to his younger brothers. He collectively scraped the leadership wound created by Kanodzirasa and united his Uzumba clan. It is believed that, the three family starting from Mukonde, Kawoko and Chikuwe were the sole responsible chieftainship families respectively and interchangeably exchange the role and reverting it to Mukonde family.

The advent of colonialism did not affect this chronological sequencing hypothesis in the Chief Nyajina family tree. However, oral tradition reveals that, there was a time when Bvukura the guardian spirit would randomly choose the next Chief Nyajina. Chief Mukonde’s son Dyora was handed chieftainship responsibility. He executed his duties within the pretext and values of the clan. It is believed that, Chief Dyora was regarded as one of the best Chief Nyajina. After his death there was a smooth chieftainship transfer of power to Kawoko and Chikuwe families respectively. Around, 1931-1968 Chief Kapita from the house of Chikuwe had the ruling powers. It was then reverted back to the Mukonde family. It is important to note that, this sequencing ideology maintained peace and stability that fostered economic and political cohesion in the Nyajina Uzumba clan.  

Oral tradition reveals that, Chief Dyora’s son David Nyajina and Chief Kapita’s son Joseph Manyika teamed up to cause confusion on the genealogy and linear  accession. Attempts by these two failed dismally as Bvukura, the svikiro barred them from these shadow wrong doings. It is believed that, succession was then passed from Chief Nyahuma to Chief Kawoko. Importantly to pin point is that the reigns by passed Mukonde family. It is believed that, Chief Mukonde eldest son was late. Thus, sequencing principle was disobeyed. However, around the 1971, the Mukonde house retained the chieftainship. This leadership role was handed to Chief Bere. Chief Bere ruled up until Zimbabwe gained independence. Oral tradition revealed that, Chief Bere played a pivotal role in the liberation wars and he fought jealously for land. Around the, 1970s and the late 2000 towards his death Chief Bere maintained the cultural dictates of his Uzumba clan.

The death of Chief Nyajina Bere brewed leadership wrangle. In fact, the wrangle was caused by failure to chronologically sequence the family tree. This created mayhem and despondence with the family of the great Sororoziome Nyanjina. However, substantive Chief Chirinda was given the role until the dispute was resolved. With the advantage of age some elderly people within the family and clan, family roots were traced and exposed. Family testimonies reveals that, Mukonde family was last to have the role hence they was need of passing it sequentially. It is important to note that, both families alluded to the fact that chieftainship was to be transferred to the Kawoko family. Also, substantive Chief Chirinda was a stranger and was only to act whilst the dispute being dissolved.  Chipfuyamiti from Kawoko family was thus granted the role and is the current Chief Nyajina.

Chief Chipfuyamiti being the current chief has transformed the area. His is playing his traditional leadership role in resolving family disputes, maintenance of peace and tranquillity in this part of Mashonaland East, respect of cultural values and norms of the area. The economy of the area has also changed for better through his leadership, albeit the economic challenges.

Conclusively, Uzumba clan was egalitarian. Its traditional leadership was defined by its ability in fostering sound and vibrant respect to cultural values and norms. Chieftainship was thus sequentially transferred and svikiro Bvukura helped where wrangles emerged.  

By Leon Chigwanda  

A close look at Chivi history


African dignity is bestowed from the one’s roots. This is the case of Chivi (Chibi)residents as their society’s roots is traced as the descendants of Mashonaland East Province. Societal values are important and they are collected to construct a resounding and sensible history of a tribe. Chivi chieftainship has transformed and shaped the peoples livelihood. Cattle ranching, gold mining and hand craft activities have been key to the Chivi people.

The leadership has also done exceptionally well in fostering peace, stability and promotion of good quality, respect of cultural values, norms and customs. This policy paper will trace the family roots of Chivi traditional leadership and examine clan development.


Chivi district lies in Masvingo Province. Historical facts reveal that, Chivi dynasty was an offshoot of the fall of the Rozvi Empire. Currently, it is important to note that the area is boarded to the north by people under chief Chivi of the Shumba Murambwi totem- family of their fore-father Nehoreka and to the west under headman Kuvhirima and Mspambi of the Dziva totem- family of their fore father Chief Nyaningwe. 

Chivunguvungu son of Nehoreka of the Shumba Murambwi totem migrated from Mutoko to Masvingo residing in the special corner present day Chivi district. Nehoreka family had super natural powers and had the ability to perform mystical deeds. These powers were also vested in his elder son Chivunguvungu which he later used to steal Mutoko residents cattle and other valuable products. After, embarking on a 350 kilometre walk Chivunguvungu was welcomed by the Dziva-Hove people. Thus the totem meaning a big pool of water. This group was in the leadership of Chief Nyaningwe. It is prudent to acknowledge that Chief Nyaningwe was the sole responsible leader of his clan in the present day Chivi district under Masvingo Province. Chivunguvungu was blessed with strong and able bodied sons namely Mudzungairi (meaning a wanderer) and Mudzore who resided in present day Mashava, known as chief Bere. One of his sons Mudzungairi had the ideology of togetherness and he preserved the cultural beliefs and values of his forefather whilst in Mutoko area. Bearing these attributes, Mudzungairi bestowed these attributes to his family members mainly his sons Tavengegwei and Zumba. Unfortunately, Chivunguvungu died leaving his legacy to his sons.

Moreover, nature pronounced its fate leading the death of Mudzungairi the elder son of Chivunguvungu. Smooth transfer of fatherhood was passed on to Tavengegwei. Family legacy, ideology and values were quickly transplanted into Tavengegwei. Interestingly, Tavengengwei had the same attributes of his grandfathers Nehoreka and Chivunguvungu of performing magical powers. Oral tradition reveals that, Chief Nyaningwe-Dziva was gifted with beautiful daughters namely Chiroodza and Shandurai. Shandurai was believed to have stunned Tavengegwei with her beauty. Shandurai classical beauty confused Tavengegwei forcing him to plan marriage. However, this was not easy as Shandurai was the Chief’s princess. Through his courage and commitment, Tavengegwei approached Chief Nyaningwe family with his matter. With the blessing of his father, Shandurai was allowed to marry Tavengegwei. Oral tradition reveals that, Chief Nyaningwe demanded a live warthog and a python as bride price. This mission was made possible by the ability bestowed in Tavengegwei of performing magical powers. Marriage between the two was made possible earning Shandurai the name vaChifeza. Nature blessed the two with five children. His children were Matsveru, Musvuvugwa, Chiwara, Musunda and Chidavarume. It is worth noting that, Tavengegwei became a polygamist and he was blessed with other sons and these included; Madamombe, Madyanove and Mazarire to mention but a few. However, their father Tavengegwei died leaving Chief Nyaningwe in custody and guidance of the children from vaChifeza family.  

Chief Nyaningwe of the Dziva totem took good custodianship of his nephews mainly from her daughter Shandurai. However, his nephews decided to dethrone their uncle chief Nyaningwe chieftainship. Tavengegwei children also had abilities of performing magical powers. Oral tradition reveals that, Chief Nyaningwe and his nephews convinced each other to go for a bath and to perform rituals at Runde River. With the idea of dethroning their uncles, Tavengegwei sons led by Musunda the elder one attacked their uncle while swimming. Unfortunately, the pool turned red with blood. However, some managed to escape this mystical act and crossed the Runde River shouting ‘CHIVI CHAWA’ a crime has been committed. This shouting earned Chivi district the current name Chivi.  Thus, how the Tavengegwei son managed to dethrone their uncles. Chief Nyaningwe died on the incident and his remaining people were easily subdued in the new chieftainship under the Shumba totem and their uncles became headmen.

Chieftainship was however bestowed in the hands of Tavengegwei sons who then multiplied the dynasty with their born Shumba Murambwi totem. Masunda became Chief Chivi. He was quick to trace his roots thereby preserving his forefather’s cultural values and resonating them being the real Buja people from Mutoko not the Karanga.  Tavengegwei’s other sons became headmen. For instance his son Madamombe became famous and present day the area is still intact. The Chieftainship is thus traced from Nehoreka to present day Chief Donald Chivi of the Shumba Murambwi totem.

By Kudzanai Rushiri, B.A Hons in Economic History

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The Njanja people of Buhera

The Njanja people are a significant group among the Shona.  They are one of the first ancient societies to industrialise in pre-colonial Zimbabwe circa 1900. The society was egalitarian and the discovery of iron promoted economic growth that improved and modernised the social and political landscape of such an intelligent group of people.  This article aims to explain the historical background of these people, specifically pin pointing WHO really are the people, WHO were their fore-fathers and WHAT was their cultural life like. In this regard, we also explore HOW they got their chieftainship and expansion ending up to the Hera dynasty – present day Buhera district. Some of the villages in Buhera include Muchererwa, Mutara, Marume, Makuvise, Tsotdzo, Magunda, Mutsindikwa, Chibongodze, Mukucha, Magaya, Mutizwa, Mupungu, Matsinde, and Makanda.


The Njanja people are believed to have been the victims of the Bantu migration and the MFECANE. In fact, Mfecane disrupted a number of Central and Southern African societies around the 1822-1838. They landed in the Rozvi grounds.  Oral tradition reveals that, the Njanja people bore a Portuguese origin in genealogy and expansion. The researcher used oral evidence as the major source of construction such a history of the Njanja dynasty. Being the victims of the Bantu migration, around 1830 the Njanja people settled in Wedza Mountain mainly attracted by iron deposits. Arriving in Wedza Mountain the Njanja people were under the stewardship of Muroro who is believed to be a Portuguese. Oral tradition reveals that Muroro copied the Rozvi totem of Moyo Chirandu and he assimilated the praise name of Sinyoro derived from Portuguese word ‘senhor’ meaning “Sir”. This group of people accrued overwhelming wealth from the rich iron deposits the Wedza Mountain offered. Iron smelting developed tremendously an d they became experts in making of hoes, axes, iron spears and iron bows and arrows. These tools were used economically, socially and politically.  Iron deposits mainly hoes promoted intermarriage that saw the amalgamation of cultural values and norms of the Muroro, Chirwa and Mbiru families.


Kuveya-Muroro, a half-baked Portuguese is believed to be the forefather of the Njanja people of present day Buhera district. His genealogy is traced back from 1822 where he migrated and settled in the rich iron deposit area. In fact, history reveals that, there was a brave and courageous man by the name Nemato of the Shiri totem who migrated from Basutoland and got a welcoming home at Bvumbura Hill. Nemato brave son Chirwa became famous and therefore established chieftainship in Bvumbura area and covering the areas of Nyazvidzi River, Magangara and Nharira. It is believed that, a group of people arrived in Chirwa’s dynasty under the custodianship of Mbiru. Mbiru and Chirwa people were connected through inter-marriages hence the group was assimilated and became one clan. Chief Chirwa married Mungu, a beautiful daughter of chief Mbiru. However, Portuguese traders under Kuveya landed in the area under Chief Chirwa. Unfortunately, Kuveya nicknamed Muroro fell sick to the extent that he was no longer able to do trading from point to point exchanging his products. Blessed with a loving and caring heart, Chief Chirwa instructed her daughter Mashawashe to take good care of Kuveya- Muroro. Aroused with Mashawashe beauty, Muroro impregnated the princess of Chief Chirwa. Fearing for her death Mashawashe decided to kill Kuveya-Muroro but fortunately Chief Chirwa got the news and demanded bride price from Muroro. Muroro took his trading goods and paid lobola to Chief Chirwa. This is how intermarriages integrated the Chirwa, Mbiru and kuveya- Muroro families.

Muroro and Mashawashe were blessed with a son called Neshangwe. It is imperative to note that, iron exploitation gave the Njanja people power to create a formidable territory. Their society was self-sufficient and sustaining.  As it has been highlighted before, Muroro landed in the Rozvi ground and thus his son became famous to the extent of being recognised a chief by the Rozvi chief. It’s important to note that the relationship of Chief Chirwa and his nephew Neshangwe was close. Chief Chirwa is believed to have been taking his nephew, Neshangwe with him to the Rozvi courts, thereby making Neshangwe more popular at the courts than the real sons of Chief Chirwa. Upon Chief Chirwa’s death, Neshangwe was quick to be recognised as the new chief. Neshangwe was also popular as he was multi-skilled in iron smelting and hence had a lot of wealth. This culminated in him being installed the Njanja Chief. This is where a shift in chieftainship was recorded from Chirwa family to his nephew, Neshangwe family.

The installation of Chief Neshangwe created leadership wrangle from the sons of the late chief Chirwa. Neshangwe had the support of the Rozvi rulers, thereby leading to the detention of chief Chirwa sons and Neshangwe was given magic to use against possible attacks from the Chirwa people. The mission was accomplished and thus the majority of Chirwa people displaced leaving Chief Neshangwe being the custodian of the land. Chief Neshangwe retained the Rozvi totem as Moyo Chirandu but later changed his name to Chief Gambiza. Oral tradition reveals that, Chief Neshangwe-Gambiza married nine wives and his roots scattered within the area.  Presumably, succession was managed well as it was from first family going down. Chief Neshangwe-Gambiza died leaving the legacy in the hands of his sons Makumbe and Chivese. Makumbe became chief and he dominated the area occupying the northern side whilst Chivese became chief occupying the southern side. Both are believed to have embarked on an expansionist policy beyond their spheres of influence. Chivese died leaving Chitsunge as the heir to the throne. Suffice to note that these Chiefs were polygamous and hence left many children in the society. Thus this prompted divisions within the Njanja people. Divisions rocked exposing Chief Makumbe and Chief Chitsunge. However, Chief Makumbe rose to become an independent leader with his group of people leaving Njanja to the south-east of Buhera district. On arrival, Chief Makumbe defeated the Dziva people under chief Nerutanga. Makumbe people as a result occupied the Hera dynasty and settled at Gombe Mountain. Chief Makumbe was also a polygamist with had fourteen wives and from those houses his children expanded forming their own villages.

Chief Makumbe and Chief Chivese became stronger and together conquered the Hera capital – present day Buhera. However, chieftainship wrangles were inevitable due to the polygamous nature of their family as the four sons of the pillar Muroro became more vicious and demanded to occupy the vast land of their ancestors. To date, the family of Makumbe is actively involved in the selection of chiefs, of course with the aid of spirit mediums and council of elders.

By Leon Chigwanda

Chief Chinamora of the Shawasha people

Chinamhora Chieftainship falls under Goromonzi district in Mashonaland East province of Zimbabwe. The area is surrounded by communal lands of Chiweshe, Murehwa, Mutoko and Marondera. The people in the area are referred to as vaShawasha who are believed to have migrated from Fort Victoria. In Fort Victoria the vaShawasha people are believed to have occupied the Mazhumwi or Mahugi/Mahugwi communal land under Chief Tumbudu. Chief Tumbudu constructed a brave and courageous army that he used to raid weaker groups.  As Chief Tumbudu expansionist policy widened he moved to settle at Wedza Mountain area where there was plenty of iron ore. His army would to take all the treasures such as cattle sheep and goats and women from the people they conquered. The chiefs of other countries were afraid of Tumbudu and his army because the vaShawasha used a Gona when they fought. This Gona was called maGumbatya. It contained their medicine (ndudzo) which they put in the porridge and ate. After eating they went to fight with the people whom they wanted to fight. When these vaShawasha people ate the mixture of porridge even the guns would never shoot them, the bullets would be caught by that medicine and the spear thrown at one of the muShawasha would bend, even the axe could not cut. No other gonas were as powerful. They made a fire and put medicine from the gona into it. Then they asked, Where are we going?” “Are we going to win the battle?” If the smoke did not come out immediately or if it went straight up they did not go, but if it came out quickly and went to the side they went in the direction where the smoke was blowing certain that they would win the battle.

The work of the vaShawasha was making spears, axes, hoes and knives. Discovery of Iron ore promoted the manufacturing of armoury such as spears, axes, knives and stabbing picks that were used to defeat other groups. Chief Tumbudu as the forefather of the Chinamhora clan was ascribed to the Soko (Monkey) totem with Mutinaye as Chidawo. After his death, his sons exchanged the Chieftainship up to present day.  

One of his sons, Tingini became a polygamist. It is believed that, Tingini became famous in Wedza in iron smelting which compelled him to return to Zululand to sell the iron products. In Zululand he is believed to have left a dynasty with the totem Tsvubve. On his return to Wedza area, Tingini returned with his seven sons namely Derere, Chidyausiku, and Rusere to mention but a few. Unfortunately, on his return Tingini learnt of his father’s death and the Chieftainship was in wrangle. With the help of his sons and other relatives they managed to retain their Chieftainship in Wedza. He became chief, however Chief Tingini died and chieftainship was passed on to his son. Interesting, chieftainship up to present day is in Chief Tumbudu family. From the time of his death, it was Chief Nemango, Tingini, Derere, Chaitezvi, Nyamare, Chihunga, Chidziva, Chinamaringa, Nzvere, Chingoma, Kuvhimadzama, Chigodora, Muchenje Kurima and Kahari who exchanged the Chieftainship of Chinamhora. Currently, Chief Mhaka is the legitimate Chief being the son of the late chief Kahari. Installation of these traditional leaders was done by the whole family clan in agreement. The process was graced by the drinking of beer, music and dancing. People were well fed with sadza and meat as they grace the installation of their leaders. Thus it is prudent to assert that, Chief installation was an open ceremony witnessed by the whole clan.

Oral evidence suggest that, the word Chinamhora was derived from what one does when he wants honey. In Shona it’s called Kumora huchi. Interestingly, chief Chinamhora is believed to have fought with the bees/ Nyuchi to extract honey thereby he was given the name Chinamhora meaning the honey monger. In 1961, Chief Chinamhora, under a gathering in Seke Village was elected a member of Chiefs Council of Southern Rhodesia present day Zimbabwe. Thus, Chief Chinamhora played a central role in government. Being elected as Chief Council he had the role of overseeing other chiefs, monitoring and evaluating their roles. 

Cultural Values of vaSHAWASHA people.

Every society is governed by its culture. Culture is the opium of every society. As this is the case of Soko people under Chief Chinamhora. Firstly, the society ascribed themselves to Soko/ monkey totem. This was the first stance in preserving their culture. Thus this animal specie is regarded holy and endangering this spice is a serious offence under Chief Chinamhora. Respect to totems was also spread to other tribes who were subdued through raiding and present day globalisation. Thus, every totem in Chief Chinamhora communal land is respected. Intermarriage within the people of vaShawasha was respected and allowed. Payment of lobola was done with iron tools such as hoes and present day people are paying cattle and money. However, women in the society had no land ownership. Land was men’s property. Thus, this culture still stands in Goromonzi area.

Furthermore, cultural practise of rainmaking is done by the vaShawasha people. Rain making ceremony was a process of appeasing the spirit mediums with beer so that they will provide people with sufficient rainfall for agriculture and drinking. Rainmaking ceremony was graced by Chiefs as it was their role. Also Kurova makuva, a process of bringing back the dead home is done in Chinamhora community. It is a Shona practice done by family of the deceased of retaining the spirit of the dead home and the process was also graced by the traditional leadership in Chinamhora community. Beer brewing, music and dancing and eating are witnessed on these occasions. Thus, Chief Chinamhora respected people diverse culture and norms.

The people were religious. Historically, the people respected spirit mediums as their god. They believed in spirit mediums as they do their sacrificial offering annually. Cattle blood was used for the sacrifice. However, with the advent of Christianity the people were diluted and they to a larger extent drifted away from spirit mediums to believe in the highest God, through Jesus Christ. This is evident with the number of Churches in Goromonzi such as Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist and Mapositori to mention but a few. Thus, Chief Chinamhora’s jurisdiction is diverse in nature.

Socially, the chief plays an indispensable role in solving societal conflicts. Through his counsel of wise and brave men, the Chief is helped to solve family, village and communal issues and disputes. He normally arbitrates and solves the matters without favour. They charge fines that are fair but deterrent so as to discourage people from repeating the same offences or misdemeanour. They behave in a manner that is professional and transparent.

Chinamora chieftainship is rotated from the family roots. Currently, Chief Mhaka is in reigning and is doing its best in turning the economic fortunes of the land by promoting agriculture, mainly horticulture. Socially, the chief upholds the practice of maintaining the moral fabric and values of their society.

By Leon Chigwanda – Researcher with Great Zimbabwe University

The history and truth behind Harurwa

While a lot of people have heard of the Harurwa insects of Norumedzo Village, Bikita District, Masvingo Province of Zimbabwe, and while lots more have enjoyed the delicacy that Harurwa insects are, very few people realise that there is a very elaborate management system that goes with the tradition of Harurwa.

There is a whole systematic management system that goes into Harurwa which in itself is proof of the efficacy of indigenous knowledge systems, in this case, as far as management goes.

So lets look at the Harurwa traditional practices used to manage Harurwa so as to demystify the rumour, gossip, innuendo and half truths that a lot of people, out of ignorance tell each other about Harurwa and the traditional practices thereof as practiced by the people of Norumedzo village.

 We hope that by now most people know that the Harurwa insects came naturally from God to cushion Nemeso, the founding father of Norumedzo village who was born with four eyes and was rejected by his father for this abnormality of having four eyes.

He was given his inheritance in advance by his father in the form of the piece of land now called Norumedzo village so that he could be far away from the rest of his people because of this abnormality of having four eyes.

He therefore didn’t have anything to eat and God through the ancestors then gave him these insects, not just for momentary hunger satisfaction but as a perpetual source of food and trade.

The detailed story of Nemeso is found in the book Harurwa written by this same author. What we can with authority reveal is that Nemeso is the first born son of Fupajena – today represented by Chief Mazungunye- and Mhepo, the rain maker daughter of Chief Musikavanhu of Chipinge.

Fupajena is the brother to Mutindini, popularly known as Mutindi today represented by Chief Mukanganwi. Both Chief Mukanganwi and Chief Mazungunye are Moyo Chirandu Duma and in fact form the nucleus or centre pivot or fulcrum of the vast Moyo Chirandu Duma people who are the majority sub tribe of the generality of the Karanga tribe of Zimbabwe. 

What we want to document now is the actual practice of the Harurwa tradition as it is done by the Moyo Chirandu – Duma – people of Norumedzo village, Bikita District, Masvingo Province Zimbabwe because there have been many distortions regarding the Harurwa insects and we want to clear the air and clarify matters so that those distortions  are cleared and Zimbabweans and the rest of the world begin to clearly understand the Harurwa practice as carried out by the Moyo Chirandu – Duma- people of Norumedzo.

‘Do you know the Harurwa insects of Norumedzo village in Bikita district Masvingo Province, right here in Zimbabwe?’

‘Oh you mean those stinking green beetles that are eaten when one is crying?’

This is the answer that one gets when such a question is posed in places far away from Norumedzo village where people don’t quite understand the whole harurwa practice.

Now, the insect Harurwa has an acidic juice inside its belly. This juice is its defensive mechanism. If you try to catch it, it squirts this acidic juice out of itself and if the juice gets into your eye, it is very irritating and you will spend a minute or two with this sharp irritation which goes away anyway without damaging your eye at all. Consequently your eyes will naturally produce tears as tears are also the human’s natural eye protection from any foreign bodies entering the eye.

But the tears people are referring to are not the ones caused by the insect squirting its defensive acidic juice into a person’s eye.

Because this acidic juice is sour, before you fry the insects for consumption you must ensure that this juice is squeezed out of the insects otherwise the insect will be horribly sour in the mouth if you eat it with the juice inside it.

But it always happens that when you kill the insects for frying and eating, there will always be some of the insects which will retain their juice. In fact it is actually a skill which gets acquired through practice and experience that one gets to kill the insects in such a manner that you end up with very few or none at all which retain the acidic juice.

To achieve the highest level of the skill, one has to master the art of pouring very little amounts of hot water on the insects which will be in a container and as the insects try and fight this hot water, they do so by squirting the acidic juice out of themselves. The longer one takes pouring these small amounts of hot water on the insects while stirring them means that almost all of them will die after having tried to defend themselves thus ridding themselves of this acidic juice resulting in very few retaining this juice.

The belly of a harurwa insect which hasn’t squirted all the acidic juice out of itself turns a very distinctly dark brown colour after it is fried and this colour is much deeper just on the insect’s belly as opposed to the rest of the insect’s body which will be a benign and appetising light brown.

If you then go on to eat this insect with a dark brown belly due to the acidic juice still inside it, your mouth is sharply incensed by this sour tangy taste which makes you want to spit the insect out of your mouth. The sensation this sour taste causes in your mouth conjures tears from your eyes in the same way you feel tears when you eat say a sour fruit like a lemon.

These are the tears people in Harare and other parts of Zimbabwe not privy to Harurwa refer to.

But the way they say it, one would think that these insects are eaten when one is howling! In fact people far from Norumedzo actually believe that indeed harurwa are eaten when one is crying. That is not correct. Far from the truth. The explanation lies in this insect which may have retained its acid. And this doesn’t happen all the time at all.

So it is absolutely incorrect to say that Harurwa insects are eaten while one is crying.

They merely cause a teary sensation similar to the one you get when you are eating a lemon and this only happens if you have met with a Harurwa whose acidic juice has not been removed before frying the insect for consumption. It doesn’t happen all the time as people are erroneously meant to believe.

Such a sour harurwa insect is called a FUVE in the Karanga vernacular language (pronounced as spelt) of the area and it is identified by its distinctly more darker brown belly than the rest of the harurwa insect which will be a light crispy brown.

In fact when eating the harurwa insects, you are actually warned to be careful of these FUVES, so you can select those harurwas with the dark brown belly and you throw them away as they are the fuves and you only eat the ones without the dark brown belly to avoid the sour taste. We hope this puts an end to the incorrect debate particularly in Harare and other places far from Bikita and the Harurwa insects as it is in these far flung places where some people who know nothing about Harurwa have gone on to mislead people into believing that harurwa are insects that are eaten whilst people are crying.

Dr.Claude Maredza is an author and film writer, producer and director.