The Humba clan

Totems are unifiers and promote oneness and unity among members of the same clan. In this article, we look at Humba (Makombe) totem. Humba is a wild pig which is very strong and determined to always win and this is possibly what prompted the fore-bearers to identify themselves by this animal as it inspired them to work hard. Traditionally, elders used to praise, eulogize or extol a family member who did well using detailed and structured words of compliments and below is how the Humba (Makombe) family members praise each other by their totem:              

Humba Nyanguru, Maita Chiunga, 
Maita Humba, 
Mwana waMakombe, Chomera, 
Maita Nguruve, Mutakurwa, 
Zvaitwa tateguru wangu Makombe, 
Maita waDukudza, ari Jekacheka. 
Maita Chirema, 
Mapadza aripo, 
Asi muchiapa veranda, 
Maita vari Barwe, Gwindingwi guru, 
Vanodzira imba namatope, 
Muno muromo unenge gombe rokucheresa mvura. 
Zvaitwa Nyanguru, 
Makapedza rudzi rwavamwe nenyuchi, 
Maita VaKarota, 
Zvaonekwa Rima, 
Tatenda VaChevakaranga naChibonoyo. 
Zvaitwa waGosa, 
Mwana waZunzangara. 
Maita vari Karomokapuwe. 
Tinotenda vari Matitima. 
Kuna Nyadekese, kuna Zambezi. 
Aiwa zvaitwa mwana waMatope. 
Zvaonekwa Nyanguru. 
Zvaonekwa Humba. 
Nguruve, Chitambanamatope

Words that are inspiring agricultural economic development are, Maita Chirimanemuromo, Mapadza aripo, Asi muchiapa varanda, Gwindingwi guru and Chitambanamatope. It is rare to see a family member loitering around the house as they will be in the field farming there by borrowing the idea of (Chitambanamatope) always in the field form the totem. The able bodied (Chirimanemuromo) people erect large pieces of land thus the growth and development of cash cropping in the area.

Iron smelting and pottery making are part of the economic activities done by the Humba people and the activities should be understood in the context of specialisation. Hoes are a good examples of handcraft produces that were used to till the land (Mapadza aripo).  Also, Livestock production is an important economic activity practised by this clan, including cattle, sheep and goats as part of the domestic animals. 

By Leon Chigwanda

64 Replies to “The Humba clan”

  1. Very informative & very much Makombe. Please Add more information if possible starting from the Chiefs & their migration in Africa.

    1. I’ve done some research on Humba Makombe family tree and origins and so far this is what I’ve gathered:

      1. Makombe is not necessarily a name but was a title of the reigning monarch of the Barwe people (documented in Portuguese writings as Barue). However, many times such titles can often be traced back to one person who was named or nicknamed by this name with his name later being given to those who seat on his seat I.e. wane tsvimbo dzake dzeHumambo.

      2. The Barwe (aka Makombe) dynasty is argued by some historians to be one of the longest in Sub-Saharan Africa. One documented list which was composed in early 1900s (circa 1929) lists upto 35 ancient Kings who ruled in succession. This is known as the Wieschhoff/Shungano list, written by Heinz Wieschhoff, supplied by Shungano or Shangano. I’ll drop the list in another comment below. The Royal line itself appears to trace back to Nyanhewe Matope son of Nyatsimba Mutota founder of the Mutapa Empire either by blood or by inter-marriage… Mwana waMatope. There’s a Makombe whose wife is understood to have been a princess, the daughter of Matope.

      3. Humba Totem is one of the oldest totems amongst the Bantu people. Among some of the earlier tribes in Western and Eastern Europe it was adopted as the symbol of some noble houses, even amongst Aboriginals and Native Americans warthog is an enduring symbol. PachiShona tinoti Humba in kiSwahili they say Pumba (as in Timon and Pumba from the Lion King) all referring to the same animal warthog.

      4. Kwedu madziSekuru angu vakandirondedzera dzinza redu kusvikira pana Makombe akarwa nemaPotukezi kuMozambique akaatyaira munyanza achishandisa nyuchi. This part is included in some variations of the totem praise. From my understanding our line comes from Makombe’s son Bepe who migrated North-West into the Nyanga area during the time of that war. In our tree there’s also a person named Makwira Nzou possibly a brother of Bepe. Among Bepe’s sons there’s Mandisodza, Charangwa (aka Ndarangwa or Tarangwa), Mwoyowaonda, Tadoka (aka Chadoka), Taraizirwa and Harunavadya. Any of those with these surnames today and belonging to Humba Makombe totem/clan are relatives of the blood.

      5. Another historian also notes Chikanga I (the first) as being a son of Makombe either by birth or by nature of being a chief under Makombe. The Barue region today in Mozambique sits right next to Manyika aka Manicaland so the people’s of these two lands share a common heritage.

      I’ve been working in conjuction with madzitete nemadziSekuru and have put together a tree that goes up at least 8 generations. If any would like to dig deeper into this with me, please let me know and we can get in touch. Or if you have any information to add or challenge please feel free, would love to hear it.

      1. Iam the great granddaughter of the Makombe and using Chanaiwa from honde valley please I want to know more about our clan I do have visions and dreams of them telling me to go and get a suitcase with tsvimbo and mafuko nhekwe in that suitcase please help me

        1. So where exactly is our origin?what is our cultural dress code and how do we do our traditionals

      1. From what I’ve read recently we come from the Barwe region which is modern day Barue district in Mozambique and is quit close to Nyanga national park.
        so id say our roots are in Barue, which was part of the broader manyika kingdom but was seperated into modern day mozambique during colonisation.
        i think the humba clan probably emerged during the mutapa state days.

        1. i think we are somewhat linked to Matope Nyanhewe nebadza who was the second mutapa king and that is between 1450 to 1480 who succeeded nyatsimba mutota. i think so because of the reverence between his name and our clan praises.
          when Matope was in power, he expanded the mutapa teritorry eastwards by conquering the barwe , Manyika, Sofala, Uteve, Madanda, Chidima, Sena, Guruuswa [Butua], Mbire and so on. Matope exercised powers of paramount chief over North-East Mashonaland and much of present day Mozambique.

  2. Humba Makombe NYANGURU ndifefe wanhu wacho. Ekoko kumbotyei . Mabvira kuita basa guru rekufundisa. Rambai mudotyaro.

  3. Zvaonekwa Humba,VaChirimanemuromo.

    Thank you very for the very informative and inspiring historical facts.We definitely need to know about our roots.To know who we are and our identity.

  4. Wow, and I didn’t know the craftmanship and farming in me was all because of the clan I belong too. Thanks a lot for the enlightenment.

  5. Thanks so much for teaching me about my clan proudly MAKOMBE please how can I get in touch with you for more information about my roots.
    Zvaitwa Humba

  6. I hv been Running around doing different hustles bt life wasn’t coming right to me and I wasn’t happy wth my life, I came back to Zim abt 4 months ago and I started thinking of zvekurima and poultry farming and since then I hv been happy wth what m doing of wch I ddnt knw that was my life until today when I saw this. M inspired

  7. No one does land preparation than a Humba Makombe. They should be controlling the granneries of Africa.

  8. What are the females called
    For example Mhofu totem, males are called Mhofu and females are called Chihera… What about the Makombe females..

  9. Interesting stuff hey thanks humba makombe. Another funny fact about humba kkkkkk ndaseka zvangu pandaenda pa google kkkk. Hanzi “pork humba” is a traditional philipino dish. So hw did this ended up in Philippines kkk

  10. Pane unonzi Muti weMukota kana Musati Mauziwa Muti uyu wana MAKOMBE takapfuura nepo. CHAMINUKA anga ari muzukuru.MAKOMBE akati enda ini Ndichateera .Ndosaka tichipa mapassports pa MAKOMBE BUILDING.

  11. I am also a humba and was googling my heritage. I was trying to link chief Mapondera (that is my surname) history to my totem but I couldn’t find articles mentioning his totem. Although bits and pieces of information do seem to fit in and seems we are a great people for sure.

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