The Moyo Chirandu and the first migration

All people of the Moyo Chirandu totem are one and the same people and originate from the same ancestors. The major variants of Moyo Chirandu which comprise the Moyo Chirandu Varozvi, Moyo Chirandu VaDuma, Moyo Chirandu Dhewa etc  are mere descriptions that came about because of the various experiences of these various groupings of the same Moyo Chirandu.

In the beginning

The first three Bantu groups of people to come into Zimbabwe were as follows:

a) The very first Bantu group to cross the Zambezi river coming from the North East i.e. from Nubia and the Kingdom of Kemet which comprises areas around present day Ethiopia/Sudan and Egypt were the Tonga whose totem(mutupo) is the lion (Tau or Dau). This lion mutupo of the Tonga must not be confused with the lion mutupo of the people of Chirimuhanzu near Masvingo ( referred to through their praise poem of Mhazi) or the lion mutupo of most people in Chivi again near Masvingo whose chidawo is Murambwi and other various lion mutupo’s zvidawo’s like Sipambi.

The Tonga lion is completely different from the Mhazi lion of Chirimuhanzu and or Murambwi lion of Chivi and or Sipambi lion also of Chivi as the lions of Chirimuhanzu, Chivi and other lions as they depict totems have their own completely different historical origins which are completely divorced from the origins of the Tonga lion mutupo.

In fact all these other different lion zvidawo’s like Mhazi, Murambwi, Sipambi etc are somehow related but are all of them not related to the Tonga lion.

The Tonga crossed the Zambezi into Zimbabwe around 300 and 400 A.D.

b) The next Bantu group to cross the Zambezi was the Dziva/Hungwe/Kalanga. They arrived around 800 A.D. also coming from the same North East where the Tonga originated.

This group’s mutupo comprised fish and the fish eagle bird, the Hungwe which is today’s national Zimbabwe bird found on various statutory documents and emblems in Zimbabwe. They are also associated with water (dziva) and the east where the sun comes from (Kalanga).

c) The third and last Bantu group to cross the Zambezi into Zimbabwe also from the same North East was the Shoko Mbire group. Their Paramount chief was called Mwene Mbire or simply Nembire.

This group arrived around 1000 A.D. Their totem was Shoko Matarira Chirongo or Mukanya which simply means baboon/monkey essentially meaning their totem/mutupo is the baboon/monkey.

This Shoko Mbire group and all its offshoots is the group responsible for the construction of the vast Great Zimbabwe Empire including the Great Zimbabwe City which became the capital city of Zimbabwe and is in fact the de facto capital city of Zimbabwe even today albeit the de jure capital city of Zimbabwe is Harare.

It is from this third group, The Shoko Mbire group that the Moyo Chirandu people originate from, all of them be it Moyo Chirandu, Duma or Moyo Chirandu Rozvi. The terms Duma, Rozvi, Dhewa etc are mere descriptions of events which resulted in the same Moyo Chirandu people being described as Rozvi and or Duma or Dhewa and or any other variants of the Moyo Chirandu..

So from the onset, it has to be clearly understood that all Moyos are Moyo Chirandu. The question of the variants such as Moyo Chirandu Duma, Moyo Chirandu Rozvi/Dhewa etc are really unimportant and inconsequential although it will be important to show how these variants came about.

In other words, as shall be clearly illustrated, it is correct for any Moyo Chirandu to refer to himself or herself as Murozvi or Muduma or Dhewa as these descriptions are exactly that, mere descriptions that came about because of certain experiences that happened to the Moyo Chirandu people as a whole and are therefore inconsequential to the oneness of the Moyo Chirandu thus making any Moyo Chirandu a Muduma or a Murozvi or a Dhewa or any of the variants of Moyo Chirandu as every Moyo is a Moyo Chirandu no matter what variant they have been erroneously taught to adhere to as that variant is a mere description which is incapable of tearing itself away from the tap root and the origins; i.e. Moyo Chirandu.

The other very important thing to remember is that the Moyo Chirandu must never forget to add the term Vapamoyo when they refer to their female relatives (sisters, daughters, aunts) as they are indeed our VapaMoyo, our very loved ones who are very close to our hearts and it has been like that ab initio and will be like that ad infinitum.

It is imperative for every Moyo Chirandu person to remember that at any event, function or gathering, no protocol is complete until honour and recognition is accorded to the Moyo Chirandu female relatives i.e. the aunts, sisters and daughters; i.e. VapaMoyo. Whether these female relatives are present or not, this honour and recognition must still be given even in abstentia in the event that no female relative is present. Any function that does not honor and recognize Vapa Moyo is considered to be incomplete.

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

54 Replies to “The Moyo Chirandu and the first migration”

  1. Thank you very much Dr, we are living with vana VapaMoyo without honouring them, thank once again.
    Can please send the origins and relationships of the Shumba totem.
    Thank you

    1. I am an Argentinean , living in South Africa, I do have an adopted son , whos mother surname is Moyo. Because I am already in my seventies, and he is 16 years old, and we’re alone, I would like to know if there is a register of DNA of Moyo, to can trace his biological family, and so also can determinate some health issues . He has an exceptional high IQ, so I am sure in his biological family he must have succesful relatives. This is only a start. He is not emotional ready to meet them right now. But I really want to open this posibility for him while `I am strong enough. Thank you very much.

    2. Thank you for the information,I am a Moyo Chirandu and I would like to know what the Moyos do and must not do,I don’t know much of these things but I had they must not eat the heart of a cow/cattle,that true?

  2. There is need to research further on Moyo Chirandu, this is not connecting to the rich history we grew up being told by our grandfathers.

    1. True
      VaMaredza vanyatsorashika.
      Vana Moyo havaneyi neShoko Mkanya.
      Moyo Chirandu are originally from Guruhuswa, Tanganyika(present day Tanzaniya).
      These Moyos are the backbone of Shona
      That’s why in Tanzania(Tanganyika) you find names synonymous with Shona language

  3. I am highly enlightened by this article. I am a Moyo Chirandu Murozvi, and I have been trying to retrace our history. This was highly informative and tallies with an old discussion that I had with Cde Aeneas Chigwedere years ago. Keep writing more. Much appreciated.

  4. Extremely informative Dr. Maredza. I am VepaMoyo, Moyo, Chirandu. Vana Mbuya vanotenda vachiti, Mushenjere weDuma usina pakaminama, Mukarwi Budziguru. I am interested in knowing more about that.

  5. Interesting article, Dr Maredza. I notice that you do not make a distinction between copy totems and original totems, whether it is Moyo or it is Shumba. Lastly, Moyo Chirandu is Rozvi and va Duma are not Rozvi. Although the two groups are found side by side in Masvingo, they are not the same.

  6. Is there anyway l can get help, I want to know the history of the Moyos. Which country do they come from and which route they took until they reach Zimbabwe. Also why are they now different, like there’s Mzingwane, Nhliziyo, Dewa, Nali etc

    1. Nhliziyo is a Ndebele term translating to Moyo, Dewa is still the original Chidawo of the original Moyos. The Moyo were found by the Mzilikazi / Ndebele Nguni trube from South Africa staying along the region including Mzingwane. Captured, they became Ndebeles still with a Shona variant Moyo, but renamed themselves Moyo Mzingwani. But if u ask them closely, they say the same detembos just like the Shonas, but in esi Ndebele. Further, they use Nhliziyo= Moyo just to relate to the language they use. But sure Ndakagara pasi nemadhara mazhinji, vakabvuma kuti havasi Ndebeles but real Shonas found in the region by Mzilikazi. Moyo is not Nguni. The Nguni clans came way after the Shona Moyo from the North, like any other Bantu people.

  7. Moyos are just Moyos. They are the same. But kusadoziva correctly differs them. Geographic distances seem to vary them. But VaDuma are Rozvis Dhewa are one people. But thank you Chiremba. Most of what your research says is very familiar. However, Other sources differ from you mostly on how Shokos became Moyos. Hmmm. Moyos were in Zimbabwe far earlier than 1000 A.D. The Kalanga tribe is very much related to the Moyos. May you also research further on the relationship of the Moyos found in small groups in countries like, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, DRC, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. They are densily existing in those areas as proof of Bantu migration to the South as original Moyos from the North not Shokos (Va Zukuru ava). You are a very good researcher. Thanks Doc. Pleaee give us more light. Ndatenda Moyo Ganyamatope(Gono) Dhewa Bvumavaranda VaRozvi Vakapera neNda

    1. But the Moyo clan vazukuru vevaera Shoko am I right to say that.Takabuda muvaera shoko because of incest.It how the Moyo tribe started.

  8. Nhliziyo is a Ndebele term translating to Moyo, Dewa is still the original Chidawo of the original Moyos. The Moyo were found by the Mzilikazi / Ndebele Nguni trube from South Africa staying along the region including Mzingwane. Captured, they became Ndebeles still with a Shona variant Moyo, but renamed themselves Moyo Mzingwani. But if u ask them closely, they say the same detembos just like the Shonas, but in esi Ndebele. Further, they use Nhliziyo= Moyo just to relate to the language they use. But sure Ndakagara pasi nemadhara mazhinji, vakabvuma kuti havasi Ndebeles but real Shonas found in the region by Mzilikazi. Moyo is not Nguni. The Nguni clans came way after the Shona Moyo from the North, like any other Bantu people.

    1. Thank you I’m, agreeing with you sir. Knowledge is power. We need the true custodians of our identities otherwise we will soon hear our grand grand children calling themselves ” I am Moyo a Zulu” kkkk.

  9. If I understood correctly you’re saying we MOYOs are a product of soko mukanya⁉️ may you please clarify on that exactly how it happened, asante sana.

    1. You are right , pakaita incest and the Auntie/ child was supposed to be killed because but they were protected the king and were referred to as the Vapamoyo ,zvakangovigwa within the ruling class and the products of that were Moyos in short.

  10. I think you are correct in that they are all Moyo Chirandu but it’s wrong that Rozvi should answer when called Duma. Though all are Moyo, their specific histories make them Rozvi, Duma etc. Murambwi is not Mhazi even though they all answer to Shumba.

    1. Seeing that it’s been over a year before you got a response, let me attempt to lay it out for you. There was one Muroro, who was portuguese who fell sick while passing through a Chirandu chieftainship. Thinking he would die, his entourage left him in the hands of the chief (or perhaps, a royal sangoma/n’anga). Muroro recovered and children with the chief’s daughter. As Muroro had no totem, the chief nicknamed the children Moyo ‘sinore’ (Portuguese equivalent to sir/Mr/man). Thus Moyo ‘Sinyoro).
      It is not clear this Muroro dude was a white Portuguese, or an African slave who had been assimilated into Portuguese culture.

  11. Please assist with the Chababa surname and where do they originate. Trying to find my roots
    Thank you
    Sharon Chababa

  12. This article is heavily flawed. Moyo does not come from soko totem as you have said. These are totally different totems. I also ponder to wonder why there is a Soko moyondizvo though

  13. The above history is not true. The Lozwi people came from South Africa. They had built similar structures as Zimbabwe ruins in the Limpopo province… a place called Mapungubwe and in the e,astern Cape. The Lwozwi were later known as the Kalanga people as they moved into Botswana and then Khami and Matopos. Thiscis the main Moyo clan which is genetically and culturally connected to the Xhosa and Zulu Phakathi tribes. In fact, most if the Bantus in Southern Africa moved from the Khartoum plateau moving eastwards and southwards and settled in an area called Mozambique and moved further down and inland in an area called Kwazulu Natal. Migration and assimilation of weaker tribes continued inland and different language groups emerged and the Lwozwi are typical example.These are the Moyo yaVarozwi.

    1. You’re probably confusing language and DNA. Originally the Lozwis are very diffferent from the Kalangas. They arrived at different times. The Kalangas arrived much earlier. Traditionally the Kalangas are more related to the Dziva/Siziva/Save tribes than they are to the Lozwis.
      The Lozwi on the other hand are all a part of the Mwene kingdom whose splints are well documented. Whether you call them achiMwenes, vaRozvi, vaDuma, anaChirandu, Nhliziyo, Mzingwane etc, they all come from the same ancestors and have the same DNA.

    2. P.S the assertion that Mapungugwe was built earlier than the Gt Zimbabwe is a skeletal interpretation that is scarcely backed by evidence.
      Emerging evidence from China, Portugal, Brazil shows there was trade with Khami, Great Zimbabwe way before the arrival of the Lozwis. Infact Mapungugwe had already been abandoned by the time arrived in South Africa.
      There’re artefacts and documents that mention Simboe as a trading capital. This Simboe is likely what became Zimbabwe in later years. Fun thing is the Manwa, Mhazi and Duma people that live around Gt Zimbabwe refer to the place as Zimbave and never Zimbabwe.
      The confusion is the documentation of the English historians who arrived later in the debate and only associates Mapungugwe and Great Zimbabwe with colonial wars rather than mutual trade. There’s no doubt that the Lozwis used Mapungugwe hill as a fortress during the invasion of the portuguese in the 1400s. The later, migrated up to Gt Zimbabwe where the expanded the hilltop monuments in what is known in folklore as ‘Shungu DzevaRozvi’. However, there’s evidence that the conical tower has been standing there since the 1100s. Also the discovery of the Hungwe sculptures, the Zimbabwe Bird throws in another missing puzzle. The Lozwis would not have used the Hungwe bird as their symbol. Therefore, it is either the Dziva people, or the Kalangas had occupied Gt Zimbabwe earlier than the Rozvis, or earlier traders were purchasing these sculptures from the centre, or the Zimbabwe bird got there as war loot. Nevertheless, denying that the Hungwe people had interaction with Gt Zimbabwe prior to the arrival of the Lozwis is denying historical evidence. In

  14. I think the writer simply wants to establish the Moyo Chirandu as the dominant of all the variants of the Moyo totem, albeit without giving evidence as to what happened and when did each of the variants came into existence. I followed the argument to the last letter, hoping to find the chronological events to mo avail

  15. Article a bit flawed as pointed above. Until someone ties down where the Moyo variants came from especially their founders, we will remain in the dark. Anyone who has done research in this area. Moyo Chirandu and Moyondizvo how did that come about

  16. Zimbabwean Shona history is flawed and fatal in that it always seems to want to swallow up other Bantu tribes who have names and languages that have similarities to Shona! This is criminal to say the least! The name Moyo is common in all Bantu people , and till today it’s found in Sudan, Kenya , Zambia , Tanzania , Malawi , Botswana , Zimbabwe, Soth Africa etc!!! How then do the Shona make themselves the pivot of this common name!!! The similarities in the Bantu mean that automatically there are many Moyos all over and they don’t all have to have one origin, which is the big flop in this article!!! This article admits that the Kalanga arrived before the Shoko/Mbire group who are by and large the anchor of Shona people today. This article says they arrived 200 years after the Kalanga had settled. Seeing how common the Name Moyo is common in Matebeleland among the Venda, Tonga and Kalanga communities, including the Ndebele, what proof does the writer have that these peopel were already using this name 200 years old earlier prior to the arrival of the Mbire group, Why tie down the name to the Mbire and not the Kalanga/Tonga who arrived earlier? This is mischievous, and attem to tie every Bantu community to the Shona lineage, There are many Moyo variants and that’s okay . What is not okay is an attempt to shonalise every surname that has an inclination to sound Shona . In short the Shona are not the pivot or fulcrum of Bantu migration , and as such the Bantu who to many to belong to one tribe must not be forced to have their history and movements narrated in Shona and by extension by Shona historians!!!

    1. Ottis, I think you’re missing the point. The author is looking beyond the language barrier to the DNA. All he’s saying is that all Moyos come from the same ancestors and contemporary variation are brought about historical experiences including settlements, associations etc.
      Language is dynamic. It is heavily influenced by associations. Lozwis and Rozvis, despite the same root speak widely different languages. The Mzingwani Moyos are even predominantly Ndebeles. That does not reduce the fact that their DNA is largely Lozwi. History is stabborn.
      To understand the connection follow their poetic salutations/zvidawo/detembos, you’ll hear them reciting the same history events, ancestral gravelands etc. Despite of what language they’re using.
      You spoke about Moyos in Kenya and other places; didn’t the author say the Lozwis arrived from the North and probably from among the Nubians?

  17. i have not been answered yet. i need to know is moyo chirandu and the sinyoros related and where did the moyondizvo came from

  18. Interesting historic views I’ve read here, pretty enlighten for a Sithole researching his ultimate root. I’ve been in forever search of who we are as a vast Sithole people, worse when I find myself as a Sithole set deep in the rural Nhema surroundings, with a Seventh Day religion. Confused, with no one strong grand figure to prize a little aural history to bite into. I’m all ears now to this platform as I journey into the past, almost in 3D as most here paint quite authentically. Please, y’all do continue speaking of this lineage, for all the pieces of the Chirandu puzzle will surely come together in one big light to shine ever so near. I thank you.

  19. Thanks to this article as it demystifies the view that we have several Moyo totems that all claim superiority over each other.The above article clearly articulates that all the Moyo totems are one and same.None is superior to the others.Eee ndiri Moyo Chirandu Dhewa Sinyiro Sahi Bvumavaranda Murinye Matake Mudzinganyama Ziruvi Murinye Vakadzi vachidzavimene Gono remombe blaa blaa blaa……..

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