Indigenous Knowledge Systems — Management of Harurwa: Part 6 (B)

Claude Maredza Correspondent

“Whoever does not inform his children of his grandparents, has destroyed his child, marred his descendants, and injured his offspring the day he dies.

Whoever does not make use of his ancestry has muddled his reason. Whoever is unconcerned with his lineage has lost his mind.

Whoever neglects his origin, his stupidity has become critical.

Whoever is unaware of his ancestry his incompetence has become immense.

Whoever is ignorant of his roots, his intellect has vanished.

Whoever does not know his place of origin, his honour has collapsed. — African Philosophy From Antiquity

In other words they are mostly used as relish for sadza.

This therefore explains why this emissary who is sent to officially inform the chief of the coming of the harurwa insects says that he has been sent to inform the chief that the murivo (relish) in the form of the harurwa insects has arrived, emphasizing the fact that primarily harurwa insects are used as murivo (relish) to eat sadza with.

And harurwa are obviously not vegetables yet they are still murivo further proving that murivo means any relish that accompanies sadza, not necessarily vegetables only.

The other small, but interesting dimension here is the use of diplomatic language in Karanga protocol.

You never ever say out what you want to say directly.

You always have to say it in a couched diplomatic way, which to the uninitiated and ignorant is a too round about and time wasting way of talking, but to the spiritually fortified, this is first class protocol.

So this person could easily just say, “I have been sent to tell the chief that harurwa insects have come.”

But protocol, good ethics and good manners forbid him to be so direct. So instead he says, “. . . murivo” or relish has arrived.

Of course, the only murivo whose arrival is so important as to be officially announced to the chief is the harurwa insects, not any other murivo, which is clear evidence of the importance of the harurwa insects.

So the chief clearly understands this indirectly announced arrival of the Harurwa insects.

When the chief is officially informed about the arrival of the insects, he then orders the brewing of beer.

This beer is brewed in accordance with the dictates of the deepest black African spirituality and black African religion.

It is brewed to honour and thank God through the ancestors for once again bringing these very lucrative insects which are also a serious delicacy.

This is done year in year out as the harurwa season begins.

Every villager whether they belong to the royal family of the chief, like the author of this piece, or are just ordinary citizens of Norumedzo is required by divine, understood and divinely obeyed law to contribute to the brewing of this beer.

The beer is brewed strictly using fermented rapoko grain and also using pure clean and safe spring water and nothing else.

As everybody knows, rapoko remains the only African grain to have survived in its original form from as far back as the black African people before the black African people of ancient Egypt to this day. Africans place a special divinity on rapoko and they will do all their religious festivities to honour God through the ancestors using beer brewed using rapoko grain and no other grain.

In fact, it is a very well-known fact that some elders of Norumedzo and all members of the Norumedzo royal family are spiritually prohibited from drinking any original African beer which is not brewed from pure rapoko grain.

And this prohibition is perpetually spiritually enforced so it is not just restricted to special occasions, but is strictly adhered to in perpetuity any time, every time and all of the time.

So, strictly no royal of Norumedzo is permitted to drink any original African beer brewed from any other grain except rapoko whether that beer is for social occasions or its for some official ceremony.

Claude Maredza is from Norumedzo Village, Bikita District, Masvingo Province. His contact details are: e-mail:; phone: 00 263 (0) 77 2 382 099.

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