Indigenous Knowledge Systems: Management of Harurwa: Part 7 (A)

Claude Maredza Correspondent
Continued . . .
The Norumedzo royals can drink any other beer which is not original African brew. They are strictly restricted to drink original African beer only brewed from rapoko grain and nothing else, doro rorukweza meaning beer brewed from the rukweza/rapoko crop.

And by the way, it is also grammatically incorrect to say doro rezviyo when trying to say beer brewed from rapoko as the grammatically correct thing to say is doro rorukweza.

The same explanation given above regarding sadza rorukweza equally applies in this regard.

On top of that, the royals of Norumedzo can never ever be found, even dead, conducting spiritual ceremonies to honour God through the ancestors using beer brewed from any other grain except rapoko grain. That is strictly so and it’s not negotiable as it’s divine.

For purposes of information and education, it is necessary to go through the protocols followed at an African original beer drink.

This beer is not for sale, but either for a ceremony or for purposes of the community helping one of their own in the field either harvesting, ploughing etc.

First, original African beer is stored in clay pots.

This is scientific because the clay pots make the beer retain its immaculate original taste.

These clay pots also have a naturally inbuilt optimal refrigeration effect which keeps the beer at just the right cool temperature all the time which makes it palatable.

Now when the pots of the beer are distributed for consumption, strict protocol is observed.

First, before the beer is distributed to ordinary people, there is always a pot for the highest authority, usually the chief. If the chief is not present, this pot is always consumed by the next present most senior representative of the chief.

Of course, the chief or his representative present never drinks the beer alone, but with others, usually some of the elders.

The point being as a matter of protocol, the chief’s pot of beer has to be seen to be there.

It will be officially presented to the chief or his representative as the chief’s pot even if he drinks it with others and never alone.

Even if the chief is a teetotaller, this protocol is still strictly observed and the chief who does not drink alcohol usually then donates his pot to those present.

They will then drink the beer on his behalf, so to speak.

After issues of authority protocol have been taken care of, there is the pot for the elders called hari yavakuru, (pot for the elders). These elders are almost always male.

Then there is the pot for the young, but married men called hari yamahohoza (young married men).

Then there is the pot for young unmarried men, called hari yamajaya (bachelors), young unmarried men old enough to drink beer.

This protocol ensures that the usually care free undisciplined bachelors drink on their own without disturbing the elders.

The married young men will also be too embarrassed to involve themselves in any drunken behaviour or anything untoward as their wives will usually be present.

They won’t want to embarrass themselves in front of their wives or to embarrass their wives through untoward drunken behaviour.

So in one swoop, the beer drink reinforces discipline through this protocol.

Then there is the pot for women called hari yamadzimai.

If there is a lot of the beer, the drinking will continue with more pots of the beer being distributed in the same manner as described except for the pot for the chief which is only given once at the beginning of any ceremony.

The second one is given at the end as a sign to the chief that the beer is finished. The first pot for the chief is called murayiro, meaning the law or order or protocol and the last one is called chiparadza, meaning the parting pot because after this, people can now go to their homes.

Now it can be seen that the women have only one pot when men in their age based categories have three.

This is not because black African men are so greedy that they don’t want to share the beer with women.

It is more a morality thing.

In most cases, only old women who have gone beyond child birth usually drink in black African original beer drinking protocols.

This is obviously because, cognisant of the effect of beer on people, somebody has to look after morals.

Now if younger women were to be too liberal with their drinking habits, morality would be left totally compromised and anything would happen when people get drunk.

But no man, young or old, everything being equal, will bother old grannies no matter how much the alcohol has taken its toll.

In fact, in all that drunkenness, people still observe and respect protocol particularly respect of the elders and even more particularly, respect of grannies and or older women in general.

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

Source :

The Herald

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