Tracing origins of the Chirandu clan: Part 9

Claude Maredza Correspondent
The campaign against the Portuguese was a clandestine guerilla campaign. Murenga is said to have ordered that in order to surprise the Portuguese and rout them unawares and overwhelm them, the whole operation had to be very secretive.

So a term was coined and this term was, “ Zviri pamoyo ndizvo zvatichaita”, meaning, “We are going to carry out that which is the objective of our hearts” of driving the Portuguese out.

When a particular battle would have been fought and won, the report back to Murenga and Chaminuka would be, “Zviri pamoyo ndizvo zvataita,” meaning, “We have done that which is the objective of our hearts”; indicating that the particular battle would have been won and the overall objective of driving the Portuguese out was progressing well.

We have seen that General Dombodzvuku and his soldiers were referred to as VaRozvi because of their military modus operandi.

A lot more descriptions were given to the same Moyo Chirandu General  Dombodzvuku and his soldiers.

The same soldiers became referred to as the Dhewas or Dhewa’s soldiers.

Remember General Dombodzvuku’s real name was Mutinhima Dhewa.

Therefore this Dhewas in reference to his soldiers and himself was a further eulogy to him and also honouring his father Dhewa and hence the Dhewas in reference to General Dombodzvuku (Mutinhima Dhewa) and his VaRozvi soldiers, see?

But it didn’t end there! Because of the “zviri mumoyo ndizvo zvatichaita or zvataita”, the same soldiers also started getting referred to as Zviri Mumoyo Ndizvo or MoyoNdizvo or simply Mondizvo. This is why the Moyo Chirandus sometimes refer to each other as Moyondizvo or Mondizvo even up to now.

So the above narration is how the Varozvi and the Dhewas, the same Moyo Chirandus ended up being referred to as Varozvi and Dhewa and Moyondizvo/Mondizvo.

The point not to lose sight of is that the whole VaRozvi, Dhewa and Moyondizvo/Mondizvo scenario was mere descriptions of the modus operandi of soldiers led by a Moyo Chirandu, General Dombodzvuku, resulting in such descriptions becoming so en vogue that they got associated with General Dombodzvuku and therefore his Moyo Chirandu people and remained like that up to now.

In the meantime, at the time the first civil war happened at Great Zimbabwe around 1450 AD, a group of Moyo Chirandus under Nyamunda fled eastwards saving themselves from the fighting at Great Zimbabwe and they ended up in present-day Mozambique — which was then part of the Great Zimbabwe Empire —and established themselves at what is present day Chimoyo in Mozambique.

They called the place Chimoyo meaning the headquarters of the Moyo Chirandus.

It should be borne in mind that these Moyo Chirandus, now in what we call Mozambique today, headed by Nyamunda were based in Mozambique for a very long time spanning from around 1450 when the succession war at Great Zimbabwe erupted and they decided to flee eastwards until some of them decided to trek back to the national headquarters of Great Zimbabwe around 1720, a whole 270 years!

In their trekking back into Zimbabwe, they were confronted by hostile soldiers who wanted to drive them back where they had come from. They hid in a cave and they described this cover as kudumhaidzwa.  This is where the term Duma comes from describing these Moyo Chirandu people being covered — kudumhaidzwa — from the enemy.

So there were no Moyo Chirandu people described as Dumas until around 1720.

This also means as some came back to mainland Zimbabwe, they left quite a larger number of their Moyo Chirandu relatives in what we call Mozambique today.

No wonder why even to this very day we still have Chimoio in Mozambique, clear testimony of the Moyo Chirandus existence in large numbers in Mozambique even up to this very day.

Remember this whole territory was part of the Great Zimbabwe Mutapa Empire right up to the Indian Ocean.

This was called the Uteve Province of the Great Zimbabwe Empire.

The provincial paramount of Uteve Province was referred to as NeUteve.

The present artificial boundaries are a result of very recent history, the partition of Africa by European powers which happened in 1883 and 1884.

So Nyamunda was really ruling the eastern part of the Great Zimbabwe Mutapa Empire, Uteve and was therefore the NeUteve, and this territory extended to the Indian Ocean incorporating the country called Mozambique today.

And Nyamunda ensured that the Portuguese never ever troubled him because he was in charge and he put them under serious check.

All this time there were no people called Moyo Chirandu Duma yet.

In fact, the Moyo Chirandu Duma came about when the section of the Moyo Chirandus that headed back to mainland Zimbabwe around 1720 had the experience of “kudumhaidzwa” as already described, when they hid in this cave around present- day Musukutwa area in present- day Bikita.

So it is correct that the so-called Moyo Chirandu Duma came about only around 1720 as a result of their experience of hiding from the enemy in a cave which they described as “kudumhaidzwa” hence the name Duma.

These Moyo Chirandu Duma were now under the leadership of one Rukweza who was either a descendant of Nyamunda or a cousin.

And it must also be borne in mind that with time, the names Nyamunda and Rukweza became hereditary royal names given to those who took over from the original Nyamunda and Rukweza.

Obviously there is no way the original Nyamunda and Rukweza would still be alive nearly 300 years later.

So it is clear that the Rukweza who led the Moyo Chirandus who headed back into mainland Zimbabwe and got described as VaDuma was a descendant of the original Rukweza.

But the VaDumas trace themselves back to this Rukweza obviously a descendant of the original Rukweza and this latter day Rukweza is the one who was in charge and led them as they trekked back into mainland Zimbabwe.

This further clearly illustrates that these Duma, Rozvi, Dehwa terms are mere descriptions because the other Moyo Chirandus who remained in the east in Mozambique, more correctly, Uteve, probably under the rulership of a descendant of Nyamunda never got to be described as VaDuma because this description became en vogue only after the experience of those who hid in the cave as they hid from the enemy when they were already in inland Zimbabwe which means their very close blood relatives they left back in Mozambique never got to be described as VaDuma further proving that Duma, Rozvi, Dhewa, etc, are mere descriptions of events and experiences of the Moyo Chirandu people which do not in any way differentiate them from each other.

In time these Moyos headquartered at Chimoio trooped back into mainland Zimbabwe to regain their foothold of Great Zimbabwe.

In the process of returning, they met with resistance which erupted into some battles.

In one of the battles, one of their leaders led his people into a cave and describing the scenario, they said, “tadumhaidzwa” which meant, “we are covered and protected” as they were literally covered by this cave.

This is when the term VaDuma came about as a result of this “tadumhaidzwa” phrase and these people became known as VaDuma from then on because of this incident even if they were still very much Moyo Chirandu.

Eventually these VaDuma established their head office first in the Musukutwa area near Chikuku in present-day Bikita district and finally they established their permanent regional headquarters at the place they called Duma reminiscent of “kudumhaidzwa”. This place where the Moyo Chirandu Duma established their regional headquarters at is the present-day Nyika Growth Point also in present-day Bikita district, Masvingo Province.

Source : The Herald

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