Tracing the roots of the Moyo Chirandu clan: Part 3

Claude Maredza
CorrespondentIt so happened that the person who was the ruling paramount of the whole territory now known as Zimbabwe, the Mutapa as his title was; obviously a Shoko Mbire Mukanya, one Chibatamatosi committed incest with his close cousin sister called Nyakwava, obviously also a Shoko Mbire Mukanya.

Now incest was looked down upon as serious abomination then just as it is looked at in the same light today.
Chibatamatosi is said to have vehemently denied paternity of Nyakwava’s pregnancy given the fact that he knew how dastardly such an act was. Being the paramount ruler of the whole territory, it only made things worse for a paramount to be found committing incest, so Chibatamatosi vehemently denied having committed the incest.

He even suggested that Nyakwava’s pregnancy was divine to try and clutch at straws or anything that would help dissociate him from such an abominable act as incest even if he had done it.

And Chibatamatosi himself was known to be a strict no-nonsense person who also happened to be the ruling paramount, so the whole story was quickly swept under the carpet even if it was known that he was the one “whodunit’’.

In fact, this denial of responsibility of the incestuous paternity by Chibatamatosi is one of the reasons why the Moyo Chirandu people are sometimes referred to as unique and divine people whose totem came straight from God.

This is why the Moyo Chirandus command certain undisputable natural and spontaneous respect and divine reverence from all and sundry because they are deemed to be the closest physical beings with a real tangible semblance of the physicality and humanity of God because of this background to their coming into being.

If we were to go Christian, the Moyo Chirandu in Zimbabwean original African divinity take a Jesus Christ-like position as seen by Christianity because both the Moyo Chirandu and Jesus Christ have births attributable to God as no physical human father of both has ever been really conclusively identified because of the controversies associated with the human paternities of both.

It is even suggested in some jurisdictions, although in very hushed up tones, that Jesus Christ’s paternity has always quietly been attributed to some Roman soldier who is said to have raped Mary, but to cover up for this rape and give intrigue, respect, mysteriousness and divinity to the religion of Christianity, they have papered Jesus Christ’s paternity over by giving it this divine twist just like the paternity of the first Moyo Chirandu, hence this divinity attributed to the Moyo Chirandu’s paternity reminiscent of and similar to the divinity accorded Jesus Christ’s paternity.

So Nyakwava’s pregnancy grew regardless of this disputed paternity even if everybody knew that it was a result of incest between her and Chibatamatosi albeit nobody could publicly say it on pain of serious reprisals from Chibatamatosi.
Now there was a practice the Mbire Shoko Mukanya did at the time.

They addressed all their female relatives, be they daughters, or aunts or sisters as VapaMoyo meaning those close to their hearts, their very loved ones.

This probably was a result of the fact that females were a source of wealth.
They were a source of wealth because once they got married, they would bring in lots of cattle which would be the bride price paid by their husbands to the bride’s parents and cattle were the wealth of the day much as they are still a source of wealth to some extent even today.

So having female children meant that one would be very wealthy once these girls got married as he would receive a lot of cattle as bride price from the men who would marry these girls.

So this is probably why the females of the Shoko Mbire’s were referred to as VapaMoyo, those close to the heart, the very loved ones.

This VapaMoyo description was really so en vogue that this became the way the females of the Mbire Shoko people would be addressed as.

Of course, it was still very important to have male children as this would ensure dynastic continuity and rulership as well as ensuring security of the empire.

But having female children was even better as it meant wealth as described above.
So when Nyakwava gave birth to a baby boy, it was difficult to give the baby a totem seeing as this baby was made by people of the same totem, Nyakwava and Chibatamatosi who were both Shoko Mukanya by totem, very close cousins; in fact brother and sister as there are no cousins as such in African relationships.

There are only brothers and sisters and where the children are born by sisters, aunts and daughters who have obviously been married elsewhere their children are nephews and nieces. So, cousins don’t really exist in African relationships.

The child was given the name, Dyembeu now commonly referred to as Dhlembeu. This means eating the seed meant for planting in the field. It’s like eating capital instead of profits.
It’s not clear why they named the child this way but it could have been reference to the incest.

Chibatamatosi had eaten the seed Nyakwava, who was meant to bring in more harvest, more profits in the form of the cattle that would have come in if she had gotten married instead of being spoiled by this incestuous encounter.

So that’s probably why they named this child Dhlembeu, meaning Chibatamatosi had eaten the seed, Nyakwava meant to bring in more crops/profits in the form of cattle had she been married.

So to solve the problem about the child’s totem, the elders decided that the child belonged to the mother as the paternity of the child had been put under a cloud due to the sensitive issue of incest.

So since the child belonged to the mother and all the Shoko Mbire females were referred to as VapaMoyo, the child would become a Moyo which was reference to his mother, a Mbire Shoko female, a VapaMoyo.

Further, because the VapaMoyo, i.e. the females brought in cattle once they got married, the child’s actual totem would be Chirandu which is what a bull is called.

So the child’s full totem would be Chirandu Mhumba meaning bull (Chirandu) and heart (mhumba) and he would be praised as Moyo in reference to those VapaMoyo, the beloved females of the Shoko Mbires.
With that, Dhlembeu became the first Moyo Chirandu Mhumba ever in Zimbabwe.

This means that Dhlembeu is the father of all Moyos as there was no Moyo before him and he came about because of the incest between Chibatamatosi and Nyakwava.

Serious note must be taken of the fact that the birth of Dhlembeu created a totally new Crown Prince house which would also be fully and legitimately eligible for the Mutapaship Crown in the form of Dhlembeu and his progeny to follow.

Also, the coming on board of Dhlembeu effectively meant that there were now four distinct groups of originals in Zimbabwe, namely the Shoko Mbire, the Tonga, the Dziva /Hungwe/Kalanga and the newly created Moyo Chirandu as they were a very distinct lot, even deliberately distinguished from their Shoko Mbire origins.

Historians have also pointed out to a fifth group of originals referred to as VaMwenyi.
These people resulted from the cross-breeding between male Arab traders and black African women.
These Arab traders did not travel with women so they ended up taking black African women for wives.

This resulted in children being born. But these children intermingled so much with their black African side that with time, they became indistinguishable from their African mothers’ people’s side in colour and other characteristics.

The only thing that distinguished them and continues to distinguish them even today from all others is that they maintained their Arab father’s religion of Islam which means they don’t eat pork.

They also circumcise their male children. They have tended to marry amongst themselves but with time and socialization, its now very common for them to be married to a Moyo Chirandu or a Shoko Mbire, or a Tonga or a Dziva/Hungwe/Kalanga.
Claude Maredza is a Crown Prince of the Norumedzo Moyo Chirandu (Duma) Kingdom Royalty of Norumedzo Village (KuHarurwa), Bikita, Masvingo, Zimbabwe. Email;

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