Patsaka Correspondent


It has become of interest to observe the habitual and invariable series of action that have been taking place in our mixed Kariba community since the formation of the might dam wall in the 1950s. The ritual ceremonies which are hardly understood as they are never clearly explained and are rarely done at midday have been part of Kariba the Tonga and Korekore tribes taking the lead. As the story of the mythical Nyaminyami is unraveled one will come to note that the issue of rituals cannot be separated from Kariba as doing so is just as good as denying that Lake Kariba does not exist.

At a point in time during the construction of the dam-wall oral tradition has it that the white man consulted the VaTonga People community for advice when the first attempt to build the wall collapsed due to the rising of the Zambezi waters. The VaTonga had to appease the river god Nyaminyami as she was angry with the separation from the husband through dam wall. Even after the dam wall construction, at the official opening by the queen Elizabeth the second, the traditional Tonga chiefs were recognized by the Smith regime and they were invited to witness the opening ceremony. Smith could not separate the dam wall from tradition custodian – the chiefs.

Mysteries regarding the lake and Kariba in general are not fully explained clearly to the community and people are left guessing. For an example the place called Kaburi about 40 km from Kariba out to Harare you only see some traditional ornaments like clay pots outside and inside the curve. Nobody can clear explain the whole thing about that place yet some rituals are conducted there. The community should know who is responsible for conducting rituals there and the purpose thereof. Most people are afraid to stop there and have a close look at the curve at least those who are in the know should explain the Kaburi mystery even National Parks should explain. The latest gathering at Mahombekombe Park which is rumored to be a rain making ceremony with an attempt to appease the gods to curb waters from going to detrimental levels is not also explained and again the community is left to guess.

It may be the role of the traditional leaders to explain the obscurities and secrecy behind Kaburi, Nyaminyami the river god and a place they call 1.55 in the lake among other things. Also to be explained may be the only grave in the middle of a pathway in Batonga. There is no sign to notify residents

Story by Anwell Bepe