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Spirit mediums also didn't foresee Cyclone Idai calamity

07 Apr 2019 at 12:44hrs | Views
RECENTLY, I was taken aback when I heard the Chief's Council president Fortune Charumbira mocking local prophets for failing to predict the devastating Cyclone Idai which killed hundreds and left thousands of families displaced while all their livestock from cattle to goats were buried by the landslides.

Charumbira, who is also a senator, made the remarks recently after Local Government minister July Moyo issued a ministerial statement updating legislators on the devastation caused by the ravaging cyclone which hit Manicaland and Masvingo provinces.

In his wisdom, Charumbira believes prophets failed the nation as they could have foretold that people were going to die.

But I would like to remind the learned Chief's Council president of an old adage which says; "you can see the speck in your friend's eye, but you don't notice the log in your own eye."

What Charumbira forgot to also tell the nation and whoever cared to listen is that he has in his constituency a group of spiritual mediums or masvikiro and registered n'angas or sangomas who claim to wield so much foretelling power.

Members of the Chief's Council have a major role to play in their communities in terms of superintending and protecting our traditional beliefs and cultures; paramount to this role is that they should guard jealously our traditional shrines and yes, the svikiros and mhondoros (spirit mediums).

Even Chimurenga music guru Thomas Mapfumo aka Mukanya in his 1974 song Kuyaura kweasina musha (suffering of the homeless) questions the absence of spirit mediums in times of calamities.  

"Vakuru vepano varipi vatiudze zano? (Where are the elders to give us advice?), Chembere dzekuno dziripi dzatiruma nzeve? (Where are the old women to forewarn us?), Harahwa dzekuno dziripi dzatibayire zanhi? (Where are the old men to give us guidance?), Mhondoro dzekuno dziripi dzatitunagamirira? (Where are the guardian spirits to lead us?), Mashavi ekuno aripi atiruma nzeve? (Where are the spirits to forewarn us?), N'anga dzekuno dziripi dzatipa makano? (Where are the traditional herbalists to give us machetes to fight?), Baba vangu vakafa vachitambura (my father died a painful death), amai vangu ndokufa vachiona-PFumvu (my mother died suffering), mukoma wangu akafa achitiza hondo, (My brother died trying to escape the war), hanzvadzi yangu ndokufa ichiona-PFumvu (My sister died suffering), kuyaura kweasina musha iwe (This is the suffering of the homeless).

Charumbira might have been right that the prophets completely missed it but he is among the traditionalists who do not believe in the prophets' antics as well as he is supposedly rooted deep in traditional beliefs.

But like Mapfumo questions in that prophetic song; where are Zimbabwe's guardian spirits, the spirit mediums that in ancient day foretold of the coming of the white men? Where did they all go? Do they still have the capacity to foretell future events, particularly natural disasters?

Charumbira and his Council of Chiefs should instead of mocking the prophets be asking themselves why such a calamity happened without warning from the wise traditional seers, the spirit mediums. Or we no longer have them and we are on our own.

In our traditional culture, it is believed that the spirits of our great-great ancestors of many previous generations are still among our supernatural protectors.

These spirits were among the most powerful as they were responsible for giving advice, ensuring peace as well as presiding over rainmaking and other important ceremonies and rituals.

One such spirit medium was a woman by the name of Mbuya Nehanda whose spiritual leadership prowess is known by the entire region.

Her spirit possessed only those who were most respected and had leadership skills and qualities.

When Europeans arrived in Zimbabwe, Nehanda's spirit medium was a woman by the name of Nyakasikana.  There was also another great regional Shona spirit medium (mhondoro huru) by the name of Kaguvi.

Kaguvi and Nehanda used their leadership to spearhead the first war of resistance (Chimurenga CheKutanga) against European domination of the region. They instructed all the regional chiefs to arm and resist this domination in whatever way they could.

Nehanda and Kaguvi were, however, captured, tried and sentenced to death by hanging. They were hung on a hill near what is now the city of Harare. However, before she was hung Nehanda promised the Europeans that her bones will rise to lead the second struggle against them.

Yes, Charumbira could have been right to question the prophets' prowess as they could also not see it coming either. This has exposed them big time because what these guys (prophets) have been telling us is that in future Zimbabweans would be picking gold from the streets and that flashy malls would be coming up everywhere.

But contrary to their prophecies, what we have is Cyclone Idai which has brought untold suffering, deaths, disappearances, and destruction.

Are these Zimbabwean men and women who call themselves prophets really sent by God? Are they getting their visions from the Man above, the Almighty?

But who qualifies to be a prophet?

I believe a prophet is someone who foretells future events, and also conveys messages from the divine to humans.

In religion, a prophet is an individual who is regarded as being in contact with a divine being and is said to speak on that entity's behalf, serving as an intermediary with humanity by delivering messages or teachings from the supernatural source to other people. The message that the prophet conveys is called a prophecy.

Some examples of prophets in the Bible include Abraham, Moses, Miriam, Isaiah, Samuel, Ezekiel, Malachi and Job.

But the question is do we have real prophets?

Source - Daily News
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