HomeOpinion & AnalysisUnmasking home of mystical tourism

Unmasking home of mystical tourism

Dear Yours Truly,

Good morning my brother. We greatly appreciate the work you are doing to bring Tonga people, their presence in Zimbabwe, history and culture to the fore.

We have never met or talked one on one, but I have listened to some of your audio works and read your pieces on how Tonga names have been distorted or corrupted.

All in an attempt to erase their (Tonga) visibility across Zimbabwe and even beyond. It is very encouraging and I always sought an opportunity to physically meet you.

My name is Bishop Jeffrey Muleya, born in Dobola ward, Binga and resident in Kaani. I am currently chairing Tonga Language and Culture Committee (Tolacco) and also a national Board member of Zimbabwe Indigenous Languages Promotion Association (ZILPA).

People like you, doing this work are very valuable to us, and a working partnership, I believe will add more value. This morning I read your piece again and felt I should throw a word of appreciation to you.

I wish to add that Tonga people are not only predominantly found in Binga and Gokwe. They are mostly found in Binga, Hwange (Victoria Falls and Hwange as people know it), Gokwe North, Gokwe South, Kariba (Nyaminyami) districts. They are present in Lupane, Nkayi and other places as mostly assimilated and or reduced in numbers. Otherwise thank you for the marketing efforts. Together we go further. The Lord bless you.


Jeffrey Muleya (The Cushite)

This is some of the feedbacks, which Yours Truly decided to share with you as this column continues to traverse the country’s width and breadth in marketing the cultural tourism industry.

A lot has been said and will continue to be written about this particular tribe, which is considered to be among the pioneer settlers in our motherland.

On the lighter side, they (Tonga) are considered to possess mystical if not supernatural powers on this side of the Equator.

Those who are in the habit of back stabbing Yours Truly are advised to take heed as the simplistic revenge is nigh. Let those with ears hear, thanks to kasamabezi tribe.

It is a matter of the proverbial time before unleashing numinous powers, which will certainly be an introductory warning and must be heeded with utmost attention.

Whoever coined the phrase of being beaten once and on second round being shy deserves some form of lexicology medal.

Talking of supernatural powers, the Nyaminyami, believed to be BaTonga’s river God reportedly caused numerous problems during construction of the Kariba Dam wall. The dam and six flood gates were built between 1955 and 1959 with about 86 workers having died during the construction process.

All the names of construction workers who perished during this epic programme are displayed on a plaque of St Barbara Roman Catholic Church overlooking the dam wall.

Those who had the opportunity to travel and tour the town of Kariba as well as visit St Barbara can bear witness.

It is said a mere wagging of its tail, Nyaminyami brought down the dam wall during construction phase as the  snakelike river god was said to have been “angry” at the whole process.

It was asserted that the river god would never allow dam completion as it was an embodiment of supreme and mortal entity that rules over mankind and other related features.

The BaTonga did not communicate directly with Nyaminyami just as other modern day religions, who offer prayers for mortal well beings.

Their “forced” relocation was said to have infuriated ancestors and gestures in the form of ritual magic such as casting of miniature human effigy in a dark pool in efforts to appease the spirits.

Etiquette demanded the spirits would later be invited to accompany the relocated villagers to their new found homes.

The same ancestral spiritualism is currently being practiced in most parts of Binga and its environs, which make it the most sought-after district in terms of supernatural powers.

As elucidated in preceding paragraphs, the region is a-must-visit to any tourist whose pastime isreligious jaunting and mysticism which is gradually gathering momentum.

Muleya has made a commitment to accompany Yours Truly to a couple of BaTonga elders to learn more about their tribe’s way of living, among other issues.

Looking forward to such an unforgettable cultural and mystical tourism jaunt.

Till we meet again in the next column.

  • Comments always welcome on: dubebasill@gmail.com or Twitter@DubeBurzil

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