Friday, December 27, 2013

Is the Swift the Rainbird of Mbona?

Photo by Pwel Kuzniar taken from the Wikipedia
The term Rainbird is a colloquial name given to various birds thought to sing before rain... as well certain swifts whose movements are thought to signal the coming of rain partly reads the online unofficial Wikipedia.

Other websites define swifts as “amazing birds providing a fantastic display during the summer.... This repetitive and monotonous song is the chaffinch 'rain' call.”

In Malawi this bird is called namzeze I’m still trying to clarify the correct name.  But in the English Chichewa-Chinyanja book on page 41, the namzeze is defined as a swallow?

The swallow in myths is also known as a bird which flies low before rain comes.  Which is the bird of Mbona, the mythical rainmaking spirit of Malawi…is it the Swift or Swallow?

Online Swifts are defined as being placed in the order Apodiformes, which they share with hummingbirds. The tree swifts are closely related to the true swifts, but form a separate family, the Hemiprocnidae.

“Resemblances betweein swifts and swallows are due to convergent evolution, reflecting similar life styles based on catching insects in flight.

“The family name, Apodidae, is derived from the Greek απους, apous, meaning "without feet", a reference to the small, weak legs of these most aerial of birds. The tradition of depicting swifts without feet continued into the Middle Ages, as seen in the heraldic martlet.
Some species of swifts are among the fastest animals on the planet, with some of the fastest measured flight speeds of any bird,” further reads the unofficial Wikipedia source.

Is this the namzeze bird which male healers of Malawi/Mozambique place somewhere in some of their "primitive" rituals? Will figuring it out leave them naked (maliseche)? Time for scientists and researchers to travel to "Kuba" to find out? 
Photo taken from

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Took this picture of children in Milange, Mozambique admiring visiting Malawian children

Tracing footsteps to lead me home

Greetings from the Warm Heart Africa, Malawi.

I'm a Malawian journalist who grew up in many countries including South Africa, Belgium, then West Germany, UK, Washington DC and New York in the US and I love New York.

Trying to come up with the production of my life and by compiling some of my 1000 poems into a book called ‘Tracing Footsteps’ to lead me Home with excellent photography.

I also plan to film award winning documentaries based on the history of this ancient land called Malawi and the mysteries of Sapitwa and the Sirius star. this space.