Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Myths & Tales: Nyangu, mysterious veiled Sapitwa spirit?

Not the actual beads in the tale
It’s a hot day in October, the sun is burning as if it has lowered itself down to earth as a young sweating woman attempts to board a minibus in a small Malawian town in the warm heart of Africa.

Dressed in exotic traditional attire from her headgear to toes peeking out of her beaded sandals, the woman carefully lifts her blue chitenje attire skirt as she steps into a small hot minibus with people packed in fours like sardines.

On her neck she is wearing blue Ngoni like beads with matching bead bracelets which move and shake as if dancing to a silent tune.

As she watches her step, she senses piercing eyes staring at her and watching her every movement.  Curious, the young woman looks up to see the most beautiful woman she has ever seen in her life staring at her.

She’s out of this world looking like a queen, a light cloth tied like a turban covering her hair and a beautiful lace veil flowing down her shoulders like hair.  

The woman with brown piercing eyes flicks her long eyelashes and one can’t help but notice the black beauty spot on her smooth and flawless brown face.

Taken aback and feeling ugly, the young woman wishes she was that beautiful and starts daydreaming….only to be taken out of her trance by the mysterious lady who tells her in Chichewa that “you are one of us. We travelled through the desert and ended up here in Malawi.”

The veiled woman then startles the young woman by asking where her ankle beads are and mentions her by name. 

“I don’t know you, who are you?  Have we met before, please remind me,” asks the now curious and puzzled woman.

The lady breaks into a warm smile and answers, “I’m Miriam” while looking down at her own chitenje attire.

“Please can I have your phone number, where do you live, I want to know more,” asks the young woman.

But all the veiled woman can tell her in Chichewa is: “We will meet again…you will find me”.

And with that the minibus comes to a screeching halt and the young woman realizes it’s her stage and says goodbye to the veiled woman who has provoked her brain and triggered her thoughts.

She watches the minibus leave and wonders who the hell that woman is and how come she’s dressed differently from most Malawian women.  The young went on about her business…told her few friends about her “freak” encounter.

Mang'anja female healer who treasures Sapitwa on Mulanje Mountain
Puzzled the woman who lives with her granny tells her about the encounter with the strange woman before.

She’s taken aback when her suspicious granny suggests she might have somehow met a spirit calling her to healing.  

The woman is even confused and scared but her grandmother calms her down and tells her the story of the mythical veiled woman spirit of Sapitwa who sometimes appears to call people to healing so go the tales.

Her name is Nyangu not to be confused with the various Nyangus connected to chieftainships in different parts of Malawi. This is a different one.

Previously it was forbidden to name the spirit so go the tales about the mythical goddess like spirit all dressed in white and appearing near a rock and cave.

When approached tales suggest the mythical spirit kind of rotates and  comes up and out from the bottom and around her is a lot of money those who somehow visit there leave as offerings.  It is believed those who attempt to steal money “donated” there are thrown into a nearby body of water by the mythical spirits of Sapitwa.

This mythical female spirit of Sapitwa is said to sometimes appear with breasts to symbolize feeding a nation. It is also said to work together with the other spirit of Saptiwa called Sungamwana (keep the child).

As more secrets of Sapitwa are revealed, this blog will list all names of mythical beings so far told and which hills, mountains and areas legend connects them to. 


This blog is also following the grooming of a young female healer and her so-called marriage to the mythical male spirit of Sapitwa and an explanation of various hand symbols and signs once the healers are back down from the so-called hidden part of the mountain as part of an effort to document ancient Malawi.

Note:  This story has been re-published to include the name of the mythical Sapitwa woman
Mysterious M'manga Mudzi tree growing out of an anthill whose English name remains unknown

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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.

.....watch this space.


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