Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Of South African’s ‘Impepho’ & Malawi’s Mphepo Zinayi (4 Winds) incense?

Impepho bundle photo taken from
This blog is trying to establish the ‘Impepho” herb of Malawi.
Some  Internet sources define ‘Impepho” as a Zulu name meaning “to be sheltered, shielded or protected and botanical – Helichrysum.
Impepho “is an indigenous African plant that, once dried, is burnt in order to communicate with one’s ancestors.

“Impepho is well-known to the majority of Sub Saharan Africans as it is used to communicate with their ancestors and it is also used by traditional healers to communicate with the deceased. It is used in various ceremonies, as well as in traditional feasts, when chickens, goats or cows are offered to the ancestors.”
Now in Malawi, some healers use a certain herb as lubani (incense) to send requests and messages to the East which they believe is Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God).
Is Mpungabwi also burned as lubani (incense)?
Now this blog asks if this herb is Mpungabwi and if that in English is Sagewood or Wormwood, the bitter Artmisia afra scientifically?  Is it Kuwawa or is it the one they boil and cover their heads to sniff the steam to ease flues?
If so then maybe it’s the one in the Ulendo Series Mtunda 8 Chichewa for Standard 8 book which reads:
“Mmenemo Mbona ali kulimbikira kusonkhezera moto kuti mkhalakale wake aulule zonse za chinsinsi cha ulosi wonse…..
“Pali mankhwala ena woti kuti agwire nchito mpaka ayenera kutsamiridwa ndi mkazi wako. Kodi uli kumva? Anafunsa motero Mlauli utsi wa fodya wa mkaliwo uli pa liwiro kuthamangira kudenga.
“Ndamva gogo! Anatero Mbona…..
….Mokondwerera anatero Mlauli ali kutsendeza wina fodya mkaliwo ndi chala chachikulu chimene chinachita kufwichilira ndi utsi, chili psuu!”
Impepho photo 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.