Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Of ancient Malawi's Thorn in the Roselike Isis and Ra…Kuponda (Step on it)

A working-class Malawian woman in the ghettos of Blantyre city suddenly feels a sharp pain in the heel of her left foot but can’t figure out what is causing it.

She takes off her shoes to inspect her foot which is now turning red and her toes seem to have developed a mind of their own and stretch out as if she is having a spasm!
The woman can’t believe the sharp pain and wonders if something inside her shoe bit her and her foot is burning like fire.  She shakes it but alas there is nothing.
Puzzled the woman puts ice on her foot especially her heel as she can barely put it down as it feels as if she is stepping on sharp needles or something hot.
Concerned and still in pain the next morning the woman goes to the hospital but there is no diagnosis and she’s told there is nothing wrong with her foot.
Frustrated the woman visits other doctors who also fail to diagnose a disease or a bone problem with her left foot.  After telling friends one of them gets suspicious and convinces the woman to visit a Sapitwa healer to see if the cause is spiritual.
The Sapitwa healer tells the woman she can’t heal the problem because it is caused by nyanga (horns)….specifically a thing called zoponda (stepped on) charms some allegedly use to boost their business.
So the women hunt for a nyanga healer (witchdoctor) who can undo the matsenga (magic).
According to the healer, anthu okhwima (experts in charms) use these zoponda things to lame a person’s left leg so that their business does well which in Chichewa is kuyenda bwino (to walk, do well).
Internet photo of Isis and Ra…
are those the wings of a Hamerkop?
It is modelled after the Hamerkop locally known as Nantchengwa…a bird with a shrieking cry that usually has bad meanings in many cultures on this continent.
He then heats some blackened herbs whose contents remain unknown and tells the woman to put her left foot on a hot metal thing he has placed on burning charcoal.
A bit reluctant the woman puts it and is surprised to find it cold…he then uses a razor he told her to buy to insert his blackened charms into her body (kutemera).
After this he proudly tells the woman the spell has been “disabled” and she can go about her business as usual without worry or fear.  When the woman asks how much it costs, he tells her to give whatever she wants.
Internet photo of a Hamerkop
It’s not until years later when the same woman has a dream and sees a brownish leather shoe with a rose drawn on it and thorns with a person holding that shoe.
Remembering what happened years back, she can only assume that the person is the one who cast the magical spell on her. Now one would wonder what the magical “rose” would be…well this blog has confirmed it is a red flower with thorns locally known as Malamulo (the law).
However, this blog has not yet seen one so for now we can assume it’s the either Eglantine Rose, Rosa rubiginosa or Sweet briar.
If anyone knows this Malamulo plant please share it with this blog, thank-you.
It is given that name because it is the law of those who practice nyanga and all sorts of evil that goes with it just like in the early days of the first Nyangu and Kuponda (stepped on).
He was one of the ancient kings besides Sapitwa/Napolo, Kasipe, Namkuno, Usiyeapite, Kalinje, Kalinde, Chambe, Mwala wa Nkhalamba and Gumulanje, the Destroyer.
These are some of the royal spirits (mizimu) of Sapitwa. In ancient Egypt such kings and women were called gods and goddesses.Kuponda’s tools are under this M’manga Mudzi (build the village) anthill tree in Mulanje whose English name remains unknown and it remains untouched.

Thousands of years ago in this ancient land today known as Malawi some no-nonsense kings ruled with an iron fist according to some Sapitwa healers.
In the olden days some of these kings were believed to protect themselves with various charms to fight wars and prevent others from harming them through kukhwima rituals.
Besides that some of the ancient kings were also believed to have unique cups (chikho) and containers locally known as nsupa and made from the African Wine Kettle gourd. It required a secret process of 10 to get its power.
On its own the gourd is said to not have powers until the owner somehow magically washes it with magical blood to get its so-called feminine energy hence it having the hour-glass shape of a woman with beads on its “waist” so go some ancient myths and tales.
These men are believed to have always tapped into feminine energy in their earlier days as they believed in opposites attracting in their spirituality to create light.
This was the gist of their saying that Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) has 7 spirits and of these 4 are male representing the positive force and 3 female representing the negative force to create Light or what is also known today as electricity.
Now Kuponda was one of the most feared chiefs and myths and tales talk of him lifting his little finger like a goat horn to deal with his enemies or those who tried to harm him. The movement of the fingers would imitate the horns of his nyanga kit which were usually 10.
Now the little finger would represent the goat horn with less hair on it while the finger next to it would represent the ram horn which are curved and the shape of that one when trying to lift it up. They call it nkhosa which is also translated into English as sheep but with horns (nyanga).
The middle finger which is usually swearing in western cultures in ancient Malawi represented the hidden hyena (fisi) horn and symbolize bad luck while the index and pointing finger represented the other goat horn and symbolized the male organ and throwing a curse to dry up things among others.
Sapitwa healers also say the thumb represented the horns of a cow (ng’ombe) which is most likely a bull or African Buffalo Bull and meant all is well. It’s bent shape in the eyes of the ancestors represented the bent horns of a bull and they apparently played with these signs and associated them with beasts (chirombo).
Some of these mythical beasts are said to guard Sapitwa and other mountains in the Sub-Saharan region including the one local healers nicknamed “Kuba.”
Sapitwa which basically means “don’t go there” in the vernacular and also known as the mountain where “no man goes” is a place which myths claim is home to spirits.
Sapitwa is the original name of the whole Mulanje Mountain says a female Sapitwa healer when asked the name the ancestors of the land gave the mountain.
She says with time and many centuries later this has changed and the only place for the “where no man goes” legend is the Peak.
Now in ancient Egypt the goddess Isis lived in the form, of a woman, who had the knowledge of words [of power].

Her heart turned away in disgust from the millions of men, and she chose for herself the millions of the gods, but esteemed more highly the millions of the spirits.
According to ancient Egypt myths and tales, Isis formed a clay snake with spittle dribbled by the ageing sun-god, the creator Ra.
When the snake bites Ra, only Isis can save him, but she does this only when Ra reveals his secret name to her. He does this on condition that she reveal it only to her son Horus further reads
“Behold, is it fire? Behold, is it water? My heart is full of burning fire, my limbs axe shivering, and my members have darting pains in them. Let there be brought unto me my children the gods, who possess words of magic, whose mouths are cunning [in uttering them], and whose powers reach up to heaven….
“Nevertheless the poison was not driven from its course, and the great god felt no better. Then Isis said unto Ra, “Among the things which thou hast said unto me thy name hath not been mentioned. O declare thou it unto me, and the poison shall come forth; for the person who hath declared his name shall live.”
Meanwhile the poison burned with blazing fire and the heat thereof was stronger than that of a blazing flame. Then. the Majesty of Ra, said, “I will allow myself to be searched through by Isis, and my name shall come forth from my body and go into hers.”
Then the divine one hid himself from the gods, and the throne in the Boat of Millions of Years was empty. And it came to pass that when it was the time for the heart to come forth [from the god], she said unto her son Horus, “The great god shall bind himself by an oath to give his two eyes.”
“Thus was the great god made to yield up his name, and Isis, the great lady of enchantments, said, “Flow on, poison, and come forth from Ra; let the Eye of Horus come forth from the god and shine(?) outside his mouth. I have worked, and I make the poison to fall on the ground, for the venom hath been mastered.
Verily the name hath been taken away from the great god. Let Ra live, and let the poison die; and if the poison live then Ra shall die,” further reads

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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.