Saturday, September 13, 2014

E=mc2……Ancient Malawi’s Tomasi Bona (Atom) creation tales

Malawi is a beautiful land rich in ancient history and tales about spiritual beings (mizimu) which were close to chosen women who were given the gift of ancient African prophecy (ulosi wakale).
This blog attempts to update an oral story told by some Sapitwa healers in Mulanje of a time many centuries ago before floods when creation began on a mound by spirits which they say existed way before that.
 Once again, this blog is not endorsing this oral story and names used here are not the same ones used in other ancient Malawi stories.

This is the myth and 'bush' science told to this blog:
M’manga Mudzi, Mpolowoni anthill tree/mound in Malawi
A young woman trying to sleep in the middle of the night suddenly feels faint and collapses into deep sleep and has a strange dream or vision.
She sees a bright light above her in the sky and in front an elderly man with white hair dressed in very bright white clothing with wrinkles clearly defining his face and slanting eyes which resemble a leopard.
His loud voice speaking with an echo hits her ears as one message is repeated over and over again with the echo.
As if looking through a bright tunnel and towards the sun, the young woman in her dream tries to look at this bright being up above and before her with eyes like a leopard.
And then suddenly as if with a big bang he speaks, his loud voice echoing loudly with a message about the things he hates most.
She looks up and still sees this elderly man in white staring at her as he says something like:
“Ine ndimadana ndi anthu amene amanyoza mizimu chifukwa mizimu yonse ndi yanga” [I don’t get along with people who insult spirits (souls) because all spirits (souls) are mine].
Startled the woman notices the elderly man’s face looking very angry as it disappears into the distance until she’s left in pitch darkness with an image of an angry leopard.
This “vision” was shared with this blog not as an endorsement but as a way of documenting ancient beliefs as told by the very few who still follow or believe in them.

Now this vision in the oral story is that of the hidden one but this blog cannot share his name which is a hidden word but only that it’s a mythical kingdom that is said to have existed before time in ancient Malawi myths and tales….in other words way before Tomasi Bona’s (atom) creation.
According to Sapitwa mythology, in the beginning there was a world of spirits for an unknown time maybe millions of years including the winged ones which have never been human and those who went on to occupy other “worlds” including earth.
Bush maths explaining how ancient
Malawi’s Tomasi Bona (atom) evolved
from one to eight mizimu (spirits)
On earth the spirit (mizimu) said to have existed in the beginning was Tomasi Bona (atom) or a word which sounds like atomic mass.
He’s said to have originated elsewhere into a primordial mound/anthill as electrical energy with water bodies below since in the beginning they believed there was water and spirits which lived in water because for them termite mounds are a good indicator of ground water.
From there he is said to have exploded like lightning into other spirits in twos and this lightning was throughout the new created world.
Under the M’manga mudzi anthill tree or mound there was said to be several water bodies which healers refer to as Nyanja and inside that mound the Tomasi Bona spirit is believed to look like an elderly man (munthu) who evolved from a serpent spirit in oral tales.
The Primordial Mound locally known as the M’manga Mudzi anthill tree (chulu) somewhere in a remote village of Malawi stands out in the bush with three distinct trees growing out of it, mainly mpolowoni, m’manga mudzi, and msamba mwana.
Now mpolowoni is the main tree and udindo (responsibility of ancient Malawi’s first winged spirit called Tomasi Bona (atom). M’manga mudzi is the one used for kusilika grounds before some sacred dances by digging it into the dirt they say while msamba mwana is used during childbirth.
According to a plant expert, mpolowoni in English is known as the Steganotaenia Araliacea tree and its family name is Umbelliferae.
Mpolowoni (Steganotaenia Araliacea tree) photo taken from
According to Macphilip Chikapa on Facebook reacting to a post about it, mpolowoni can be used as a warm compress to “massage an injured body part (kunthowa in Chichewa) by removing the central stem and the outer sheath burnt on fire.”
“Since it has more concentration of water (the outer sheath it heats up the water content in it, by getting out from the fire after been heated you blow air with the mouth through the hole pointing toward the injured part. The heated moist air comes out from it and massages the injured part”, he explained.
And a female healer in the village in Mulanje explained that mpolowoni is some kind of “bush” science.
“Chochepa chimakulitsidwa ndi kuima pamwamba anthu apansi azafuula ngati mphambe mpolowoni,” she explains.
In a nutshell it means a small thing is made big by standing on top and the people (anthu but mizimu like in spirits) below will shout like thunder mpolowani which is like lightning.
The above Chichewa saying also briefly means “as above so below.”
What is the meaning of this “Tarot Card”
for as above so below online may I ask?
Is it good or bad?
Some of our ancestors believed that mpolowani is like lightning in a zigzag from above to hit the ground like “fire” with positive and negative charges hence their “primitive” beliefs that mizimu (spirits) operate or appear with lightning.
So the priestess would symbolically hold the mpolowani upward while the other hand was pointing downwards.  This position might be global as it is evident in some painting and statues throughout the world.
Now the ancestors claimed that before Mbona, one of the mythical 7 winged spirits of ancient Malawi appeared there would be a white bright light that would blind the eyes and by the time one opened them they would see him.
Now within the mythical 7 mizimu (spirits) of ancient Malawi were the mythical 4 winds of Sapitwa (mphepo zinayi) and Mount Mulanje among others which were a positive charge (+).  The first 4 positive charges were:
1.Tomasi Bona (atom, world in his hands, feast) of the North Wind
  1. Tagoneka Mbona (we’ve put to sleep Mbona, see) of the West Wind
  2. Chandiona Goneka (it’s seen me put to sleep) of the South Wind
  3. Nthanda mwana wa mwezi (Sirius, child of the moon)
And the 3 negative charges (-) pulling with the 4 to make light were:
  1. Sungamwana (keep the child)
  2. Dziwe Ntambamwana (demonic witchcraft pool)
  3. Ife Zonse ( all of us)
All these are today drawn by some healers using ufa woyera (refined white maize flour) or mapira like in sorghum at a right angle.  So from this one can do the math to calculate something similar to:
“I am One that transforms
into Two
I am Two that transforms
into Four
I am Four that transforms
into Eight
After this I am One,” about ancient Egypt’s Atum.
Ancient Egypt's Atum, finisher of the world online photo
The simple maths these uneducated village women calculated involve Tomasi Bona (atom) as the mythical one winged spirit (mizimu) below in the mount splitting into 2 to make 4 which includes the one spirit from above and then splitting into another 2 to make 6 and finally another 2 to make a total of 8 with 1 above and 7 below.
For them mizimu (spirits) always split into or form into twos like pigeons (nkhunda) whom they claim are always born in twos with a male and female creating an opposite charge of positive and negative with One and Two being the important numbers of ancient Malawi’s Tomasi Bona.
This blog is investigating to see if ancient Malawi’s “bush” science is similar to the equation E=MC2 first demonstrated on paper by Albert Einstein in 1905.
Rameron Pigeons, Chelinda (Nyika Plateau)
not connected to this story taken from
The ‘E’ stands for energy and the ‘M’ stands for mass. The ‘C’ stands for the speed of light, which is in the ballpark of 186,000 miles per second (about 300,000 kilometers per second) when it travels through a vacuum according to Nasa.
So the energy contained in an object is equal to the mass of the object multiplied by the speed of light squared. One of the most important implications of this equation is that energy and matter are essentially interchangeable.
“In other words, a specific amount of mass correlates to a specific amount of energy, and because of the magnitude of the ‘C’ constant in the relativity equation, we know the transition from matter to energy releases an incredible amount of energy. It was this line of thinking, in fact, that led to the development of nuclear power and the atomic bomb”,  according to
Now ancient Malawi’s Tomasi Bona spirit was nicknamed Atom or atomu and his name meant he had the world in his hands and feast.  He was also known as Mbewula which for local healers means to run away so fast or get away.
They use that term because they claim Tomasi Bona is the strongest and most powerful of the 7 earthly spirits in their oral tales.  He is the ancient elderly spirit with white hair which used to appear at Dziwe la Nkhalamba with clothes in various oral stories villagers in Mulanje talk about.
However they say Tomasi Bona is not Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) whom they say is up above in the sky and beyond the sun in a place where mortal beings cannot go.
‘How To Make It Rain;
A Malawian Ancestral Story of Mbona the Rain Maker”
photo from
The Explore Malawi Blog by  A
ku Kalizan'goma
The other mizimu (spirits) are Tagoneka Mbona of the West, Chandiona Goneka of the South and Nthanda mwana wa mwezi of the East.
All these spirits involve maths and equations but the ancient Malawi equation does not include Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God).
The Creator for them remained hidden and they went through spirits to send messages including ancestral spirits and their deceased kings whom they thought became like gods. 
Now Tomasi Bona leads the four positive charged ones of the mountain and three negative ones of water but they rotate with one negative energy one doing good.
The four positive male charges are said to pull the three negative female ones to produce Light say healers.  This bush science is also used to explain lightning (mphenzi) and how the mythical four winds of Sapitwa (mphepo zinayi) work.
This is the reason why Sungamwana (keep the child) of the three female negative charged ones was said to do good unlike Dziwe Ntambamwana who is said to be in the pool of Dziwe la Nkhalamba which is also viewed as a place for ziwanda (demons) who in myths guard the entrance to the other world somewhere on a rock there.
Online lightning is described as beginning with the water cycle in a process similar to evaporation and condensation.
“It is common knowledge that lightning is generated in electrically charged storm systems, but the method of cloud charging still remains elusive,” reads
How lightning works photo taken from
Globally lightning is viewed as a “fascinating part of weather with positive and negative lightning strokes.”
“Most cloud-to-ground strikes are negative, and a much less common number are positive. The only difference between the two kinds is the reversal of polarities in the cloud base. Normally the negative charge collects in the cloud base, with a corresponding net positive charge in the ground under the cloud. Lightning strikes originating from this  configuration are negative strikes.
“But if the cloud base becomes positively charged relative to the top of the cloud, the ground below then assumes a net negative charge, and any lightning that develops will be a positive strike,” is one explanation given online by Wendell Bechtold, Meteorologist Forecaster, National Weather Service at the Weather Forecast Office in St. Louis, Minnesota.
Black clouds above for ancestors meant rain below.
This Black clouds photo taken from
David Cook, a meteorologist at Argonne National Laboratory says online that “90 percent of all lightning strokes are negative strokes, meaning that they were initiated by a large concentration of negative charge in the cloud-base; this tends to induce an area of positive charge on the ground.
“The positive lightning stroke is exactly the opposite, with a positive charge concentration in the base of the cloud inducing a negatively charged area on the ground. Positive strokes are most common in severe thunderstorms just prior to tornado formation and are being studied heavily now as possible predictors of severe weather and tornado formation,” he says.

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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.