Monday, December 15, 2014

Some royal ancestors valued short finger nails (chikhadabo) and rhino horn (chipembere)

Internet photo of Rhino horns
Rhinoceros horns have long been objects of mythological beliefs.  Some cultures prize them for their supposed magical or medicinal qualities while others have used them as dagger handles or good luck charms.
When attacking, the rhino lowers its head, snorts, breaks into a gallop reaching speeds of 30 miles an hour, and gores or strikes powerful blows with its horns according to various internet sources.
In ancient Malawi rhino horns (nyanga) were not hunted anyhow but passed down generations in royal families with the same one being used according to some elders familiar with the ancient history of this land which had no borders.
Fingernails were also viewed as having nyanga similar to the rhino horn which some ancient royal families stored charms in besides bathing in it. That horn was different from the goat horn (mbuzi) used in the evil magical oral the Rhino horn was believed to give a royal person that authority so that people would fear them.
Internet photo of fingernails (chikhadabo)
It was ten years ago on 13 April, 2004 when a Malawian village woman had a strange dream and saw the letters MBONA and blue deep water as chairs and tables were floating on top.
This woman also saw the colour black which symbolizes dark clouds which bring rain.
According to some Sapitwa healers this symbolized her “calling” to ulosi (African prophecy) and her role as an ancient priestess responsible for nsembe (sacrifices and offerings).
Malawi’s ancient Mbona was viewed as a rainmaker although in reality he only pointed his two-edged kandalanga sword to the North for Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe to bring rain claim some Mulanje-based elders.
Official Mbono Illustration taken from Ulendo series book for Standard 8
As soon as Mbona pointed his sword to apparently somehow bring in the North wind of Tomasi Bona (Atom), he did not get struck by lightning (mphenzi) as the thunder roared and natures’ electricity tore trees apart.
But how did this happen, many of us would ask the elders.  Well they claim that the spirit (mizimu) of Tomasi Bona somehow possessed Mbona and this enabled him repel the lightning with his finger tips and short nails to show his strength and power (mphamvu).
According to such myths, Mbona was trained to make his body like a magnet in which the role of static electricity played because he was not only an ordinary person but the reincarnation or re-birth of the Tagoneka Mbona spirit of the West after he was born of a woman whose name was Nyangu.
There is no scientific explanation for such things as lightning is “a powerful sudden flow of electricity (an electrostatic discharge) accompanied by thunder that occurs during an electric storm. The discharge will travel between the electrically charged regions within a thundercloud, or between a cloud and a cloud, or between a cloud and the surface of a planet.”
Woman and python drawing from
Explore Malawi blog
 on how to make rain
"A moving thunderstorm also gathers positively charged particles along the ground that travel with the storm. 
As the differences in charges continue to increase, positively charged particles rise up tall objects such as trees, houses, and telephone poles—and people so it’s best to avoid being the highest object anywhere during a storm and avoid taking shelter near or under the highest object, including tall trees.
“Avoid being near a lightning rod or standing near metal objects such as a fence or underground pipes,” according to National Geographic
As one can see this is why women as female priestesses and prophetesses in this ancient land of Malawi played a huge role in the nation’s long forgotten history. They are also written about in lightning myths and their role in being the feminine energy (-) pulling the male charge (+) to create Light.
For example Rev Bozongwana wrote when rain came with thunder people said "Iphezulu liyakhuluma,iNosazana iyadlala meaning the rain-goddess is speaking and there were similar beliefs in ancient Egypt which was in line with many African cultures.
Ndebele religion
In ancient Malawi Chinsinsi Sungamwana (secret, keep the child) had a twin sister called Malira Tapalia (cry, fish) who was connected to both lightning, rains and water. She was the Nyangu who would put her head in a huge red clay pot full of water and say "Ndine Nyangu"....I am Nyangu.
So she only bathed her head and not the rest of her body because of heavy use of nyanga (horns, charms).
“O Isis, O lightning that turns into god, extend your blessing on the people of that time.  You left your will in magical prayer, Lightning: A Perfect Mind, And all your kindness, for your so beneficial gift, for the strength of your light, we praise you, Isis…..“Daughter of earth and sky, under your form of lightning, you show your dual origin by uniting both your parents in your embrace. You are the true benefactor of mankind, the Divine Mother….
“She is a thing. She is lightning. Remember that lightning, or thunder, is a feminine word in Greek as well as in French. Is lightning a thing indeed? In this particular context, lightning is both the flash that provides enlightenment and Isis, Great Goddess of Ancient Egypt.
“I am Lightning making the perfect mind.  I send the power to those who come to me.  Do not ignore me, you Greeks, armed with your beliefs.  For I am the first and last, the great goddess and the most humble of your servants.
“For I am the one who is honoured in the old religion, the one who is despised in the Greek worship.  I am the one who is sterile because enlightenment is not transmitted by heredity, and numerous are my sons because I have awakened many,” partly reads online sources about ancient Egyptian goddess Isis.
Internet photo
Now looking some images of the ancient Egypt figure of a woman with one leg bent reminds some uneducated Sapitwa healers of a Hamerkop known as Nantchengwa in Malawi.
It’s quite an ugly looking bird with a triangle shaped head and a cry that seems to shriek when flying by.
The mythical lightning-bird of ancient Malawi is also the hamerkop locally known as nantchengwa which has a triangular-shaped head and is known for its shriek cry as if some wicked women laughing or something.

This blog will continue trying to document oral history about the first Nyangu because so far nothing shows up on Google except a small mention of Mbona’s “virgin mother” according to the book the River of Blood: The Genesis of a Martyr Cult in Southern Malawi by Father J. Matthew Schoffeleers, a Catholic missionary.
Now before that there were many other Nyangus including the first one who fell from grace according to Sapitwa healers. But that Nyangu known as Malira Tapalia was different from Mbona’s mother or all the other official Nyangus of Malawi’s ancient history.
It’s also a fact that Mbona kept his finger nails short and filed but his hair uncut and dreadlocked but this blog is still trying to confirm what tools he used to cut his nails.
What is known is the secret behind short finger nails among many real African doctors in many cultures.
In Malawi, fingernails are called chikhadabo or zikhadabo and they're similar to the horn of the Rhino (Chipembere).
Photo taken from Egyptian Gift shop website 
Now strong healers cut their fingernails and file their nails even if it's with a razor because nails are the same as the horn (nyanga) of an animal and symbolize strength (mphamvu).
That is why some ancient kings are said to have used the Rhino horn with charms to make people fear them and others used the goat horn (mbuzi) which was different.
Animal horns as in nyanga played a major role in nyanga rituals performed by some royal families and asing’anga anyanga.
In English they say fingernails and toenails are made up of "a tough protective protein called keratin. This protein is also found in the hooves and horns of different animals."
Kera is Greek which means "horn" and also sheep wool as in Nkhosa his similar to keratin found in human hair. This might have been one of the reasons in the 18th century British colonialists allegedly classified African hair “as closer to sheep wool than human hair”.
However it is a fact that the natural hair of some people of colour is sometimes described as “nappy”, “kinky” or “wolly” and it’s also know to revert to its natural state when it gets wet.
This means the hair will shrink and get puffy or curly and keratin is also present in hair.
The horns of most animals have a bony core covered by a thin sheath of keratin, the same substance as hair and nails. Rhino horns are unique, however, because they are composed entirely of keratin. Melanin and calcium patches are also know to appear in its yearly growth surges.
Sheep wool internet photo
“Keratin is an extremely strong protein that is a major component in skin, hair, nails, hooves, horns, and teeth. The amino acids which combine to form it have several unique properties and, depending on the levels of the various amino acids, it can be inflexible and hard, like hooves, or soft, as is the case with skin.
“Most people interact with this tissue after it is actually dead; hair, skin, and nails are all formed from dead cells that the body sheds as new cells push up from underneath. If the dead cells are kept in good condition, they will serve as an insulating layer to protect the delicate new tissue below them.
“Keratin is formed by keratinocytes, living cells that make up a large part of skin, hair, nails, and other parts of the body. The cells slowly push their way upwards, eventually dying and forming a protective layer. Thousands are shed every day, and the process can be accelerated by various medical conditions, such as psoriasis. Damage to the external layer of keratin can cause skin, hair, and nails to look unhealthy or flaky.
Agnes Dumisani Mizere (Nankhoma) in her 100% natural self trying to give a voice to the VOICELESS...the untold and erased history of women of MALIYA...peace
Agnes Dumisani Mizere (Nankhoma) in her 100% natural self though mocked and scorned, she still tries give a voice to the VOICELESS...the untold and erased history of women of MALIYA, MBONA, TOMASI BONA and never forgetting CHAUTA, NAMALENGA, MPHAMBE (God) who's worthy to be praised...peace
“Hair and nails on humans especially tend to become dry and brittle, because the dead keratin is being pushed to great lengths. By eating foods like gelatin and keeping hair and nails moist, they can be grown out while still remaining healthy.
"In general, the thicker the layer of keratin, the healthier the hair or nail is, because the dead cells outside protect the living cells at the core. Keeping the external layer moisturized will also keep it healthy and prevent cracking and splitting, whether it is forming the hooves of a horse of the skin of a human”, according to

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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.