Thursday, January 1, 2015

Of ancient Malawi's mythical 6 spirit (mizimu) names for 2015 - Sapitwa

Western side of Mulanje Mountain in Sunset, seen from Likubula Falls
Western side of Mulanje Mountain in Sunset, seen from Likubula Falls
As the Sapitwa healers of the mythical part Mulanje Mountain in the east of Blantyre in Malawi counted down to December 31, 2015 in anticipation of Sirius as if ushering in a New Year with nature’s very bright fireworks, healers also gave their mapira (sorghum) offerings on December 24 in line with their festival.
This is in commemoration of what they call mphepo zinayi which is in a nutshell the 4 winds of Sapitwa.
2015 is a special year because that is when six feared spirits representing life (moyo) are revealed from three mythical sides of Sapitwa, Kuba (Mt Namuli of Mozambique) and Inyangani (Mt Nyangani) of Zimbabwe according to such myths.
This blog will only share their known Chichewa names in such Myths and Tales of ancient Malawi.
Malawian healers call Mt Namuli in Mozambique "Kuba"
Malawian healers call the mythical side of Mt Namuli in Mozambique “Kuba” and the one of creatures (zirombo)
These are Lifa (to pass on to the afterlife), Biton meaning iwe tabwela mwakhazikika (come here you’ve settled down), Kaliya, a code name for Maliya, the known Tomasi, Yosefe a code name which is actually Tonsefe as in all of us and a Secret word this blog can’t reveal but only disclose that it means Njira, the way and path.
Njira is represented by the harvest season, in the way one plants seeds to bring them to life and in the way the same rows where the planting is done representing death as in a graveyard (manda) in the ancient African sense which was the Afterlife.
This was the secret name of all the powerful secrets of ancient Malawi and the secret way to that path. The word was written in the palm of one’s hands and on the face with specific marks representing a letter in the ancient Malawi alphabet.
According to one of the healers who follow ancient ways now labeled as “pagan” this is why they trekked to the mountain in 2014 to commemorate the 4 winds which in their beliefs symbolizes moyo which in English is life.
In their words, the year has been tough and 2015 will not be any better according to the Sapitwa oracle. The reason why is because mizimi yakwiya (the spirits are angry) because those they try and speak through are treated worse than dogs with rabies (chiwewe) by those they say do not listen (anthu inu osamva).
Some Malawi healers talk of Nyanga in Zimbabwe and insist Mt Inyangani has a mythical side and mizimu
Some Malawi healers talk of Nyanga in Zimbabwe and insist Mt Inyangani has a mythical side and mizimu
Although most healers including the Sapitwa ones are like the scum of society and looked down upon and labelled all sorts of names including afiti (witches), the Sapitwa ones still insist they strongly believe in the Creator whom some of us Christians call God.
In their “primitive” minds, they believe that Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) gave life by breathing through the nostrils of the first human being.
They also believe that Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe comes with the North wind which acts with the winds from the South and that the West corresponds with the East which they claim represents all that is holy and pure in their beliefs.
This creates an opposite attraction with the northern winds symbolizing heat and rains in their primitive beliefs and the southern showers while the west symbolized darkness and the east light hence the re-birth or renewal.
Now when they draw the 4 winds with ufa (maize flour) it creates their African cross and for them wind is like air which means life.  They also chant or ask for requests using lubani (incense) and send them through the 4 winds by using their foreheads or face to trace which direction the winds are blowing.
In their ancient beliefs, they somehow try and target winds blowing to the east by memorizing where the sun rises and where it sets to create a “primitive” African compass to assist them with directions.
According to a tale only told in a Sapitwa healers version, it is these four winds that Mbona of ancient Malawi was believed to invoke by pointing to the north using his kandalanga (two-edged knife) for rains which Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe was believed to send from the north.
For example when ancient Malawi’s Mbona said “amene ali ndi makutu amve” (those who have ears listen) he was not talking about the ears attached to our heads which was represented by the The Tree Ear mushroom (Auricularia auricula).
The Tree Mushroom locally nicknamed Bowa Muntengo (Mushtroom in the Tree)
So when one said bowa muntengo (mushroom in the tree) that was the ear mushroom and the words “amene ali ndi makutu amve”.
Parts of the “magic” mushroom among others are used in an ancient recipe of ingredients to quickly stretch a certain part of the body. So in ancient Malawi “amene ali ndi makutu amwe” meant “woman listen.”
Mbona liked referring to women as “woman” which in Chichewa is “mkazi” or women (akazi) and in minibuses and on the streets of Malawi that is what most men say when talking about women and not only their wives or women.
His language was normal in ancient times but not today and his teachings, saying songs etc are graphic.
So as the Sapitwa healers in their “primitive” beliefs celebrate the giver of life, we will try again to record one of them explaining all this themselves for history purposes and for in a small way NOT to endorse but document the ancient role of Malawi’s former priestesses known in Malawi as asing’anga amizimu but of Sapitwa as there is only one elderly one left in the country.
Woman not mermaid and python drawing from
Woman not mermaid and python drawing 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.