So today Google doodle honoured and celebrated the national musical instrument of Zimbabwe, the Mbira, as Zimbabwe culture week begins. Zimbabweans are well chuffed that google acknowledged their cultural week, and they took to social media hashtagging #ProudlyZimbabwean in response to the Mbira google doodle.
By the way, before I get into my article, let me just say I am writing a lot about zimbabwe these days, my writing is always spirit led and quite seasonal, so I think Zimbabwe is the season for my pen and today I can see why. I always have Zimbabweans saying to me “Stop writing about Zimbabwe”, well though Zimbabwe is my history not my future, I am a historian by nature, so my pen will always wander back there.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I do not know where to begin with Zimbabwe Culture Week. When I see Zimbabweans claiming to be #ProudlyZimbabwean especially where the culture of Zimbabwe is concerned, I do roll my eyes in confusion. I am still to see a TRUE celebration of the Culture of Zimbabwe by even one Zimbabwean on social media.
Firstly the google doodle of Mbira is paying tribute to an instrument described by the Zimbabwean ancestors as MBIRA DZEVADZIMU, meaning Mbira of spirit mediums.
I know Zimbabweans to be very embarrassed by the roots of their CULTURE, especially the spirit mediums. If anything the Zimbabwean Culture in its entirety is considered DEMONIC by Zimbabweans.
Nelson Chamisa, the current president of the main opposition party followed by millions of Zimbabweans last year called the national Zimbabwean bird, the emblem of Zimbabwe satanic and a “problem”. Posting on his Twitter account, Chamisa said: “That Zimbabwean bird symbol is part of our problem. We must deal with institutional idolatry.” A leader of Zimbabwe, almost a President said this, yet you cannot talk about the Culture of Zimbabwe without acknowledging the emblem of Zimbabwe, the stone-carved Zimbabwe bird.
So someone like Nelson Chamisa, a prominent politician and leader of Zimbabwe is not in any position to even mention or celebrate Zimbabwe Culture Week.
The culture of Zimbabwe is rooted in the origin of the country, how the country was built, and who the people were who built Zimbabwe/Dzimbadzemabwe, of which the Zimbabwean bird was considered to be original totem of the Shona people. The ancestors believed the bird connected them to their god. Each time a new King was chosen, a bird sculpture was erected for each King. The shona people worshipped animals and nature through totems, and sculptured stone and wooden animals to honour the totems. The irony of it all is Nelson Chamisa will call the Zimbabwean bird idolatry yet he will still honour his animal totem like every Zimbabwean does. That is the confusion and irony of the Zimbabwean people when it comes to their culture, they openly call it demonic, yet deep down they all appease the ancestors they call satanic.
The ancestors are the ones who made Zimbabwe. What makes Zimbabwe Zimbabwe is the ancestors of Zimbabwe, and what they did to build Zimbabwe. The country was built on the worship of the Shona god, through the spirit mediums through the playing of the MBIRA hence Google acknowledged the historical musical instrument. You can not talk about the MBIRA without acknowledging the vadzimu/ancestral spirits of Zimbabwe. Hence you can not talk about the Culture of Zimbabwe without acknowledging the spirit mediums of Zimbabwe.
The spirit mediums of Zimbabwe spoke to their Shona god as Thomas Mapfumo, a music legend of Zimbabwe who made Mbira popular globally through his music clearly explains the documentary below.
These spirit mediums who built Zimbabwe have today been considered demon-possessed by the average Zimbabwean. It is so uncool and embarrassing to be seen embracing the spirit mediums of Zimbabwe in the twenty-first century.
I personally do not celebrate anything to do with the culture of Zimbabwe, for a lot of reasons I have extensively written before. I do not believe in being lukewarm, I am either hot or I am cold, that’s my life philosophy. I now belong to Ghana, spiritually and physically. I do not communicate with anyone in Zimbabwe apart from my father. The only reason I am mentioning my father in this article is because he is the only person I know who actually acknowledges and celebrates the culture of Zimbabwe in its truest sense, Emmerson Mnangagwa doesn’t even do that. In fact no politician in Zimbabwe, not even one, understands what it means to be Zimbabwean as described by the founders of the country. My father recently spoke about the country in a video below.
I actually respect my father because at least he is true to the CULTURE of Zimbabwe and the country’s Ancestors, and most impotantly he is true to himself. I see that as power. That’s why he is the royalty of Zimbabwe and the crown of that country belongs to him. I did extensively write about all this two years ago. This is a crown that I denied since childhood and continue to deny it as I choose the Hebrew God, but what I know is I know more about Zimbabwe’s roots and culture than the people who hashtag #ProudlyZimbabwean on social media. And I hear a lot of black American Hebrew Isrealites, Eldah Rawchaa and Deborah Yah Yisrael, a few of the many who claim that Zimbabweans are black Isrealites from Juda, and I am always like, do you even know the history of that country? Zimbabweans are Hamites as are most Africans.
For example, Zimbabweans all practise lobola/roora/cultural marriage which is rooted in ancestral spirits, especially the part where the man has to pay for mombe yehumai/cow of the mother. This is literally sacrificing a cow to the ancestral spirits. Zimbabweans do not even understand why their marriage ritual is called a “cultural marriage”. They have no grasp whatsoever that this deep ritual called roora involves sacrifices to the ancestors, that’s why there is a sacred law in the country which doesn’t allow any man to marry a woman in the month of November, a month which was sacred to the ancestors of Zimbabwe.
All Zimbabweans appease their dead ancestors when they marry. Then when they finish appeasing their ancestors through roora/mombe yehumai ritual, they now say “Jesus, we are not married properly until we do a Christian church wedding, the roora was just a cultural thing.” I have never seen a people so confused. You can not have a roora wedding ceremony and a church wedding at the same time, it’s literally worshipping two gods in front of you, syncretism. Jesus himself said he will spit you out anyway, you are neither hot nor cold. I personally respect people who know what it is they worship at least. I find hypocrisy disturbing.
Even though it’s embarrassing for the average Zimbabwean to openly associate themselves with the roots of Zimbabwean Culture, they ironically still cling onto the branches of the Culture that they so deny and feel embarrassed by.
I remember when I went to Zimbabwe 8 years ago, my “mother” was ever so angry with my father refusing to pray with him accusing him of “doing zvevadzimu”. Yet she so loves her totem and believes in Zimbabwean tradititional healers. Oh, the irony. My ex-husband used to blame me for having a father who “does zvevadzimu” and used to call me demonic and a sacrifice, yet he proudly loves his totem, believes in mombe yehumai and accused me of not even knowing his “totem”, (as I have never done or believed in totems) which is an abomination in Zimbabwean culture, again the irony.
How are you proudly Zimbabwean when you consider the founders of the country demonic? The same Zimbabweans who are proudly Zimbabwean are the same Zimbabweans who are terrified of the traditional cloth of Zimbabwe, the resto cloth.
The retso fabric was worn by the Mbira players honouring the mbira player’s “shave rembira” (spirit for playing mbira). So how do you celebrate the google doodle of Mbira today when the traditional retso cloth which was worn to play Mbira disturbs you?
The same Zimbabweans who are “proudly Zimbabwean” today and celebrating that GOOGLE honoured Zimbabwe are the same Zimbabweans who believe that “MASVIKIRO” is demon possession. Yet google itself is even ahead of Zimbabwe in recognizing the culture of the country through the Mbira instrument.
Like what Mbira expert Thomas Mapfumo said, “The ancestors speak to their people through MASVIKIRO, the spirit mediums, possessed by the spirit of the dead, the SVIKIRO, then speaks to the people at the BIRA ceremony of music and dance where MBIRA is the main instrument played.”
In other words, the Zimbabwean instrument honoured by google today’s primary use is connecting with the dead during BIRA ritual ceremonies. If you want to talk about the culture of Zimbabwe, this is the culture of Zimbabwe, connecting to the dead through svikiro using Mbira.
I bet you a million dollars, that there won’t even be 30, okay let me stretch it to 50 Zimbabweans who can claim to be proudly Zimbabwean when it comes to the true use of Mbira and what it is that the instrument represents…
Yet they will be angry with me for denouncing the CULTURE…if irony was a country…or maybe something in them tells them that the CULTURE is wrong…
The Genesis Of The Revelation By
Mary Tamar was Jean Gasho