The Tembo-Shumba Samaita clan

1. Their totem changed from tembo to shumba

Tembo-Shumba (‘Zebra-Lion’) is the totem of the present day Mutasa people. The Mutasa people were not always known as such. The dynasty’s totem was changed from tembo to shumba, and the dynasty’s title was changed from Chikanga to Mutasa.

In ancient times, rulership was passed down a family, forming a dynasty. You could think of a dynasty as a line of rulers that can be traced down a family tree. Sometimes there would be fights over who would become the next ruler, and sometimes such situations would result in changes to dynasty names and totems.

2. Nhetembo yedzinza: Tembo-Shumba Samaita

Mwaita Mbizi,
Mwaita Chiwara,
Njuma yerenje, Mashongera,
Hekani vene veChirovarova,
Vakabva Marenje,

Thank you Zebra,
Thank you Chiwara,
Hornless beast of the wilderness, Adorned One,
Thank you masters of Chirovarova,
Who came from Wildernesses,

Mwaita Tembo Shumba,
Zvaitwa Muroro, Musimira, Maruki,
Mwazviita Mupiyaniswa,
Vana nyora dziri mudumbu,
Magunde avasikana,

Thank you Tembo Shumba,
You have done well Muroro, Musimira, Maruki,
Thank you Interlaced One,
The ones who have tatoo marks inside the belly,
To girls they are (sweet) green stalks,

Wazviita Mbizi yokwaChikanga,
Tatenda vaChifambausiku, Tendai waMutasa,
Muzungu, Mutakurwa,
Mushambadzi wamachira,

Thank you Zebra who hails from Chikanga,
Thank you, One Who Roams at Night, Tendai son of Mutasa,
The Caucasian, One Who Is Carried Around,
The cloth salesman,

Chitendera chamambo changu chichi,
Mbizi yakashonga mikonde savakadzi,
Maita Shumba Tembo,
Mwazviita Chihwechiremera,
Chakaremera wari kure,
Wari pedyo wachitamba ndicho,

You, the King’s confidante,
A Zebra adorned in girdles of beads like women,
Thank you Shumba Tembo,
You have done well, Fearsome Rock,
Intimidating to those afar,
Yet hospitable to those near,

WaSenwa avete Gorongozi,
Mwaita vari Makarati,
Vari Marenje, Guruuswa,
Tatenda VaMoyo,

Son of Senwa who lies buried at Gorongozi,
Those in Makarati, to you we are grateful
Those in Marenje, Guruuswa,
We thank you son of Moyo,

Zvaitwa Dhuve rangu riri,
Rina makwapa makwapa,
Hekani VaChikanga
Mwazviita wari kuTsoka,
Wari Nyamusipiti,
Mbizi Chiverekete,

Thank you my Zebra,
With stripes all over,
Thank you Chikanga
To those in Tsoka, we thank you,
Those in Nyamusipiti,
Zebra The Glittering One,

Mwaita Shumba yapasi,
Mwaita Zenze, Romo,
Kuwa kweBinga zuva rinoora,
Mwaita vari kuGwara, Mahwemachena,

Thank you Lion of the earth,
I am grateful to you, Large Mane,  Large Mouth,
Where a collapse of the chief’s enclosure foretells an eclipse of the sun,
To those in Gwara, we thank you, White Rocks

Zvaitwa vari kuTsoka,
Vari Chirovarova neMahwemasimike,
Mwaita Chihwa, Shumba yewese,
Mwaita henyu vari kuChai, Mahwemanyoro,
Aiwa zvaitwa Dehwerembizi,

To those in Tsoka, we thank you,
Those in Chirovarova and Mahwemasimike,
Thank you Chihwa, Lion To All,
To those in Chai, we thank you, Soft Rocks,
We are surely thankful to you Zebra Hide ,

Zvaitwa Samaita.

Thank you Samaita.

As presented by A.J.C. Pongweni (1996). Translation by ZimbOriginal with reference to A.J.C. Pongweni (1996).

14 thoughts on “The Tembo-Shumba Samaita clan”

  1. Please research further. This Tembo – Shumba Nhetembo does not make sense. Its like saying Nzou – Mhofu. I believe this came was a remix after the Mutasa people were invaded, defeated by the Shumbas and were were forced to adopt add Shumba as a way of submission. I think Chigwedere had the true History of the Shumbas. I am from the Shumba – Chiwara clan.

    • Thank you Tichawona. Do you think the nhetembo might be incorrect? I know some colleagues who say they are of the Tembo-Shumba mutupo. Also, while they are called Tembo-Shumba, they are originally Samaita.

      This is the nhetembo as presented by A.J.C. Pongweni. I believe he also did very good research on the Shumba clan. I however agree that more research would be good. I will certainly do so and then share an article!

      Thank you Tichawona for stopping by.

  2. Absolutely nonsense. Let’s not rewrite history. There is Shumba and there is mbizi. Not both. Mukanya Chigwedere explained all this

    • Hi Chief Svosve,

      You are right, Chigwedere did explain all this. I hope you do realise the challenges that historians face. They always try their level best to accurately present history.

      I wish you had left details of the exact information that differs from what Chigwedere presented.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  3. Just heard that shumba samaita were originally shumba only. Their giant ancestors were so boastful n never wanted to go hunt, they became huge n lazy. One day there was a fierce fight n small lions chased them away. So wat happened was the small ones would jump on bigger ones dipping claws n slide down causing deep stretches of injuries. They hide in caves until the wounds were healed but they caused marks which looked like zebra lines. So by front they seemed lions yet from the back they seemed like zebras hence Shumba-Samaita


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