How Shurugwi’s famous hunter lost his loins

Traditional Africans preserved meat by cutting it into thin strips and adding salt to it and drying it over a slow fire, or by drying it out in the sun. Kuomesa, the art of preserving meat by drying it out.

Oral tradition has it that a family which was fleeing from a chieftainship dispute which was rightfully theirs settled in the vast plains beyond Donga, stretching as far afield as Chikato the land of Chinho, plains transcending the great Tugwi River and the mountaneos grazing plains of Svika in far off Shurugwi Communal Lands. A family itself that comprised of legendary hunters and lovers of meat. And women. Chionde, the fig tree whose juice never dries.

They became known as Mabedzenge, strippers and slicers of drying meat. But one among the men of  abedzenge clan outclassed them all in their hunting skill and their love for meat. Hunting was in his blood, and the love for meat was his inheritance.

And so Mazai the blind mbira player sang; “The people of Mabedzenge are known for their love of meat Siro himself left his jacket at the cattle pen Simply because a beast had been slaughtered yonder.

Chinho himself decreed a goat’s testicles was a delicacy only for Mabedzenge the king Anyone who  efied should leave the king’s domain “

The man who outclassed the legendary greed for meat in the Mabedzenge clan; who is the same man who inherited their hunting skill, is a man who lived in the vast plains of Poshayi near the hillock of Chamashunye.

He hunted bushbucks to extinction, and killed all the rabbits of Poshayi vlei and Chamashunye hillock until there was nothing to hunt. His name was Hwiriyoni, the valourous hunter of the Mabedzenge clan. Jachacha is a Shona word which describes an animal which was found in Mabedzenge’s land. It falls in the cat family and is foolish but vicious. It is quick to hide in an ant bear hole if a hunter  approaches, its only defence.

Or is it? Both Mabedzenge and his subjects regarded Jachacha as food beneath their dignity. It was too easy to catch, and after all, it belonged to the cat family, a known abomination for consumption

in the Mabedzenge royal household and beyond.

Because there was nothing left to hunt, the rabbits and bushbucks having become extinct or having fled to the farmlands of Masvusvu, Hwiriyoni’s craving for meat troubled him, as only a true Mabedzenge man should be troubled.

This craving is called nhomba in Shona, an incessant troubling desire which never ceases until satiated. And the animal called Jachacha was still plentiful in the vast plains of Poshayi and Chamashunye hillock, and was plentiful at Cheza Village towards Chinho of Chikato fame, it also being easy to catch on top of it.

So Hwiriyoni rose early and scouted the tree-less plains and spotted Jachacha and observed it sneak into an an ant bear hole. Easy pickings. Hwiriyoni sat astride the ant bear hole into which Jachacha had entered and started digging.

He inserted his hand therein to capture his prey. But the prey turned predator and bit his finger. He shook it off his finger but the animal headed for his loins and attacked, dismembering the very source of Mabedzenge’s future dynasty. Hwirioni screamed and jumped up and down before he tore Jachacha off, but only after the deed had been done.

It was naturally difficult for Hwirioni to admit what had happened, but the festering wounds forced him to visit Mbuya Mtemeri at Rockford Clinic, and he was treated and the wounds eventuality healed. But the humiliating encounter between Hwirioni and Jachacha spread like wildfire, herdboys sang about it

in the grazing plains, drunks sang it too as they enjoyed Mbuya Manyathi’s  famous traditional brew parties; “Because of his lust for meat, Hwirioni lost his middle finger Because of his love for meat, Hwirioni lost his main member” And Hwirioni fled the plains of Mabedzenge spanning from Donga to

Chinho and Tugwi and beyond, the land ending at Svika which means we have arrived at the end.

We hear Hwirioni left for Jompane, farmlands teeming with game.

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