“In a spiritual tradition that believes the ancestors live on, watching over the living, the belief in vadzimu holds that ancestral spirits can choose to return, in times of family or national crisis, through living mediums. Nehanda, a royal ancestral spirit, is one who has come back again and again, answering the needs of the children of the soil, the descendants she watches over.” – Panashe Chigumadzi, These Bones Will Rise Again
As a person who is currently residing in Zimbabwe, the land of the Mbira, the land of great beauty as well as seemingly unceasing turmoil, I am sensitive to both the living conditions of its peoples, while at the same time keeping an ear to the ground for the murmur, whisper or cries of their ancestors. My country Azania/South Africa and my great grandfather land the Kingdom of Eswatini are also lands of deep conflicts both hidden and visible, yet without neglecting them, I have become acutely drawn into the cultural heritage of this land wherein I dwell with my wife and children.
My deepest concern is with the spiritual health and socio-economic well-being of the youth of this land. What are they losing while these politically motivated conflicts rage on to the detriment of the economy? While I am attempting to answer such questions in my upcoming book The House of Plenty, there is a sense of urgency that pushes me to share some of my thoughts here, while I also reference the works of other like-minded cultural workers, writers and activists …
In this article we will speak about ancestral spirit mediums, diviners, healers, blacksmiths, artists and other cultural workers in order to glean some wisdom that we require to create a well balanced and progressive New Afrikan society.