"For the Tonga people like me, there is something deeply biblical about the word MULONGA, yet it is a modern story too. One of massive but unshared technology. One of plentiful water but perpetual drought."
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mulonga.net >> Tonga People >> Tonga Culture >> Oral history
Oral history
Wednesday, 28 December 2005 09:49

Chivunduka was a drum brought by the Kore Kore invaders from Gunuuswa (their mythical land of origin). It could move by itself, rolling or crawling, but at night would borrow the feet of wild animals to take itself about. It was a famous hunter and when in a good mood would supply the people with meat it had killed. On the death of every third paramount chief, Chivunduka's parchment would burst and a man would be killed and his skin used to replace the broken one. The Tonga under Siambese are said to have briefly taken Chivunduka as a reward for their assistance to the vaGove in a successful battle against the Shankwe, who were demanding tribute and recognition from them. 

Siambese, the Tonga chief took Chivunduka across the Zambezi and shut him in a grain bin for the night. At dawn the drum escaped and his beat was heard in the direction of the river. The Tonga took up their weapons and gave chase; they over-took the drum on the river's bank and thrust and stabbed at him as he writhed and rolled away. Blood and milk flowed from his wounds but Chivunduka plunged into the river and escaped. He swam up the Ume River and made his weary and painful way home, beating a slow "ngu, ngu, ngu" that told the Shankwe of the disastrous battle. &shyp; Chivunduka disappeared in Lobengula's time and has not since been heard.

From: Lwaano Lwanyika, Tonga Book of the Earth by Pamela Reynolds & Colleen Crawford Cousins, Baobab Books, Harare, 1991.

 

ChiTonga version: Chilungununo chakajanwa

Chivunduka yakali ngoma yakayetwa abasilumamba bamaKore Kore Kabazwa ku Gunuuswa. Yakali kulyeedelela ayilikke kaikunkulika, pesi mansiku kailomba maulu abanyama bamusokwe kutegwa iyendeende. Yakali muvwimi ulampuwo chakuti ikuti yakujaya yakali kuwaabila bantu boonse nyama. Choonse chiindi alufu lwamwami mupati watatu chakali kubbaluka chibambo chaChivanduka awalokwakali kujeegwa muntu, wakali kufundwa chikumba chakali kuba nchenchicho nchakali kubambwa. Ategwa baTonga bakasolwedwe aSiambese bakali baitola Chivunduka kakuli mbobulumbu bwabo mukugwasya baGove (Gobi) munkondo yabo yakazwidilila maningi mukulwana abaNsangwe chiindi nebakali bayanda mutelo wabo akuyanda kuzibwa. &shyp; Mwami wabaTonga oyu Siambese wakatola Chivunduka oyu mutala a Lwizi akuyombubikka muchimumbwa chazilyo kwabusiku buyo. Kubuchedo Chivunduka wakaloboka kulila kwake kwakamvwikkwa kubbazu lyamulonga. BaTonga bakabweza masumo abo akumutobela Chivunduka. Nebakamweenzya kunkomwe yamulonga bakamuyasa kayabukunkulika. Bulowa amalili akazwa muzilonda zya Chivunduka pesi lwakwe wakakunkulukila mumaanzi akuchija. Wakayamba akuyozwida akwiinka amulonga, ume kayabusunkuta azilonda zyakwe kaswini ,ngu, ngu, ngu', chakaba chitondeezyo kubaNsangwe kuti bakazundwa kunkondo. &shyp; Chivunduka wakabulika chiindi chaLobengula aboobo tachimvwikki kuzwida eelyo.