Travelling & touring: Demystification of Ruware RwaMakate

Standard Style
There is also Mutoko Ruins popularly known as Tere Ruins which Yours Truly firmly believes is a must-visit place for tourists due it its stonework structures.

By Burzil Dube MUTOKO district is well-known for the abundance of black granite whose demand on the export market continues to be phenomenal.

The district is also home to various horticultural products with ready markets in most parts of the country. Above all, it is also well known for its various “untapped” sacred mountains, which are symbiotic in the travelling and touring world.

Talking of mystical mountain ranges, Mutoko is endowed with a variety of hills whose background could be of interest to both local and foreign visitors. Enigmatic stories and theories have in the past been proffered on how some of the hills came into being.

The district, situated in Mashonaland East province is reported to have been the citadel of Mbuya Nehanda and Chaminuka whose prowess in spirit medium world needs no further introduction.

There is also Mutoko Ruins popularly known as Tere Ruins which Yours Truly firmly believes is a must-visit place for tourists due it its stonework structures.

The most interesting feature at Tere Monument is a place called Ruware RwaMakate whose establishment has all the similarities of biblical Samson and Delilah, his wife who was full of betrayal.

Yours Truly will this week be an embodiment of a tour guide at the celebrated Tere Ruins which remains the pride of Mutoko district and its environs. It is also called Tere Ra Makate, which in local lingo is translated to ‘Makate’s former village’.

These ruins are situated about six kilometres north of Mutoko centre along the Nyamapanda highway and are always visible, thanks to prominent sign posts along the way.

Legend has it that around the 15th century, the Mutoko area was inhabited by Makate who was well known and dreaded for his powerful warfare charms. No other chief dared to fight him in whatever form because of impending dire consequences that could befall any adversary.

However, there was a certain chief by the name of Nehoreka and his Budya tribe, who migrated from Mozambique in search of a better settlement. They later came to a place that had arable land, abundant water with plenty of grazing land which was under the jurisdiction of Makate whom they tried to conquer, but to no avail.

Makate’s palace was strategically situated on top of a hill whose scenic view was also ideal for security purposes and it is reported that Nehoreka’s strong army was at one time repulsed when boulders were rolled against them as they tried to storm the hilltop.

Many a times Nehoreka’s warriors were easily vanquished through inexplicable versions and this was, however, attributed to Makate’s magical prowess much to Nehoreka’s chagrin.

Nehoreka was determined to defeat his adversary and had to devise a plan on how to get hold of the dreaded supernatural charms. Hence plenipotentiaries were dispatched to Makate expressing his remorsefulness over his invasion of the chiefdom and pledged to live in harmony through establishment of cordial relations.

To show his sincerity, Nehoreka offered to give his young gorgeous sister called Nyamungate   for marriage as part of efforts of establishing a relationship between the two chiefdoms.

Makate was extremely over the moon with such an offer  in the form  of a beautiful and well behaved  wife whom he began to have a lot of trust in.

Unbeknown to Makate, the new wife’s sole mission was to spy on his supernatural powers, which were proving to be a thorn to Nehoreka’s quest for absolute power within the entire territory.

As fate would have it, the love-smitten Makate trusted his new wife so much that he later showed her the war charms, how they are applied and where they are normally hidden or stored.

One night when everyone was asleep, the foxy Nyamungate woke up and went up to a cave where her husband hid the war charms and stole all magical paraphernalia. She instantly fled to her brother’s kingdom, who later invaded Makate’s chiefdom.

Upon discovering the disappearance of his charms, Makate quickly ordered his people to take all their possessions including livestock, household utensils among others. He then requested them to follow him and headed towards the east of Tere settlement with Nehoreka’s army in hot pursuit.

Makate came to a great rock floor where he hit the ground with a tail switch resulting in the opening of chasm and  ordered everyone to enter before he shouted in a loud voice bidding farewell to  Nehoreka.

Makate advised him that he was entering a better country where enemies would not be able   to enter and a hoe was struck at the rock floor entrance before he followed others.

The rock entrance was then permanently closed with the hoe and its handle still stuck even to this day with foot prints of Makate’s family and also those of their livestock still there.

It is said no one could remove the hoe even to this day and there reports of sounds of various types of livestock are at times  heard at dawn and dusk together with those of herd boys.

Any doubting fellas out there? Better enquire from those who hail from Mutoko.

Adios. Till we meet again in the next column.

Related Topics