Chaminuka is an ancestor of the Shona people, who include VaZezuru, VaKaranga, VaManyika, VaNdau, VaKorekore, BaNambiya, BaVenda, and BaKalanga. These are dialect groups of the Shona as a family. Chaminuka’s stature as a religious figure is best understood in relation to his place in the Shona lineage as a family and the role that he played as a founder of Zimbabwe.
The original Chaminuka belongs to the lineage of Tovera, the earliest known ancestor of the Shona. Tovera’s son, Mambiri, is the father of Murenga Sororenzou, the founder-architect of Zimbabwe. Murenga’s children include Chaminuka, Nehanda, and Mushavatu. Mushavatu’s descendants are the preferred mediums of Chaminuka.
The first known medium of Chaminuka was Pasipamire, who died in 1883. He was the son and successor of Murenga Pfumojena Sororenzou, a founding father of Zimbabwe or state of Mutapa. Later, other people claimed to be possessed by the Chaminuka spirit. One of these was Muchetera Mujuru to whom this article is devoted. He played an important role in the Shona cultural revival and he and his circle were directly linked with the resistance struggle. He was shot in 1977.
The ‘Tales of Zimbabwe’ series, by Shumba Records, brings you a piece of shona culture with Sekuru Garikai recounting the story Chaminuka .