Mbiga (The Mermaid)


The story goes…

A very long time ago, there once was a small village of the Manyika tribe at the foot of a then little-known mountain in the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe. It is said that at one particular day they held celebrations to thank the gods for the bountiful harvests and the abundance of animals and food in the land. As they got drunk on a “seven days” brew, their music got louder, and the drumming that reverberated throughout the forest, instead of pleasing the gods, started to anger them. The earth shook in a drunken rhythm, sending the villagers in a trance-like state. The celebrations turned into an abominable revelry.

Two men from a nearby village came to find out why, on that day of all days, the noise was louder than ever. They approached the chief, to caution him of forgetting the true purpose of the celebrations, in case it infuriated the gods and something terrible were to happen. The men were cackled at, scorned and quickly thrown out of the vicinity.

The gods then decided to approach the villagers themselves, in the form of a young, beautiful lady who called herself Mbiga. Her counsel received no better heed. She warned them to stop the gaiety immediately, for if not, the mountain would fall upon them, leading to their demise. Her words and actions were submerged by the garish hammering and epileptic dancing.