Soko Nehumba

From Pindula

Soko Nehumba is a Zimbabwean totem/mutupo/isibongo. The totem has a very long history among the indigenous societies which include the Shona, the Ndebele, Tonga, Venda, Kalanga, among others. Every totem has a branch which distinguishes it from the others. In Shona, these small branches are referred to as chidawo in Shona and in Ndebele. In this particular instance, Nehumba is the chidawo for the totem.

Soko Nehumba, which belongs to the main Soko cluster has a close relationship with the animal monkey and its taboos include refraining from monkey meat. It has for long been used as a form of identity; identifying people of a particular totem with a unique social, economic, or historical background and past. It was thus a common unifying factor which bound together individuals, families and clans.

Totems in Zimbabwe are not a thing of the past despite the changes that have come with time. Many people are still identified by their respective totems. Like other totems in Zimbabwe, the Moyo Nematombo totem is used in addressing people, by and large the elders, and is associated with family dignity and respect. It has also been used in praise poetry, thanksgiving, even in times of mourning.

Shona Praise Poem

Evoi Soko,
Mwana waChigutiro,
Mukonde wangu yuyu,
Mushonga namawere,
Madyamhani angu yaya,
Vanayisi vemvura,
Vari kumakore,
Tupuno parutivi,
Tufuta twangu munyasi,
Tumhiripiri pakarepo,
Kamugoti kangu pakatire,
Pamusha ndopandarinda,
Maita VaChirongo,
Aiwa zvaonekwa,
Zvaitwa Nehumba,
Soko yangu yiyi,
Vanorara parefu