Moyo Chirandu

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Moyo Chirandu 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. In this particular instance, Chirandu is the chidawo for the totem.

Moyo Chirandu, which belongs to the main Moyo cluster has its taboos include refraining from eating some internal organs from animals including the heart. It has for long been used as a form of identity; identifying people of belonging to that 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 Chirandu 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

Maita Moyo
Maita Chirandu
Zvaitwa, Vari Makove
Tatenda, Vari Bokoto
Maita zvenyu, Vari Matukutu

Evo, Moyo yangu yiyi
Maita, Muturikwa
Vari Chitopi
Zvaitwa Moyo
Vakabva kure
Nanhasi tinongova nemi wani
Dai yaiva mvura, hayaipwa
Yainwiwawo nevari kure.

Maita zvenyu, Moyo
Mugona kuronga nhau
Zano renzombe
Inga tinemi wani.

Vari Chitopi neTsongoro
Vari Maseyekwa
Gono rangu riri.

Tinotenda Moyo
Aiwa maita, Moyo



  1. , Moyo Chirandu,Shona History, retrieved:16 Mar 2015"