People’s desperation for rains reached an anti-climax in Senior Chief Ngabu’s area in Chikwawa on Sunday as 200 villagers gathered near Matengambiri Forest to make sacrifices to Mbona to give them rains.
Group village head Matengambiri and Senior Chief Ngabu confirmed that their planned event ended unceremoniously after a swarm of bees attacked the worshippers at the shrine.
Matengambiri said seven people were seriously injured and rushed to Ngabu Rural Hospital where they were admitted.
He said they organised the prayers in line with the tradition of making sacrifices in search of forgiveness and mercy from the ancestors.
On the sidelines of the failed ‘Mbona prayers’ and the persisting dry spell, other traditional leaders, including Paramount Chief Lundu and Chikwawa South member of Parliament (MP) Ilyas Karim (People’s Party-PP) asked government to fast-track implementation of long-term irrigation technologies and ensure that people are using Shire River to be food-secure.
Karim said hunger has severely affected people in the area to the extent that he is using his own money to buy and distribute maize to many poor families in his constituency.
Mbona was a legendary rain maker with superhuman powers who lived in Nsanje.
Apart from bringing rain, it is said Mbona could also create wells of water on sandy lands, create forests where they did not exist and hide from enemies by turning into creatures such as guinea fowls.
He had a wife called Salima who almost always stayed in the compound—only visited by elderly women and children. She ventured on a few occasions to some villages, assisting Mbona on matters of divinity.
Mbona’s Khulubvi sacred shrine is located in Nsanje District. It is an important spiritual place among the Mang’anja tribe.