Avenging Spirit: An African Reality

Ingozi/ngozi or the avenging spirit is a topical issue in most African cultures. Zimbabwe is no exception and the mere thought of a vengeful spirit haunting and killing family members sends shivers down the spines of many people.

Take for instance the case of Midlands governor, Jason Machaya. His son Farai, was found guilty for the cold-bloodied slaying of Moses Chokuda and the governor now has to pay for sins of the son.

The payment is not only retribution for the unjust and ruthless killing but also serves as insurance cover against possible future unusual spiritual attacks that may befall the Machaya family due to this murder.

Tavenga Chokuda, the father of the murdered man had threatened that his son’s vengeful spirit would haunt the Machaya family, unless his demands were met .To prove his point he has not buried his son for over two and a half years.

Chokuda wanted US$15,000 in cash 70 head of cattle and a young girl. Yes a young girl, so far he has received the money and 20 head of cattle. However the girl was later scratched off the list since using humans to appease avenging spirits was illegal in Zimbabwe.

For most Africans believing in the avenging spirit is reality and as strange as this may sound it is also an effective deterant when it comes to crimes like murder. Most mental health issues and suicides are atrributed to the force of  avenging spirits. Some sudden death or misfortune in African families have often been traced back to a history of ingozi or ngozi that may have been commited by a  family member in the past. Believing in the avenging spirit and the rituals surrounding it, just shows how complex the African culture is. In the case of Moses Chokuda after almost two and a half years of laying in the mogue, lets hope he can now be buried.