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Charwe  

Ruramisai Charumbira

spirit medium of Nehanda and political leader against British colonialism in southern Rhodesia, was born around 1862 in the Mazowe valley of today’s Mashonaland Central Province, Zimbabwe, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Harare. Charwe wokwa Hwata was a child of the Hwata dynasty (dzinza/rudzi) one of many such dynasties that formed in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as older Shona kingdoms dissolved and smaller confederacies and dynasties emerged. Charwe belonged to the Hwata through blood ties to ruling men, and her people had migrated and settled in the Mazowe valley beginning in the late 1700s.

Charwe became the medium of Nehanda in the Mazowe District around 1881. The district already had a history of Nehandas buried at Shaverunzi and a village known as Nehanda Village (kwa Nehanda Charwe therefore is more popularly known by the nonhereditary politico religious title of ...