After a year of severe drought throughout the entire Mbire Kingdom, King Svosve went up to the sacred place of his forefathers in the dead of the night. He knelt before the shrine of worship to pray for his people and to plead with his ancestors for rain.
On top of his trembling and sorrowful voice, he shouted “Hear me, oh my ancestors! You who went before me. What sin have we committed before your eyes that you forsake us in this manner? Our land has not known a drop of rain for a year. Rivers and lakes have dried up, the land is rock solid, and no yield will come from our fields. I see people and livestock dying every day. You ordained me to lead your people, so do not fold your arms and watch me become a laughingstock. I shall not leave this place until you answer my prayer.”
A cold breeze began to blow; the King did not notice. He went on praying with more fervency. The wind grew stronger and stronger until it almost resembled a hurricane. The King clung to a rock for his life. Then, a huge ball of fire broke in the center of the shrine and it became bright as day. The King froze with fear, but his curiosity got the better of him. He advanced cautiously towards the fire.
A thundering voice came out of the fire and said,
“Svosve, son of Jena, look at me.” He thought he could see a man holding a lion and a sword in the fire, but he was not sure. “Yes, Great One but I cannot see you clearly.”
“How do you expect to see me clearly, when you fail to see what is under your nose? This is the beginning of your predicaments; more is yet to come. Your land shall know no peace, your people shall continue to perish. You shall be stripped of your dignity and there will be no one left with an inch of respect for you. The Kings from surrounding kingdoms will not come to rescue you. You shall have nowhere and no one to turn to, until you make things right.” This made the King sweat and his heart almost popped out.
“What did I do wrong Great One? Please have mercy on me. Tell me what to do to appease you so that my land as well as myself can be restored,” the King pleaded.
“We trusted you with the throne of our forefathers, but you let your woman manipulate and rob you of the precious gift we gave you. How dense can you be?”
“Queen Maidei is an excellent Queen, Great One. She is the greatest gift you ever gave me. What do you mean my woman manipulated me?” asked the King with confusion.
“The greatest gift we gave you is not Maidei; the greatest gift is the one she robbed you of. Go and ask her to come clean about her actions. Maidei will either be your solution or your downfall.”
After that, it became dark again. The king sat at the shrine all night, with a heavy heart and a confused mind. He expected answers and solutions from his ancestors, but he was now in a worse-off position.
King Seke had a beautiful wife named Simbiso. Together they had five children. Their eldest daughter was Danai, and their eldest son was Sungai. King Seke lived happily with his family and his people.
It was dinner time, and as usual, King Seke sat at the table with his family to enjoy the meal. This was often a bonding session with his wife and kids. This time around, his treasured elder sister, Potsi was present.
“Words fail me, my Queen, I can never thank you enough for being my pillar of strength. You gave me such beautiful children and you always give me good advice. This Kingdom is what it is because of your wisdom. I am forever indebted to you, my Queen.” The King poured his heart out.
“Thank you so much, my King. I feel honoured and humbled by your words. I also do not know where I would be if you were not in my life. You rescued me from the verge of death, you love me unconditionally and you are my refuge and protector. Today, I stand here as a respected Queen because of you. I am forever grateful to you, my King,” said Queen Simbiso to her husband without taking her eyes off him. The King melted with love at his Queen’s words.
Just then, Potsi started sneezing and hissing like a snake, drawing everyone’s attention. Potsi went into a trance and the family knelt as they normally do in the presence of an ancestral spirit. Through Potsi, the ancestral spirit says, “I see a dark cloud hovering over this Kingdom. A foreign spirit haunts this palace. There is a commoner amongst us, who brought stolen treasure from another Kingdom that needs to be returned. Otherwise, they will be serious predicaments for this land.” The King and Queen stared at each other in disbelief.
BACK IN MBIRE KINGDOM
After spending a night at the shrine, King Svosve went back to his palace in the dawn. He found Queen Maidei in bed. “My King, where have you been? I waited for you all night. Does the King have another woman who has stolen his heart? Must I get worried?” Maidei asked in a soft and seductive voice.
“Maidei, I want you to be honest with me. Tell me the truth. Have you betrayed me in any way? Did you steal my treasure?” The King went straight to the point.
“What? I cannot believe you are asking me this, my King. Where is this coming from?” demanded Maidei.
“Our land is suffering, people are dying every day, and the ancestors have turned their backs on me because of a treasure you have stolen.”
Maidei fumes with anger. “What? Me? Steal from you? Have you lost your mind? I have been loyal to you, ever since we got married. Is this how you thank me?” she shouts.
“If you are lying to me, you will face the rage of my ancestors, this land will not suffer because of you,” said the King in a calm but firm voice. He walked away without giving Maidei a chance to talk.
© Sharai Marble Mangwiro
Musarudzwa – The Chosen One
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