By Tendai Chara
Even after his death, Sekuru Charles Makwiyana Ndunge, at one time the doyen of local traditional healing and witchcraft practices, remains an enigma.
For seven uninterrupted years, the late traditional healer waved his magic wand to hundreds of people, earning himself a cult-like status in the process.
Casting spells and directing healing powers to people from as far afield as Europe and Asia, Sekuru Ndunge allegedly had the expertise to make bank balances grow, curse enemies, treat terminal illnesses and win back lost loved ones.
As a result of his famed magical prowess, people of all social, religious and economic standing made a beeline for the traditional healer’s hilltop residence in Chipinge.
When the traditional healer breathed his last earlier this year, local media went into overdrive, with bizarre claims being made regarding his works and cause of death.
Although Jabulani, the late famous healer’s son, told the media that his father might have succumbed to diabetes, the cause of his death remains a subject of intense debate and speculation up to this day.
As news of Sekuru Ndunge’s demise filtered through, claims that the feared and powerful witchdoctor had actually predicted his own death spread like a veld fire.
Rumours to the effect that he had also “forecast” the destructive nature of Cyclone Idai also began to emerge.
Wild claims that Sekuru Ndunge’s death had been precipitated by the devastating effects of Cyclone Idai became common talk.
People who claimed to have been close to the healer said a magical mouse trap (riva) which had guaranteed him a long life was tripped when Cyclone Idai-induced rains pounded Chipinge, thereby resulting in his death.
According to traditional African beliefs, one can set a magical mice trap and hide it in a secret place. This myth suggests that once this is done, the owner of the magical trap will live as long as it is not tripped.
But did the ravaging effects of Cyclone Idai cause the death of this intriguing and complex character?
Sekuru Ndunge, who did not know his actual date of birth, but was believed to be in his 90s, might have died as a result of old age.
Jabulani, like most other people, is adamant that his father did not only predict his own death, but also foretold the effects of Cyclone Idai.
“I know that many people will find that absurd, but my father told us that heavy rains would pound some eastern parts of the country. He also indicated that he was on the verge of dying,” Jabulani said.
In an interview with this reporter a few months before his death, the traditional healer revealed that he was yearning for a quiet life. For the last few years, he had been meticulously planning for his “retirement”.
At that time, indications on the ground revealed that he was gradually passing the baton to his daughter, Nyerai.
As if he was aware of his impending death, Sekuru Ndunge also distributed his vast estate, including a restaurant, a bar, a grinding mill and a guest house.
His houses in Chipinge have also been distributed among his children.
Humans’ capacity to predict their own deaths and foretell natural disasters has always been a subject of intense debate. However, what is not questionable is that Sekuru Ndunge is a puzzle, even after death. Sunday Mail