The family of Rowai Chihwakwa, of Matande village under Chief Negari, who disappeared in 1982 as an eight-year-old girl to live with mermaids/ Njuzu for 40 years, have dispelled rumours about the woman disappearing or acting strangely.
Rowai only reappeared in November last year following a series of rituals spanning two weeks at the site of her disappearance.
In a series of interviews with Drewmas Media, several community members and relatives at large who are conversant with the matter set the record straight on what really happens to the woman who has since moved to Zaka where she is living with traditional healers who helped her back into the world.
“Rowai eats normally like everybody else including sadza and chicken but she doesn’t eat animals with four feet,” one of her relatives said.
Another relative was more evasive when asked questions as he felt disclosing too much information could lead to interrupting the traditional rituals being performed on her to complete the rehabilitation process.
“Ndezvechivanhu, so I can not tell you much”, he said.
About her disappearing and getting to Zaka mysteriously, again, the man quashed the claims.
At a ceremony held at the Chihwakwa village homestead in Mwenezi East in December last year, Rowai, who donned a crown of feathers that are common with n’angas, did not say much as she seemed to be disinterested or at least indifferent to the many curious faces around her.
People who are well-versed with the family’s travails throughout the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s said they grew up accustomed to the intermittent sound of traditional drums in the bush especially during the night as the Chihwakwas desperately tried to bring back their ‘lost’ child.
“As I grew up, I would ask my parents why there were sounds of drumbeats in the bush far away from home and they would tell me that the Chihwakwa family was performing traditional rituals to try and bring back their lost child. It became a normal thing up until I left my rural home for work in town in the early 2000s,” said one woman.
The Chihwakwa family says Rowai disappeared along a small stream known as Matande which offloads its flow down into the mighty Runde River.
Watch the video below by, Andrew Neshamba: