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River Gods and Kings

Another conversation in Vic Falls – and a story about Nyaminyami, the River Serpent God from the Zambezi.

When the dam was being built on the Zambezi – an act that displaced many Tonga people from fertile areas around Lake Kariba, many of whom Save the Children now works to benefit – the story goes that the River God, Nyaminyami, broke down the dam, trying to reach his ‘lady friend’.

The dam was separating the River God from his woman and, totally incensed, he burst through the dam to the other side.

Later, we were told a story about King Luwanyaka of Zambia, whose son it is said travelled into Zimbabwe to the ‘Mountain of the Lozi’ and did not return.

Pining for his son, the King sent men to dig around the base of the mountain, cutting off the top cone to carry, with his son still on top, back to Zambia and to his side.

Unfortunately for them, once loose, the cone toppled, slid on top of them and they were all crushed to death, with the son still on the mountain and no return to the King.

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