The Sunday Mail
Stranger Than Fiction
AS we grew up in Marange or Bocha, Manicaland, the mythical story of how a cave in Chinyasikana Mountain collapsed and buried alive “ill-mannered children” who were playing house fascinated us.
The riveting tale, which was often retold after a spate of supernatural happenings were encountered at this mountain pass, stood the test of time as it was passed from generation to generation.
To this day, this mythical narration still attracts a lot of listening ears and unanswered questions.
For as long as locals remember, people who pass through the mountain pass that separates Chinyasikana and Dema Mountains near Mutsago, have often experienced supernatural happenings during the night.
Accounts of how passersby often hear the strange sounds of children supposedly playing kiddy games in the dead of the night have always been told.
Drivers passing through the pass at night often encounter unexplained mechanical faults as their vehicle engines malfunction, only to restart themselves at daybreak.
Up until the late 1980s, long-distance bus drivers would not dare cross the pass at night as they risked spending the night stuck at this crossing point.
lt is said unaccompanied “children”, mostly “girls”, are often seen hurriedly crossing the pass during very odd hours, only to disappear into the mountain.
The supposed girl sightings have earned the mountain the name Chinyasikana (hill of the little girls).
Locals attribute the mysterious occurences to a very strange incident they claim happened at Chinyasikana Mountain a very long time ago.
According to natives, local girls were playing house in one of the caves when an old and very dirty woman approached them and asked for water.
Legend has it that instead of giving the stranger some water, the ill-mannered children laughed at her, refused to give her water and dismissed her.
The tale further states that one little girl felt pity for the woman and gave her some water. It is said the “old woman” told the little girl to take her brother and leave the cave. Shortly after the little girl and her brother had left, the cave roof collapsed on the children that had humiliated the stranger, burying them alive.
After being alerted of the unfortunate development by the surviving girl and her brother, the tale states that the community desperately tried to force open the cave, all to no avail.
In an effort to save the girls, the community is said to have poured porridge through the small cave opening.
According to the tale, all the girls eventually starved to death, leaving their parents distraught.
But is the Chinyasikana story a fable?
Whilst fables do not have solid evidence, those that have been to the Chinyasikana Mountain believe the story is true.
Up to this day, logs that were allegedly used in futile attempts to force open the cave still protrudes from the mouth of the cave. Huge rocks are also scattered across the noticeable cave opening. Locals say the rocks were also used in trying to forcefully open the cave.
“In the past, locals used to stay near mountains where they would often seek shelter during raids by other tribes. Children often used caves as playgrounds. The Chinyasikana story is true and the evidence is there for everyone to see,” said Happy Mutsago, a local.
“The children disrespected a spirit medium and were punished. A message was clearly sent to the survivors, they should never disrespect the elderly,” said Mutsago.
The local community regards Chinyasikana Mountain as sacred. Each year, rainmaking ceremonies are conducted near the entrance of the mysterious cave.
If the story is indeed true, who then was the old woman believed to have caused the cave to collapse? Why was that “person” so bitter, to the extent of causing such a slow and painful death for the little girls?
Like the Biblical Joshua who commanded the sun to stand still, are spirit mediums capable of commanding caves to collapse on young children?
What is your take?
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