News24

Zimbabwe mermaids appeased at pumphouse

2012-02-12 16:54

Harare - Water is flowing again to a small, arid town in northern Zimbabwe after a traditional ceremony was held to appease "mermaids" who had been terrifying engineers trying to start the pumps at a nearby dam, officials said on Sunday.

Water Resources Minister Sam Nkomo had told Parliament last week that operations to commission pumps at a dam at Gokwe town were halted after frightened workers found the machines had "broken down under unclear circumstances and without any traces of vandalism".

Trouble with "mermaids" was also reported at the major Osborne Dam in eastern Zimbabwe, Nkomo said. Divers with aqualungs were dispatched to investigate the cause of the blockages there, but returned to the surface pledging to never go back down.

"That was when we hired white consultants, thinking our people were vulnerable because they are Africans. But the whites too vowed never to go back there," Nkomo said.

In some sub-Saharan African traditions, mischievous water spirits feature prominently, and are referred to as "mermaids" in English.

The problem at Gokwe was solved late last week, however, when the water ministry hired traditional healers to conduct propitiatory rituals, said Chengeto Gozo, area manager for the Zimbabwe National Water Authority.

The rituals included brewing beer to placate the creatures.

"I do not believe in mermaids, but the community that lives in the area does," said Nkomo, the minister, about Gokwe. Ceremonies would now be held at the Osborne Dam as well.

Comments
  • Leon - 2012-02-12 17:14

    I guess the big bad Mugabe scared the mermids!

  • drummond.doig1 - 2012-02-12 17:30

    The white engineers refused to go fix because they don't get paid

  • hein.huyser - 2012-02-12 17:47

    Riplreys believe it or not! And they want the world to take them seriously? Why cant they just get rid of these mamparras?

  • Kusleg - 2012-02-12 18:01

    @Drummond....you need English lessons l guess.."That was when we hired white consultants, thinking our people were vulnerable because they are Africans. But the whites too vowed never to go back there," ..Which means they did dive and were also molested by the female human like creatures.

      drummond.doig1 - 2012-02-12 19:11

      Oh for goodness sake Kusleg, mermaids do not scare 99.9 % of white people because of the simple reason, 99.9 % of white people don't believe they exist. When you get off your bed via stepladder because the bricks that protect you from the tokoloshe hamper normal exit, you may grasp this concept

      Fidel - 2012-02-12 22:32

      Where are you getting your 99% from, sucked it from your thumb?

      Irene - 2012-02-12 23:24

      Seems Kusleg and Fidel are both dumber than each other.

  • rurapenthe - 2012-02-12 18:21

    Seems the latest Pirates of the Caribbean been showing too much there...

  • Carl - 2012-02-12 18:23

    Gosh I hope I dont have any water spirits in my pool! I would have to drink beer to get rid of them, or would I have to drink lots of beer to see them?

      drummond.doig1 - 2012-02-12 19:27

      gotta brew that beer to see the truth

  • Willem - 2012-02-12 18:32

    good god!

  • Max - 2012-02-12 18:33

    Only in Africa...

  • mary.kircher - 2012-02-12 18:36

    mermaids who love beer ? Very fishy .....

  • Swapie - 2012-02-12 19:02

    I wish the Tokoloshe will scare our ministers into being less corrupt.

  • mani.bodenstein - 2012-02-12 19:37

    The Nyaminyami is a dragon like creature with a snake's torso and the head of a fish.The spirits of Nyaminyami and his wife residing in the Kariba Gorge are God and Goddess of the underworld- maybe a daughter,now drunk because of all the beer water?

      Warren - 2012-02-13 12:57

      I agree,this is a cultural belief of the local residents that has been around for centuries. This should be respected because the belief will not alter for many more a century. Just like the Loch Ness monster, with all our modern technology, bring us the proof it exists. They found the Titanic for heavens sake.

      Gail - 2012-02-13 14:31

      Sounds a bit like the place has electric eels?

  • Johann Enslin - 2012-02-12 19:45

    ...what a croc of hog wash...

  • Esther - 2012-02-12 19:49

    Must be the same 'mermaids' who changed water into petrol a few years ago

      Willem - 2012-02-12 21:34

      I think that was oil Esther :)

  • Diane WildChild Eris Frank - 2012-02-12 19:55

    Can anyone say X-Files? Oh wait, this is the same country where the despotic president believes he's running a democracy; they're clearly prone to flights of fancy!

  • Evan Summerson - 2012-02-12 22:19

    Some heathens still in the stoneage it seems. How quaint.

  • Fidel - 2012-02-12 22:30

    "That was when we hired white consultants, thinking our people were vulnerable because they are Africans. But the whites too vowed never to go back there," Nkomo said. Only in my motherland,lol.

      Irene - 2012-02-12 23:25

      Why don't you go back to the land of milk and honey?

      Fidel - 2012-02-13 00:44

      Voetsek wena njakazi, yintoni inxaki yakho. Indoda yakho ayikuniki attention?

  • Jan - 2012-02-12 23:11

    What next? Only in Africa!

  • Takunda - 2012-02-13 01:08

    @drummond, your talk is cheap, put your money where your mouth is, why dont you go to this dam in zim and prove yourself right? its not about wheather if whites believe in mermaids or not, wheather if you do or not what does that matter and who cares? the biggest deal here is residents of this area have been disadvantaged coz of an uproven suspicious phenomenon that prevented a project from being implemented and now they had to perform this ceremony to calm things down. wheather if all this is really true or not who knows! the white consultants refusal to go back and do the job is obviously related to this phenomenon and has nothing to do with payment. the funds to fund this project was there, its not about the funding, its about these strange things happening at this dam. so please, read carefully, understand the story before posting sensational comments on here. dont make unproven assumptions.

      Warren - 2012-02-13 12:50

      No mention is made of why the divers would not go back down. You assume the phenomenon. I assume the African dictatorship one. Maybe the real reason is that the working conditions are so unsafe that they refused point blank. Then Nkomo,who himself does not believe in " mermaids " and now with his honour at stake concocted this story because the truth would reveal the utter incomptency and what would Master Bob say, maybe confiscate one of his farms for telling the truth to the world. I do accept that many black Africans are superstitious and are entitled to these beliefs and customs, but come on to try and fool the civilized world.

      Gail - 2012-02-13 14:40

      Takunda,You may be right about the funds however you are covering both bases with your spelling of wheather in this way. Whether you are right or wrong the people believe it is mermaids would be correct. Weather without an h is the stuff we are warned about like hurricanes, torrential rain, no rain, lightning and so on. You might notice when typing your comment that there is a squiggly red line under the word. That means it is spelled incorrectly and gives you a chance to tell the computer which one you mean. If you have green lines then your grammar is wrong. You obviously are aware that there is an h in one of them - hope this makes it clearer.

      richard.mhute - 2013-01-22 22:32

      @warren. The term black African is a bit strange to me. It is like saying white Europeans. What else can they be?

  • Takunda - 2012-02-13 01:10

    @irene, really u need to take a chill pill. life is too short hunny, no need to dig your own mental grave before its time!

  • Oriel Mupariwa - 2012-02-13 08:09

    Why you think its only Africa. When Cultures throughout the world have the belief in the existance of Mermaids. Through pictures and ancient written record they are describe the same. And they are believed to harm People. I do believe that these are demons, because God didnt create any such earthly creature.

  • Oriel Mupariwa - 2012-02-13 08:10

    Why you think its only Africa. When Cultures throughout the world have the belief in the existance of Mermaids. Through pictures and ancient written record they are describe the same. And they are believed to harm People. I do believe that these are demons, because God didnt create any such earthly creature.

      Fidel - 2012-02-13 11:25

      Or the Sky wizard! These are the same people that teach their kids about tooth fairies, Easter bunnies and Father Christmas.

      richard.mhute - 2013-01-22 22:36

      and a lot of "these" people believe that there are saints, angels, devils and whatnots and nobody has the gall to call them savages.

  • Warren - 2012-02-13 12:27

    What century are we living in. And you wonder why the continent of Africa is not taken seriously. Blame it all on bad muti. J K Rowling should start writing a new Saga. Call it Robert Pothead and the Well of Water Spirits.

  • Takunda - 2012-02-14 04:51

    @warren, obviously there was an issue that prevented every person involved from working there and all u r doing is speculating. we could never know what really happened, and both the white and black workers didnt wana go back there. to suggest that black pple superstitious beliefs cant fool the civilized world is a very appallig statement. what u r saying is black pple r uncivilised and thats ofcourse typical of whites in this nation who have been the face and represented racism in the strongest ways ever. not all black pple believe in superstition,i dont! and there r white pple that do infact believe in superstition. but ofcourse as racist as u r, u will down play that in any way u can. thats why this nation has suffered so much , because of pple like u who will do what ever it takes to keep racism alive. @gill, thank u for trying to be politely rude, but i can read between the lines. i know how to spell thank u , much more than u. the word weather has to do with the natural atmosphere, the wind, rain, hail, etc etc, and wheather is used when making a distinction,( "wheather this or that") u need to have a re check your grammar there.

      Tim - 2012-03-02 10:54

      Classic! Check it out, no such word as "wheather"!!! It's "weather" or "whether"

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