POVOAfrika Trust, presents its latest project Mbuya Nehanda Re-imagined, a collection of curated essays, academic articles, drawings, photographs, short stories, poetry, music, paintings, prints and other depictions of Mbuya Nehanda.

Mbuya Nehanda reimagined is an attempt to write back into Zimbabwean modern memory one of the most influential female protagonists.

Charwe Nyakasikana, the spirit medium of Mbuya Nehanda is a prominent female voice in history, often lionized for her unwavering political fervour, and cast as a central figure in a national narrative that privileges her as one of the de-facto protagonists of anti-colonial Zimbabwean history.

This anthology weaves through a delicate tapestry of historical accounts of Charwe Nyakasikana’s story through generations, who from hindsight reflect on hagiographies mounted in the medium’s name to re-imagine the part she played in fostering a now contested national identity. 

Contemporary mediums of expression are not only necessary to capture the hearts and minds of the younger generation but also give them the agency to reimagine the legend of Mbuya Nehanda, to carve a new niche for themselves using the spiritual realm as a frame of reference.

From this milieu, the ever-present link between past and present is re-evaluated, interrogated and repurposed to fit the aspirations of a new generation, without overestimating the role she played nor diminishing it for a narrow agenda.  

POVOAfrika Trust is Zimbabwe’s leading platform for amplifying voices denied access to mainstream media. We empower marginalized people to articulate themselves through the most relevant tools and creative techniques to tell the most compelling stories. Our organization is at the forefront of promoting new insights and collaboration amongst creatives in the arts, culture and sustainable development space.



Introduction to Nehanda Re-Imagined 

The Nehanda Statue 



Ambuya Nehanda In All Her Glory by Mudiwa Marasa

Charwe Was Not A Medium by Baynham Goredema

Chii Chamuri Kuona? by Patrick Pearson Mugadura

Holy? By Johnson Mugabe

Interrogated And Tortured by Tinashe Katandawa

Nehanda | Kaguvi by Babusi Nyoni

Nehanda On Wall by Calvin Chimutuwah
Nehanda Rock Of Ages by Eugene Mapondera 

Nyakasikana by Anesu Gavaza

Nyakasikana Icon by Yemurai Mafi

Nyakasikana T-Shirt by Erhuardt Muchenwa

The Calling Of A Warrior by Paul Maposa

The Gidi (Gun) Uprising by Nyasha Mutamba

The Heroine Footprints by Keith Zenda

The Story of Nehanda – A film

Tora Gidi Uzvitonge by Tafadzwa Tarumbwa 


Mai Vemwana by Valerie Tendai Chatindo

Mai Vemwana by Barbra Breeze

Mapfupa Angu by Tendekai Tati

She Rises by Cynthia Marangwanda

Wigi yaMbuya Nehanda by Ignatius Mabasa

Words In The Wind by Aurra Kawanzaruwa


Charwe Nyakasikana (C. 1840 – 1898) by Archibald Mathibela

Deified: Charwe Nyakasikana by Chiratidzo Chiweshe-Saruro

Desires And Archetypes by Nyadzombe Nyampenza

How Mbuya Nehanda Became Privileged As The Icon Of Our Collective Ethnic Spiritual Identity by Archibald Mathibela 

Let The Dead Die by Ryan Chokuvera

Mother Of A Nation by Valerie Tendai Chatindo

Nehanda: What Next For This Neglected Matriach? by Elton Mjanana

The Nehanda Riddim 

The Sacred Matriarchy Of Mbuya Nehanda by Cynthia Marangwanda

Why Don’t We Hear From Nehanda Today? by Tanganyika

Short Story

The Woman Who Refused To Change Her Name by Thelma Goronga


Charwe Typeface by Tapiwanashe Sebastian Garikayi

Nehanda Spirit Medium Typeface by Baynham Goredema

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