ChiRemba is culture, not religion: Part Two…covenants and ancestral bonds


JUDAISM is the most recent religion to enter the Remba community of Mberengwa.
Upon logically scrutinising age-long Remba oral history as well as running into convincing anthropological and irrefutable genetic evidence that the Remba have a typically Shemitic male contribution of most likely Judaic and Levitic ancestry, the West, and subsequently the Jews, took a great interest in the Remba.
British professor Tudor Parfitt traced the ark of the covenant to Ethiopia then Yemen, after which the trail ended with the Sabaeans. The Sabaeans were traders and direct ancestors of the Remba.
This concurs with the findings of Gayre and is where the Remba title ‘Vashavi’ comes from.
They were the last possessors of the ark and called it ‘lungundu’, meaning ‘the lord’s (object)’ in Chinese (longde).
Yes, Mandarin, besides Hebrew and Arabic, is found in the ancient Remba language. Besides this, Parfitt, along with other scientists and researchers, found that Remba music is not like that of the rest of the people in the region they live in — rhythm wise.
This compelled them to test their paternal DNA and it was found that the Remba had the ‘J’ haplotype which originated in the area between the Mediterranean coast and Arabian Peninsula.
The African contribution to their paternal genetics is small and recent.
The Remba were found to have the highest rate of Levitic genes in their gene pool, reaching 70 percent and surpassing European Jews by 45 precent in terms of ancestry from the region around the Mediterranean.
Since 2012, American Jews, with a Christian twist so as to capitalise on previous fruits of Zimbabwean and Remba evangelisation, have been present and working to win over proselytes or converts.
These are under Rabbi Jonathan Bernis and collect donations and labour offerings from Remba and also Falasha well-wishers. The Falasha are an Ethiopic group with common roots to the Remba.
Both groups are considered lost tribes by Bernis and his church; namely Jewish Voice Ministries.
They win over (proselytes) converts after giving them free medication, food, gifts and sermons they would have acquired through charity.
They began with the Lemba in South Africa, who explained that they came from Zimbabwe.
They went to Gutu where they found many Rembas, only to find that the stronghold is in Mberengwa.
They then entered Mberengwa and, since then, they have spread to almost all Remba communities and have constructed numerous synagogues.
This group embraces the idea that biblical Israelites used to be white people.
So they teach their converts that Remba ancestors used to be white.
The Remba people, on average, are much darker than the common Zimbabwean and the texture of their hair is as kinky and wooly as that of the biblical Hebrews and any other African.
Besides this, the coming of whites to the known world is recent and well-documented. The Remba predated their arrival in sub-Saharan Africa by hundreds and maybe over 1 000 years and they certainly were not whites.
The Remba were called ‘varungu’ or ‘valungu’ before the whites arrived, a title they brought with them from Tanganyika and Malawi meaning ‘lords’ and not ‘whites’.
This title cannot therefore be used as evidence that the Remba used to be whites. Modern Jewry was Europeanised since the days of Greco – Roman rule (approximately 380 BCE).
It clashes with Remba and biblical Hebrew culture in many ways.
For instance, white Jews are matriarchal not patriarchal and this alone disqualifies them from having male Hebrew ancestry.
The Remba have most traits in common with the biblical Israelites because they too had no religion, but a culture based on covenants between their ancestors and God. No one could become a Judah tribesman unless born from a male descendant from Judah and no one could denounce or change his or her ancestry.
Such is the same with the Remba people, regardless of what religion they may follow.
The emergence and spread of religion has increased the threat of cultural dilution and has thus brought about a formerly unneeded pronoun named orthodox to followers of authentic Remba culture and tradition.
The orthodox Remba, whose culture is not tainted by Christianity, Islam or Judaism is getting less and less common.
Foreign dress-codes, mannerisms and doctrines are threatening the true Remba identity which is not yet beyond our reach or grasp, but will be harder to conceive in coming generations if a true criterion of authenticity is not set forthwith.
Art is a great way of conserving culture as buttressed by the adage: “A picture tells a thousand words.”
To avoid being associated with foreign religions and races in the future, the Remba must illustrate the traits of their culture and race on paper, wood, stone, metal and digital form.
Neither of the earlier stated religions have a place in Remba culture because they are more recent in their conception and arrival to the tribe and region.
If foreign elements like the Christian cross, Islamic crest (half moon and star) or the Jewish so-called star of David are used to represent the Remba, these symbols will mean more to those religions than to Remba culture.
If ancestral Remba figures like Chamakofa and Mposi, who lived in the 1800s, were to see these symbols, they would fail to decipher their meaning, but not so will a Christian, Muslim or Jew.
To cement their true identity and avoid being swallowed into that of others as is currently being done, the symbols to be used should incorporate known Remba accomplishments or traits such as the carrying of the lungundu (ark of the covenant), the Great Zimbabwe construction, the blade for slaughter, whips, drum and the horn of the kudu, among other things.
The trade of cloth, beads and smelted metals are all things the ancestors of the Remba were known for.
The race of the Remba must also be clearly shown, that is, negroid or Shemitic features like wooly hair, dark skin colour, broad nose, broad shoulders, long tower of neck, tall physique and muscular body, among others.
Another threat to Remba identity dilution is that of using the elephant as a totem.
It is wrong, confusing and misinforming to use the elephant as a Remba symbol as long as the Nzou Samanyanga tribe exists.
This is a separate group whose existence predates the Remba in this region.
The Remba were only associated with the elephant totem because they use the name Yhw (Jehu), short for Yah hodah (Judah) meaning ‘God’s praise’.
They had no totem but their name, which is now spelt as ‘Zhou’, which sounded like the chiKaranga word for elephant.
The same is true of the mouse which the Rembas abhor but were wrongly associated with because they do not eat it.
It was misconstrued by Zimbabweans to mean the mouse is the Remba totem because in Shona culture, one cannot eat his own totem.
In reality, associating a Remba with a mouse is considered very insulting.


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