Ray Bande and Liberty Dube recently in SOUTHDOWN, CHIPINGE
AS news of popular Chipinge traditional healer Sekuru Ndunge moved from being an April Fools’ Day prank to a painful reality, the question of who among his surviving children will take over was subject of intense debates in the area. Out of the 12 children – six boys and as many girls – Sekuru Ndunge had, three are deceased. The late Chipinge traditional healer, who died on April Fools’ Day, is said to have served more than two million people from different walks of life and races at his Southdown Estate homestead in a trade that spanned more than seven decades.
It is common for children to walk in their deceased parents’ path, more so in the realm of traditional healing and expectations are that out of Sekuru Ndunge’s surviving children, one will trod in the path their father traversed.
Ironically, there is no consensus even among Sekuru Ndunge’s surviving children.
While Jane – the eldest surviving child of Sekuru Ndunge did not mince her words as she literally declared herself the successor – the eldest surviving son, Jabulani said there is not yet a successor to his father’s exploits.
“I am now a fully fledged traditional healer and I am based nearby across the border on the Mozambican side. During the time that my father was not feeling well, I even assisted him on a number of occasions. There could be some among my siblings who would want to practice it but they have not been open about it.
I can safely say I am the one who is carrying on with my father’s work,” Jane Ndunge said.
Jabulani Ndunge said: “There is no one in the family I can call a successor to my father’s trade. If there is going to be one to succeed him then that will certainly come latter not now.
“In fact, we have been urged not to consult traditional healers about that because his (Sekuru Ndunge) spirit will guide us. It will be done the proper traditional way so that whoever gets Sekuru Ndunge’s paraphernalia will get everything deservingly.”
Such is the discord in the late Sekuru Ndunge’s family that could be a sign of simmering internal fights over the late traditional healers’ legacy.
For decades, Chipinge gained popularity for genuine traditional healers that rendered unadulterated services to their clients with the late Chinengozi being one of the most famous.