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Which Rituals Are Performed At Njelele Shrine



Njelele is a sacred shrine in Matopo Hills Flag of Zimbabwe, It’s the abode of the deity MWALI also known as Mwari, Mlimo, Ndzimu – The Almighty God

It’s known as a Rain-Making Shrine but it’s more than that.

Profile Of Njelele Shrine

Name Njelele Shrine
Location Zimbabwe’s Matobo National Park
Notable For Rainmaking & Tourism
Year Discovered  1960s

Where Is Njelele Shrine Located

According to researchers, NJELELE also known as Mabweadziva or Matonjeni has been in existance for years it is a prominent rainmaking shrine located outside the south western fringes of the Matobo National Park in the Khumalo a communal area of approximately hundred kilometers south of Bulawayo.

It is not clear when Njelele was first established in the Matobo Hills.

Njelele, a rainmaking shrine on the southwestern fringes of Zimbabwe’s Matobo National Park, has not been proclaimed a national monument in spite of being one of the most important cultural heritage places in southern Africa.

The initial motivation for proclaiming Njelele a national monument emanated, in part, from contests for recognition of spiritual status and thus control of Njelele by members of local indigenous communities. Control over Njelele also has been a source of conflict between the local people and government departments since at least the 1960s.

I contend that neither colonial administrators nor post-liberation politicians, who consulted the oracle at Njelele at the height of the country’s liberation struggle, could bring about national monument status for Njelele because it embodied the diverse values of several interest groups.

MEANING: Njelele is a Kalanga name for a particular Rain Bird. Could also been derived from the name of the founding priest



LOCATION: Matopo Hills

BELIEVERS: Mostly Kalangas

CUSTODIANS: The Ncube clan

SPIRIT ANIMAL: Baboons/Monkeys

THE VOICE –  Mwali used to speak directly to Mankind His voice came from a cave within the Hill, when invoked by the ‘priests’ Kuthwa, it sounded like it was coming from heaven and has been described as gentle, bold, reassuring and multilingual.


Of the Ncube clan because their totem animal is a Baboon/ Monkey

Monkey live on hills above the ground so they can see ‘far’ so Ncubes see far (into the future)Face with monocle

Only high priests were allowed into the cave. Like a Holy of Holies type of situation


1. Don’t WORSHIP ancestors (other gods besides Me?)

2. Keep Mwali’s day of rest holy Wednesday, Thursday or Friday depending on village. (Sabbath?)

3. Don’t commit adultery

4. Don’t set other people’s huts on fire Fire

5. Share food with your relatives

6. Thieves and witches are not allowed in Njelele. If spotted, kindly stone to death! Folded hands

7. No sexual activity near the mountain or on the pilgrimage

8. Don’t be jealous

9. No fighting, blood shedding, quarrels etc especially on holy ground

10. Respect your neighbors


1. Eat first harvest before Mwali’s go ahead – Ceremony first

2. Eat egg laying locusts near the hill

3. Eat baboons and monkeys (Sacred animals)

4. Leave Njelele without a proper goodbye or else they won’t reach home

5. Take watermelon seeds from Njelele after a festival or you will walk on the same spot for days

6. Cut down trees around the shrine or death will locate you

7. Kill animals around the area

8. Wear shoes, anything metallic or red (Colour of death/war/blood)

Credit: Yvonne Maphosa and Author of many books Check her link here 

Njelele Shrine Bombed

The popular rainmaking shrine Njelele was reportedly bombed by an unknown person with mining explosives, the main rock covering the shrine was split off by the explosion.

According to an eyewitness said that the bomber completed his act on Friday night and the attack was discovered by the shrine caretaker Solifa Ncube the next morning.

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