Lemba people demand their Ark of the Covenant

MPOSI - The minority Lemba (Varemba) people who have remained marginalised by the government are demanding back their Ngomalungundu which is believed to be the Ark of the Covenant and kept at a museum in Harare.

Ngomalungundu is a scared and powerful ancestral drum which the Lemba people, also known as Black Jews, believe gives them supernatural powers.

According to researchers, Ngomalungundu is believed to be the biblical Ark of the Covenant which Moses was instructed by God to construct on Mt Sinai when he was leading the Israelites from Egypt.
It was lost more than 2 500 years ago in Jerusalem.

The wooden object was initially found by a Swedish missionary Von Sicard in the early 1940s in the Lemba community headquarters in Dumbwi Mountains here in Mposi area of Mberengwa.

It was taken to the National Museums and Monuments in 1949 by the colonial government.

The researchers also say the Ngomalungundu was brought to Zimbabwe from Middle East hundreds of years ago by these Lemba people who are black Africans of Jewish ancestry.

In 2007, the Ngomalungundu was rediscovered by a British researcher Professor Tudor Parfitt in a forgotten shelf at a museum in Harare and had a fragment carbon date.

In February 2010, an unveiling ceremony of the Ngomalungundu was held in Harare and was attended by Professor Parfitt, the late Vice-President John Nkomo, several ministers and some members of the Lemba ethic group.

The authorities also took it on tour to some parts of the country like Victoria Falls, Bulawayo, Mutare and Masvingo.

However speaking to Daily News in Mposi, the Lemba community leaders demanded that the Ngomalungundu be brought back to them.

“We are surprised that since the Ngomalungundu was rediscovered some years back it was never brought back to us, the real owners.

“Lemba people at large especially the young ones here need to see it.

“We understand it was once taken for a tour to Victoria Falls, Masvingo, Bulawayo, Mutare but it was never brought here in Mposi its rightful place and which is the Lemba headquarters.

“We are now worried that maybe those with our Ngomalungundu don’t want us to have anything to do with it,” Lemba Cultural Association secretary Allied Tavatangira Ngavi told the Daily News.

Ngavi who was quacking with anger also said the Lemba people have remained marginalised for long by the government and were only put on spotlight after the rediscovery of Ngomalungundu few years back.

“We have been marginalised as Lemba people; we want representation in various arms of government like Parliament and councils.

“The government had forgotten about us and I think if it wasn’t because the rediscovery of Ngomalungundu the authorities had completely forgotten about Lemba people,” Ngavi said.

There are more than 50 000 Lemba people in Zimbabwe with the majority found in Mberengwa District’s Mposi area which they call their headquarters.

The Lemba people are also found in South Africa with smaller communities in Mozambique and Malawi.
The Lemba people are of the Zhou totem and they follow many Jewish customs, including; circumcision and not eating pork.

Young boys led by their elders spend more than a month in the bush during circumcision period known as Murundu and there are also encouraged to marry within their own tribe genitives.

“The Ngomalungundu is the historical relic of the Lemba people, it should be returned to us so that we put it back at Dumbwi Mountain which must also be converted into a museum, so that people from all over the world can come for viewing.

“This tourist resort will definitely benefit the Lemba people.

“So we are saying whoever is keeping that Ngomalungundu should bring it back to us immediately,” said Takavafira Zhou, the Lemba Cultural Association executive member who is also the Progressive Teachers of Union Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president.

When contacted National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) director Godfrey Mahachi said his organisation is not refusing with Ngomalungundu adding that a serious engagement with the Lemba people will be needed first before taking this Ark back to its original place, Dumbwi Mountain.

“We are not refusing with the Ngomalungundu as long as the Lemba community leaders come forward and we discuss this plan, we have no problem taking it there.

“In fact they should have put forward the request way back when this Ark was rediscovered since we also invited them for the unveiling ceremony. This is an issue which will need people to sit down and discuss. We also want to make sure that this plan will benefit the nation at large,” said Mahachi.

Meanwhile, a Jewish church called Messianic Jewish Voices Church was recently introduced to Lemba community in Mberengwa.

Lemba Cultural Association chairperson Casper Shemunyoro Simari said they were working in conjunction with Messianic Jewish Voices Church leaders in United States, Britain, Mexico, Russia, Israel and other western countries for the full introduction of this church to all Lemba communities in Zimbabwe.

“Messianic Jewish Voices Church goes in line with our cultural values as Lemba people.

“We already have branches in places where some Lemba communities are found, but we are not blocking those Lemba people who want to go to other churches,” said Simari.

During the Daily News visit to Mposi, a Messianic Jewish Voices Church conference was underway with leaders of the church from USA, Mexico and Russia in attendance.

The other extraordinary thing about Lemba people is that they don’t eat meat from an animal slaughtered by non-Lemba. - Pindai Dube in Mberengwa

Comments (18)

i am a bantu speaking person from busia southeastern uganda, the word '' ngoma'' means a drum in my mother tongue.

wandera o 'gara victor - 30 August 2013

Lemba is not a tradition or culture, we are born Lemba. people should not use it as a tool to sick recognition or racial activities but rather use it for reconciliation.

Mbengeni Mathivha - 7 November 2013

AA!Shalom! It is time to claim for all our belongings and our birth / ancestral rights.Shalom.My cell is +27 76 476 4484.Pretoria. Chaplain Dr Phillips

ETHEL PHILLIPS(sadiki-ndlovu totem) - 29 December 2013

shalom, I wish to see the Ark of the Covenant one day.

Thanyani Masala - 14 January 2014

The most recent genetic research by Soodyall shows that the Lemba do not share haplogroups with Jews. Even the Cohen Haplotype common to Jewish priests is absent in the Lemba at 12 marker level. The type of CMH found in the Lemba is common in many non Jewish Middleeastern. The extended haplotype is found only in Jews across the Diaspora. This research infers they , the Lemba, are in fact the descendants of Arab Muslim traders and that the idea of any Jewish ancestry is not strongly supported. This is in keeping with the fact that their tribal names are found in Yemen.

Paul Renan - 14 June 2014

i strongly disagree with the statement posted by Paul Renan because that study was based on 90 individuals(35 Lemba,24Remba,32Jews) and out of the 90 only one Jew had the 12 markers(extended CMH) therefore if we base the the theory of being jew on that that means out of the 32 that claim to be Jew only one is a true JEW which means 31 are in fact not based on your conclusion that a true Jew has the 12 Markers(extended CMH) .... according to me that theory is in-conclusive and opens doors for discrepancy in the study so next time don't base a persons origin on DNA because you'll never prove anything

donald selamolela(bhuba) - 3 July 2014

In answer to Donald,the statement by me, Paul Renan, is a quotation made by very well known scientists who have come to the conclusion based not only on the last study, but an accumulation of knowledge of many other studies down the years. That is how population genetics works. This is the conclusion of the study , which is the combined research of scientists across the globe. Your objection, if you have one should be directed to them, but you will need sufficient academic background in population genetics yourself for them to bother responding!

Paul Renan - 29 August 2014

I also forgot to add that Donal;d has confused the extended CMH with proof of Jewishness. The CMH is the signature of the Jewish priesthood. Yes, only one Jew in this study was of priestly descent, showing the extended CMH, but it is common among most Jewish Cohens, across the world based on previous studies, ( See Hammer Arizona ) It is this that Soodyall says is absent in all the Lemba examined.

Paul renan - 29 August 2014

The story of a possible ark artifact is one of the most interesting things I have ever heard. Intriguingly, the idea of the ark as a drum makes a kind of odd sense. Of course, a drum! To a very primitive people a drum could be very powerful. But there is much missing. Perhaps one day we will have an answer.

Mac Mufootoo - 6 October 2014

I was always taught that the white jews,wasnt the real jews of this earth! they only took on this role so they can be called the chosen ones. (the devil is a liar)

jonothan - 14 March 2015

I was always taught that the white jews,wasnt the real jews of this earth! they only took on this role so they can be called the chosen ones. (the devil is a liar)

jonothan - 14 March 2015

shalom I am privileged to be both a black Jew and spiritual Jew a 'Yahudim'. I so want to know more about the ark and its whereabouts.

gladness - 13 May 2015

donald selamolela(bhuba), jonothan & gladness please email me your email addresses. I would like to understand your insights. I am seeking truthful history. Thank you! my email address is WhoAreWeExhibit@gmail.com

WhoAreWe - 14 May 2015

The lemba DO NOT carry the CMH they carry the Bantu Modal haplotype that is found in the E1B1A8 of E1B1A haplogroup. The Bantu modal haplotype is a rare haplotype that is has the 6 unique STR 15-12-21-10-11-13. In fact, Many Lemba were carried over here via the slave trade to places like Jamaica and Haiti! They don't mention it because these books have been buried deep. All of you should check out the book: "Lemba, 1650-1930: A drum of affliction in Africa and the New World" by John M. Janzen I carry the DYS19B that is said to be the marker of a "Jewish priesthood" line except, that marker id found in the U175 of E1B1A8. Haitian people follow a custom called Lemba-petro which derived from the proto-Lemba customs and My father and grandfather were considered "healer" priest when conducting this custom. Shalom.

Ju - 7 July 2015

A simple question to ask all those who claim to be the people of the Book is how did they forget to speak Hebrew, the language in which it was written, when all other Jews have been speaking it for the last 2000 years? Why are all the people of the Middle East today Caucasian, and why is Hebrew a semitic , not a Bantu language ?Simple question for those who choose to deceive themselves

Anon - 13 December 2015

Worst Slavery in the World, almost 1/2 of people died. When to different Countries with different languages (English, Portuguese, English, France, Germany, etc.) but can not allow to Read or write 200 years. Same thing they did Africa, Colonist(Loosing the True history). Break the Families, Whipping out there history, names and languages, Give them Europe name and Language. Wife's were rape having mixed kids, Dark color work harder, another division Its all in Bible, most Deut 28:15-68. http://slavevoyages.org/ HEWBREW NAMES SLAVES Yah is God! 653 Yaho 26 69.0 Man Eboo, Hebo 2323 Anna Maria 1821 Bonny Freetown GO 813 Ahkeyah 16 52.0 Woman Eboo, Hebo 2323 Anna Maria 1821 Bonny Freetown GO 896 Hanyah 23 68.0 Man Eboo, Hebo 2328 Donna Eugenia 1821 Bonny Freetown GO 1004 Henyah 26 63.0 Man Eboo, Hebo 2910 Constante 1821 Freetown GO 1063 Beneyah 19 55.0 Woman Calabar 2910 Constante 1821 Freetown GO 1419 Honyah 10 56.0 Girl Eboo, Hebo 2325 NS de Caridad 1821 Bonny Freetown GO 1429 Enyah 10 43.0 Girl Eboo, Hebo 2325 NS de Caridad 1821 Bonny Freetown GO 1781 Tayaho 28 62.0 Woman Khazars Jews(Turkish People, Gentiles), adopted 627 AD and Ashkenazi "Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood. The sons of Japheth;...the sons of Gomer; Ashkenazi..." (Genesis 10:1-3) Ashkenazi Jews most adopted but they are some with DNA E1b1, I'm not sure but maybe Esau. They Speak is not True Hebrew, They speak Yiddish(Hebrew and Germanic) http://www.iamthewitness.com/doc/Ashkenazis.are.not.the.descendants.of.the.Ancient.Israelites.htm Rev. 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews,......

E1b1A - 17 December 2015

Obviously the relic belongs to the Africans, and not the Jews who are even less genetically tied to the original Israelites than the Jews themselves. Notice in the article that the Jewish thief at the museum keeps referring to the item as an "Ark" and not a ngoma or a drum, to bolster the idea that modern Jews somehow have any kind of claim on this drum. It should be immediately returned to the Lemba people, and blaming them for not "requesting it earlier" is of course BS because it was stolen from them in the first place.

Michael - 13 September 2017

Look and open up your eyes. Did the Romans ever say, or even the Bible say the colour of the skin of Jesus.Most peple think of him as a fair skinned man with a beard as portrayed in so many movies. How can we decide the colour of history or people that made our world.Who knows.We were not there.Jesus may have been black african.Cleopatra may have been too.Who knows.The world was a different place then and we only have the words of "experts" to tell us their opinions and thoughts.What if the experts were wrong.

Steve - 1 April 2018

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