African Mythology

The Gods and Spirits of Africa


Tonga River God

Also known as Nyaminyami

Catastrophically annoyed River God of the Zambesi

He is the protector deity of the Zambesi river bordering Zimbabwe and Zambia. Sadly, despite being an impressive fish-snake hybrid, he was unable to defend his domain from the damnation of industrial dam-building. We can only quote from the journal of Kevin Shankland, who kindly supplied us with the following account:

“He is a very powerful God to the Batonka tribe who were displaced when the Kariba dam was being built in the late 1950/early 1960’s. All their tribal lands were flooded to provide the dam (over 200km long and 30km wide).

Many disasters fell when the dam was first built. Several construction workers are buried within the dam wall after falling into wet concrete. Many drowned in the endeavor to build this dam and countless thousands of wild and endangered African species drowned along with those tribesmen who did not believe that the waters would rise.

Most ran for higher ground but eventually the waters rose, drowning all their livestock, and eventually the waters took their lives too.

Nyami Nyami in his anger feasted on all that was left. And so did the crocodiles.”

Nyami Nyami Facts and Figures

Name: Nyami Nyami
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: Nyaminyami

Gender: Male
Type: God
Area or people: Tonga/Batonga people of Zambia and Zimbabwe
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Rivers
Area of expertise: River, Rivers, Stream, Streams

Good/Evil Rating: OKAY, not bad
Popularity index: 5179

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Article last revised on May 16, 2019 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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