The Zambezi Legend Of Nyaminyami

28th January 2013

With the BT Comic Relief #HellAndHighWater #Zambezi Challenge underway today, we hope all the celebrities are wearing their Nyami Nyami pendants for good luck. The Zambezi river god has long been talked about by the locals and the many thousands of people who have safely navigated the Zambezi River.

Nyaminyami Above Rapid 17

The Tonga people believe that Nyami Nyami is responsible for bringing water to their crops and fish for them to eat. Legend has it that Nyami Nyami (literally meaning Meat Meat) would show himself during the dry season and allow meat to be cut from his body during times of need. During construction of the Kariba Dam in Zimbabwe, thousands of Tonga people had to be relocated. The tribes people were not happy about this and the elders called upon their great spirit for help. In 1957 and 1958 the Zambezi River received the worst floods in the last 100 years, believed to be the work of Nyami Nyami. They were so severe that the spill gates had to be increased from 4 to 6. Nyami Nyami became trapped above the dam wall and his wife below. The locals believe his anger is causing havoc to this day.
Believing in the “God Of The Zambezi River” and wearing your Nyami Nyami pendant should bring you good fortune and safe passage through it’s world class rapids.

by Hamish McMaster

Hamish McMaster is the Water By Nature owner. He has spent the past 25 years exploring and playing on the world's great rivers. He still loves nothing more than getting out there and sharing adventures.


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