Sekuru Chigamba’s natal village is located in Guruve, a district in the northern region of Zimbabwe. In his stories, Sekuru Chigamba offers a richly textured oral map of Guruve, bringing alive many specific locations that are difficult to find on most available maps. The digital map on this page identifies many of these locations based in data from multiple sources including Google Maps, online databases, and maps published by the Zimbabwean Department of the Surveyor-General.
This map also illustrates Sekuru Chigamba’s understanding of Guruve’s changing boundaries. Prior to the colonial period, Sekuru Chigamba asserts that Guruve extended from the Musengezi River in the East to the Mukwadzi and Manyame Rivers in the West, with the hills around Mutorashanga demarcating the south-eastern boundary between the Mukwadzi and the Musengezi. Between the mouths of the Manyame and the Musengezi rivers, a section of the Zambezi comprised Guruve’s northern boundary.
As Guruve’s current boundaries illustrate, it has lost a significant amount of this territory, particularly to the south. As Sekuru Chigamba told me:
Before, it was Guruve. From Mukwadzi River, that was the boundary with Zvimba. So, they are stealing our land there, you know! They are still going further down, and further down. It’s because our Chief is not as powerful as Chief Zvimba, so they keep on coming inside Guruve. Mutsitwi, that’s where they moved us. And they made Mutsitwi the boundary.
Joining these contemporary political considerations, Sekuru Chigamba further divides Guruve into historic polities that he traces back to the founding ancestral figures of Mutota and Chingoo. In his oral history of the Shona people, Sekuru suggests that the southern portion of Guruve, known as Upper Guruve due to its located above the Zambezi Escarpment, has historically been ruled by the descendants of Chingoo. Recounting his own genealogy, Sekuru Chigamba positions himself a member of this lineage. The northern area of Guruve, known as Lower Guruve due to its location below the Zambezi Escarpment, was founded by Chingoo’s close companion Mutota.
Click on any point on the map in order to learn more about the pinned location, access a link showing search results for this location within Sekuru’s Stories, and view a photograph, if available. As in the comparative digital viewer, you can also show or hide individual map layers on this page by clicking the appropriate box in the left-hand “Legend” menu.