HUNDREDS of people have visited the late popular traditional healer Sekuru Ndunge’s homestead in Chipinge since his death a month ago seeking permission to carry on using his paraphernalia from his family, his eldest son Jabu has said.
Born Charles Ndunge Makhuyana, Sekuru Ndunge, as he was fondly referred to, not only by his kith and kin in the sprawling tea estates of Chipinge but nationwide and beyond, succumbed to diabetes and was laid to rest early last month at his homestead.
The Weekender caught up with Jabu last Friday in Chipinge and after moments of prodding the late traditional healers’ eldest surviving son opened up to The Weekender about events unfolding within the family a month after his father’s death.
Jabu confirmed that hundreds have visited their homestead seeking permission to continue using his late father’s paraphernalia.
He said others visited them to confirm whether they are supposed to return the money-spinning or luck-enhancing charms they obtained from his departed father, as widely purported through social media messages.
“I can safely say we have met hundreds of people who were my father’s clients. They visited our homesteads in the past four weeks after the death of Sekuru Ndunge. They came to us asking whether it is true that they should now surrender the paraphernalia they got from my father. We told them that the choice is theirs. If they feel they can carry on using what they got from our father we have no problems with that. Those that wanted to surrender, we went through the necessary rituals.
“However, most of those that came to us said they wanted to continue using the paraphernalia they got from our father and we have no problems with that. They actually returned with whatever they got from Sekuru Ndunge,” he said.
Jabu was quick to complain about misrepresentation of facts in newspaper stories about his father’s death.
“It is sad that some people are reporting falsehoods about things that have been going on since my father died. I have read that we have a list of people that sought help from my father but that is not true at all. It is news to me.
“Such misrepresentation of facts is actually damaging to the name of the family. Yes, my father was a famous traditional healer but that should not lead people into writing falsehoods. We are engaging our legal advisors on steps to take,” he said.
Sekuru Ndunge died at the age of 87.
In a trade that spanned more than seven decades, Sekuru Ndunge gained popularity as he served people of different races and background from almost all parts of the globe.
Nonetheless, Jabu could neither confirm nor deny that there is animosity between him and the eldest daughter of Sekuru Ndunge distribution of their father’s tools of the trade.
“I really cannot say whether there is bad blood between me and my elder sister. She has not come out in the open to me about any of her alleged grievances so I cannot be the one to go out of my way to ask her whether she has any complains.
“What I simply did as the eldest surviving son was to ensure that everything is done in a proper traditional way. I stopped the process to distribute anything that belonged to my father until the appropriate time comes and that includes the things that he used in his work as well as all his belongings.
“I have received calls from as far as South Africa from people that want to buy those old vintage vehicles that belonged to my father but I turned down their enticing offers. We are not parceling out anything that belonged to my father at the moment, not even the money that he left behind. If that did not go down well with anyone within the family, so be it. I am only doing what is supposed to be done.
“Once again I will have to reiterate that the issue of succeeding our father is purely a traditional matter that has to be done in a traditional way. No one has the moral right to declare themselves my father’s successors when there are traditional processes to be followed,” he said.
The eldest surviving child of Sekuru Ndunge, Jane did not mince her words as she literally declared herself the successor on the sidelines of her father’s funeral wake early last month.
“I am now a fully fledged traditional healer and I am based nearby across the border on the Mozambican side. During the time that my father was not feeling well, I even assisted him on a number of occasions. There could be some among my siblings who would want to practice but they have not been open about it. I can safely say I am the one who is carrying on with my father’s work,” Jane Ndunge said.
Vintage vehicles – from Bentley, Datsun 120Y to Peugeot 504s as well as SUV vehicles – scattered around his homestead were part of gifts that Sekuru Ndunge received from a wide range of clients that included prominent politicians, businessmen, clergymen and other traditional healers.