The Kambuzuma community was over the weekend gripped with horror after a 15-year-old boy drowned while swimming at the infamous Blue Dam.
The boy, Don Kuwana, who was a form three pupil at St Mary’s Magdalene in Nyanga, went out for a swim with his two friends Friday afternoon and his body was retrieved by the Police Sub Aqua team Saturday morning.
Speaking to H-Metro just after the body had been retrieved from the dam, the boy’s father was devastated and said he had recently warned him about swimming at the pool following the death of another teenage boy in December last year.
“I am really hurt by this death and I don’t know what to say over this.
“I told him a number of times not go for swimming at this dam and he would say I hear you daddy.
“What am I going to do now?
“My son is gone and he has been a bright son who was ready for form four next year,” he cried.
There were claims from the boy’s friends that when he drowned, it was as if he was being dragged into the water by what they believe was a mermaid, and when they tried to pull him out they were overpowered.
These claims prompted the Kuwana family to conduct a ritual overnight on Friday at the dam hoping that their son would return as a traditional healer after spending the night under water with mermaids.
The family and other members of the apostolic sect spent the night singing and had placed three staffs (tsvimbo) in the water in anticipation that the boy would return.
When the body was retrieved some onlookers said there was blood coming out from the nose and this was a sign that he was alive and had been retrieved before the ritual processes with the mermaids were done.
“Vasanganisa zvinhu, the African traditional rituals and the modern ones of the using the sub aqua team. I am sure if they hadn’t called them the boy was going to be saved. This is a sacred pool, he is bleeding meaning that he hadn’t died but was going through the initiation process under water but he only died when the rescue team got into the water,” said one resident.
Another resident Chenesai Magwaza who grew up in Kambuzuma said she grew up hearing tales about mermaids in the Blue Dam.
“We grew up hearing that there are mermaids in the blue dam. Residents of Warren Park and Kambuzuma know these tales of mermaids in blue dam. Our elders used to tell us stories of people who were taken by water creatures and returned as mediums, so we never went there.
“As kids we would ask kuti ko why vasina kupa vhara since ma accidents ari kuramba achiitika, Panhu apa panonzi kudhara pakamboyedza kuvharwa but pakaramba kuvharika that’s why muchinzi mune madhaka. Truckload n truckload came but zvakaramba.
“These are stories we were told sekungoti Nyangani mountains dzinoyera you never know the real truth,” she said.
Another resident said in 1998 when he was in grade six, a boy who was a year older fell into the dam and died because his mother ‘mourned him before the mermaids had returned him.’
“When I was in grade six back in 1998, I remember a boy who was in grade seven who used to play near the dam selling freezits and it was said that a great wind blew him into the dam and when his mother was told, she mourned him before he was returned and he died in there,” he said.