From Community Memory
The Powers of the Chameleon
The Zulu community is one of those communities with many beliefs. Some of the beliefs will be difficult to understand if you are not a Zulu culturally. But if one is afforded the opportunity of sitting next to a senior Zulu individual they will then see how serious the Zulu’s take these beliefs. Usually there is a history behind everything that the Zulu community believes. There are beliefs that are attached to a particular creature. Whether the creature is harmful or not the Zulu community shows a lot of respect towards that particular creature to an extent that some individuals might be afraid of such creatures.
A Chameleon (unwabu in isiZulu) is one of the creatures that are respected by the Zulu community and usually you will find that most people are afraid of it. A Chameleon is well known for its inability to move fast and it also have the power of changing it's colour to the colour of anything that is in it's surrounding. It also possesses the power of striking anything that troubles it with it's lightening. These are the things that makes the Zulu community to respect it.
The Zulus believe that once you anger a chameleon, to defend itself it will strike you with it's lightening. Some older people have witnessed many deaths that were the result of the chameleon’s lightening strike and the elders have confirmed that a chameleon's tongue possesses the lightening power.
Another belief that is attached to a chameleon is that in ancient times God sent the chameleon with a message to man that human beings should not die but, instead of rushing to deliver the message, it wasted time feeding itself on grass (umkhwebezane is a isiZulu name of the grass). Whilst on the way, the chameleon was overtaken by its enemy, the green headed lizard (intuloin isiZulu) which was also sent to deliver a message that human beings should die.
Izinkolelo zesintu ngonwabu
AmaZulu singezinye sezizwe ezikholwela kakhulu ezintweni eziningi. Okunye kwalezinkolelo kunzima ukukuqonda uma ungawaqondi amasiko awo. Uma uthole ithuba lokuthi ube seduze nomuntu omdala ozokuxoxela umlando ngezinkolelo ezithize kuningi ongakufunda. Kunezinkolelo eziphathelene nezilwane, lokhu kungaba ukuthi isilwane siyahlonishwa kakhulu noma siyesatshwa.
Esinye salezilwane unwabu. Luyahlonishwa kakhulu futhi ungathola nokuthi abanye abantu bayalusaba. Unwabu lwaziwa ngokuhamba kancane kanye nangokuthi linombani elizilwela ngawo uma kukhona okulihluphayo okungaba umuntu noma isilwane. Abanye abantu abadala bayaxoxa ngokufa kwabantu bebulawa amandla onwabu. Enye futhi inkolelo ethinta unwabu ukuthi esikhathini sakudala, unkulunkulu wathuma unwabu ukuthi luyotshela abantu ukuthi ngeke bafe. Unwabu lwahamba kancane njengenjwayelo, luzidlela ubukhwebezane. Seluhambile isikhathi eside, kwathunywa nentilo nomyalezo ophikisa onikwe unwabu. Intulo yaludlula unwabu luzidlela utshani lwafika kuqala kubantu lwadlulisa umyalezo.
Written by Ntokozo Tshapa