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Mystery inside Zomba Plateau’s Chingwe’s Hole

Chingwe’s hole photograph taken from the Malawian explorer website


Mystery, legend, imagination and myths more than concrete facts surrounds Zomba Plateau’s Chingwe’s Hole also nicknamed an abyss of nothingness by some Malawian bloggers.

The hole is the source of rumours ranging from alleged mentally disturbed people being thrown in to enemies of some ancient chiefs.

Some believe the place to be haunted by spirits (mizimu) whose origins are not known and whether they are believed to be ancestral spirits (mizimu yamakolo) or not.

Other Malawians assumed the mentally challenged or disturbed were also thrown down that pit in ancient times just because there is Zomba Mental hospital in the area.

But one thing remains clear and not as sketchy….which is the hole being known as a dumping site for deceased lepers.

Chingwe's hole
Photo from Malawian Explorer Blog

Those who have attempted to climb inside, estimate it to be about 10 meters deep although villagers in the area reportedly estimated it at 30 meters before it was filled by dirt and other things.

So it has a bottom full of sand or dirt.

According to Samba Sarah Kambalame, the Monuments Officer in Malawi’s Department of Antiquities, officially Chingwe’s hole is a “historical place and known as an area where unwanted people were thrown including lepers and some with disabilities.”

But it is not known if research has been done to establish if there are indeed many bones inside the hole the way it was done with the “Leper Tree” of Malawi.However the hole still has a horrible reputation and is also viewed as a bottomless cave.

Some say it reaches the base of the Rift valley, others give specific depths writes Aku Kalizang’oma in his blog titled ‘The Abyss of Zomba plateau, Chingwe’s Hole’ in his Explore Malawi blog.

“Whatever the case, the secrets that the victims might have kept have long been taken with them beyond the plains. If you find yourself on the plateau, do you have the courage to gaze through the abyss?,” asks Kalizang’oma.

Another mystery is the origins of the chingwe name which means rope.

Photo from Malawi Tourism website

According to a Victoria Falls online Guide a Great Chief of Central Africa was allegedly Chingwe.

Quoting information from a Zimbabwe farmer’s website the guide quotes a John recalling how as a child he was told “tribal legends by the son of a village chief, stories of a great and powerful Chief, Chief Chingwe, who ruled from what is today Zimbabwe to Tanzania, Uganda and beyond.”

“It was said that the Chief held court on Zomba Plateau and threw all his enemies into a vertical hole in the plateau. In the sixties the hole was discovered, full of human bones, however history has yet to be rewritten,” alleged the website.

So far most known evidence available online is about the trunk of the Leper Tree which reads: “The grave for people who suffered from leprosy in the past.” You can still poke your head into the hollow and see skulls and skeletons lying at the bottom.”

Leper tree
Leper Tree photo taken from

Time will tell if the suspected bottomless pit of Zomba Plateau also has evidence of lost human life inside its mysterious Chingwe Hole or if it’s ancient name really was a person’s name or just a phrase for a rope or string in the vernacular one might need to get out of there smoothly.

“Zomba Plateau is unique. A great slab of a mountain rising to 6000ft (1800m), it has vast tracts of cedar, pine and cypress but elsewhere the vegetation is wild and mixed.

“The plateau top is criss-crossed by streams and there are tumbling waterfalls and still lakes. There are driveable tracks right round the top from which are views of such splendour that they were described in colonial times as “the best in the British Empire”.

“Whether walking or driving, there is always something to see. Wildlife includes leopards, although sightings are rare. More in evidence are giant butterflies and, on the lower slopes, baboons. Birdlife includes the long-crested eagle and the augur buzzard.

Accommodation on the plateau includes a luxury hotel, the famous Sunbird Ku Chawe, set at the very edge of the mountain; and a large camping site. Fly-fishing for trout is possible in season and horse riding can be arranged,” reads the Malawi Tourism website about the so many breathtaking places to visit in beautiful Malawi including Chingwe’s Hole.

Sunbird Ku Chawe
Sunbird Kuchawe photo not connected to this blog from

Gebet’a – World’s Oldest Board Game

Ethiopianism-Ethiopiawinet Online Revival

“One of the earlist evidence of the game are fragments of a pottery board and several rock cuts found in Aksumite Ethiopia in Matara (now in Eritrea) and Yeha (in Ethiopia), which are dated by archaeologists to between the 6th and 7th century AD; the game may have been mentioned by Giyorgis of Segla in his 14th century Ge’ez text “Mysteries of Heaven and Earth”, where he refers to a game called qarqis, a term used in Ge’ez to refer to both Gebet’a (Mancala) and Sant’araz (modern sent’erazh, Ethiopian Chess). The similarity of some aspects of the game to agricultural activity and the absence of a need for specialized equipment present the intriguing possibility that it could date to the beginnings of civilization itself; however, there is little verifiable evidence that the game is older than about 1300 years. Some purported evidence comes from the Kurna temple graffiti in…

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The Science and Myths Behind Lightning Strikes

Science-Based Life

Lightning is unique in that it can inspire so much awe and wonder about the Earth in fractions of a second. Human fascination with lighting is, at least in part, due to the absolute raw power residing within the bolts.

Of course, as a consequence of this power and our fascination with it, humans have become intimately familiar with the effects that lightning can have on the human body. As we try to mitigate the damage caused by these seemingly random atmospheric discharges, myths have begun to take shape around the potential to do harm.

What we will explore here is some of the myths, and the science behind them, of lighting strikes and lightning injuries.


Beliefs have grown up about these injuries that I will arbitrarily divide into the following groups:

  1. Occurrence and demographics
  2. Effects of the strike/types of injuries
    a. Positive effects b. Negative effects

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Take This Metaphor and Shove It: The Malawian Way

Since I’m still failing to update my blog with graphic details concerning ancient Malawi secrets, let me share this masterpiece and funny blog.


“Whoever doesn’t want” or “Amene Sakufuna”

In life, one has to be very selective about what they give a damn about and Malawians have a very interesting way of expressing moments where they don’t give a damn. It’s not a surprise that figurative language is used to do so since Malawi is a country that loves proverbs, riddles and wise sayings.


In my post titled, “Malawi is High,” I mentioned that Malawian speech is full of figurative language that encourages one to think deeply about words or ideas but this is not the only purpose. Malawians discovered something far more exciting. They discovered a way to merge sarcasm, humor and metaphors with hyperboles!

Hyperbole: exaggerated expressions, usually used for emphasis. Famous among singers and examples include words like: “I will catch a grenade for you,” “I will cross the ocean for you” sometimes used in everyday language: “I…

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Watch L.A. News Anchors Freak Out When an Earthquake Strikes


We all revel in Los Angeles-based reporters’ apocalyptic on-air reactions whenever it rains or the weather drops below 70 degrees, but that’s nothing when compared to what happened when actual natural disasters strike. KTLA reporter Chris Schauble had the absolute best facial reaction to a mild 4.4 earthquake that hit LA Monday morning.

In case you need to see it again:

los ángeles earthquake face

KTLA is already embracing the meme:

And Schauble, who has won Emmys for his reporting, already made it his Twitter profile picture:

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Asteroid 2003 QQ47 Projected To Strike Earth March 26, 2014

Thought Nasa ruled out Asteroid 2003 QQ47’s potential earth impact in 2014? So what is this?


As Asteroid 2014 EC comes too close for comfort today less than 48,000 miles to our earth at 3pm-est (March 06, 2014), the asteroid was discovered less than 24 hours. Another larger and more dangerous Asteroid 2003 QQ47 was predicated to have a more kinetic impact with our earth.

Back in 2003 when Asteroid 2003 QQ47 was first discovered scientists projected that this giant doomsday asteroid would strike the earth with the force of 20 million Hiroshima atomic bombs. There was plenty of talk about this asteroid back then.

March 26, 2014, (March 21, 2014 the original date of impact) Asteroid 2003 QQ47 will be in our solar system’s orbit at about 49.9 million LD. What was the situation that had scientists believing this was a dangerous event, and then to change the warning sent out from a threat to a non-threat about this asteroid.

NASA did some…

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