ZIMBABWE: The ‘sacred’ month of November
Deeply rooted cultural beliefs make November a sacred month dedicated to honoring ancestors, prohibiting any celebrations or ceremonies like memorial services or weddings, as they are believed to bring misfortune.
As the “sacred” month of November draws to a close in two weeks, people will be free to resume various cultural rituals, including wedding ceremonies. This explains why December is a more popular month for weddings.
Traditionalists hold a deep reverence for November, believing it to be a time of spiritual repose for the ancestors. Additionally, November marks the peak breeding season for goats and plains game, a phenomenon that has further reinforced the sanctity of this month. In Zimbabwe, November is often referred to as “Mwedzi we Mbudzi,” meaning the “month of the goat,” for several reasons, including the peak gestation period for goats during this time. November heralds the renewal of both flora and fauna, coinciding with the first rains. This observation further contributed to the taboo against weddings during this month.
While some Christians hold differing views on the sacredness of November, traditionalists generally maintain a deep reverence for this month.
According to a survey by MyAfrika Magazine, the observance of Black November is deeply rooted in tradition and cultural beliefs that have been passed down through generations.
Phanuel Chipera from Harare said: “To me, November is a month of bad luck. Many accidents occur and a lot of weird things happen. Growing up we were taught that no ceremonies are held in November. The reason for this was that marriage ceremonies have processes of slaughtering female goats; therefore, it is a taboo because they should be reproducing instead of being slaughtered.”
In a tragic turn of events, the renowned businessman and socialite Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure mysteriously passed away in November 2020, leaving behind a trail of unanswered questions. His funeral was marked by a somber atmosphere, reflecting the deep impact of his untimely passing.