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Around Karanga, Zimbabwe there are tales of the Njuzu (Water-Sprite).
Recently several photo’s have turned up around the web purporting to be a ‘Njuzu’ found dead at Lake Mutririkwi in the Masvingo region.
According to legend, the Njuzu are guardians of fresh water and inhabit areas where pure water naturally collects.
If a person goes to collect water, they should use clean containers as the Njuzu get upset if their water is contaminated by dirty utensils. If they get angry, they are apt to grab you and drag you into the watery depths.
Njuzu’s are also sensitive to loud noises. It is said that if a person creates a loud noise near their abodes, they will leave and the water will dry up.
If a Njuzu is disturbed or angry, they can rise up inthe air and wrap themselves in dark clouds. Once in the air, they can create huge winds and pounding rain which causes wide spread damage to those who have upset them.
In some areas, the local population have been known to offer human sacrifices to the Njuzu’s. A child is offered to the Njuzu. If accepted, the spirit of the child will become a Njuzu.
Other legends of their origins vary from area to area. Some say that they are born in mountain caves where the rivers originate from. Others say that they are the spirits of the dead.
Njuzu’s also have the power to change appearance. They can appear as a beautiful human girl. Male Njuzu’s can turn into scorocodiles and female ones can turn into snakes.
Nearly all the people agree that these creatures are the sacred teachers of the Nganga’s (traditional healers).
A Nganga is not born with any special skills. When they are children the Njuzu lures them into a river or lake where they are taught the knowledge of healing and divination.