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The terms ʻmodernʼ and ʻtraditionalʼ are very fluid, they always depend on the age and point of view of the person using the terms. Traditional methods of mitigating human wildlife conflicts include indigenous, traditional methods that are often ethnic or cultural in origin. Over several centuries, human communities have developed indigenous methods to manage human-wildlife conflicts. Each human community has its own unique cultural and value belief systems that have enabled them to co-exist with wildlife.
Crop raiding and livestock depredation and sometimes loss of human life by wild animals in many areas in Zimbabwe forced farmers to develop various traditional practices to reduce vulnerability and losses. These practices include exclusion of wild animals through the use of physical barriers to reduce human wildlife conflicts. Recently, during a dialogue in ward 3 and ward 11, in Mbire, the elderly said they used to consult spirit mediums and it worked.
“A long time ago, before the rainy season, we would brew beer called Doro Rehuruva, we would take spoors of elephants going in and out of the fields to the spirit mediums where we would tell them that we need wild animals
out of our fields. After the harvests, we would thank the spirits for keeping animals out, and it really worked”,
Headman Karondera Chakwana, 84 years old.
Headman Manwek Dzeka, 74, added that these days, this new generation is ignoring, “what we used to do, that is why there is this chaos with wildlife. What Headman Chakwana said is very effective, and we have seen it working. However, our efforts are now being viewed as evil”. Amos Muzveba, another village head in the Angwa area, said that it is not a problem to infuse both modern and traditional ways for a better co-existence between people and wildlife.
The elders bemoaned the exclusion they face as they are now being outnumbered by the youths and the fear of being thought of dabbling in witchcraft has left them unable to practice what they used to do during yesteryears.

Can a wild animal stop raiding crops in fields by simply taking its spoor to the spirit mediums?

Some refer to traditional African practices as witchcraft, some call it non-existent as it
cannot be backed by quantitative methods, some call it magic, but what do you think?
Can these ancient practices be infused with modern ways?
Kindly share your thoughts at or
Or Whatsapp/call 0713249621 to share your comments.


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