History of Shadighuwa , Shakawe People

Kavango -Zambezi Flood plain

THE people of Shadighuwa could be traced way back in the 1600 from the valleys of Cuito and Cubango. Their journey began from Cuito of Mashi in what is called today South Eastern Angola. They left the place due to ill-treatment by their Chief, Fumu Disho Kavura Ndara. Disho was polygamous; therefore he took anyone’s wife as he wished provided he has the interest in her. When other people saw this happening often to their families, they then decided to move towards the South.

Mr. Paschalius Mahore


These people are known to be rain makers, back then they were Chiefs like Disho who was known for possessing the power of rain making. It was believed that Chief Disho’s servant went out hunting for spring hares and found an object ‘Moteko’ in one of the hole of these spring hares. He shook it, immediately the clouds gathered and started raining. He took it to Chief Disho, he was pleased with this new discovery and he made it his personal possession. It is told that Chief Disho was so cruel that when he is angry he would take his newly found possession and shook it and rain will pour heavily making people suffer. This possession made him more famous in the area. Even King Imwiko Liwaneka of Barotse sought help from him, especially during drought. He has to send his servants to ask for rain from Chief Disho which he granted to them with a tribute in form of cattle. This made King Imwiko Liwaneka of the Balozi (in Borotseland known today) to respect and protect the Hambukushu people from attacks.


The Shadighuwa people crossed the Kavango river at Kapako west Mukwe in Namibia and moved south wards. They firstly settled at Shadighuwa one near the border between Bechuanaland and Germany South West presently Botswana and Namibia. Years later, they migrated to Shadighuwa two on the other side of the border even though there was no border fence. They knew that the other side was Germany South West, while other side is Bechuanaland. While at Shadighuwa they established their settlement where they began farming. Shadighuwa two is an area around Dobe, Tsodilo Hills and Xhacha. They were led by Shakapuka and his two brothers and Shambemba and Kachire were the sons of Kasharangwa of the rain making totem. Kasharangwa’s daughters were Kunyima, Diyavo, and Mwengere. ‘Ba bina pula’ Kapinga and Dinyando were their brothers to the unties. These were all uncles to Mbambo Motama. Shakapuka’s grave is at Shakawe old police station. The name Shakawe refers to a small shrub found into thearea of Shadighuwa two. In 1995 while attending primary school in Kauxwi, I went for weekend at Mohembo west, my grandmother Mashe Tivi Moyo 1995 showed a dry tuber like plant. I asked what that, she told that, this is the Shakawe plant you are hearing from people. She further mentioned that the use of this plant; 1. The Shakawe have a high value of protection.

–           It gives fortune to those who need marriage, business etc.

–           Always when you use it, it makes you shine as compared to other people whom you are competing with in terms of job seeking etc ‘ gontse ga ke batle go lo bulela tse di ko te, tloga lo re tseela manepelo,(our indigenous knowledge’)


There were Basarwa(bushman) who already living in the area. As the Basarwa were moving all over the Ngamiland they ended up telling the Tawana Tribal Authority that some Bantu speaking people have settled in our area. Then the Tawana Chief Sekgoma of the Bangwato and his brother Chief Tawana Moremi sent Basimane ba kgotla by the name Alsabeto of the Barolong Kgotla in Maun to come and see these people the Basarwa were reported to them. They came and met with Shadighuwa people then asked to come down and live along the river. This was done because Sekgoma III and the Tawana Chief Moremi wanted to easily meet with them when visiting the area. They agreed to this plea. They moved that towards the north again, but before that the Shadighuwa people were hunting. Therefore, some of them already knew this river.

During their hunting expeditions, Kangumbe was the first to discover the Okavango River and he went to tell his uncles that he has found a river. Therefore, they had two reasons as why they easily moved and settled in Shakawe. One, Chief Sekgoma III and Chief Tawana Moremi wanted to govern them and find them easily when they want to inform them on issues pertaining to the tribe. The second reason is that their skillful hunter Kangume found a river which gave good hope of new life.

They began moving towards the north, they first arrived at a place called Ghukuthi (presently known as Ukusi) Most of them left Ghukuthi to Kweguri due to Ghukuthi has got high and sharp cliffs, fetching water was a challenge to them. Therefore, crocodiles attached them and their livestock so easily. While in Kweguri the crocodile kept on attacking them and their livestock. In this place Sevambo Mbambo was born in 1939 but he had other elder siblings to be discussed later. Shambemba married to a mosarwa woman and decided to go back to Shadighuwa and later died in place called Gani today.

Kangumbe, Thindere, Kathiana and Shamakena remained at Kgweguri and Gauxha respectively. The rest of the group went and settled at what is now Shakawe old police. After sometimes, shambemba moved his people a little bit further west to a place where Furniture Mart is built with his siblings Diyavo, Mwengere and Dinyando. The place was known as Kashosho. While Kapinga remained at Ghukuthi for a while and he went back to Gani. He went back because he was not comfortable drinking water from Kvango river as the water had the smell of fish, he did not like fish and its smells.

He stayed with the Basarwa at Gani and finally died in Xhancha in the same area. While, Shakapuka had one child at Kauxwi by the name Maria. Little is known about her, the research continues.  Kunyima married Kudumo and bore Ngonda. Kudumo died at Shadighuwa. 

After Kudumo’s death Kangumbe and Kathiana went back to Angola (Mu Mbunda,ku Mashi) to get Motama to come and marry Kunyima his uncle’s wife (Seyantlo/ Kupinga) Motama came with other family members from Angola including Haidongo, Thindere and Shamakena. When Motama married Kunyima, they bore Kathiku, Mbambo, Dimbu, Maghoma, Chapi. The history told was that while staying in the coumpound in place called  Kashosho at the old police today a lion attached their livestock. They tracked it and was found in a thick forest where presently Mr. Motsumi ( Darki) having a car workshop airport junction. They lion sprang on them and attacked them. Unfortunately, Motama was badly hurt. His nephews Thindere, Shamakena and Haidongo took him home and nursed him using traditional herbs. Few weeks later he died.

Author, Mr Paschalius Mahore, a Private Researcher of the Kavango and Zambezi Flood plains , Mohembo West (Shakawe) Okavango Sub-District , Botswana






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