By Owen Gagare
A LARGE rock, weighing about 100 kilogrammes fell from the “sky,” in Nkayi at the beginning of the month, shocking villagers while at the same time sending the whole district wild with excitement and speculation.
The District Administrator for Nkayi, Ms Nosizi Dube, and the Police Officer Commanding Crime in the district, Superintendent Chanetsa Maswi, confirmed the incident.
The stone, many villagers now believe. is a gift from God, fell with a thunderous noise in Madlilika Village in the Mjena area of Lukampa under Chief Sikhobokhobo at about 5pm on 1 March.
It fell five metres from two villagers, Mr Judia Sibanda and Mr Mncedisi Ngwenya, who were herding cattle in the bush.
In interviews on Tuesday, villagers from the area said they heard a thunderous sound coming from the “sky,” and another sound resembling a bomb exploding. “The noise later fizzled into a sound similar to one made by an aircaft on take-off before dying away,” said Mrs Nomsa Ngwenya, a villager.
On seeing the rock fall, Mr Sibanda and Mr Ngwenya rushed to their home where they told their father, Mr Spempokuhle Ngwenya, of the incident.
Mr Ngwenya told other villagers and together they went to inspect the rock, after which it was agreed that he keeps it since his children had found it.
People from the area believe the rock could have been a special gift from God containing very precious minerals while others believe that it could have been sent by their ancestors in a bid to communicate something to them.
They have since vowed to jealously guard it until they get a satisfactory explanation on what it symbolises or what mineral it contains.
They have been so determined to keep the rock that they even turned down Chief Sikhobokhobo’s request to have the rock.
To date they have only allowed about 15 kilogrammes of the rock to be taken by the Government, through the District Administrator’s Office and security agents, so that it may go for testing.
The villagers, however, reluctantly released the rock.
According to Mr Sethukile Ndlovu, a teacher at
“There is a lot of speculation at the moment but one thing for sure is that no one seems to think it is a bad omen, although people were initially shocked by the incident. A number of people touched the stone and nothing has happened to them but the strongest belief seems to be that it is a precious stone,” he said.
“There is belief that it could be containing a very rich mineral while others believe that either God or their ancestors were trying to communicate with them. So, whichever way you look at it, this rock is important to the people of this area and they are keen to find out what it really is. “There is belief that the rock could be a good omen for the area and if there are any benefits from it, the people do not want to lose out.”
Mr Ndlovu said the unique sound, which accompanied the rock made some people believe that there was something supernatural about it.
He says the rock was heard in the entire Lukampa area as well as Matshena, Mbuma and Nkalathi areas.
According to Mr Memukeli Khumalo, also from Mjena, Chief Sikhobokhobo sent two of his advisors to have a look at the stone.
The chief also requested that the stone be sent to him but the villagers refused. “At that meeting people said they had never seen anything like that. The people refused to let go of the rock because they felt that if it was of significance, then its significance would be here. At that meeting, there was talk of raising spirit mediums so that they could find out what the stone meant but we failed to raise them during the meeting,” he said.
When Chief Sikhobokhobo confirmed the incident he alerted the DA who in turn alerted security agents.
The Assistant DA, Mr Knowledge Chikanga, then travelled to the area with the police last week.
“We wanted to see what it was for ourselves and from a security point of view, establish whether it was of harm or not. The elders from the area held onto the rock but in the end they gave us one piece. We hope to conduct tests on the rock,” said Ms Dube, the DA.
The rock weighing 15kg is being kept at Nkayi Police Station.
Supt Maswi said the rock would be tested by officials from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to establish its chemical composition.
The rock is black and very smooth outside. It is grey inside.
Contacted for comment, officials from the Geological Survey Department said they could not explain the phenomenon since they did not have a geologist in the
A solid state physicist contacted last night said the object could be a meteorite that dropped into the earth from outer space.
“I would say maybe a small meteorite. If it is a stone then it could be a meteorite that dropped from outer space,” said the physicist after the object was described to him.
A meteorite is a portion of a meteoroid, which is a solid object in interplanetary space, that survives its passage through the atmosphere and impact with the ground without being destroyed.
According to the online encyclopaedia, www.wikipedia.com, numerous people have over the years reported sounds being heard while bright meteors flared overhead.
While some scientists have dismissed the idea of sounds accompanying meteors, given the relatively slow speed of sound, sound recordings made under controlled conditions in