Mystery over disappearance of Tourist in Nyanga Deepens, Zimbabwe

Mount Nyangani

The search for the disappearance of a Zimbabwean tourist known as Zayd Dada still continues. It is now 14 days from the day when Zayd got lost on Nyangani Mountain. The search party comprising up to 80 people is facing difficult weather conditions and the complexity of the terrain has hampered rescue efforts. Zayd’s family is now pleading for local and international professional trackers, mountain climbers and hikers to come forward and assist.

More support and prayers still needed to enable the trackers to find this man. According to Zayd’s elder brother Rayaaz. “We know Zayd is somewhere out there. He is lost and probably exhausted and injured. We need to find and bring him home soon. We are begging for anyone who can help us to please come forward.”

Mountain Nyangani is the highest range in Zimbabwe and standing at a majestic 2,592 meters (8,504 ft), is surrounded by lush green forest. The mountain has dangerous steep edges of the plateau, fast weather changes from clear blue skies to thick fogs.

It should be also noted that for many years, the mountain has been said to be a source of blessing to the people who believe in African traditional religions. Police and Wildlife Management Authority officials said on Saturday, January 4, Zayd who was in the company of his wife Neelam and another couple attempted to climb the mountain in the morning. However halfway up, the team got tired and decided to take a break but Zayd proceeded on his own. That was the last time he was to be seen as he failed to pitch up for hours.

Since the fateful day, efforts to locate Zayd have proved fruitless and even a search by an Airforce of Zimbabwe helicopter has yielded nothing. Some traditional healers converged at the mountain and carried out rituals, hoping to appease the spirits of the revered mountains. It is commonly believed that if a place is sacred there are certain rules that are supposed to be followed and if these are broken, serious consequences are expected. According to folk stories, if one strayed into a scared place they would lose their sense of direction and wander aimlessly for days until some form of appeasement is conducted on their behalf by their family. The story which has generated much interest has seen many people responding on various social media platforms. One comment reads: “I know some people think that the issue of “nzvimbo inoyera” (sacred place) is nothing but superstitious nonsense but I think this is what is at play here.” Others are sending prayer messages and wishing a safe return for Zayd. In a bid to drum up more support for the missing tourist, his family and friends have started a Facebook page titled, Let’s Find Zayd providing updates and details of the search.