Indegenous Inheritance (nhaka) Practices On Males

Generally when a person dies, one or many people gain an inheritance from the estate of the deceased. Items that may fall under an estate include land wealth, houses, cattle or let’s just say animals in general, kingship, kitchen utensils and many other items. In the Shona custom, how inheritance takes place depends with whether the deceased was male or female. In this article I will tackle the indigenous inheritance practice on males as I currently have less information on how it’s done with females, but I am still researching about it and as soon as I feel I have adequate information I shall share with you guys.

It is the duty of respected elders of the deceased to act as executors of the estate of the deceased. The male children are the ones with the rights to receive inheritance and in some families and dialects it is only the eldest son that inherits the whole estate. The reason for letting the eldest son inherit everything is/was it to avoid divisions and to keep the estate intact.

The wife of the deceased was not allowed to inherit anything, but she would then choose or be chosen to be taken care of (literally married)  by one of the deceased’s brothers. The female children also could not inherit from their deceased father. I haven’t come across any justification for this but it probably was because they would get married and did not keep the family name.


Fell free to share your opinion and thoughts on the practice?

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