FROM FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE…Woman flees python into crocodile jaws

Tsitsi Gwanangara at Harare’s Parirenyatwa Hospital

Tsitsi Gwanangara at Harare’s Parirenyatwa Hospital

Walter Mswazie Masvingo Correspondent
CONFRONTED by a huge python while out herding goats along a riverbank, a 27-year-old Chivi woman leapt into a river hoping to wade across to safety. Terrified Tsitsi Gwanangara had no way of knowing that she was jumping into the jaws of a crocodile which ripped open her abdomen and chopped chunks of flesh from her legs and arms with its gnashers.

Gwanangara, of Mavhima Village under Chief Madzivire, was yesterday battling for life at Harare’s Parirenyatwa Hospital after the ferocious attack by the reptile at around 2PM on Wednesday.

The Chronicle heard how Gwanangara bravely fought the crocodile by poking its eyes and punching it in the mouth for several minutes until it let go — but not before stone-throwing villagers joined the rescue effort.

She was admitted to Chivi District Hospital and then later taken to Masvingo General Hospital before being transferred to Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare yesterday after her condition deteriorated.

A nurse who spoke to Gwanangara at Masvingo General Hospital, before her injuries appeared to overwhelm her, said:

“She’s a brave woman. She just refused to die. She told us how she used her bare hands to poke and hit the crocodile in the mouth area until it let go of her.”

Gwanangara, according to the nurse, suffered “horrific” injuries in the abdomen, right arm and right leg.

“She was cut and bruised all over the body. You’d think she was attacked with a chainsaw. She met unimaginable misfortune — running from a python into the mouth of a crocodile. It’s a classic case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire,” said the nurse, who cannot be named for professional reasons.

Before her terrifying ordeal, Gwanangara was herding her goats close to the flooded Runde River with three others when she came across the python.

She fled the snake, which constricts and swallows prey whole, before launching herself into the river intending to walk across to safety.

Ruvarashe Chimbi, 57, who was with Gwanangara when the crocodile attacked, said villagers pelted the reptile with stones until it gave up its human prey.

“We were herding goats together with an eight-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl. We saw a snake near our goats and decided to drive them to safety. The snake became aggressive and we tried to escape to the other side of Runde River,” said Chimbi.

“When we got into the flooded river, we walked in a single file. The crocodile emerged out of nowhere when we were in the middle of the river and clamped its jaws on Tsitsi’s right leg.”

Chimbi said she dragged the children out of the water while screaming for help.

“Tsitsi fought the crocodile, which was huge.

“She poked her fist into its mouth and it let go of her leg but then gripped her abdomen, just below her right breast,” she said.

Chimbi said Gwanangara bravely fought with the crocodile for what seemed like an eternity, until other villagers arrived and pelted the reptile with stones and logs forcing it to let go.

Village head Thomas Mavhima said Gwanangara was rushed to the hospital by her husband, Robson Nyika, and other villagers.

He added: “We’ve heard a lot of stories of this nature from Runde River, although this is the first in 2016.”

Chivi District administrator, Hebert Hadzirambwi, said they had received a report on the crocodile attack and officials would visit the scene with Parks rangers to see if they can locate and kill the crocodile before it strikes again.

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  • Bongani Dlamini

    lying quietly and patiently here, waiting for Mpisi to pronounce whose fault this cruel act by a croc is.

    • Anonymous

      I will tell you before he comes, “It’s Robert Gabriel Mgodoyi’s fault”. Lol.

      • Bongani Dlamini

        kikiki you got it right, Mpisi has arrived and in his words ”There are no resources to relocate or remove/kill these crocodiles, and it’s all Robert Gabriel Mgodoyi’s fault!”. Mpisi is right, Tsitsi and many others who have been maimed or killed by these dangerous animals would have been safe had the government been responsible by fishing out these sly crocs from all rivers that flow through communal lands. the irony of it all is that while the emperor feasts on tonnes of cake in nearby masvingo, the crocs are feasting on poor defenceless villagers in nearby chivi.

        • mshaye aze afe

          she should be given a heroine status

          • mjahunda

            what for

        • Anonymous

          This Mpisi guy cracks me up all the time.

  • Mpisi

    There are no resources to locate and remove/kill these crocodiles , and it’s all Robert Gabriel Mgodoyi’s fault!

    • majetsha

      mpisi thinks like a mpisi for sure. rocs are protected by the CITES n cannot just be killed as u so wish.

      • Ghost of Sparta

        You are very right, crocodiles are a protected species. You can’t just wake up and go and shoot them willy nilly.

    • Mhlakazanhlansi

      true this … why shld anybody in the 21st century be herding goats in an ‘independent’ country??

      • ilwa licatsha

        it is because there is freedom

        • Mhlakazanhlansi

          at the very least … try to leave some things to imagination!

      • Major Musango

        so you are supposed to let them roam? …. some people

    • Anonymous

      Kanti zwana Mpisi.Go to, there a woman called Guest of the Week, she is insulted me, mistaking me for you. She has a bone to pick with you.Her comments are under the headline, New Lobola Law for Minors.

      • Mpisi

        Why would a woman want to pick a bone with Mpisi? Mpisi respects and loves women….lol!

  • NIC

    .hop she gets a speedy recovery

  • koka

    this is very sad. hope the lady will recover soon.

  • Tongai Mbewe

    kkk, FINAL DESTINATION the movie , shows how a couple teenagers evade death when death has called up their names, lady , it was your time and just like the movie death is coming

    • mjahunda

      kkkk ah futhi

    • Major Musango

      that ain’t polite, neither is it funny …… What goes around comes around ….. hiding behind your computer won’t help …… be careful for what you wish for….

  • Awuzweke

    So you were able to speak to someone who is “battling for life” hayi suka do you know what “battling for life” means iwe reporter? That lady in the picture appears injured yes but hardly “battling for life” please stop puffing issues just to sell a story!! Anyway something about this story seems not to make sense so the python was more interesting in swallowing one of the human beings and not an easier target such as one of the goats such that it chased them into a river?

    • Major Musango

      A python doesn’t chase it’s prey after all, and the river is said to have been flooded …..yet a 7 year old girl, a 10 year old boy and a 54 year old woman could easily walk across it ….AWKWARD!….. not ending there, villagers started throwing stones…..WHERE EXACTLY BECAUSE IN A FLOODED RIVER….and where were the villagers coming from, and about the python which was aggressive, had it stopped it’s chase?…….SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN DROWNING AND THE CROCODILE HAS MORE STRENGTH IN WATER THAN THE WOMAN….SO SHE WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO WIN THE FIGHT …..

  • mlugulu

    its a pity that she got injured and l wish her a speedy recovery, though l feel she made a misjudgment especially if the snake concerned is a python, it was likely to have gone for the goats than her, and secondly was the python in an attack position or was it just slithering away, and on the crocodile it is just too dangerous its lucky that they fought it away, it is said to have razor sharp teeth

    • Doppelganger

      hahaha, there goes mlugulu analyzing the situation as if he would have done anything different. What you are doing is what kids do when they imagine beating up their opponets with Jet Li moves, all the kungfu disappears in a reall life and death situation!

      • mlugulu

        at times when a snake runs fast to where you are standing, it might be heading to where it stays to hide it could be that she was on the direction of its shelter it does not have thoughts to go the other side but will head straight, l know the behaviour of these reptiles, but at times most people will associate any snake with a black patch to be a mamba that is too lethal

        • Doppelganger

          I can imagine that there was an element of panic, but i can’t say I would have reacted any different. A snake is a snake, my amygdala says to me, so i will RUN. too bad she ran into the jaws of a crocodile. talk about having “black” , she needs to go and see Magaya and get cleansed. Then after that, she needs to find a real pastor who can cleanse her of Magaya, lol

  • xi

    in the past when we were children we used to have lessons on ‘survival in the bush’, they spoke of never giving up and to always put effort should you be faced by such a situation, l remember some colleagues ended up sheding tears as the lesson progressed , they used to say you should always be very alert and you should be always aware of your local wild life

  • Max Chiks

    Not to demean the scenario here….. I wish the woman a speedy recovery.

    But to be honest, if the river was flooded, I don’t think the 10 and 7 year-olds let alone these two ladies would have set foot in the river. …….. “The snake became aggressive…” How? …. I do not understand this part. “….In the middle of the river …..” again …. guys, this is a flooded river and a person is being attacked by a crocodile and the keep on fighting there till she is released …… I don’t get it ….seriously …… in a flooded river a crocodile should be more powerful that the human prey.

    • maita

      so what happened can you tell us?

      • Major Musango

        how will I know ….. but something is not adding up. That’s my story ….. you don’t need to be emotional but simply be realistic

        • N. Sithole

          Your analysis is perfect Major. Something is not adding up. Does a python chase its prey?

    • Polly

      Eish this guy.

      • Max Chiks

        Get me right Polly, 1. A Python doesn’t chase after its prey; 2. the river was flooded yet a 7 year old girl, a 10 year old boy and a 54 year old woman could cross it walking; 3. Where was the Python now when the villagers were now throwing stones to the crocodile? …. should I carry on …… that’s simply what I am saying, there is some representation of facts somewhere, somehow

  • msindazwe

    when she gets better she should go to church, ngoba usindile

    • Major Musango

      who says she doesn’t ….after all it’s not about going to church but simply remembering to worship the creator

  • Tonde

    I salute this brave Northern woman! She exhibited true Northern bravery! I wish you a speedy recovery!

    • N. Sithole

      Brave indeed, but your northern this and that is irrelevant. We know you are a tribalist to the core.

      • Tonde

        What makes you say that? I love Southern women!!! By the way are you related to the late Ndabaningi?

        • Whyisvm

          ( Expletive ) lo thuvi .

  • Kudziyeva

    Get well soon ,brave woman!!

  • hukurutombo

    get well soon

  • Tonde

    I am Tonde, direct descendant of the great Northerner, Changamire Dombo. Are you part of the crew that ran away from Shaka?

    • Dumi

      Kikiki you mean the crew that fcuked and captured Changamire’s women and turned them into Ndebele’s whilst Changamira hid in the Mavuradona mountains wetting himself kikiki

      • Dumi

        And before you answer I am now going for a well earned Holiday in Harare and every time I sc*ew a Northern woman you’ll you’ll be pulling wire. farewell my friend Tonde.

    • Dumi

      Could be you are the illegitimate descendent of that act and are a half breed.

      • Tonde

        So you are basically agreeing that your Ancestors were plunderers and rapists?! At least when i remind you of it don’t call me a tribalist!

        • Dumi

          Ok Tonde my half cast brother from Dingaswayo’s balls. I won’t. I am on the nest in Kambazuma at the moment. OO so sweet.

          • Dumi

            And I am not raping mind you. Strictly consentual although I can hardly understand a word when she moans. kikikikiki

          • Tonde

            Your southern sisters are not to bad as-well! i had a dollar for two on Saturday!

          • magents

            I was with your shona sister at diplomat hotel in jozi, today amaswina akheko mnandi

          • Dumi

            My half brother from Ds balls enjoy while you can but remember your half cast roots.

          • Dumi

            And don’t forget to condomise. Eish 50cents for 2. You must be eating some serious scrap. You will die my friend. In Halale I prefered to make like I wanted long term and I got it for free.

          • Tonde

            I will never be a half cast! I am a pure blood Northerner! I would commit suicide if i had a drop of Southern blood.

          • Dumi

            Well you better star now Dingaswayo’s half cast descendant. We will give you a good burial. After all even that little drop of blood deserves a decent burial.

    • Dumi

      A product from a Ndebele’s balls