There are no extensive or detailed descriptions of Intulo, the legendery lizard-man of both Xhosha and Zulu folklore.
Most contempory visual accounts speak only of a lizard-like creature with human characteristics, a single vague sentance that leaves more questions in regard to this being's physical attributes than it answers.
Neverthless, this does not deter speculation among eager modern monster hunters who seem convinced that this infamous figure of the myths of the Nguni(a S.Eastern arm of the greater Bantu family and common ancestors of both the Xhosha and Zulu) mythology, is actually an unusal primate of some kind that displays certain strongly pronounced bizare reptillian phsyical characteristics, making him a distant relative of the elusive gator-men that are said by some to dwell in the swamps of the U.S.
Intulo is reviled by the tribes of S.Africa as the cause of death and mortality among mankind and is treated as such. To see the blue-headed Intulo slither into any Zulu hut is immediately denounced as an ill-omen of impending doom.
In the begining,the sky-god Unkulunkulu (It is is debatable whether he was actually true divinity since the Zulu make no clear distinction between the all-creator and the first father of their people) descended to the primordial reed-bed Uhlanga. Breaking of all the reeds, he gathered every single one of them into two pairs. Out of each pair of reeds sprung a man and women.(There may just have easily been only one pair of the first man and woman and women brought into creation. Here too, the traditional accounts leave much to the translator's imagination). Thus did the ancestors come into existence. Then he proceeded to fill and populate the jungle with every manner of beast and the rivers and lakes with every kind of fish. After his great efforts of creation were finally over, he thaught the ancestors how to till the soil and rear animals.
Time passed and the question of mortality finally come to pose itself to Unkulunkulu who pondered for some length of time on whether death should have to be a matter that his creations would have to grapple with. Deciding in the negative, he finally sent the chameleon Lunwaba to proclaim to men that death would never be visited on them. And so his emmissiary set forth on his mission. But Lunwaba was not swift and timely, making his slow, trembling way way across the great distance as he always had, never once picking up his pace and even stopping every now and then to feast on the delectable shrubs of the bush called Ubukwebezane. In the mean time, for some reason that as yet remains unknown to mortal-kind, Unkulunkulu had changed his mind about granting immortality to his earthly children. A new message had to be carried. And so he summoned the blue-headed lizard being Intulo, commanding him to convey his new command:That death would befall mankind. And with those instructions,he dispatched Intulo. Unlike Lunwaba, Intulo did not dissapoint his master. Swift and quick,he quickly reached his detination,while Lunwamba still persisted in sating the distractions that the latter met with on the path. And these words did the lizard-man speak to the race of mortals: Let death befall each and eveyone of creation! Let every man, and every beast, both tame and wild, succumb to death!
When Lunwaba finally made his belated way to the intended recipents of his now obsolete message, he begun to cry out there will be no death for earthly beings, including men! There will be no death for men! And men replied Intulo has spoken before you. Now all earthly creation, including men will die.
Other verions of this ancient myth go so far as to assert that Intulo the lizard-man was never even given the task of bearing this ill-tiding to mankind, but upon overhearing the genuine message imparted to the chameleon, simply allows the spirit of malicious and evil mischief to seize him and takes great effort to rush there first, shouting his own twisted version of the creator's message, alleging that he had been given the authority by none other than Unkulunkulu himself to herald the coming of death.
Theory about origin
Could the legend of Intulo have been inspired by genuine sightings of actual primate/reptile hybrid creatures?