Strengthening Our Zambian Democracy

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

It was Professor Mubanga Kashoki in 1979 who said something so significant about Zambian or African scholarship that applies to day more than ever. In his scholarly article: “Indigenous Scholarship in African Universities: The Human Factor”, Kashoki said: “But perhaps the greatest failure of African Universities, particularly of the manpower-factory type, is to produce men and women who are, in the main, equipped intellectually only to reproduce concepts, models, theories, and solutions to human problems conceived, assembled, and packaged in Western settings by Western man.”(Kashoki, 1979: p.176) I would add beyond what Kashoki said that today this includes “Western woman”.

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*Founders of Zambian Democracy

He implied that we Zambians or African intellectuals act as though the West has already discovered all the knowledge and all we have to do is follow Western footsteps uncritically imitating whatever they do. In many cases, Kashoki implies, we intellectuals abandon our original thought, abandon our countries such as Zambia and join them in Europe, North America and elsewhere. Many of us intellectuals now in the Zambian diaspora have done just that. To a large extent we can apply this thinking to the way we look at our democracy in Zambia and may be in other African countries. This article will explore briefly how we Zambians developed our own democracy, what has happened since the August 11 elections, compare Zambian democracy to American democracy, and finally I will strongly specifically recommend what we Zambians should do to further strengthen our own democracy since the disputed August 11 elections results.

Zambian Democracy

I was fortunate enough this past May and June to witness the Presidential electoral campaigns in Zambia and followed the drama of the August post-election results through the press once I returned to the United States. I have followed the American Presidential electoral campaigns between Hillary Clinton of the Democrat Party and the tumultuous Donald Trump campaign of the Republican Party. What can we learn from these 2 democracies?

The Zambian one is about 52 years old although some might wrongly argue that there was no democracy in Zambia until 1991 when the One-Party State ended. But that’s another serious argument for another time. The American democracy is 240 years old. Can we conclude that the American democracy is superior because it is bigger, involves 313 million people, older and more mature especially when we look at the recent Presidential campaign whose vitriol from candidate Trump was shocking and stunned everybody? Can we argue that the Zambian democracy is inferior because it is younger and after all in Africa, involves a small country of only 14 million people, especially when the legal and electoral system could not amicably resolve the election results impasse between United Party for National development (UPND) and Patriotic Front?

After 30 years of British colonialism and over 10 years of the struggle for independence, Zambians voted for the first time under universal suffrage of one man one vote. The United National Independence Party (UNIP) won the election in January 1964 in a land slide in which UNIP led by President Kaunda won 56 seats in parliament and the African National Congress (ANC) led by Harry Nkumbula won only 9 seats. The Federal Party led by White settlers virtually disappeared.

Something very significant happened in the evolution of the uniquely Zambian democracy from 1964 to 1991; the One-Party State. The vast majority of  Zambians from the 72 tribes joined UNIP with the burning objective of bringing development and self-reliance to Zambians. They wanted to dismantle the exploitative colonial capitalist system. In Chapter 16: “The evolution of government and multiparty democracy in modern Zambia from 1964 to 1991” in my book “Satisfying Zambian Hunger for Culture” (2012), I conclude that it was during the  One-Party State that Zambians developed the foundation of the multiparty democracy we enjoy today. Contrary to Western and many Zambian or African scholars, and other citizens who characterize this period as being led by “Kaunda the Autocrat”, “Kaunda the Authoritarian”,  “there was a dictatorship”, “oppression”, “One-party dictatorship”, that is not what actually happened in Zambia. The unique development of our own democracy involved everything good and bad that happened in Zambia over the last 52 years.

American Democracy

American democracy has existed for more than 240 years. The White European settlers of the original 13 American colonies fought the British Colonists and won in the Revolutionary wars between 1760 – 1791. During this period from 1791, women did not vote until 1920. The only people who could vote were White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASP) men who were wealthy, owned land and often slaves. About 4 million African-American during slavery and emancipation did not vote until after the passing of the Civil Rights bill in 1964.

During these 240 years, America may have been a virtual One-Party State because there was not one political party that strongly advocated the removal of capitalism and slavery of Africans. Why was this not the case if they were a multiparty democracy with powerful opposition? The Civil War was over whether the Southern slave states could continue slavery. Indeed, many Americans especially the top political leadership rightly believe that the American nation is always in the process of making a better  Union of the United States; it is always a work in progress in making the nation a better representative Republic. Technically, America is not a democracy in the sense of one man or woman vote to determine who is going to be the president, just as an example.

The shock that happened between Donald Trump and the Republican Party is part of America growing and continuing to strengthen her democracy. The American system of “Electoral Votes” which was created by the founders of the nation has resulted in Donald Trump getting 62,851,436 votes winning the Presidency. However, Hillary Clinton of the Democrat Party won 65,527,625 votes winning by more than 2.5 million of the popular vote more than Trump. If the American Presidential elections were by popular vote, Hillary Clinton would be President. But she lost because the democracy is based on the “Electoral Votes” system.

Experience of All Democracies

All democracies in the world have their own unique histories and challenges. There are those critics who will say: “How does little Prof. Tembo dare put the great America on the same level as useless Zambian democracy? America is big, sophisticated, old Western democracy and technologically very advanced and has sent man to the moon?” My point is that we fail to appreciate and recognize the challenges that we have overcome in creating our own democracy. But like Kashoki said 37 years ago, we in Zambia tend to be intimidated, look over our shopulders and elsewhere to find out what is authentic and empirically valid about our own intellectual and other forms of epistemology. We often overlook or give very grudging credit to events we ourselves or fore fathers initiated and our founders of the Zambian nation.

Zambia August Elections

There are those critics who will say that the non-existent,  or weak Zambian democracy failed to solve the UDNP and Patriotic Front (PF) election impasse, therefore my point of view is intellectually empty and simply supporting or giving cover to the alleged rigging by the ruling party  PF and President Lungu. These negative views would be misguided because I think all citizens of Zambia should see the election impasse as an opportunity to strengthen our democracy. The only question is how? Carrying on the grudge and protest about the August 11 election impasse for the next 5 years is unproductive and untenable.

 

During the August Presidential election The PF and Edgar Lungu won 1,860,877 which was 50.35%of the vote; the UPND and Hakainde Hichilema won 1,760,347 which was 47.35% of the votes. The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) declared the PF and Edgar Lungu the winner. The UPND lodged a petition alleging massive rigging by the PF. The Zambian Constitutional Court threw out the petition because the 14 days within which it is legally allowed to adjudicate and rule on the case had expired. There have been protests and court filings since then.

My thinking is that this electoral impasse and many problems leading to the August 11 elections are things that we need to fix as Zambians. Before the next election, we need to make sure that many of the issues are resolved. Then our democracy will grow even stronger. The solution is not to denounce everybody and act as if we can just import ready-made democracy from somewhere, and install it to work best for Zambia. Whatever difficulties we are going through are what it will take to create a stronger democracy and therefore stronger nation going into the future.

Recommendations

  1. The various court petitions, critical opinions in the media, protest, and other means of expression against the August 11 election results can continue. The diaspora Zambians in South Africa apparently were petitioning President Jacob Zuma not to welcome President Lungu because of the Aug 11 election impasse. All of these actions of protest will not solve the next or future election problems not just alleged rigging. This is why I recommend that as Zambians we constitute a Commission of Inquiry with members from all the political parties including of course UPND and PF. The commission should agree first that the aim is not to change the current political leadership or to overturn the August 11 election results. It is too late to do that now. But rather to investigate thoroughly through public hearings all the problems of our current election process in the whole country. The commission should travel throughout the whole country to get citizen input. There are those critics who will say this would be a waste of time and money since we already know what, who, and what political party was wrong or engaged in rigging. My humble thinking is that if we do not know and address all the problems leading to our August 11 national elections impasse, we will not be able to solve the next or future election problems 4 or 10 to 50 years from now. Remember that we are creating our own democracy. Better to solve this problem now that there is peace than during a crisis after another disputed election result.
  2. The United National Independence Party (UNIP) and thousands of the founding fathers and mothers of Zambian democracy involved thousands of people including leaders such as Kenneth Kaunda, Simon Kapwepwe, Harry Nkumbula, Elija Mudenda, Reuben Kamanga, Sololom Kalulu, Justin Chimba, Titus Mukupo, Paul Kalichini, Arthur Wina, Sikota Wina, Munukayumbwa Sipalo, Numino Mundia, Peter Matoka, Mainza Chona, and Dauti Yamba. They met at Mulungushi Rock with delegates from all over Zambia every so often. They disagreed, resolved, and hammered out solutions creating national unity in the process of making “One Zambia One Nation”. I recommend that all political parties should participate in one massive national conference of unity so often to discuss and resolve all the issues concerning the August 11 national elections and any other problems to come in the future.  Remember that we are creating our own democracy.

 

References

 

  1. Mubanga Kashoki, “Indigenous Scholarship in African Universities: The Human factor,” in Ben Turok (Ed), Development in Zambia: A Reader, London: Zed Press, 1979.
  2. http://ukzambians.co.uk/home/2016/12/09/president-lungu-slams-zambians-in-diaspora/
  3. http://www.africanews.com/2016/09/05/zambian-court-throws-out-election-petition-case-lungu-to-hold-inauguration/
  4. Tembo, Mwizenge S., “How Zambians ruled and governed themselves in traditional and modern Zambia,” Chapter 9, in Satisfying Zambian Hunger for Culture, Xlibris Corporation, Indiana, 2012, pp. 197-219.
  5. Tembo, Mwizenge S., “The evolution of government and multiparty democracy in modern Zambia from 1964 to 1991,” Chapter 11, in Satisfying Zambian Hunger for Culture, Xlibris Corporation, Indiana, 2012, pp. 331-353.

 

 

America Just Married an Abusive Husband

America Just Married an Abusive Husband

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

They couple had dated for 18 months when they decided to get married. She loved him and he often said she was his angel. But that was when he was in a good mood. He was verbally and physically abusive. She ignored the verbal abuse as part of his expressing of the deep love for her. She convinced herself that the two times he had shoved and slapped her with an open palm was really mild. She was very sure that he would change as soon as they got married after the big wedding in 6 months.  Extensive research suggests that an abusive spouse never stops after marriage. To the contrary the abuse gets nbc-fires-donald-trump-after-he-calls-mexicans-rapists-and-drug-runnersworse and some spouses end up in the hospital and sometimes even worse as victims of murder after the marriage.

So it is that the nation may have just decided to marry an abusive spouse in electing President- Elect Donald Trump. All the signs of an abusive spouse were there. The candidate did not hide them. He never used the so-called dog whistle. Instead he used a megaphone. Donald Trump announced his candidacy on June 15 2015 by insulting Mexican Americans who sneak across the border as drug dealers, thieves, and rapists. Racial bigotry, banning Muslims, xenophobia, the White Nationalist support, Ku Klux Klan, you name it, Trump has done or condoned it or looked the other way. During the 18 months the whole nation has had to endure one outrageous insult after another. His bullying of the 17 political Republican Presidential candidates rivals during the debates and campaigns during the primary elections was horrible.

The 65,527,625 people who voted for Hillary Clinton are the relatives on both sides of the family who objected to America marrying Trump because they had seen the abuse. The 62,851,436 who voted for Trump are the relatives who believed the groom Trump would change after tying the knot. They believed the bride when she dismissed the verbal abuse and claimed the physical slaps were mild and just part of a love relationship.  The 90 million or about 46% of the people who did not vote were the relatives who were too busy, indifferent, or  just  had a blast at the wedding. They didn’t care.

Now that the wedding is over and there are no signs that the spouse Trump is changing his abusive behavior, everyone is very tense and nervous. The Trump supporter family members are pleading to give him a chance and that he will now change once he is sworn in as President on January 20. Some of the family members who opposed the marriage are already saying “we told you he is a monster!”

Most abusive relationships don’t end well. But for the sake of  America, we should all just pray this holiday season for divine intervention in this already tumultuous marriage between America and Donald Trump.

Principles and Methods of African Traditional Medicine

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

Introduction

This article will first discuss the basic or fundamental principles of African traditional medicine. The ideas are derived from the life of the author who was born and lived in the Zambian village among the Tumbuka in Lundazi in Eastern Province of Zambia from 1954. Second it will disclose in Tumbuka language some of the actual specific names of trees, roots, and methods that are used for treatment of various illnesses among the Tumbuka. This information was obtained when he conducted formal research into Zambian and African traditional treatment of disease among

Traditional healer Zebby Tembo after returning from the bush to gather roots prepares them for a patient.

Traditional healer Zebby Tembo after returning from the bush to gather roots prepares them for a patient.

the Tumbuka in 2002. The specific names of the trees, roots, and methods of treatment are very confidential among the traditional healers. The four weeks the researcher spent conducting the research survey was not long enough for the traditional healers or ng’anga to develop the trust that is needed to show an outsider or stranger the trees and roots that are used for treatment of diseases and illnesses.     I thank my younger brother Zebby Tembo who took me into the bush. He was 35 years old at the time. He actually showed me the various trees, roots, and what diseases and illnesses they were used for treating and some of the rituals that accompany the treatments.

The broadest conviction that under girds this entire description of Zambian and African traditional medicine is that Africans are the origin all 7 billion humans today. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recent_African_origin_of_modern_humans

The pile of jumbled roots at a traditional healers' home or practice. Inspite of the looks, the healer or ng'anga knows all their roots by name and how they are used for treatment of various illnesses.

The pile of jumbled roots at a traditional healers’ home or practice. Inspite of the looks, the healer or ng’anga knows all their roots by name and how they are used for treatment of various illnesses.

Since Africans are the homo sapiens that eventually populated the entire world over probably the last one hundred thousand years, virtually all biological genetic characteristics that human exhibit to day might have evolved from the Africans. This impeccable logic simply means most medical practices may have evolved or have been transmitted to peoples from African traditional medicine. Most specifically, fundamental methods of Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Native American and even modern Western medicine may be descendants of or evolved from African traditional medicine. Some of what still exists is described in this

Roots and bark from trees is ground into powder that is used for treatment of diseases and illnesses.

Roots and bark from trees is ground into powder that is used for treatment of diseases and illnesses.

article.

Lastly, it is hoped that by disclosing and describing the trees, roots, and methods of treating diseases, this knowledge will be preserved. Second that today some of these methods have worked and do work in treating various types of illnesses today as you read this article. This is hardly ancient or extinct information and practices. If the reader would like to, they can use some of these methods of treatment, but just as with any other modern Western medical treatment, they have to be supervised by an experienced Zambian or African traditional healer.

Basic Principles of Zambian or African Traditional medicine

The first principle of African traditional treatment of disease it to properly diagnose

Roots and tree bark may be burned into charcoal that is ground into powder which is used for treatment of diseases and illnesses.

Roots and tree bark may be burned into charcoal that is ground into powder which is used for treatment of diseases and illnesses.

the patient. Second, once the patient has been diagnosed, proper often complex treatment procedures using roots from the bush must be followed which often includes many rituals. The ultimate aim of the Zambian and African traditional treatment is to cure the disease completely so that the patient is completely free of illness for the rest of their lives. It is never an open ended treatment in which the patient has to consult the healer forever and take certain root herbs every day for the rest of their lives. This is the fundamental reason why serious chronic illness require what is called chizimba at the end of a successful treatment of a serious chronic disease so that the illness is banished or sealed away forever.  I discuss the role of chizimba here http://hungerforculture.com/?page_id=351

Below is an excerpt from my book: “Satisfying Zambian Hunger for Culture”.

Preparation

Roots and tree bark collected for treatment had to be prepared in a certain way depending on how the patient was going to use them. Fresh roots just brought from

The traditional healer cuts the roots into separate bundles and are tied together. The patient is then given instructions on how to use the roots.

The traditional healer cuts the roots into separate bundles and are tied together. The patient is then given instructions on how to use the roots.

The Kabeza tree is one of the 3 tree roots that are used to treat a woman who experiences severe cramps during her period.

The Kabeza tree is one of the 3 tree roots that are used to treat a woman who experiences severe cramps during her period.

the bush are chopped up into small pieces and usually tied into small bundles with small tree fiber. This is for purposes of identification and convenience when soaking the roots in a small pot, bottle or any container. If the fresh roots are for use as powder they are spread in the sun to dry. When they are dry, they are pounded in a pestle and mortar and sifted into a powder. Your girls before the age of puberty might be the only ones who could pound the roots into powder to be used for treating certain illnesses. It is believed that the active sexual energy of older women and girls past puberty might interfere with the potency of the medicine. If the roots are dried, they can later be soaked in water to use the herb for treating the illness.

Some roots are placed on ambers of fire and burned halfway. At that point the roots are promptly removed and the charcoal is pounded into a pestle and mortar into a black powder.

Fresh leaves are normally pounded into a pestle and mortar into a thick paste. The paste may be soaked in a large container and herbs may be used for bathing as treatment. The paste may also be smeared on a part of the body or skin as treatment for a particular illness.

Types of Treatment

Almost all the treatments of illnesses and diseases may use many or some of multiple methods always accompanied with very simple to complex rituals. There are six major types of treatment which may have different equivalent names among the 72 tribes or ethnic groups in Zambia. When the roots and leaves are brought from the bush, the methods of treatment in Tumbuka, Ngoni, and Chewa include kumwako (to drink), kudyako (to eat) or kumwako bala (to drink porridge), kutema simbo (to make small cuts), kugezako or kusambako ( to bathe),

A traditional healer or ng'anga diagnosing a patient who had chronic pain in his shoulder and arm.

A traditional healer or ng’anga diagnosing a patient who had chronic pain in his shoulder and arm.

kufukizgha (to steam), and kuvina ( to dance).

Kumwako or to drink means that the patient must soak the roots or tree bark in a container of plain water. The patient may be instructed or required to drink about a cup of the herb often about 3 times a day or in the case of a child  or baby a few gulps or sips every few hours. The patient may be required to drink this from ten days up to a month or two. Of course fresh roots may be fetched when the existing ones get weaker or diluted.

Kudyako or to eat, kumwako bala or to drink porridge means the patient must soak the roots or tree bark in a container of plain water. The patient may be instructed or required to use a cup of the herb to cook a thin porridge using mealie-meal which they will drink maybe three times per day. They may also use one cup of the herb to cook a small nshima with maize mealie-meal which the patient may eat twice per day.

Kutema simbo or to make small cuts means that the traditional healer will make one or two tiny cuts on the skin using a clean new or sterile sharp razor blade. These very small cuts on the skin are made on certain locations of the body. Once tiny bits of blood are visible, the healer will get a pinch of the black charcoal roots powder and rub it into the small cuts. Depending on the nature of the illness that the nga’nga or traditional healer is trying to treat, there might be two or three cuts around the temple or sides of the head, on the middle of the forehead between the eyebrows, on the cheeks, on the forearms, behind the hands, on the chest, on the diaphragm, on the stomach, behind the neck, on the legs, feet, and ankles. The cuts

The two trees right behind the author's hut in the village could be used for treating illness. The tall Msoro tree on the left and smaller Mtowa tree on the right.

The two trees right behind the author’s hut in the village could be used for treating illness. The tall Msoro tree on the left and smaller Mtowa tree on the right.

may be done on only a few of these parts of the body depending on the illness. Normally the cuts may be done just once, or once per week for 2 to 6 weeks. All of this depends on the illness.

Kugezako, kusambako or to bathe means the roots are soaked in a large container of water. The patient is instructed or required to use the herb to bathe their face or their whole body once per day every day for ten days to a couple weeks.

Kufukizgha or to steaming means that the roots or thick paste of leaves that were pounded in a pestle and mortar are soaked in a large pot or container with a lid on it. The container is placed on the fire and heated to a boil. A large blanket is placed over the patient’s head. While the herbs are still boiling with a top on, it is removed from the fire and placed on the floor. The lid is removed. After about ten seconds, the patient puts their face on top of the steaming herbs and covers their whole head with the blanket. The patient is told to expose their face to the steam, breathe the steam in and out of their lungs, and open their eyes. The kufukizgha or steaming may last up to five or more minutes or until the steam dies down as the boiling

The young girl in the chair (left) is a patient performing the Vimbuza Dance to exorcise spirits that are believed to come from no where.

The young girl in the chair (left) is a patient performing the Vimbuza Dance to exorcise spirits that are believed to come from no where.

herbs begin to cool. The patient may be required to do this once a day for about ten days.

Kuvina or to dance as part of the treatment of an illness is never required outside spiritual possession illnesses such a vimbuza and vyanusi among the Tumbuka people of Eastern Zambia and Northern Malawi. The main symptom of the vimbuza illness is that the individual feel as though they are going to lose their mind. The Tumbuka say mtima kumwazghika as if one is going to lose one’s mind. Suddenly their whole body may begin shaking, trembling, and they may shake their head and bob it up down as they holler hysterically, “ hey!, hey! hey!” At this point the nearest people around will hold and restrain them. A ng’anga or traditional healer will be consulted who will recognize the vimbuza spiritual possession. The healer will require the person to dance the vimbuza for him or her to be cured. (Tembo, 2012: 163-165)

 

Name of Tree Description of Roots/Herbs Disease or Illness Treatment Procedure
Kapuula**

The Ng’anga or Traditional Healer emphasized that the Kapuula roots are a booster that is common or added to the treatment regimen of all illnesses

Dig and get roots Mutu – Heachache You soak the roots in water.

·       Kumwako: Drink the herb 1 cup 3 times a day.

·       Kusumba: The patient can chew the roots and swallow the juice.

·       Kutemako: Burn the roots into charcoal. Grind the charcoal into powder. Make 3 tiny cuts or simbo on the side of your head with a clean razor and rub the black charcoal powder into the cuts.

 

Mpondo The tree leaves look like those of the Msekese tree but the Mpondo tree leaves are small however big the tree. Dig and get the roots of the tree. Chilaso: Pneumonia You soak the roots in water.

·       Kumwako: Drink the herb 1 cup 3 times a day.

 

Msekese Dig and get roots Chilaso: Pneumonia You soak the roots in water.

·       Kumwako: Drink the herb 1 cup 3 times a day.

Mazaye Dig and get roots Chilaso: Pneumonia You soak the roots in water.

·       Kumwako: Drink the herb 1 cup 3 times a day.

Msoro Dig and get roots Chilaso: Pneumonia You soak the roots in water.

·       Kumwako: Drink the herb 1 cup 3 times a day.

Kankhande Short trees with small thorns. Dig and get roots. Chilaso: Pneumonia You soak the roots in water.

·       Kumwako: Drink the herb 1 cup 3 times a day.

Musutula Dig and get roots. When a pregnant woman has gone way beyond 9 months and is overdue because someone may have played magic on her. Taking the herb will induce birth shortly. You soak the roots in water. Warm the herb in pot. The pregnant woman should drink the warm herb 1 cup 3 times a day. She will give birth shortly.
Mukotama, Phuruphuru, and Musindila Dig and get roots from all the 3 trees. This is for the girl who has been sleeping around or having sex after puberty but before marriage. Mapinga is the complication that is likely to happen to her first pregnancy after marriage. You give her these herbs to prevent her from experiencing dizziness, being blinded by bright objects, white buildings or wufu or white corn or maize meal; some form of white out experience. You soak all the roots from the 3 trees in water. This is a combination.

·       Kumwako: Drink the herb 1 cup 3 times a day.

·       Kugeza: use the herb to wash face once a day.

·       Kutemako: Burn the roots from the 3 trees into charcoal. Grind the charcoal into powder. Make 3 tiny cuts or simbo on the forehead of the patient and rub the charcoal powder into the cuts.

Mpukupuku The tree has long thin fruits. Dig and get roots. Treatment for Kamthuta or heart palpitations or abnormally fast heart beats You soak the roots in water.

Kumwako bala: You use the herb to cook or boil a thin porridge. Cook and drink this porridge 1 cup 3 times a day.

Kapilapila Dig and get roots. Treatment for Kamthuta or heart palpitations or abnormally fast heart beats You soak the roots in water.

·       Kumwako bala: You use the herb to cook or boil a thin porridge. Cook and drink this porridge 1 cup 3 times a day.

·       Chizimba or sealing the disease or illness away forever. Kill a lizard and dina kumasinda. Get the heart of the lizard and burn it together with the roots of the tree. Pound or grind the 2 together in a charcoal powder. Make 3 tiny cuts or simbo with a clean sharp razor on the left below breast where the heart or kamthuta or heart palpitations are happening. Rub the black charcoal powder in the cuts.

Mphatwe Scrape off the bark of the tree from the side that is facing the sunrise. Treatment for Pamtima or Diarrhea. You soak the roots in water.

·       Kumwako: Drink the herb 1 cup 3 times a Day.

·       Warm the herb and pour it into a large container. The naked patient should sit in it to soak the anus or chinyero.

Ngobe Scrape off the bark of the tree which has long thorns. Treatment for Pamtima or Diarrhea. You soak the roots in water.

·       Kumwako: Drink the herb 1 cup 3 times a Day.

·       Warm the herb and pour it into a large container. The naked patient should sit in it to soak the anus or chinyero.

Kamphoni Scrape off the bark of the tree. Treatment for very severe or serious Pamtima or Diarrhea. You soak the roots in water.

·       Kumwako: Drink the herb 1 cup 3 times a Day.

·       Warm the herb and pour it into a large container. The naked patient should sit in it to soak the anus or chinyero.

1.     Mphalavidwaba (the roots of this tree create mphovu or suds)

2.     Mphyoka

3.     Nthumbuzgha

4.     Msindila

5.     Rumburwe

6.     Soyo (Payekha or a lone one)

7.     Changwe

8.     Mukotama

Dig and get roots from all the 8 trees. Treatment chikhoso Ca Mdulo or cough. This very bad sounding cough is believed to be caused when:

·       a wife or husband has sex outside marriage. When next the couple has sex the partner who did not have sex outside marriage can experience it this cough.

·       When unmarried girls after puberty have sex and continue to cook and serve food in the household. Adults and even children and especially babies may experience cikhoso camdulo or cough.

You soak the roots from all the 8 trees mixed  together in water in a container.

·       Kumwako: Drink the herb 1 cup 3 times a day.

·       Kumwako bala: You use the herb to cook or boil a thin porridge. Cook and drink this porridge 1 cup 3 times a day.

 

 

 

Phuruphuru Dig and get roots. For treatment of Mapinga. This is when a pregnant woman’s baby’s head in the womb is facing away from the bottom of the birth canal. The medicine will move the baby’s head to face down. Soak the roots in water.

·       Kumwako: Drink the herb 1 cup 3 times a day.

·       Kumwako bala: You use the herb to cook or boil a thin porridge. Cook and drink this porridge 1 cup 3 times a day.

 

Kambulunje

Kankhulukuru

Mkanda Njobvu.

All 3 are fruit trees whose fruits people eat. Dig and get roots from all the 3 trees. This is for a young girl who has reached puberty. The herb helps her to stabilize her emotions and personality. You soak the roots from all the 3 trees mixed together in water in a container.

Special Conditions**: The mixing of the herbs and cooking of the porridge must be done by a married woman from a sexually reliable couple that have a stable home. The couple is always at home.

The container of the soaking herbs is placed on the spot where the couple had sexual intercourse.

·       Kumwako bala: The trusted woman will get the herb and cook a thin porridge for the young girl to drink 1 cup 3 times a day.

·       Kumwako: Drink the herb 1 cup 3 times a day.

Rumburwe Use not recorded Use not recorded Use not recorded
Kabeza

Mkorankhanga

Damati

Dig and get roots from all the 3 trees. For treatment of Khubaza. When a woman experiences severe cramps and pain before each period and during the period. When she is married and tries to get pregnant; she gets a period instead. Soak the roots in water.

·       Kumwako: Drink the herb when the period starts 1 cup 3 times a day.

·       Kumwako bala: You use the herb to cook or boil a thin porridge. Cook and drink this porridge when the period starts 1 cup 3 times a day.

 

Mpumba

Mtowa

Scrape the bark from each tree. Do not mix the barks.  Dry them and grind them into powder separately. For treatment of a cancerous growth or sore on the skin. ·       First, get the mtowa powder and put it on the cancerous growth or sore.

·       Second, sprinkle the sore the mpumba powder. Afterwards, the sore will ooze white stuff and heal. Then the sore will be gone.

Kambulunje

Kapwalapwala

Scrape the bark off both trees. You could also get twigs from both trees. You burn the bark together into charcoal. Grind them into powder and add some salt. For treating a baby when she or he is sick and has sores all over his or her mouth. ·       Sprinkle the black charcoal powder into the baby’s mouth.
Chifitye

Mulungalunga

Phwiripwijo

Kapuula**

Dig and get roots from all the 4 trees. For treatment of Mnthumbo kuphya; when the stomach feels hot or inflamed. Soak the roots in water.

·       Kumwako: Drink the herb 1 cup 3 times a day.

·       Kumwako bala: You use the herb to cook or boil a thin porridge. Cook and drink this porridge 1 cup 3 times a day.

Sokolowe Dig and get roots. The tree bears fruits that people eat. When a mother is 2 to 3 months pregnant and has a child who was weaned. The child cries and whines a lot. The child acts really spoiled and is very clingy to the mother. Soak the roots in water.

Use the herbs to cook nshima. Serve the nshima to the child while the child is sitting with siblings and the child’s friends on the chitenje cloth the mother uses for carrying the baby on the back. This cloth is called nguwo.  Semen among the Tumbuka, Chewa and Ngoni is also called nguwo. They will all eat the nshima together. After that the child will no longer cry and whine unnecessarily and being bothersome. The child will enjoy playing with siblings and friends all day.

Msoro Scrape the bark off the tree. You burn the bark into charcoal and grind it into powder. For treating a child who is burnt by hot water or fire. Get the charcoal power and sprinkle it on the burn sores. The sores will heal.
1.     Muwuluka

2.     Chibvumulo

3.     Maophe

4.     Mpapadende

5.     Khoswe

6.     Musambafumu

Scrape the barks from all the 6 trees from the side that faces the sunrise. Put all the barks in a large pot and soak them in water. You boil the contents (kubwatuska) for about 20 minutes. ·       Treatment for chest congestion.

·        Helps to relieve asthma.

·       If people hate you this helps neutralize the hate.

·       Helps to prevent people from doing bad things to you.

·       You remove the boiling pot from the fire without taking off the lid. You rush into the house. Put the pot on the floor. Cover a blanket over your head and place your head and face on the closed lid of the hot pot. When ready open the lid, let the steam hit your face and breathe the steam in and out into your lungs. This is called kufukizgha. You do this for 15 to 20 minutes; opening your eyes and sometimes coughing.

·       You use the herb to wash the whole body.

Mkalakate Dig and get roots. Treatment for a woman who has delivered but experiences pain in the stomach. This illness is called ciwulazi. Soak the roots in water.

·       Kumwako: Drink the herb when the herb 1 cup 3 times a day.

·       Kumwako bala: You use the herb to cook or boil a thin porridge. Cook and drink this porridge 1 cup 3 times a day.

 

Mpyoka Use not recorded Use not recorded Use not recorded
Mzakaka Scrape the bark off of the tree. Grind it into powder and mix the powder with tobacco snuff. Treatment for a toothache or jino. Place the mzakaka and tobacco snuff mixture on to a fresh tree leaf. And some drops of water. Put a few drops into the patient’s nose on the side of the nose where there is a toothache or jino.
Changwe Use not recorded Use not recorded Use not recorded
Kamemena Mbuzi Treatment of disease unknown Treatment of disease unknown Treatment of disease unknown
Mukatama

Mulilila or Mphakasa

Dig and get the roots. Scrape off bark from the roots. Grind the bark until it is very smooth. You mix is a tiny pinch of salt. Treatment wofunya chimdima or to remove shyness for girls. ·       Get some of the mixture and put it in a bottle which has oil that you rub on your face.

·       Add some of the mixture into bath water.

Katope

Makochezi

·       Dig and get the roots of the Katope tree

·       Makochezi are left over in a stream when the water flows through it. Get some of the left over weeds.

·       Mix the makochezi and the roots of the katope tree. Burn them together into charcoal and grind them into powder.

Treatment wofunya chimdima or to remove shyness for girls. ·       Put some of the charcoal powder into the girl’s bathing water.
1.     Mphangala (Vipa so Vya) fruits of the tree

2.     Chiyere

3.     Chimwemwe

Get the fruit of the mphangala tree, dig and get roots of the Chiyere and Chimwemwe trees. Grind all the 3 together until they are smooth. Treatment wofunya chimdima or to remove shyness for girls. ·       Kutemako: Make 2 tiny cuts or simbo on the the girl’s forehead with a clean razor and rub the smooth mixture into the cuts.

 

Chigulo Dig and get the roots Treatment for bola-bola Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) for men. Soak the roots in water.

·       Kumwako: Drink the herb 1 cup 3 times a day.

·       Kumwako bala: You use the herb to cook or boil a thin porridge. Cook and drink this porridge 1 cup 3 times a day.

Everything will come out of the man’s private parts including white puss. The patient will be cured of the STD.

 

 

Conclusion

This article first, discussed the basic or fundamental principles of African traditional medicine. Second, it disclosed in Tumbuka language some of the actual specific names of trees, roots, and methods that are used for treatment of various illnesses among the Tumbuka. This information was obtained when the author conducted formal research into Zambian and African traditional treatment of disease among the Tumbuka in 2002. The specific names of the trees, roots, and methods of treatment are very confidential among the traditional healers. Because the researcher only spent about four weeks conducting the research survey, the period was not long enough for him to develop the bond and trust the traditional healers or ng’anga he interviewed to show him some of the trees that are used for treating diseases and illnesses.

 

The Whiny Child: Wonders of Zambian/African Traditional Medicine

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

Introduction

Since I was a child in the mid-1950s growing up in the Zambian/ African village, traditional African medicine has always fascinated. This fascination is not because of mere academic curiosity but because I witnessed the traditional medicine treat some of the most serious chronic diseases and illnesses in myself among close family members. Since the early 1990s I have also read a great deal about the immune system and how historically viral, bacterial, parasites and other epidemics have been

ChildrenonBack

Once a child is weaned, they should be able to play freely with siblings and others away from the mother.

transmitted among human civilizations and populations stretching over thousands of years. My interest in the changing nature of Zambian or African traditional medicine inspired me so much that I actually conducted formal research into the topic in 2002. The research was among the Tumbuka people of Lundazi District in the Eastern Province of Zambia. Some of the findings from the study are in this publication. http://hungerforculture.com/?page_id=354 Some of the findings are in this book https://www.amazon.com/Satisfying-Zambian-Hunger-Culture-Social/dp/1479702099

I have just began to compile and analyze more findings from my research notes from 2002. This is one of the series of reports that will soon be published exclusively on the “Hunger for Culture” web page.

Wonders of the Sokolowe Tree

In the Zambian traditional society, a mother might be 2 to 3 months pregnant and has a child who has been weaned. The child cries and whines a lot. The child acts really spoiled and is very clingy to the mother. The mother will consult an elderly person or a traditional healer or ng’anga. The ng’anga or the village elder might prescribe the roots of the Sokolowe tree. The tree bears fruits that people eat. You dig the Sokolowe tree and get the roots. Soak the roots in water.

Use the herbs to cook the nshima Zambian traditional staple meal. The mother will serve the nshima to the child while the child is sitting with siblings and the child’s friends on the chitenje cloth the mother uses for carrying the baby on the back. This cloth is called nguwo.  Semen among the Tumbuka, Chewa and Ngoni is also called nguwo. They will all eat the nshima together. After that the child will no longer cry, whine unnecessarily and be bothersome. The child will enjoy playing with siblings and friends all day.

This is one among dozens of traditional ways in which herbs and rituals were used for the betterment of the individuals in the community. A full detailed report is available here.

 

The 2008 Obama Campaign: The Thrill of Making History

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

Introduction

The year was 1962 and I was 8 years old. My father was a teacher at Mafuta Primary School which is 30 miles or 48 Kms. along the Chipata-Lundazi road in the Eastern Province of Zambia. One morning, a two door yellow Land Rover sped along our dusty road and quickly pulled up to the school yard. The passenger door opened and a large bundle of papers with many colors were tossed to the ground. As the papers blew all over the school yard, the Land Rover quickly sped away.

 

Signs on top of the door into Obama Campaign office in Staunton, Va

Signs on top of the door into Obama Campaign office in Staunton, Va

My parents later explained that the people in the Land Rover were members of the African National Congress (ANC) who had tossed some flyers to recruit people to join the political party. The reason they sped off very quickly is that they knew this was a strong hold of their rival United National Independence Party (UNIP). They were afraid to walk around because they could be beaten up or even killed. Harry Nkumbula was leader of ANC and Kenneth Kaunda was the leader of UNIP. This was at the height of the heated struggle for independence against British colonialism in the then Northern Rhodesia now Zambia.

Childrem and parents help make Obama campaign signs at the office in Harrisonburg, va

Childrem and parents help make Obama campaign signs at the office in Harrisonburg, va

This was my earliest exposure to what campaigning and electoral politics were. The impression was not positive. As my parents talked about politics as a child, I wondered why people would beat up and even kill each other because of belonging to different political parties. The most notorious and violent in Fort Jameson (now Chipata) was Lushinga who was said to be a member of ANC. Word was that he was so vicious that if he found you riding your bicycle along the road, he would not only knock you over with his vehicle, he would follow you in the bush driving the vehicle in order to kill you. The ANC were called mainyong’o among adults in this area which was a derogatory term in the Nyanja language.

The members of the political parties would sometimes burn the grass huts at night of their political rivals killing them. As political protest of defiance against the Britidh colonialism, some Zambians burned down schools. One such school was Dzoole which

I wait with large crown in line to attend an Obama campaign rally at James Madison University.

I wait with large crown in line to attend an Obama campaign rally at James Madison University.

was burnt down to ashes. My father had the difficult assignment of reopening the school in 1963. He taught his first Sub A (Grade One) class under a large Kachele tree before the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) rebuilt the school. As a child at this time, my thinking was if it was so bad, I did not want to be any part of any campaigning or being part of a political party. At that tumultuous and tense time at 8 years old in rural Zambia, there was no way I could have guessed what would happen in my future: that 46 years later, 10,000 miles or 16,000 Kms away on the other side of the world, I would be part of the most important and thrilling election campaign in history: the Obama 2008 campaign. How did this happen? Why was this unwilling author involved with no experience in electoral campaign? What suddenly motivated him? What was the improbable journey and the drama of the Obama campaign given the overwhelming and daunting historical odds against an African American or black candidate in white American society?

Politics in Zambia: 1962 to 1964

British colonialists had occupied, oppressed, exploited, and in many cases humiliated

Town residents of Bridgewater gather and listen to a campaign organizer in the Bridgewater town campaign office.

Town residents of Bridgewater gather and listen to a campaign organizer in the Bridgewater town campaign office.

Zambians on their own land since the early 1900s. By 1962, Zambians had been fighting for independence for more than 20 years. The only difference between 1962 and 1964 is that they could smell victory. The British had imposed the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953 on the 3 territories over the vehement opposition and objections of Zambians and Africans. This became one of the major rallying points for the decade that was to follow in the struggle against colonialism.

As children in our household, my father and mother frequently referred to the tensions and violence among the UNIP and ANC political operatives in the region. My parents said a man known as Kenneth Kaunda of UNIP and Harry Nkhumbula of ANC were fighting for our freedom. Once we were independent, my parents explained, we would have freedom to do what we want. Our government would build schools, hospitals, roads,  and create jobs.

As children you always react to the mood of your parents and the family to any outside events that you might not even understand fully as a child. One day as the 1962 general elections were taking place, my parents said something very new and strange that excited us all children. My parents said that soon after the elections, the British colonialist bazungu would leave and we would no longer be Northern Rhodesia. We would be the new free and independent country of Zambia. My brothers and sisters looked at each other with tense smiles. We children immediately ran outside and began to scream in unison as we jumped around.

“Tifuna Zambia!! Tifuna Zambia!!! (We want Zambia! We want Zambia!)

Ndani afuna Zambia?!” (Who wants Zambia!???) I led the chant screaming at the top of my 8 year old voice.

“I-i-i-ine!!!!”, (Me, me, me) my younger brother and sisters responded loudly. We marched around the house many times screaming. We were to do this for months to come.

“The Federation was dissolved in December 1963 and universal adult suffrage elections which Zambians called One Man One Vote were held in January 1964 in which UNIP won an overwhelming majority of seats in parliament 56 and ANC won only 9.” (Tembo, 2012:215)

Over the years as I have reflected over our Zambian struggle for independence, I have always wished I had been an adult to contribute to the struggle. During independence from 1964 to date 2016, an opportunity to even be involved in Zambian elections campaigns and let alone vote had never come up.

Obama Campaign 2008

African Americans have a long history of enduring racial brutality and oppression from whites over the last 300 years. Voting and let alone any African American aspiring to be

I put up campaign signs in my yard.

I put up campaign signs in my yard.

President was so out of the question many in America believed it would never happen. So when a little known African American Senator from the State of Illinois with a strange name, Barack Obama, that did sound like Smith, Brown, or Johnson announced his candidacy for the Presidency of the United States, nearly everyone dismissed it as a joke or impossible. Barack Obama announced his candidacy on a cold morning in February 10 2007 in Springfield Illinois. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdJ7Ad15WCA  At that time Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic Party candidate, had 45% in the opinion polls and Barack Obama had only 12% and was behind in the polls by 33 points. Not too many Americans had reason to support or waste their vote on an African American or black candidate that was so behind and would never win the primary and let alone the General election.

Jumping into the Campaign

After almost a year of campaigning, an election result that stunned not only the American nation but the entire world: little known Barack Obama had won the Iowa caucus primaries on January 3, 2008. Obama had won by 37.6%, John Edwards by 29.7% and the heavy favorite Hilary Clinton came in third with 29.5%. I saw Obama’s electrifying victory speech on TV that night. I was mesmerized. The whole nation was mesmerized.

When anyone decides to be involved in a major event, one can remember the exact moment when it happened. In April 2008 at my college campus, I had just finished my working out at our college gym and was walking out. I casually picked up the Newsweek magazine which had an article titled “Barack Obama: How He did it”. I read it all. That was my tipping point. I decided there  and then that I was going to get involved in the Obama campaign.

Obama’s Books

I first read Obama’s book “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream”. Later I read: “Dreams from my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance”. Barack Obama’s ideas not just impressed me but his experiences convinced me that I shared lot in common with him. The part of his life I found most appealing was that in his quest to understand his father and Obama’s own African heritage in Kenya, he did something unusual may be for many people who have been

City residents gather in the Harrisonburg Obama campaign office on opening day.

City residents gather in the Harrisonburg Obama campaign office on opening day.

westernized: he visited his rural remote home village in Kenya. These are places that are often dismissed as just primitive. This is the place and heritage that terrifies Westerners and urban people in general. He had lived in Indonesia and had gone to Harvard. He had endured some racial victimization in hotels even when he visited Nairobi in Kenya. In my view, this man was truly so educated, sophisticated, and optimistic, and humble at the same time. I believed he would make a huge difference if elected to live in the American White House.

Getting Involved

I had to first contact local Democratic Party organizers. I was supposed to go to Zambia that summer to help build the NKhanga Village Library in Lundazi. My mother-in-law had just passed away after battling cancer for nearly 2 years. My wife, I and the entire family were in grief. I also experienced the worst headaches I had never had before and since then. When I saw the doctor, my blood pressure was sky high. The doctor advised against flying out of precaution. I therefore dedicated my entire summer from May to August to the Obama campaign.

As Obama campaign picked up momentum from January 2008, it captured the

People showed up to vote at  dawn . It was an exciting day.

People showed up to vote at dawn . It was an exciting day.

imagination of millions of Americans and even the whole world. There were regular Democratic Party campaign offices. But then thousands of citizens, both white and black, volunteered to open campaign offices using their own homes. This happened in small and large towns. Obama gave electrifying campaign speeches to large mass rallies ranging from 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 to as large as 75,000. Obama’s wife, Michelle gave campaign speeches in support of her husband to smaller venues. Volunteers were needed to make phone calls, conduct door to door campaigns, distribute yards signs, and write to the local press. Monetary and food donations were needed to fund the campaigns. I participated in voter registration for both Democrats and Republicans at my college among students and faculty on the college campus dining hall lobby.

Campaign Offices

The first Obama campaign office was opened 10 miles or 16 Kms. north of us in the City of Harrisonburg which has a population of 52,478 of whom 78.4% White, 6.4% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 3.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 8.2% from other races. A couple who are residents of my home town Bridgewater volunteered for

Large signs welcome Obamas' 2 daughters to the White House on Inauguration Day.

Large signs welcome Obamas’ 2 daughters to the White House on Inauguration Day.

their house to be the town’s Obama campaign headquarters. Bridgewater has a population of 5,644 of whom 95.18% White, 2.48% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.94% from other races. The town of Staunton which is 25 miles or Kms. South of Bridgewater has a population of 23,746 of whom 83.29% White, 13.95% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.52% from other races. I attended all the 3 official opening receptions the new Obama campaign offices in the 3 towns. It was very heartening and such a joyous occasion to see the beaming faces of men, women, old, young, children, white, black and all races working to make the Obama campaign a success.

DSC_0068

Holding a sign at the Mall during Inauguration Day in Washington, D.C

Over the months I checked on the computer every day to see which primary election Obama had won that day and which one he had lost. I checked every day to see the election opinion polls to see how many points Obama was up or down. I put up campaign signs in my front yard. I donated crates of soft drinks, cookies or biscuits, and sandwiches for campaign headquarters volunteers. I saw many citizens bring cooked food to the campaign headquarters. We went on door to door campaigns in our neighborhoods. The momentum for the Obama campaign had built so much in the entire country of 305 million people that there were so many campaign buttons that represented various campaign groups that had mushroomed all over the country. There were groups such are Police officers for Obama, Women for Obama, Children for Obama, Fire fighters for Obama, cyclists for Obama, back packers for Obama, Volunteers for Obama, Joggers for Obama, Athletes for Obama, Book Lovers for Obama.

Election Day

After 10 months of heavy campaigning, the Election Day had arrived. My wife and I woke up early. There was a long line at 6:00am already. I took some photos. According to instruction, I was on standby all day to find out if I needed to drive any voter to the voting precincts. As it was getting dark in the evening, an old car pulled in front of our house. An old white woman slowly walked toward our house and knocked on the door. When I opened the door she asked me if I had already voted. She was just checking to make sure. I had tears in my eyes just to think so human beings at their best during the entire long campaign.

Large crowds gathered at the Mall in Washington D. C. on Inauguration Day.

Large crowds gathered at the Mall in Washington D. C. on Inauguration Day.

That evening on November 4, 2008 my wife was sitting in bed and I was about to go to the bathroom when TV announcers said that Barack Obama had just passed 270 electoral votes. He would be the 44th President and the first ever African American or black President of the United States. The camera panned to the large crowd that had gathered in Chicago in Barack Obama’s home town. It showed Jesse Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, and many others in the crowd in tears; they never thought that a black man would ever be President of the United States in their lifetime. The election results were that 69,498,516 or 52.9% of the American voters had voted for Barack Obama and 59,948,323 or 45.7% had voted for his Republican Party opponent John McCain. It was one of the most gratifying, exciting, and memorable events I have ever been involved with in my life. There were so many great memories of the goodness of the American everyday citizen and how we can pull our hearts together to achieve something that no one ever thought could be possible. That was a message from a great nation that I would never have known I would be part of those days in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) when I was 8 years old in 1962.

References

  1. Obama, Barack., Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, New York: Three Rivers Press, 1995, 2004.
  2. Obama, Barack., The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, New York: Three Rivers Press, 2006.
  3. Tembo, Mwizenge S., Satisfying Zambian Hunger for Culture: Social Change in the Global World, Xlibris Corporation: 2012.
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdJ7Ad15WCA
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationwide_opinion_polling_for_the_Democratic_Party_2008_presidential_primaries
  6. http://politics.nytimes.com/election-guide/2008/results/states/IA.html
  7. http://www.newsweek.com/barack-obama-how-he-did-it-85083
  8. https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=american%20popultion%20in%202008
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2008
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrisonburg,_Virginia
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgewater,_Virginia
  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staunton,_Virginia

 

 

The Dangers of Election Violence and Tribalism

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

Introduction

The twin ugly problems of tribalism and election violence could easily plunge our otherwise beloved peaceful nation of Zambia into utter mayhem. This is why ahead of the August 11 Presidential elections, every citizen in and outside the country must be vigilant in denouncing these two evils. Do not take this advice as hyperbole, exaggeration or just a bored ivory tower ignorant intellectual Zambian away from Zambia who is being needlessly alarmist. I was in Zambia recently for 6 weeks during the election campaigns. I traveled to villages in Lundazi. I travelled all the way to Solwezi. I saw cities such as Kitwe, Chingola, Kalulushi, and Ndola.

 

The Grand Opening of the Solwezi City Mall in June 2016. This would not be possible if peace is lost.

The Grand Opening of the Solwezi City Mall in June 2016. This would not be possible if peace is lost.

Since the last and this coming election, too many provocative allegations and grievances have just been boiling underneath the political surface. They may just need some incident which will be like lighting a match and the nation can explode into violence. Reports of election violence have led to a lot of finger pointing about who started or is doing it. The police appear powerless. It appears the leaders of political parties are unwilling to openly condemn and take responsibility where the violence and even some deaths have reportedly occurred due to political election violence and sometimes recklessness caused by some members of their political parties.

Taking Peace for Granted

Because the Zambian nation has never experienced the tragic dark forces of wide spread election violence, deadly conflict or war since independence in 1964, it is easy for leaders and the entire nation to be complacent and assume that it cannot happen to us. We should never fool ourselves specially leaders of the political parties. The most recent example is the post-election violence that occurred in Kenya in 2007-2008 between the Kikuyus and Luos and many other so-called tribes. Hundreds were killed and perhaps thousands displaced trying to escape the violence. We should all be aware that it can happen in our country. It can happen if from the top political party leaders all the way to the cadres in the

Chipata

People conducting their daily lives in Chipata. This might not be possible if peace is lost.

streets and villages no one is loudly warning and advising everyone that political election violence is unZambian.

History

The citizens of Zambia and leaders need to know why tribalism and its twin evil of racism that Europeans hatched, have always led to unimaginable torture, violence, and liberation wars. I have been privileged in my long college or University teaching career to have studied the causes of tribal, racial and ethnic conflicts all over the world especially since European colonialism in the world over the last 300 years. Europeans created racism to justify the exploiting and oppressing of non-European peoples all over the world including in Africa and Zambia.

Lusaka City Resident commuting home in minibuses during the early evening. This might not be possible in the peace is gone.

Lusaka City Resident commuting home in minibuses during the early evening. This might not be possible in the peace is gone.

There is no scientific or social evidence that a white person is inherently superior to a black person because of his or her race or white skin color. There is no scientific or social evidence that a black person is naturally inferior to a white person because of his or her race or black skin color. Any social and economic differences between the races were and are socially created or constructed and maintained. This is the most difficult idea to see and appreciate because most of us do not know what we don’t know.

The same argument applies to tribalism in Zambia and all of Africa today. There is no one tribe in Zambia of the 72 tribes that is naturally superior to all other tribes. There is no one tribe that is naturally inferior to all other 72 tribes in Zambia. All the tribal differences you might see in Zambia whether political leadership, education, levels of development, regional differences in development, and many others were all socially created or constructed. This means as a nation we can together fix or find solutions to those problems in order to eliminate the tribal differences.

Tribal Conflict in Africa

Children eating sugar cane in a village in Lundazi. This might not be possible if the peace is gone.

Children eating sugar cane in a village in Lundazi. This might not be possible if the peace is gone.

Many nations in Africa alone have experienced tremendous racial and tribe-based turmoil, violence, deaths and sometimes war due to deeply entrenched racial, tribal, and religious differences. But not we Zambians. The Biafra War in Nigeria was from 1967 to 1970. It was the Igbo fighting the rest of Nigeria. Somalia was torn apart in the early 1990s. That country has not recovered. The Tutsi and Hutu tribal conflict in Rwanda led to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda in which 800,000 people were killed. This tribal conflict went back to the 1850s.White Rhodesians caused the deadly war in Zimbabwe and then the tribal conflict that followed after independence in 1980 was tragic and deadly. South Africa and the whites created the deadly racist apartheid policy which has left deep scars in that nation. The list is long of these tribal conflicts. Why not Zambia?

Zambia Lucky and Blessed

Zambia is both lucky and blessed. Soon after Zambia’s independence in 1964, the small number of white die hard racist settlers fled to mostly Rhodesia and racist Apartheid South Africa at the time. Those few whites did not like that Zambia had come be ruled by black Africans. That was lucky for us. Then our founders made one of the best, and wisest decisions in the whole world: they wanted Zambia to be a non-racial and non-

A man drinking munkoyo traditional Zambian brew at Matebeto restaurant in Lusaka that serves traditional Zambian cuisine. This might not be possible if the peace is lost.

A man drinking munkoyo traditional Zambian brew at Matebeto restaurant in Lusaka that serves traditional Zambian cuisine. This might not be possible if the peace is lost.

tribal society. They did not just engage in mere slogans or talk. They went ahead and implemented the policy in education, government, political leadership, hospitals, entertainment, national broadcasting, the police, the army, the air force, higher education and all avenues of the Zambian life. The leaders relentlessly preached love and tolerance among all of us among the 72 tribes. This is why today Zambia is probably the most peaceful and well integrated societies not just in Africa but in the world. If any of the developed countries were as well integrated as we are, they would be boasting about it everywhere. We would be reading about it in all textbooks from Grade One to University level.

Stay Vigilant

Because many of us Zambians do not know what we don’t know, we may take the peace and tranquility for granted. We may engage in incendiary rhetoric, election and other violence not knowing that we have it so good. Other nations in Africa and the world do not have it that good. This is why during these coming elections let’s all be very vigilant, exercise restraint and carry this peace forward. The peace we enjoy is the best gift and heritage our founders could have given us as a nation.

The Soul of Fatherhood: What Makes a Good Father?

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

Introduction

While there are plenty of magazine articles, TV programs, and other sources on how and what it means to be a mother, there is very little about what it means to be a father. Most TV programs and discussions in the media tend to make fun of fatherhood. Some serious articles tend to always focus on the abusive, oppressive, drug and alcohol addicted, dead-beat dad, controlling, dysfunctional patriarchal father who is said to be the relic of the old traditional past but is said to dominate the behavior of many fathers today. While some of the problems of bad fathers exist, there is very little information on what it means to be a father today. This article is meant for perhaps millions of young men to day who would want to know what it takes to be a good father who is married to the mother of the child or children.

Fathers must spend time to play with their children. Source: Google Images.

Fathers must spend time to play with their children. Source: Google Images.

Any boy past puberty and adult man can be a father in a biological sense. But being a good father demands more. This article is going to discuss fatherhood from point of my own experience and wisdom. I have been married for 36 years. My wife and I have raised 3 children. I have also taught sociology in college for 36 years during which I taught sociology of the family for 6 years. I discuss the “Soul of Fatherhood” because being a father is more than just being able to buy groceries, changing a diaper or two, and barking orders to your children. Fatherhood means the deepest essence of the calm masculine strength, presence, persona, love and humor being infused into a child from when they are a baby in the womb (they can hear the voices), to the crucial adolescence, all the way to being an adult man.

History

Fathers must spend time to play with the baby

Fathers must spend time to play with the baby

 

For thousands of years, fatherhood meant being able to fight as a warrior as a member of a tribe to protect and defend one’s village and family. The man had to fight in war. The man had to be able to kill wild animals such as lions, bears, tigers, leopards, and others to defend the man’s family. Providing for his family required the man to know how to hunt for food, and later farming skills. These were skills boys and young men had to know before they could seek a wife to marry. As the European Industrial Revolution was spread all over the world through European colonialism in the 17th and 18th centuries, fatherhood increasingly meant learning the skills of reading and writing and being able to get an office or other job. Today the police and the army play the role of protecting the nation-state in general. As women have increasingly joined the labor force and gender equality in marriage has be emphasized, fatherhood has become increasingly difficult to define.

A young father proudly holds his new born daugher

A young father proudly holds his new born daugher

High levels of unemployment both in the Western and Third World means it is increasingly difficult for young men to play the role of a father by being able to provide for the family.  The abandoning of the traditional socialization of boys and men, high levels of divorce and single motherhood mean that young men today increasingly go into marriage and other arrangements without having a clear knowledge of what it means and it takes to be a good father. The general tolerance of single motherhood means men and fatherhood may be seen as less important. This is not true. Fatherhood is very important for all children and more so for boys.

In order to be a good father, you need first, foremost and most important to realize that this is a full time role that you will play to eternity or the end of your life. Second, you need to be a good provider, protector and defender. Third, you need to be always there in the household taking care of the child, children and their mother. Fourth, both you and your wife or the mother must share a deep common bond beyond marriage; the unshakable and even unspoken conviction in both of you that raising your children and their welfare comes first within the context of love between the two of you. This is one of the key reasons why marriage vows include: “Till death do us part”. This vow is what provides the enduring love for you and your wife but also for the children. Fifth, as you go about being a father, some best parts of fatherhood are never realized at that moment when you are raising your child, but much later in life often when the child is an adult.

Fathers must spend time with their children teaching them how perform certain tasks such as how to change a flat tire.

Fathers must spend time with their children teaching them how perform certain tasks such as how to change a flat tire.

Fatherhood Eternal Role

If you would like to be a good father, you have to completely embrace, enjoy and look forward to the role for the rest of your life. This attitude will make it possible for you to make the necessary sacrifices, adjustments, and changes as you raise and support your child or children. It is when you play the role of father half-heartedly that you will not be able to enjoy it and make the necessary sacrifices to be a good father. When I picked up my new born son and my wife that morning at University Teaching Hospital Maternity ward years ago in Lusaka in Zambia, I knew I was ready to be a father. I have enjoyed the role ever since as my wife and I had more children.

Provider and Protector

The most challenging and demanding aspect of fatherhood, is being a good provider. This means providing good and safe housing, having a job to provide food, clothing and security for the family. This role is very difficult to play today as there is high unemployment and most jobs require high technical skills. Well paid unskilled jobs are very few especially in developed countries. Being a protector means being the first line of security both inside and in the perimeter of your home. Children and their mother should never have to feel unsafe or threatened inside and outside the home. Being a good protector does not necessarily mean owning a gun. It just means developing the physical and mental capacity to react when there is an intruder or anyone who threatens the home.

Sons and daughters have different experiences with their fathers. Source: Google Images.

Sons and daughters have different experiences with their fathers. Source: Google Images.

Always Be there

Being always there for your wife and especially the children might be very difficult since society created the office job during the Industrial Revolution. For thousands of years, fathers and mothers live together in villages and worked side by side while farming to provide for the family. Therefore the father was always physically around. In today’s world of 18 hour work days to earn a living, the father and sometimes the mother might not always be physically present to raise the children. This is the tragedy of children who grow up and say: “I never saw my father. He was away at work every day. He missed my birthday parties.” It is for this reason that a father might consider changing jobs so that he can be with his children.

Being with the children means not just playing with them but doing certain tasks together. I learned how to take apart an entire bicycle and repairing it from watching my father. I watched my father use an axe to chop a tree with such power, efficiency and precision. I watched my father calmly kill a dangerous snake. When my father was away for most of the day, his coming home was a big celebration for my siblings and my mother. He usually brought goodies in his famous brown brief case on his bicycle; bananas, bread, sugar, wild meat, beef, buns, a live chicken for us to either slaughter or raise.

When as a father you are around most of the time, you can then be able to help discipline the kids. This has never meant beating the children contrary to what is a popular impression whenever people discuss discipline. It often just means the father’s deep voice telling the toddler to stop doing something dangerous. This might be one of the good biological evolutionary reasons men have deep voices. It sometimes means just doing the chore with the children until it is completed and reinforcing that with the child or children. This is how a father can teach his child the important discipline of completing a task once you have started doing it. You can take time to tell significant stories about your life as you spend time with your children.

Fatherhood also means not just choosing to do pleasant things with the child but also to be there during difficult times such as sickness. My father took me and my siblings so many times to the clinic by bicycle when we were young.

In 1989 my wife and I almost lost our son in Lusaka in Zambia. He woke up sick that morning with diarrhea, vomiting, and a temperature. I took him to a private clinic at noon. He was diagnosed with malaria. After taking the first malaria dose, he got worse with diarrhea,  he was quickly dehydrating, his breathing became shallow, and the whites of his eyes were flickering. My wife sent me back with him to the doctor at 16:00 hours. The doctor said they had misdiagnosed my son. He had a stomach bacterial infection. Back at the house my very sick son took the first dose of the antibiotic. An hour later he was asking for food because he was hungry. This was sweet music to my wife, I, and any parent of a very sick child. Before I was a father, I liked to go to the bar a lot to drink after work. Had I gone drinking in my car that evening, I will remember this for the rest of my life.  I believe my son would probably not be alive today. He would have died during the night while his father was away drinking. He was that sick.

Fatherhood and Sex

The biggest elephant in the room is the questions: “How is the sexual experience during fatherhood?” During the traditional past in the Zambian and African society, they used to practice what anthropologists call the post-par tum sex taboo. It was a custom where after the wife had given birth, it was a taboo for the couple to have sex until after 18 months to 2 years. During the traditional past, as long as the woman was breast feeding she never had a period. As soon as she stopped breast feeding weaning the child, she would resume menstruation. This may no longer be the case for the vast majority of women.

One of the ways to be provider in the role of a father is to fish.

One of the ways to be provider in the role of a father is to fish.

Since the woman was breast feeding the baby during that period, it was believed that if a woman got pregnant the child would die. The belief was that the pregnancy contaminated the woman’s breast milk which she was using to breast feed the child. The question as to how the father or the man lived without sex during that period has never really been investigated. My suspicion is that first on the list of how the man coped must have been masturbation. Second, is that the husband and the wife slept apart as the wife was sleeping with the baby. The man must also have made himself physically busy. He probably went on long hunting trips and had hobbies.

The man expended energy farming. I know that during that period, I joined a local informal recreation soccer group of 8 men and played soccer every day after work and came home tired after expending so much energy. My work and hobbies also kept me very busy. My wife was also very busy with the baby, work, and household chores. What may have kept the couple excited during the wait was looking forward to the night they would have sex again. The father having sex outside marriage was also unthinkable as there were also taboos against adultery. A few couples in the traditional past may have solved the problem by the wife agreeing that her husband take a second wife.

Father and Mother Common Bond

The married father and mother is perhaps one of the most important bonds; the deep conviction between the married man or father and the woman or wife that raising children transcends whatever their temporary moods or feelings every day might be. This provides stability for both the children and the couple. When this is the common bond, then the parents are less likely to think of quitting or the “D” word or divorce at the slightest problem parenting. This conviction created the most stable environment for fatherhood. I share this conviction in this article. http://sufferingsoul.com/suffering-soul-child-divorce/

Best Part of Fatherhood

The best part of the fatherhood is the immediate gratification you get from your child calling you “Daddy” and crying that they want you to carry them if they are small. Playing with them and taking them on a walk or just eating with them. The bigger and better part is when you have done all the hard work raising them and now they are either in school, college or an adult. You as a father will feel as a sheer miracle that you had the privilege of being part of raising this human being form when they were a baby. That good feeling is indescribable and can never be fully conveyed to someone who has never been a real or good father. That feeling of being a father will be with you for the rest of your life.

Travelling to Solwezi in 2016.

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

Introduction

Since the Curriculum Development Center (CDC) of the Ministry of Education approved my novel “The Bridge” to be used for teaching English Literature in Secondary Schools from Grade 10 to 12, there was one thing I was very anxious to do: I wanted to go to a few Secondary Schools do deliver a copy of the novel. I wanted to meet some teachers and students. I had already made the 746

Students at Solwezi Urban Secondary School

Students at Solwezi Urban Secondary School

Kms journey to Lundazi in the Eastern Province. But this time I wanted to go to Solwezi. I had never been to North-Western Province. If all went well, I wanted to drive all the way to Mwinilunga and beyond. I wanted if possible to go to the source of the mighty Zambezi River at Kalene Hills north of Mwinilunga.

Journey to Solwezi

The evening before my departure for Solwezi, I made all the preparations. I found my Google Map and printed the directions from the Internet cafe. I was going to travel South of Ndola and Kitwe which was the shortest cut to Solwezi. I filled up my tank at Manda Hill gas or filling station in Lusaka near my lodge. The filling or gas station attendant checked and topped all my fluids including my clutch or brake fluid for my F15 Ford Ranger which was going to growl itself to Solwezi this time. Something strange happened. As I

The Headmaster Mr. Mbimbi first left and Teachers at Solwezi Urban Secondary School

The Headmaster Mr. Mbimbi first left and Teachers at Solwezi Urban Secondary School

was driving back to my lodge, the clutch problem reared its ugly head again. I could not change gears. I limped the vehicle back to the lodge. The Avis Manager immediately calmly said they would bring another vehicle with a full tank of petrol for me to be ready to go to Solwezi the following morning as planned. There was no need for me to change my plans or to drive the vehicle to the airport. The agents promptly brought another vehicle which was a smaller Hyndai SUV.

Lusaka to Chingola

The distance from Lusaka to Chingola is 410 Kms or 254 miles which was supposed to take me 6 hours to drive. But it must have taken me close to 8 hours because I broke my own rule: never follow Google Map directions without having first some ground human intelligence. People have

The Deputy Headmaster at Kyawama secondary School in Solwezi where I left my novel "The Bridge".

The Deputy Headmaster at Kyawama secondary School in Solwezi where I left my novel “The Bridge”.

driven into oceans at night and drowned in their vehicles. Others have driven into the deadly Death valley Desert in the Western part of the United States and have driven in circles and have gotten lost and died. Google maps are not perfect. The Google map showed that I could drive south of the town of Ndola toward Luanshya to Solwezi. When I reached the Luanshya junction I should have stopped and asked people about the road. I did not. The paved road had some of the worst pot holes I have seen since the mid-1990s. The drive that should have taken me about 45 minutes may have taken about 2 hours. The Google maps short cut took me to Kalulushi which I should not have done before I found my way to the road to Chingola.

Chingola to Solwezi

I arrived at the Chingola Solwezi junction at about 6:00pm or 18:00 hours and turned left. The road was gravel or unpaved. The Hyndai suddeny began to shake, vibrate, and rattle as I drove from side to side to find a smoother part of the road. Two massive trucks drove the other way and left me in such blinding dust that I stopped, turned on my head lights and flashing hazard lights. My heart began to pump really fast. What did I get into? I began to ask myself. Did the road turn into a paved road somewhere ahead? After about 20 minutes of just the worst dust and rattling of the vehicle I stopped to ask a young man. How is the road like to Solwezi? His answer was that some parts were paved and some were not.

The road to Luanshya had the worst pot holes. Never trust Google Maps completely.

The road to Luanshya had the worst pot holes. Never trust Google Maps completely.

As I resumed my tough journey, it crossed my mind that I should probably turn around, sleep in a comfortable lodge in Chingola, and head back to Lusaka. The resolve to finish what I had started overwhelmed me.

I experienced some of the most difficult driving conditions. There was very thin but thick dust swirling ahead from trucks. I was driving mostly on detours as most of the road was being paved. The Hyndai vehicle minute after minute, hour after hour, rattled and shook. It was tossed in the air on some of the huge speed bumps that I could not see ahead of time. It was dark. Occasionally we got a short paved part of the road but the paved part was so small and in many cases had rough sharp edges dangerous to tires, and huge pot holes. You did not want to get a flat tire in this total darkness. After 4 punishing and grueling hours of 176 Kms or 109 miles, I triumphantly arrived in Solwezi and stopped at a gas or filling station to ask for the nearest lodge.

The trucks caused so much dust on the Chingola Solwezi Road.

The trucks caused so much dust on the Chingola Solwezi Road.

I drove around for a while as I could not find a room at several lodges. When I finally found a room at Florianna Lodge, I was ready to just take a shower and sleep. It was after 24 hours.

Solwezi Town

When I woke up in the morning, I had very good breakfast at the lodge with very friendly and courteous staff. People here mostly spoke Bemba as lingua franca. Mr. Sonny Mugwagwa gave me a brief lesson in the Kaonde language.  Muji byepi is “How are you?” Buulong Mwaane is “I am fine”. Mr. Sonny Mugwagwa at Floriana Lodge gave me 4 names of Secondary schools in the town of Solwezi. I decided I would go to Solwezi Urban Secondary School and Kyawama Secondary School. When I drove down the main street, I had not noticed this during the night. The whole town was covered with dust; buildings, cars, structures all had this red dust. Many town people acknowledged the dust as a problem.

Secondary Schools

The Solwezi town will have no dust once the road has been paved.

The Solwezi town will have no dust once the road has been paved.

I went to Solwezi Urban Secondary School and met with the Headmaster Mr. Mbimbi and some of his staff in his office. We had very good conversations. I gave them a copy of my novel “The Bridge”. Later I was able to meet a few of the students.  I ate nshima for lunch at a restaurant which had dingi or buffalo as relish. I really enjoyed my lunch. In the afternoon, I went to Kyawama Secondary School where I met the Deputy Headmaster whom I gave a copy of my novel.

Return to Lusaka

If the trip from Chingola to Solwezi was that punishing and grueling, I had not prepared the resources and time to drive to Mwinilunga and beyond to the source of the Zambezi at Kelene Hills. I decided  to return to Lusaka the following day. The most encouraging thing I learned from my trip to Solwezi is that the massive construction camps and dusty road detours mean that the entire road from Chingola to Solwezi will all be paved in the next few years. At that time the beautiful town of Solwezi which was buried in dust will be clean.

 

 

Travelling to the Village in 2016 in Zambia.

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

Introduction

Since the Curriculum Development Center (CDC) of the Ministry of Education approved my novel “The Bridge” to be used for teaching English Literature in Secondary Schools from Grade 10 to 12, there was one thing I was very anxious to do: I wanted to go to a few Secondary Schools. I wanted teachers and students to meet the author of the novel directly. Most of the knowledge we acquire in Zambia is foreign. Not that there is anything wrong with foreign knowledge, products, ideas,

The twin birds and the 2 roses symbolize romantic love

The twin birds and the 2 roses symbolize romantic love

books, or novels, but there is a need for Zambians to realize that we as Zambians can do many of the things that are always from foreign countries. That will gradually build our confidence.

When I arrived in Lusaka, I made the radio and television appearances. I wanted to visit some secondary schools in the Eastern and North-Western Provinces of Zambia. How was I going to do this?

Using a Vehicle

I could have used the bus like I often do. Since I had so many commitments and did not have the whole year for the 2 trips, I decided the best way to visit the few schools was using a rental vehicle. Fortunately Avis at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka had just the vehicle I needed: the F 15 Double Cab diesel Ford Ranger. As soon as I left the Airport Parking lot, I noticed a distinctive personality of the diesel vehicle. It had tremendous power to tackle the steep mountains of the Muchinga escarpment but also it did not hum or whine, instead it growled which was reassuring.

Lusaka to Lundazi

I was excited, full of energy, and pumped up for the journey to Lundazi. I filled up the tank. The last was to stop at the farm in Ibex Hill in Chainda where my aunt had prepared nshima with two tender nicely roasted doves as relish. I was ready. The journey to Chipata is slow until after Chongwe when you begin to hit major road marks; the tsetse control barrier-check point is one of

During another trip, just around the bend after Luangwa a truck had jack knifed blocking the road.

During another trip, just around the bend after Luangwa a truck had jack knifed blocking the road.

them. The most challenging part of the trip is between Rufunsa and Nyimba. This is where you encounter the Mchinga escarpment hills, sharp bends, and steep climbs. Trucks loaded with hundreds of bags of maize, cotton, and other commercial products may end up using all their more than 12 gears. The F15 Ford Ranger simply growled through the steep hills and  ninathila dizilo as I poured diesel according to the Zambia parlance. As you navigate through the sharp bends, your foot has to quickly, constantly, and carefully move from the accelerator, brakes, and the clutch to down or up the gears. You have to focus because often a huge surprise could be just around the sharp bend.

Manenekera

Just after Rufunsa there is 10 km or 6 miles stretch of the road which includes the treacherous and dangerous manekera. It is no longer dangerous as the new Zambia government at

Manenekera are just behind me on the right. In the 1950s I would not have been able to park where I did.

Manenekera are just behind me on the right. In the 1950s I would not have been able to park where I did.

Independence in 1964 fixed the road which the British colonizers had been unable or unwilling to do. But in the 1950s the rough gravel road was perched on the edge of the mountain where only one vehicle could travel at any one time. Any mishap including brake failure result into the vehicle, truck, or bus plunging may be a thousand feet down the abyss of a steep embankment.

I stopped briefly at Luangwa bridge at 4:00pm and bought some dry fish to eat in the village. I crossed the massive Luangwa suspension bridge and arrived at Nyimba at about 6:00pm as it was getting dark. The road was being repaved from Luangwa all the way to Chipata. There were some detours. The new repaved road was good and spectacular with a wide shoulder for bicyclists, pedestrians, and ox-drawn carts. When it got dark the marked road with reflectors looked like a well-lit airport runway all the way to Chipata where I arrived at about 8:00pm and spent the night.

Village F 15 Surprise.

The 746 Kms from Lusaka to Lundazi are all paved except the last 33 Kms or 21 miles to my home village. I drove through a gravel road that had not been graded for nearly 2 years. The final 2 Kms to my village had a surprise. I was crossing a dry creek which had a wooden bridge which another nearby village driver used to cross with his SUV. The F 15 growled at the bottom of the small creek and rose out of the embankment, immediately there was a noisy piercing screech only on the driver’s side of the front wheel when I hit the brakes. The screech lasted all the way to the village. I was worried

The road from Luangwa to Chipata is being repaved providing temporary jobs.

The road from Luangwa to Chipata is being repaved providing temporary jobs.

The following morning at 7:00 am I wanted to drive to the next village to visit, when to my horror the entire clutch pedal for some unknown reason was on the floor. It was impossible to change gears. I panicked. I had to be back in Lusaka in a few days. Besides visiting with parents and all the relatives in the village, I did not have time to attend to a major vehicle mechanical failure. I called Avis in Lusaka. The manager calmly told me they could send another vehicle that could be there before the end of the day. That was reassuring. But I told them to hold on.

Before the end of the day with the use of the widely available cell phones, someone brought two small bottles of clutch fluid by minibus from town. The local mechanic came and fixed the minor problem. Avis did not have to send another vehicle all the way to the village 746 kms from Lusaka.

Village Life

Village and small town life in the Eastern part of Zambia in 2016 is good. People are building

I left a copy of my novel "The Bridge" at Chizongwe Secondary School.

I left a copy of my novel “The Bridge” at Chizongwe Secondary School.

more brick houses in the villages and purchasing a few iron roofing sheets at a time after they have sold their cotton and other agricultural produce. People are suing solar power for charging phones and for house lights. Up and down the entire road from Lusaka to Lundazi people just look visibly busy, healthy and happy. This does not mean if I asked the people they would say they have no problems; unemployment, illness, prices of farm produce, poverty, problems which school fees for children’s educations, and problems with fertilizer for farming. The massive road paving and construction camps along the Lusaka Chipata road suggests people have jobs although this might be temporary. Signs of commerce are everywhere. My father is 93 years old and my father is about 90 years old. They are alive, healthy, and happy in the village. They have seen so much change in Zambia since the mid 1940s when they married. My father then started his primary school teaching career.

Return to Lusaka

I left a copy of my novel "The Bridge" at St. Monica's Secondary School.

I left a copy of my novel “The Bridge” at St. Monica’s Secondary School.

I delivered a copy of my novel: “The Bridge” to Lundazi Secondary School, Chizongwe Secondary School, and St. Monica’s Secondary School. My return to Lusaka was smooth and uneventful. I stopped at Nyimba at 10:00am and ate my breakfast of nshima with rape and chicken. I arrived in Lusaka at 14:00 hours or 2:00pm. By they way, the screeching on the driver’s side front wheel stopped after driving on the paved road from Lundazi to Chipata for about half an hour. It seems the screech may have been related to driving on a very dusty road to the village.

 

 

The Challenges of Travelling Back Home

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

I have been flying to and from the United States and Zambia my home country for more than 30 years. The trip has always caused me great anxiety because many things can sometimes go terribly wrong when checking in at the airport. Often that has to do with weight of my bags. May be sometimes I wrongly think it happens to people like myself who travel on the economy plane ticket. We are the people with the cheapest tickets who sit in the back of the plane. Often the check-in works out smoothly including the security screening prior to boarding.

Checking in

As I was checking in at Dulles Airport flying to Lusaka via Johannesburg recently, my stomach tightened as the official weighed my 2 bags each at 49.5 lbs. or 29.5 Kgs. The weight limit for each bag was 50lbs. or 30Kgs. There was little margin for error between my house scale and the one at the airport. Then the ticket agent said twice firmly: “Put you carry-on bag on the scale”. It was upwards of 16 Kgs of my lap top, cameras and large lenses. My carry-on bag had to be 8 Kg I was told. I could not move anything to my checked in bags. Neither could I leave anything which my son could mail to me later as my experiences with the Post Office had not been positive lately to put it mildly. I was told my carry-on bag was too heavy. The agent consulted his baggage handler colleague about what to do. The colleague shrugged his shoulders. There was excruciating silence paralleling what Jesus Christ the Son of God must have felt before being crucified on the cross.

New Back Pack

The ticket agent advised me to go around the corner and buy a back pack. I was apparently allowed two carry-on items. For a long time passengers were allowed to carry only one bag on to the plane. At least I was not being asked to part with my precious belongings that I had taken agonizing weeks to carefully choose and pack.

I kissed the Zambian soil soon after disembarking from the plane to the surprise to the Zambian airport employee behind me. This was in December 2011.

I kissed the Zambian soil soon after disembarking from the plane to the surprise to the Zambian airport employee behind me. This was in December 2011.

When I came back with my new backpack that had cost me upwards of $30 unexpected dollars, I removed some of my few belongings from my carry-on into the new bag. This time the bag weighed 11kgs. The ticket agent shook his head and instructed me to remove more items. I walked away and feverishly removed more items. This time the bag was 9Kgs. The agent smiled while he told me to remove more items. I realized to my anguish that he was enjoying torturing me. He was not a World War II NAZI  SS concentration camp guard in Germany about to send captives to the gas chambers. But this was humiliating me. I finally told him as gently as I could that at 8 Kgs my carry bag would have almost nothing in it. He may have felt some pity for me and waved me on. Later at the boarding gate I saw the same ticket agent. I asked him why he had given me such a hard time. He smiled and tried to make a joke of it. But I was not in a joking mood. I quietly walked way being afraid he might tell me this time I could not board the plane. I have learned in my life that anyone with power can find a rule that is never enforced but they may decide to enforce it on you.

Flight Home

The flight home was long but uneventful. When the Boeing 737 gently kissed Zambian soil at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka in the dark of night and twinkling lights, I was gripped with the usual excitement of coming home or kukaya where my soul resides. I felt the warm anticipation of seeing relatives, friends, eating Zambian food, speaking the familiar and comforting language, the blue sky, and being with the 14 million fellow Zambians on the same God given soil.

Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka.

Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka.

I have actually kissed the Zambian soil after landing at the airport. I have a few photos to show for it. This time it was dark on a rather chilly May night. I did not kiss the Zambian soil. The trip home is always worth the obstacles and the anxiety I always experience.

 

Do you like to Wear Used or Second hand Underwear? : Book Review

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D

Professor of Sociology

Kenneth Mwenda, Ph. D., LLD, DSc(Econ), Anthology in Law and the Social Sciences, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada: African in Canada Press (www.africanincanadapress.com) 2016, pp. 1111, $25.00, K230.00, Hardcover.

“A nation that stood tall above others and gave its best to the liberation of Southern Africa from colonial rule and apartheid”. – Kenneth Mwenda

Introduction

Do you like to wear used or second hand underwear? My answer is that the very thought of my private parts residing in an intimate apparel which had previously housed some other man’s parts, would make my manhood shrink in revulsion. I would not wear it even if the Ministry of Health had certified the used underwear had been washed in boiling water for 24 hours. Wearing

Professor Kenneth Mwenda

Professor Kenneth Mwenda

such a used garment would most likely threaten my matrimoniAnthologyal stability as my manhood would go on strike and refuse to fulfill its conjugal obligations. Whatever your answer is, I never knew that there are some men in Zambia, Africa, and probably elsewhere who welcome wearing used underwear. You may be wondering what wearing used or second hand underwear has to do with the book about anthology of law.

I would not have contemplated let alone been regaled by these thoughts had I completely succumbed to my initial erroneous judgment of the book by its title. Quickly looking at the title amidst the contemporary tidal wave of internet explosion of thousands if not millions of books and other commercial junk that is competing for my attention, I didn’t think the book was for me. This is because Professor Mwenda is an eminent legal scholar who has a stellar career in the legal profession. He read law at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and has published more than 25 books in the legal field. When I saw an email of the published just hot off of the press, Kenneth Mwenda’s Anthology in Law and the Social Sciences, I assumed if I read the book I would yawn through legalese. When I read the book, I was pleasantry surprised.

Structure of the Book

Kenneth Mwenda’s Anthology in Law and the Social Sciences is one thousand one hundred and eleven pages long of short easy to read articles meant for the non-legal ordinary reader like you and I. The volume is divided into three parts A, B, and C with a total of 88 chapters. Although he calls most of the 88 short articles “chapters”, let that not intimidate you as I was able to read many of the first 25 “chapters” or articles in between watching a boring blow out American

Do men like to wear used or second hand underwear?

Do men like to wear used or second hand underwear?

“National Basketball Association” (NBA) basketball playoff game in which the San Antonio Spurs trounced the Oklahoma City Thunder 124-92.

The format of the articles is that Prof. Mwenda raises a subject of very high public interest such as “should you wear used underwear”? He includes interesting anecdotes in the stories. Then he skillfully infuses and injects a legal perspective or public law into it. In this way the articles both entertain and educate you, they expose the reader to topics they never thought or knew about, and how the topic may relate to both national and international law.

Do women like used or second hand underwear? Do they like a used bra?

Do women like used or second hand underwear? Do they like a used bra?

For example, although I would not want to wear used or second hand underwear, I am not sure I want to stop other people who might make the choice. After all, the famous saying is that “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”. But Zambian law does not think so. “In Zambia, the Inspection and Acceptance Criteria for used Textiles Products (ZS 559:2004) criminalizes the selling or buying of second-hand underwear.” (p. 24) According to the article, other countries such as Zimbabwe and Ghana have passed similar laws prohibiting the sale of second-hand underwear for hygiene reasons. I would not have known this was even an issue if I had not read Kenneth Mwenda’s Anthology in Law and the Social Sciences. I am assuming some men like myself might

Do women like used or second hand underwear?

Do women like used or second hand underwear?

have strong views against wearing used underwear. What about women? Would they wear used underwear? Would they wear a second-hand bra?

As I read article after article, Kenneth Mwenda’s Anthology in Law and the Social Sciences did not disappoint me. The first few that I have read include: “Legalizing marijuana: to smoke or not to smoke?” “Working for a lousy boss”, “Does international law permit the searching of a diplomat?” “Can A Christian divorce and remarry?” “Falling in Love with Africa”, “Growing up and moving out of your parent’s home.”

Are You a Patriotic Zambian?

Part B contains many unedited extracts from the media which covers 93 pages of the book. One media story that attracted my interest was “Chileka Man Conceals Ex-Wife’s Private Parts Again” of August 27, 2009. In Malawi a man used magical powers to conceal his ex-wife’s private parts such that when she wanted to physically consume their love with her new lover, her private parts disappeared to both lovers’ frustration. Of course the Malawian courts got involved. Another article I found interesting was: “Did Kaunda Lead Zambia illegally?”

In the patriotic article Prof. Mwenda says Nelson Mandela went to Zambia first during his first visit abroad after 27 years in prison. Nelson Mandela with President Kaunda in Zambia in 1990.

In the patriotic article Prof. Mwenda says Nelson Mandela went to Zambia first during his first visit abroad after 27 years in prison. Nelson Mandela with President Kaunda in Zambia in 1990.

Part C of the book from Chapter 88 starting at page 915 contains: “Public intellectualism and philosophical inquiry through metaphors and muses”. This segment of the book has well over forty of these metaphors and muses. But Kenneth Mwenda’s Anthology in Law and the Social Sciences had one article that made me shed tears and made me proud of my patriotism as a Zambian was the piece: “A nation that stood tall above others and gave its best to the liberation of Southern Africa from colonial rule and apartheid”. Among us educated Africans being educated and “objective” often means always mercilessly contemptuously tearing apart your own country’s heritage and leaders. This piece spoke volumes about being very proud and positive about our own country both the past and present. If you are a Zambian you should inscribe this quote in your heart and all the public spaces in Zambia. We don’t beat our chests about it. But we have been and are a great nation.

Dead Aid: Book Review

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D

Professor of Sociology

“I would rather know it than be threatened by it”. – Mwizenge S. Tembo, September 26. 2005.

Dambisa Moyo, Dead Aid: Why Aid is not Working and How there is Another Way for Africa, London: Allen Lane, Penguin Books, 2009, pp. 188, $19.95, Paperback.

Introduction

A powerful billionaire at a major international aid conference called her and her book “Evil”. At a different forum an American-based Zambian intellectual blasted and excoriated her book as advocating that millions of poor Zambians and Africans should be denied life-saving assistance and therefore would die by the millions if Dr. Moyo’s views were implemented. The few comments by Zambians that I read on line on the internet expressed outrage that a Zambian would advocate such a deadly policy. The handful of Zambian critiques supported the billionaire claiming he was a kind man who was saving their lives. It never occurred to these few Zambians who were critical that a foreigner was unfairly calling one of their own Zambian intellectual and her intellectual ideas “Evil”. All of this unjustified and over the top vitriol was because Dr. Dambisa Moyo had just published the book: “Dead AID”.

Dead AID by Dambisa Moyo

Dead AID by Dambisa Moyo

International Flight

I was flying to Zambia in 2009 when the book caught my eye at the airport in Johannesburg. I bought it with the intention of reading the whole book on the long flight and may be using it for teaching my College or University students. I may have read a chapter or two but got distracted and never finished it. I was very surprised when on March 12, 2016, Dr. Moyo was still defending “promoting evil” remarks the billionaire had made in 2013 regarding her book. I decided I would read the entire book which I did in one day in between a very heavy work schedule.

Book Review

Dr. Dambisa Moyo in her book: “Dead Aid” explains very clearly in the very first chapter of the book: “The Myth of Aid” that there are 3 types of foreign or international aid. The first is humanitarian or emergency aid which is distributed in response to natural disasters such as earth quakes, the Asian tsunami in 2004, famine, disease epidemics such as Ebola in West Africa. The second is charity-based aid which is distributed on the ground by organizations in affected countries. This is the aid that might target malnutrition, empowering poor women, promote health care, birth control, or fight against poverty in general. The third is systematic aid “- that is, aid payments made directly to governments either through government-to-government transfers via institutions such as the World Bank (known as multilateral aid).” (p.7)

Dr. Moyo devotes about a paragraph to discussing some of the criticism that could be leveled at both emergency aid and charity aid in terms of how the aid is distributed and other weaknesses. She hastens to add: “But this book is not concerned with emergency and charity aid.” (p.7) She says that the significant emergency and charity aid that goes to Africa gives the wrong impression to the international community, the West, Africans, and Zambians that all types of aid to Zambia and Africa must be good aid doing good work helping and saving lives.

Dr. Dambisa Moyo devotes the first 4 chapters of the book criticizing and debunking the myth that the estimated one trillion dollars of systematic or government-to-government aid that rich countries have distributed to Africa since 1940 has resulted into meaningful, strong, and sustainable economic growth. She argues that this type of systematic aid has failed in Africa. Instead may have resulted into the decline of GDP and worsened corruption and may have fueled even civil wars in Africa. In the first four chapters or 68 pages of the book, she discusses “The Myth of Aid”, “A Brief History of Aid”, “Aid is Not Working” and “The Silent Killer of Growth”. She includes statistical and empirical data to argue her case in critiquing systematic or government-to-government aid.

Suggestions for Better Economic Strategies

In second 6 chapters or 86 pages or part II, Dr. Moyo devotes to “A World without Aid”. The six chapters include a discussion of: “A Radical Rethink of the Dependency Model”, “A Capital Solution”, and “The Chinese are Our Friends” and “Making Development Happen”. In a very pragmatic and non-dogmatic ways, she proposes some radical ways of how African countries could find and establish alternative ways of getting capital to use for economic development. She discusses and infuses the better role of flows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as a better alternative for economic development in Africa rather than aid just as other countries do use FDI. She explores the role of trade, micro-credit organizations loans, and remittances from abroad as possible collective and better alternative means of creating economic growth in Africa while weaning from the aid dependency model.

Throughout the book, Dr. Moyo draws our attention to the reality that it will not be easy for Africa to eliminate the dependency on aid. “Africa is addicted to aid. For the past sixty years it has been fed aid. Like any addict it needs and depends on its regular fix, finding it hard, if not impossible, to contemplate existence in an aid-less world. In Africa, the West has found its perfect client to deal to.” (p.75)

Zambian Critiques of Dead Aid

When I was in graduate school doing my Ph. D. in the 1980s at the height of the anti-Apartheid Struggle, a black South African classmate told me that many books were banned during the Apartheid era. He did not want even his family members to know he was secretly reading some of the difficult to get banned books because if apprehended the whole family might have been hauled to prison. So at night he would pretend to go to bed in his tiny bedroom. He would retrieve the banned book from a secret location in the room. He would read the book using a torch or flashlight. Whenever anyone opened his bedroom door he would switch off the flash light and pretend to be asleep.

If Dambisa Moyo’s “Dead Aid” has erroneously acquired a bad reputation, you may find yourself unwilling to read it in case you are called names such as you are person who advocates “Evil”. Whether you are an ordinary Zambian, an educated elite, a college or university student, political party cadre or government official or an aid advocate, I recommend you read the book. You can even read it secretly. No one has to know. That’s why I came up with the saying: “I would rather know it than be threatened by it”. Never let the unknown intimidate you. All the 17 universities and colleges in Zambia should be reading this book so that we can have new perspectives and a robust debate. May be we could have better policies for economic growth into the future of Zambia.

International Critiques of Dead Aid

If you are an international critique of “Dead Aid” come up with better explanations as to why you disagree with Dr. Moyo’s argument. Read the book if you have not done so yet. To simply argue that Africans will die if Aid is taken away is to take the lowest denominator moral high ground. This is the argument that seems to imply that Africans, all 1 billion of us, are so helpless like children, that anything that takes away Aid will just kill most of us. One of the international critiques states: “Moyo is not offering a reasoned or evidence-based position on aid.” This statement appalled me because the entire book is full of statistics and arguments based on empirical logical arguments. What “evidence-based” position on aid does the person criticizing have? Let them show the evidence.

Conclusion

This review does not nearly cover or reveal everything Dr. Dambisa Moyo says in the book. She says some provocative things that I will leave for the readers to uncover. I found those ideas intellectually stimulating as I have thought them myself and have expressed them in some of my books. May be after you secretly read the book, let’s have a lively discussion and debate.

 

 

The New Jim Crow: Book Review

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D

Professor of Sociology

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, New York: The New Press, 2010, 2011, pp. 312, $19.95, Paperback.

Introduction

The long history of African Americans in the United States since President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation to end chattel slavery in 1865, is that of living a life of excruciating emotional torture and uncertainty the likes of which ought to devastate them and usurp their souls. Just after 1865 during Reconstruction, African Americans experienced brief periods of hope of freedom, euphoric potential for genuine emancipation, and finally achieving equality and dignity as human beings as proselytized in the preamble of that great document called the American Constitution. Then there was what should have been the predictable backlash from the white dominant group that quickly created the Jim Crow laws which were accompanied with absolute continuous terror and degradation of African Americans. So the oppression and discrimination went on until the 1954 Supreme Court decision known Brown vs. the Board of Education. The decision declared that racially separate schools between blacks and whites were not only wrong to be separate but they were not equal.The New Jim Crow

School Integration and Civil Rights Movement

The enforcement of school integration gave African Americans hope momentarily that they could finally get a decent education. There was hope that racially integrating schools may slowly eliminate racial hostility, prejudice, and discrimination of whites towards blacks. The vast majority of whites resisted integration some violently. The biggest hope of freedom and racial equality for African American was the tumultuous Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. In the 1970s there was some potential for racial progress as African Americans and women made some gains in upward social mobility Then the 1980s started the era of the War on Drugs and mass incarceration of African Americans.

Book Review

In the introductory chapter, the author explains how she painfully came to the conclusion that a New Jim Crow existed in the form of mass incarceration of African Americans. Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow”  does an excellent job in the 6 chapters to first briefly but systematically describe how the enslavement of Africans started.  She explain how plantation slave owning whites created an alliance with poor whites against the black slaves. In the first chapter she addresses “The Rebirth of Caste” with subheadings such as the “The Birth of Slavery”, “The Death of Slavery”, ending the chapter with “The Birth of Mass incarceration”. In Chapters 2 and 3, she addresses what might be the heart of the book: how the Reagan administration started the War and Drugs, how the Justice System, harsh drug laws, the role of the media, the political system, and legislation in Congress, and policing: all worked in tandem in the drive toward the massive incarceration of African Americans. Discussing racial disparity of incarceration, Alexanders says:

Although the majority of illegal drug users and dealers nationwide are white, three-fourths of all people imprisoned for drug offenses have been black or Latino. ….There is, of course, an official explanation for all of this: crime rates. This explanation has tremendous appeal – before you know the facts  — for it is consistent with, and reinforces, the dominant racial narratives about crime and criminality dating back to slavery.” (p. 99)

 

Chapters 4 and 5 are probably the most disturbing as the author in Chapter 4 under the title “The Cruel Hand” discusses parallels in the African Americans between post Reconstruction Jim Crow racial victimization and now the devastating consequences of the miserable life of suffering African Americans lead after they get out of prison. Discussing what Fredrick Douglass at the National Colored convention of freed slaves said in 1853, Alexander says:

“Blacks were finally free from the formal control of their owners, but they were not full citizens – they could not vote, they were subject to legal discrimination, and at any moment, Southern owners could capture them on the street and whisk them to slavery.” (p. 141)

Alexander then makes the connection to the present day African Americans in the era of mass incarceration: “Today a criminal freed from prison has scarcely more rights, and arguably less respect, than a freed slave or black person living “free” in Mississippi at the height of Jim Crow”. (p. 141)

The New Jim Crow

Chapter 5 describes “The New Jim Crow” under such subheadings as “States of Denial”, “How it Works”, “Political Disenfranchisement,” “Exclusion from Juries’, “Black Support for “get tough” policies. Chapter 6 has surprising conclusions and recommendations looking forward. The main point she makes is that finding solutions to the mass incarceration of African Americans is not going to be simple. According to Williams (2007), in 2005 an estimated 2.2 million men and women were incarcerated in the Unites States. Of these imprisoned people, 547,200 were African-American males representing 40% of those imprisoned, while whites were 35% and Hispanics 20%. While African Americans constituted only 12.7% of the population according to the government census in 2005. “Moreover, African American males aged 25 to 29 years had the highest incarceration rate when compared with other racial and ethnic groups. In 2005, 8.1% of African American males in this age group were incarcerated compared with 2.6% Hispanic and 1.1% whites.(Harrison & Beck, 2006)” (Williams, 2007:255)

The high levels of incarceration of African American males is an unprecedented complex problem that will require radical comprehensive solutions over a long period of time as there are so many parts to the difficult problem. This quote probably best encapsulates the serious problem:

“Although it is common to think of poverty and joblessness as leading to crime and imprisonment, this research suggests that the War on Drugs is the major cause of poverty, chronic unemployment, broken families, and crime to day…….imprisonment has reached such extreme levels in many urban communities that a prison sentence and/or a felon label poses a much greater threat to urban families than crime itself.” (Alexander, 2011:p. 237)

Conclusion

This reviewer came to an alarming and pessimistic conclusion after the reading the book.  All the while living under the invisible heavy chains and dark shadow of the American racial caste system, the white dominant group continuously creates reasons to ideologically justify the racial oppression directed at African Americans at every turn in the life of America since emancipation in 1865. This cycle will never end so long the racial caste system directed at African Americans is structured into and deeply embedded in the American society’s DNA. This makes the author predict that as judicial reforms are widely being discussed now, the white nervous white majority will find another justifiable means of keeping African-American oppressed: who would have predicted the Drug War and the mass incarceration of African Americans? What will be next?

References

  1. Natasha Williams, “Prison Health and the Health of the Public: Ties That Bind,” in Anna Leon-Guerrero and Kristine Zentgraf (Eds), Contemporary Readings in Social Problems, Los Angeles: Pine Forge Press, 2009.
  2. http://www.census.gov/population/pop-profile/dynamic/RACEHO.pdf

 

Term “Bride Price” Should be Banned

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo

Professor of Sociology

Introduction

The term “Bride Price” should immediately be banned from use anywhere in Zambia and Africa to refer to one of our cherished customs. I realize that the Europeans invented this term “Bride Price” in the 1700s and 1800s to refer to a fundamental aspect of Zambian and culture may have done it out of ignorance at the time. The great late eminent African scholar Ali Mazrui would have called what those early Europeans did to distort the meaning of this custom “European cultural arrogance”. I understand that the Europeans and their scholars, some of whom may even be Zambians and Africans, may still want to use it. If they so choose they can use “Bride Price” within the confines of European borders all the way to Britain, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, and Greece along the edges of the Mediterranean Sea. The people on the African continent must boycott and ban this term from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt all the way to Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Somalia, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, all the way to South Africa.

I will first explain to you why the term “Bride Price” must be banned, abandoned and boycotted. Second why there is so much confusion and ignorance about the term “Bride Price” among Zambians and Africans ourselves. Third, why the term “lobola” should be used instead using a dramatic social incident involving lobola going on in my large extended family right now. Lastly I will explain the proper traditional use  of “lobola” today if you would like to engage in it as a family whether your ethnic group or some of the 72 “tribes” in Zambia practiced lobola or not. I will end with the conclusion of the advantages of lobola in the 21st century marriages and extended families.

The book has more details about marital and other customs

The book has more details about marital and other customs

Why “Bride Price” Should be Banned

When Europeans first began to sail along the West coast of Africa in the 1600s, they did not know anything about Africa and African culture. In fact they called the interior of Africa “The Dark Continent” because they did not know about Zambia, Africa and Africans. When the Industrial Revolution occurred in Europe there was tremendous excitement among Europeans. Adam Smith’s “Wealth Nations” vividly reinforced the dominant advantages of the just discovered capitalism which hinges on commerce as the buying and selling and free market exchanging of everything including physical commodities, services, land, minerals, tobacco, sugar, cotton, silk, spices, indigo. Later on the famous Karl Marx exposed the key inner workings of capitalism. It was not surprising that Europeans went on to enslave anywhere from ten to 20 million Africans in the brutal Atlantic Slave Trade and European Colonialism in Africa in this atmosphere of practicing and enjoying the fruits of newly found capitalism and advancement of science.

It was in this atmosphere that Missionaries like David Livingstone and mining prospectors such as Cecil Rhodes arrived in Zambia and Africa from 1850s onwards. It was later in the late 1800s to the 1940s and 50s that anthropologists began to create knowledge about us Africans and Zambians for the benefit not of us Africans but European audience however misleading and distorted this knowledge might have been. It did not matter to the Europeans then perhaps even now. They had no ideas about complex kinships, marriage and family customs that had existed among us Zambian and Africans probably for many centuries perhaps going back to 100,000 to 50,000 years ago since Zambians and Africans are the origins of all the 7 billion people.

The European explorers, missionaries, travelers, and especially anthropologists observed numerous customs many of the so-called tribes in Zambia and Africa were practicing. They may have noted at the time that among these primitive people called Africans,  that when a man wanted to marry a woman, he had to transfer a certain amount valuables to the bride’s family; chickens, goats, cattle before the marriage could take place. The Europeans were so overwhelmed with capitalism, superiority complex and economic exchange of commodities that they wrongly called the custom: “Bride Price” and we as Zambians and Africans are stuck with that wrong term to this day. As a consequence among the 1 billion Africans especially the educated, we freely use “Bride Price” as it truly reflects what goes on in our marriages.

“Bride Price” does not exist

What many Europeans, educated modern Zambians, Africans, and other outsiders do not know is that the term “Bride Price” does not exist in any of the more than 18 Zambian major languages and may be 72 dialects, ethnic groups, and the 72 “tribes”. It may not exist among the 2,000 African languages and dialects. Even in Uganda where a feminists are fighting to eliminate the “Bride Price” which oppresses women in marriage.

For example, if the term “Bride Price” existed among say the Tumbuka people of the Eastern Province of Zambia and Northern Malawi, it would be called “kugula mwanakazi” which translates into English as “to buy a woman”. It would also be called “mtengo wa mwanakazi” which translates as “price of a woman”. These are expressions that are used for actual buying of commodities such as dresses, chickens, bicycles, and shoes. Instead the term that is used to refer to what goes on during complex marriage customs is “lobola” about which I will go into detail later. The distorted term “Bride Price” was inserted in all the press, books, college and university text books which are read around the world including our Zambian and African scholars. This had led to everyone wrongly believing we practice “Bride Price” which is the selling and buying of women and girls. There may have been some protests about the demeaning and dehumanizing nature of the use of the term “Bride Price”. The anthropologists and the editors of these text books that are circulated worldwide replaced the term “Bride Wealth” apparently to soften the use of the harsh term “Bride Price”. The distorted meaning of buying and selling women is still the same.

This book has fascinating details on how marriages were traditionally conducted.

This book has fascinating details on how marriages were traditionally conducted.

The Etic and Emic Perspectives

There are those who will argue that the use of “Bride Price” to describe a very important marital custom among Zambians, Africans, women rights campaigners, and radical feminist anthropologists is legitimate or accurately describes what is really happening because the natives themselves, including myself, are incapable of realizing what they are doing: buying and selling a woman. The argument is that it takes a clever outsider who is objective and educated may be with a Ph. D to actually explain the reality of the very rich social experiences if practiced the way it was in the African traditional society. The belief is that the “emic” is the perspective that the natives, local people, or insiders who say they are practicing the “lobola” custom will have. The “etic” is that perspective of the critical expert, objective, superior, more educated, better informed individual that calls this marital custom “Bride Price”. This “etic” perspective is what everyone should believe. The author strongly disagrees with this outdated point of view.

Lobola the Best Term

Zambians and Africans should never ever use “Bride Price” as it does not exist in any Zambian or African culture. Instead, lobola or any equivalent term in your indigenous Zambian or African culture should be used.  Lobola may have been practiced among some ethnic and tribal groups going back to the 1820s. There is evidence of the practice among the Zulu in the Chaka Empire in the 1820s. (Ritter, 1955, 1978) The Ngonis and other tribes may have spread the marital custom among the peoples in present day Zambia, Southern Tanzania, Northern Malawi and elsewhere in Southern Africa.

What Happened During Lobola?

Let’s say John NKhata of Mtema Village knows a young woman Mary Mvula of Basiti that he would like to propose marriage to. John would go to Mary Mvula’s village and propose to her. If she finds him attractive and accepts the proposal, very complex social relationships and actions begin to develop. John’s family will select a Thenga or go between to go to Mary Mvula’s family to begin talks about malowolo. Immediately there were social ripples of excitement between the 2 large extended families of the couple because the two families were going to unite. Marriage in Zambian traditional society was never only about just the 2 people getting married. The malowolo negotiations would take numerous visits back and forth between the 2 families and villages. After may be 6 months to a year, the lobola may have been two cows and may be 3 or some other valuables. These were never meant for the father of the Mary Mvula to enrish himself or just to spend on his own. Almost always traditionally as livestock, it was seen as a modest investment to be kept for the whole family. The lobola was often never given in total before the marriage. What you are reading here about how lobola is conducted is very simplified and abbreviated. But the entire lobola social transactions and involving large kinship networks were very complex but very enjoyable and useful for the couple and the 2 large extended families in the two villages.  Read Tembo, 2012; Chondoka, 1988, and Ngulube, 1989 for more details about this custom.

Lobola Custom in 2016

In May 2015, I received an email and later a phone call from Zambia. My large extended family in Zambia regularly hold family meetings which are modeled after the traditional mphala of the Tumbuka people or insaka among the Bemba people. They discuss family marriages and wedding arrangements. Often they get together to attend to funerals. One of our young men who is an engineer, who I will call David, had met and proposed marriage to a young woman from Central African Republic, Rita, who he had met while both were attending school at CrytalRose Polytechnic State University in Los Angeles in California. They wanted a traditional marriage including lobola. I was appointed the Thenga (go between) because I was an elder and knew the traditional marriage customs. I was surprised, honored and humbled to participate in this role. The first question I asked myself: “What young people today who are less than 30 years old, who grew up in the city like Lusaka, live abroad would want to practice the traditional custom of lobola in marriage?”

To cut a long story short, I consulted by phone and email with the Thenga from the bride;s family for 6 months. Both couple’s families are scattered in the Central Africa Republic Mali, Zambia, the United States and Britain. At one time we suspended the negotiations for more than a week because there was a death in the bride’s family in Bangui. Her uncle had died. Eventually, we came up with a lobola amount of several cattle equivalent in money. Members of the families will travel to Lusaka for the wedding soon. The couple will return to the United States as man and wife to start their lives together after the wedding. But families on both sides already know each other so much better because pf the lobola negotiations besides many other rich customs.

This book has more details about traditional Zambian culture and marital customs.

This book has more details about traditional Zambian culture and marital customs.

“Bride Price” distortions

There is plenty of confusion about the misuse of this very useful marital custom. There was headline in the international news a few months ago: “Uganda’s Bride Price Ruling Marks Women’s Rights Milestone, But Clashes With Customary Laws.” http://www.ibtimes.com/ugandas-bride-price-ruling-marks-womens-rights-milestone-clashes-customary-laws-2059128

Some will see my advocating this lobola which many will misinterprete as the same as “Bride Price” as setting back women’s rights in Uganda, Zambia and the rest of Africa. This would be throwing out the baby with bath water. This attitude or opposition would be understandable in that the use of “Bride Price” in the headline and in Uganda and elsewhere bears confirmation of the original sin or distortion when Europeans mischaracterized or distorted the custom. What compounded the problem is that virtually all educated Africans who use European languages have wrongly accepted the use of the term “Bride Price” instead of lobola.

The men and families who charge high “Bride Prices” because their daughter is educated or very valuable are playing right into the hands of the original Europeans who coined the distorted or wrong term “Bride Price”. The Ugandans and other modern Zambian and African men and families who abuse this “Bride Price” as license  to abuse their  wives and keep them captive when she wants a divorce are also ignorant because that was never the intended purpose of lobola in the traditional customs.

Conclusions

Practicing the original lobola in a positive traditional way with all its cultural and customary richness would be very valuable for strengthening marriages and strengthening families that unite in marriage today. Tribes and ethnic groups that traditionally never practiced the lobola custom can adopt it too to strengthen their marital experience. No Zambian and African should be prisoner of archaic terms that Europeans invented centuries ago to portray negatively what Zambians and Africans had enjoyed for ages. You will notice that I have avoided the use of the term “pay” to describe how the groom’s family delivers lobola to the bride’s family. This is another negative power of using English because it is a very powerful hegemonic tool for distorting our culture and creating the epistemology that both oppresses and distorts how we see our own lives as Zambians and Africans.

References

  1. Chondoka, Yizenge A., Traditional Marriages in Zambia: A Study in Cultural History,Ndola: Mission Press, 1988.
  2. Kottak, Conrad Philips., Anthropology: Exploration of Human Diversity, 12thEdition, New York: McGrawhill, 2008.
  3. Ngulube, Naboth M. J., Some Aspects of Growing Up in Zambia,Lusaka: Nalinga Consultancy/Sol. Consult A/S Limited, 1989.
  4. Ritter, E. A., Shaka Zulu,New York: Penguine Books, 1955, 1978.
  5. Tembo, Mwizenge S., Satisfying Zambian Hunger for Culture: Social Change in the Global World,Indian: Xlibris Corporation, 2012
  6. http://www.ibtimes.com/ugandas-bride-price-ruling-marks-womens-rights-milestone-clashes-customary-laws-2059128
  7. http://people.bridgewater.edu/~mtembo/menu/articles/TraditionalAfricanFamily.shtml
  8. http://hungerforculture.com/?page_id=334

 

 

The Kukaya-Kufwasa Center for Contemplation of Knowledge – Part Two

by Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

Introduction

I was triumphantly standing on a hill overlooking one of the many breathtaking beautiful valleys in Zambia particularly during the rainy season of December. I was not alone. I was standing before the beautiful scene with two other intellectuals; Marita Banda, Mulenga Kapwepwe, and an eight year old girl Temwani Banda who was Marita Banda’s niece. What were we doing here in the wilderness away from the hustle and bustle of the Capital City of Lusaka with its nonstop action everywhere you go? This was the beginning of the culmination of the longtime dream I have had over the last 10 or even 30 years to establish a serene location in the Savannah wilderness where Zambians can

Right to Left Mulenga Kapwepwe, Marita Banda, and Temwani Banda

Right to Left Mulenga Kapwepwe, Marita Banda, and Temwani Banda

contemplate knowledge. We were scouting for a location of The Kukaya-Kufwasa Center for Contemplation of Knowledge near the Chongwe area along the Great East Road. If you have not yet done so read part one of this story to understand the background to this article.

Woman Breaks Intense Discourse

Mulenga Kapwepwe, Marita Banda, Temwani Banda and I were standing in a circle deeply engaged in an intense discourse of intellectual ideas in the middle of the Savannah grassy wilderness on top of a hill. We discoursed about gender in traditional Zambia and contemporary Western distortion of the status of Zambian women. I elaborated on the Zambian Temba Sangweni philosophical thesis about how the womb may influence human thought process in psychology. Idea after idea kept coming. We were so focused and engrossed that we lost track of time and where we were standing. At one time I remember in the periphery of my consciousness of my eye being aware of a boy walk by with a herd of cows. Suddenly a slender woman perhaps in her fifties approached us and paused about 20 meters or 20 yards from where the four of us were standing.

Village Headman Ngobela

Village Headman Ngobela

We instantly stopped as if coming out of a dream. The woman politely greeted us in somewhat very halty broken Nyanja. We responded.

“Banthu wadabwa kuti nibandani yayimira apa na motoka panthawi yotali?” she asked. (People in the village have been wondering what strangers standing around in the bush with a vehicle were doing?)

Strangers Standing in the Bush

That’s when it suddenly hit me. I have lived in the village since the 1950s and conducted research in rural villages in Eastern and Southern Province for many years. The first cardinal rule of protocol if you go anywhere in a rural area for an extended time, you have to visit and seek permission of the headman. In the midst of the spontaneous philosophical and intellectual discourse, we had lost track of time and became unconscious that were spending too much time just standing in the bush; 1 man, 2 women and a young girl. It doesn’t get and stranger than and as puzzling as this.

Village Headman Ngobela with Mwizenge Tembo

Village Headman Ngobela with Mwizenge Tembo

I apologized profusely and told her talakwa; twa phwanya mwambo. (We were wrong we had broken custom.) I explained to her that we had seen the beautiful valley and the hills from near Chongwe on the Great East Road. We wanted to see how the valley looked like from here on this side. I assured her that our stay was peaceful. As a matter of courtesy I offered that we pay a visit to the village headman. The woman entered the vehicle and we drove to the village to meet the headman.

We Meet the Headman

We entered the mphungu; which is a small round structure with a grass roof but with open sides. We sat down until the Headman who had been summoned arrived. He sat down, greeted us in a mixture of Lenje and Lusaka Nyanja languages. He told us he was Headman Ngobola. He told us his village is in Chief Bundaunda which is between Chieftainess Nkomeshya and Mphashya further East in Rufunsa region.

One Zambia One Nation

We told Headman Ngobela that the land was beautiful and that the woman who had met us was very friendly since we had not consulted him first. He said the land we had been standing on belongs to a Tumbuka man. He also said there were 2 Bemba men who had settled in the area. I told him that in my home village in Lundazi, there was a Tonga man who had married and had settled. He was speaking Tonga with Tumbuka accent. We all laughed. This is when Headman said something that was very profound. It makes me and should make every Zambian feel very proud and lucky to be a Zambian. Referring to people from various tribes who have settled in his area; Headman Ngobela said in his painful mixture of the Lenje and Lusaka Nyanja language:

“Mlemdo abwera ni katemo kakuthwa. Tizinkhala wa mtendere. Kaunda anatigwirisa One Zambia One Nation.” (A visitor sometime comes with a sharp axe. We should live in peace. President Kaunda united us Zambians under One Zambia One Nation”. At the end of our visit, we were given some very delicious bagful of mangoes.

Woman who found us who late r gave us a gift of mangoes.

Woman who found us who late r gave us a gift of mangoes.

Conclusion

Our trip had been more than successful. We learned by accident what the Kukaya_kufwasa Center for Contemplation of Knowledge will do in being a hosting place for intellectual and philosophical ideas. The fact that all the villages had a strict accounting of who steps on their land created the traditional security which is the comfort and security of all village life in Zambia. Although we had been only scouting and not yet chosen where the center may be located, this was a very good start.

References

  1. Bohannan, Paul., and Curtin, Philip, Africa and Africans, 4th edition, Prospect Heights, Illinois: Waveland Press, 1995.
  2. Kufwasa http://people.bridgewater.edu/~mtembo/menu/articles/kufwasa.shtml
  3. Kukaya http://hungerforculture.com/?p=1537
  4. http://hungerforculture.com/?p=1212

The Kukaya-Kufwasa Center for Contemplation of Knowledge

by Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

Introduction

I was in awe triumphantly standing on a hill overlooking one of the many breathtaking beautiful valleys in Zambia particularly during the rainy season of December. This was just beyond the Chongwe Bridge East of Lusaka along the Great East Road. I had turned east on to the narrow muddy gravel road at Kazemba junction just inside Rufunsa jurisdiction. I had driven in the rental 4 wheel Ford Ranger pickup truck for 16 Kms. or 10 miles deep into the Savannah wilderness. There was a creek whose small concrete bridge might have been washed away last year. The 4 wheel drive sailed through the bottom of the shallow bridgeless creek as easily and as smoothly as changing a baby’s diaper or nappy.

Temwani pointing to the beautiful valley. Marita Banda in the middle and Mulenga Kapwepwe.

Temwani pointing to the beautiful valley just after Chongwe River bridge. Marita Banda in the middle and Mulenga Kapwepwe.

I was not alone. I was standing before the beautiful scene with two other intellectuals; Marita Banda, Mulenga Kapwepwe, and an eight year old girl Temwani Banda who was Marita Banda’s niece. What were we doing here in the wilderness away from the hustle and bustle of the Capital City of Lusaka with its nonstop action everywhere you go? This was the beginning of the culmination of the longtime dream I have had over the last 10 or even 30 years to establish a serene location in the Savannah wilderness where Zambians can contemplate knowledge.

Mwizenge Tembo admiring the beautiful valley, while Temwani Banda and Mulenga Kapwepwe look on.

Mwizenge Tembo admiring the beautiful valley, while Temwani Banda and Mulenga Kapwepwe look on.

What would be the reason of such a remote difficult to reach location? Why not open such a place in the middle of Lusaka so that seminars and workshops can be held there which everyone can attend? What will be the name of the place? What will be special about it? Am I, Mulenga Kapwepwe and Marita Banda the best and most educated intellectuals in Zambia? Why bring an 8 year old child to such a serious event? So she can jump around, rudely whine that she is bored with being in the bushes, and cause us to leave early?

The Kukaya-Kufwasa Center

The reason why the four of us were there will be explained in a rather an unusual fashion. We live in a world today in which every moment we are bombarded and overwhelmed with excessive chatter and information of little value or right out being irrelevant. I will explain the purpose of the center while describing something that happened spontaneously as the four of us were standing there in the Savannah

Marita Banda and Temwani Banda with the beautiful valley behind them.

Marita Banda and Temwani Banda with the beautiful valley behind them.

wilderness for hours undistracted. You will read information jam packed into this one short article because that is what happened. But there are even more surprises. If you are impatient and don’t want to read long articles that don’t say what is important in half a page in 5 short bulleted points, its time to skip this article entirely or come back to it later when you have more  kufwasa time. May be you don’t know what the “kufwasa” Zambian philosophical term means. May be this is one reason this article may be very important. http://people.bridgewater.edu/~mtembo/menu/articles/kufwasa.shtml

I had first sent an article earlier in December to both Mulenga Kapwepwe and Marita Banda to read. Then I asked them if they could come on the historic trip with me. The title of that article was: “Kukaya-Kufwasa Center for Contemplation.” The idea was to bring a young girl and boy on the trip to accompany us. The reason will be explained later. The young girl Temwani Banda was quickly found but we could not find a young boy. We ran out of time.

Contemplating Knowledge Kukaya-Kufwasa Center

As we stood overlooking the beautiful valley surrounded by the serene wilderness it is as if the spirits of our ancestors going back hundreds of years had suddenly reentered our minds. There was no spirit possession here. We just begun to talk. It was nothing formal. I expressed my wish and internal drive to both share with other Zambians and go beyond the knowledge that both indigenous and foreign that I had acquired over the last 50 years. I told them about philosopher Michael Polanyi “Tacit Dimension of Knowledge”. I told them of my encounter with Temba Sangweni; a Zambian 12th grade intellectual who inspired me who was searching for knowledge in 1989 or 28 years ago.

Mulenga Kapwepwe admiring the beautiful valley.

Mulenga Kapwepwe admiring the beautiful valley.

Marita Banda brought up her knowledge of the Maharishi Effect; that the energy expressed in knowledge in humans happens in subconscious process of communication and contemplation. I told them that a week earlier, my 91 year old father who is a retired teacher told me again about “mdulo”; the traditional indigenous belief that if a young woman has improper sex and goes on to cook and serve food especially older men and women, the people become victims of mdulo which is a cough that had no scientific modern physiological explanation. The treatment is herbs. Of course the West and other Eurocentric Zambians have dismissed this and other indigenous knowledge as superstition. They will often say everyone knows those African natives live in dirty dusty unhygienic mud huts, unsanitary environments, and worst of all believe in witchcraft.

Marita also shared her deep interest in epigenetics and how they might relate to both our indigenous knowledge and improving our lives today. It was then that she said something very profound: we can really use the best from both worlds; the indigenous and Western. I agreed and added that better still we could push the frontiers of knowledge into a better, deeper and newer different direction as our ancestors might have done thousands of years ago before Europeans enslaved us via the Atlantic Slave Trade and before European colonialism over the entire African continent.

Mulenga Kapwepwe who had been listening intently had walked away briefly a few meters away. She and Temwani were deeply engrossed in the flora and fauna, and the flying and walking insects. Mulenga was using her cell phone to carefully photograph these beautiful fascinating creatures and tropical plants.

Mulenga Kapwepwe chimed in with something very profound. She said the sad part is that we as humans are changing ourselves losing so much of what we have had for over a hundred thousand years. Western technology was erasing so much of what we had learned from our physical environment as humans. She cited the example that the Western society is totally dominated by the tick tock time. As a result Western bodies have only 2 rhythms while the natural bodies here in Zambia and Africa may have up to 7 rhythms. She added that rhythm and grace are what gives us humans speed and the richness of syncopation in our lives.

I added that we Zambians do not have polyrhythmic dances anymore as the Western dominated linear rythmless choreography dance through video clips dominate our entertainment. We were actually right there and then both kukaya http://hungerforculture.com/?p=1537

and experiencing kufwasa http://people.bridgewater.edu/~mtembo/menu/articles/kufwasa.shtml

and that’s what this center was going to do; provide a serene space where Zambians can engage and contemplate deep thought and intellectual discourse.

The role of the Child

The late Nigerian Writer is the one who might have said it best. He had said being a child in Zambia and Africa gives you the best position to observe and understand life around you including that of adults. I also subscribe to the traditional Tumbuka expression: “Mwana wopulikila wakurya tuwemi”,  which translates with complex metaphors as: “A child who listens to adults eats good delicious things”. The purpose of bringing 8 year old Temwani Banda to the event was that she can later bear

An 8 year old child sits next to the women attending a meeting of the construction of the Nkhanga Village Library in June 2009

An 8 year old child sits next to the women attending a meeting of the construction of the Nkhanga Village Library in June 2009

historical testimony; that she was there when the three adults were scouting for the Kukaya-Kufwasa Center for Contemplation of Knowledge. She turned out to be the best behaved child we could have brought along. She was curious and asked questions along the way without being disruptive. At the same time she enjoyed the precious opportunity as a child should. We as Africans have traditionally allowed children to attend the most solemn of adult gatherings so long as the child behaves him or herself. Describing this custom among the TIV of Nigeria, Bohannan and Curtin (1995) say: “….children are allowed to go any place, so long as they keep quiet. They can go into the most solemn court proceedings and sit down and listen. ….children at the age of eight or nine often get interested in court cases or political meetings.” (p.73)

Conclusion

The article cannot be concluded as more happened as the four of us were deeply engrossed in quite complex intellectual discourse in the middle of the beautiful Savannah Wilderness. A second part will have more intriguing details. A woman politely intruded and broke our kufwasa.

References

  1. Bohannan, Paul., and Curtin, Philip, Africa and Africans, 4th edition, Prospect Heights, Illinois: Waveland Press, 1995.
  2. Kufwasa http://people.bridgewater.edu/~mtembo/menu/articles/kufwasa.shtml
  3. Kukaya http://hungerforculture.com/?p=1537

 

Lusaka is a Driving Nightmare

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

Introduction

I had just finished shopping at the Downtown Shopping Mall on the South-End of Cairo Road around the Kafue Round About. I turned left heading South to Kafue but I was going to Manda Hill on the Great East Road. I had to turn right at the robots toward Lumumba Road. I didn’t want to go to Lumumba Road because I knew there would be more traffic congestion. The U- Turn back toward Cairo Road was wide open. As soon as I made the U- Turn into an unusually wide open lane, I knew I was in deep trouble when a Traffic Police Officer stopped me immediately. He politely told me I had broken a traffic code as I was not supposed to make a U-turn. My protesting that I did not see any big visible “no U-Turn” sign did not change the officer’s mind. I was invited to the back of a make shift police station at the back of a van where I paid the fine.

Traffic Standstill on Cairo Road in Luasaka.

Traffic Standstill on Cairo Road in Luasaka.

Driving in Lusaka is any driver’s worst nightmare. There is congestion night and day in virtually all parts of the city. Cairo Road is probably the worst. It took me over 30 minutes to drive from Katondo Street across to the Main Post Office. If I had walked, it would have taken me may be 5 minutes.

A “Zambian Watchdog” article of May 2011 has a head line that says: “Traffic Jams and used cars terrorize Zambia’s Roads”. Another article by Kelvin Kachingwe in UKZambians web page in February 2008 said: “Lusaka becoming auto jungle – 50 vehicles per day are being imported”. It is estimated that 300 used cars are being imported into Zambia every day.

In spite all the traffic congestion, to be fair, I never saw any traffic accident in the two weeks I drove in Lusaka last month. Drivers help each other out and every driver negotiates incredibly tight space leaving mere millimeters between vehicles which often may raise one’s temperature and levels of anxiety.  Is there a solution to the traffic nightmare and gridlock in Lusaka? There are two possible solutions: first an underground train system and second a new massive sophisticated road highway system around Lusaka. Doing nothing or just building more side roads are not best solutions in the long run.

Underground Tunnel Train System

Lusaka should have 5 major underground train tunnels. The first train tunnel should be from the round about going to the Kenneth Kaunda International airport near Chelston on the Great East Road all the way to Cairo Road. The second underground train tunnel should start from Zanimuone or Landless Corner on the Kabwe or Great North Road all the Way to Cairo Road. The third train tunnel should start from Bauleni, Mtendere, partially under Independence Avenue, under the current Intercity Bus Terminal and Railway station, and finally connect to Cairo Road between Churchhill Road and Independence Avenue. The fourth train tunnel should start from Munda Wanga Botanical Gardens along Kafue Road all the way to Cairo Road. The fifth train tunnel should start from Chilenje and Chilenje South extension through Kabwata, and Kamwala Shopping Center under the Independence Avenue flyover bridge into Cairo Road. The whole area underground between Cairo Road, Cha-Cha-Cha Road, and Freedom Way should have a massive underground railway station where all the trains form the City will interchange.

Traffic Jam during rush hour along the Great East Road in Lusaka.

Traffic Jam during rush hour along the Great East Road in Lusaka.

Sophisticated Road Highways

If the underground tunnel is deemed not possible or too expensive, Lusaka should have a sophisticated road highway system. Four lane highways should be constructed on elevated massive pillars on top and along the five major current road arteries as described already; on the Great East Road, Independence Avenue from Mtendere and Bauleni, from Chilanga on the Kafue Road, and from Zanimuone on the Great North Road all leading to and some highways bypassing above Cairo Road. We cannot afford to have any major roads on the ground anymore as construction has used up all the ground space in Lusaka. These highways would be high speed expressways where there would be no stopping allowed. Slower cars and other limping vehicles would use the current ground roads underneath the elevated highways on massive pillars. The Highway Traffic Officers would enforce the new rules.

Advantages and Benefits

All of these recommendations if implemented would ease road traffic congestion in most parts of Lusaka, save billions of Kwacha in money spent on petrol by thousands of idling vehicles that are caught in perpetual traffic jams. The life spans of the vehicles would be extended. People would sleep better as they would not have to wake up very early to drive to work which would lower costs of medical conditions that happen due to stress. The flow of commerce in the city would be improved.

 

 

Everyone Needs Kukaya

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

Introduction

What is a Kukaya? Kaya is a Tumbuka language noun which depicts a physical place in Savannah Africa where people who are closely related due to deep kinship ties build houses, huts, and dwellings that they share. Calling it a village limits the meaning of kaya as it has a deeper emotional meaning to Zambians and Africans who still live and identify with kaya. Ku-kaya – the prefix Ku is an adjective that denotes “to” as in Tumbuka: “Nkhuluta Kukaya” “I am going to Kaya”.

Kukaya is where all the houses of people you love are next to each other.

Kukaya is where all the houses of people you love are next to each other.

Kukaya is where your soul can wander. Kukaya is where girls and boys go to school to learn, gain knowledge and skills that they may use later in their adult lives as women and men. The boys and girls are learning in the modern school while being raised within the deepest aspects of their roots, traditions, and culture; chikayaKukaya is deeply buried in your heart although you may be ten thousand miles, 16,000Kms, or just four hundred miles or just 600Kms away. Kukaya is a place where all the people you love so deeply smile,  speak to you, quarrel with you, mourn with you and even laugh in the most comforting language; your mother tongue.

Kukaya in Zambia

Kukaya in Zambia and Savannah Africa is a place where you are related to all the children, boys, girls, men and women. Kukaya is a place where the maize for cooking the nshima, nsima, or sima staple traditional food, the peanuts for the nthendelo peanut powder and the delicious ndiwo, dende, umunani, or relish that is cooked is so fresh as it has just been picked from the garden just next to the house. Kukaya is where the food has been carefully cooked using wood fire taking plenty of time and served while the whole family eats together with plenty of love.

Kukaya is where all the women, girls, children spend time together. Children know who they are.

Kukaya is where all the women, girls, children spend time together. Children know who they are.

Kukaya as the seat of the soul is a place where all the chickens clack and roosters crow, goats bleat, cows moo, nkhunda domestic pigeons sing, pigs roll in the mud, dogs bark, cats catch rats. The livestock all intermingle with the people. Kukaya is where you can enjoy succulent fruits such as fresh pawpaws, mangoes, guavas, bananas, oranges, and wild fruits. Kukaya is where children as young as five years reveal their soul as they play with the freedom that most children can’t even dream about in the contemporary cities and urban life. Kukaya is where children even go to school through miles of bush paths while being watched and cared for by all adults. Kukaya is a place where you can walk barefoot and wear a t-shirt and enjoy your daily commune with nature and spirit of the beautiful daily blue sunshine of the Savannah.

Kukaya is where you play drums, dance, and sing all night to the Vimbuza Spiritual dance.

Kukaya is where you play drums, dance, and sing all night to the Vimbuza Spiritual dance.

Kukaya and Nature

Kukaya is where people don’t cage pet lions, snakes, wasps, frogs and all creatures because one can see these creatures everyday if one wants to. Kukaya is where the thatched houses and homes of your father, mother, brothers, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins are all next to each other. Kukaya is where you quarrel with relatives but you still remain close. Kukaya is where at night you can see all the twinkling stars and the bright Milky Way. Kukaya is where the moon lights are mesmerizing. Kukaya is where you hear the distant singing and rhythmic sounds of the vimbuza dance drumming deep into the dark night as one turns over in one’s sleep.

Kukaya is where children drink fresh clean water from a hand driven borehole pump.

Kukaya is where children drink fresh clean water from a hand driven borehole pump.

Visit Kukaya Soon

Kukaya is where during the cold nights in June one can sit with relatives around a fire late into the night chatting about yesteryear while you bury sweet potatoes kandolo deep in the hot red ambers of the fire as a late night snack. Kukaya is the only place where the grave yard has all your relatives from bygone days are buried in one place. Kukaya has a special place in our hearts that we yearn to visit and dream about every day.

The reason this author has tremendous grief for all Zambians and Africans who don’t know kukaya is that this is what they are missing; it is simply put Heaven on Earth.  So make an effort to visit kukaya soon especially during this holiday season.

 

Ta-Lakata: Tears of Africa – Book Review

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

Princess Zindaba Nyirenda, Ta Lakata: The Tears of Africa,  New York: Eloquent Books, 2009, 209 pp., 30.00 US Dollars, Hard Cover.

The world has information technology explosion; the internet, the cell phone, texting, twitter, blogs, journals, television, and on-line Newspapers. There are thousands of books being published every day. As I was quickly browsing through the “Acknowledgements” of  “Ta – Lakata – Tears of Africa”, something unusual caught my eye. A few italicized words were in a language dear to my heart: “akulu bane-yebo” – my older brother thank you; “mukanilinda yebo” – you escorted me thank you; “Bena Mphamba, munyakeso cha!” – we are Mphamba people, no one else. The italicized language was my mother tongue; the Tumbuka African language from ten thousand miles away from Lundazi in the remote Eastern Province of Zambia in Southern Africa.

Ta-Lakata Tears of Africa

Ta-Lakata The Tears of Africa

Excitement

I was excited; I took a triple take at the cover of the book, and quickly flipped through the pages. What I saw was not only heartwarming but very stunningly familiar. I wanted to tell everyone I met, call my neighbors, my friends, all Americans, Africans, and all Zambians to read the book. This is the story of a woman who grew up about twenty-one miles from my home village. But her adult life is very different. Although we never crossed paths earlier in our lives in Zambia, we share a very common foundation just growing up with some aspects of traditional Zambia. This common foundation may be true for and shared by many Zambian and African women as well as men of her generation.

She was born Princess Zindaba Nyirenda of the royal family of Chief Mphamba of the Tumbuka people of Lundazi in Zambia. What makes her story riveting and keeps you turning pages is how she immigrated to the United States at the age of 21 in 1985.  She accompanied her husband with their children but experienced unpredictable pain of separation and suffering with her whole family being ten thousand miles away back in Zambia in Africa. The most devastating is when dozens of her siblings, relatives, and former classmates died of HIV/AIDS. Zindaba recalls them as the dreaded midnight calls. She sought solace and comfort in God, prayer, and the Bible during such moments of deep grief.

“Ta –Lakata; The Tears of Africa”  is the untold story of the contemporary African who has the long umbilical cord connected to Africa but lives abroad most of her adult life. How does one reconcile the tensions of the abject poverty, death, AIDS orphans, and the suffering that exists in Africa, on the one hand,  and the wealth, affluence, and excesses of the  Unites States, on the other hand? No wonder Zindaba feels frustrated, disappointed, depressed, and in some cases angry.

Narrative Tone

The urgent-tone narrative of the book is right from the busy multi-tasking contemporary reader who has the cell phone in hand, texts and twits people, eats a hamburger while watching TV: the book reads fast and furious. The book demands not to be put down not even for a few minutes. The title “Ta Lakata” draws on the metaphor of dry leaves falling off the tree, floating away, and falling all over the world. These are the Africans and Zambians who floated away from the homeland tree of Africa but live all over the world today including the United States.

Zindaba shares intimate details about her family growing up in the city and then a rural  small sleepy town of Lundazi. Her journey from this small town, to St. Monica’s Girls Catholic School, to University of Zambia, and finally the United States is fascinating because she uses a furious and in some places provocative narrative. Describing childhood in her family, Zindaba says: “The Nyirenda children were known in our town as “tubazungu” (the little white girls), because we spoke a lot of English and led a pro-Western lifestyle, and because in a place that traditionally expects only boys to be leaders, we, the girls, created our own entertainment for the village children.” (p.25)

This reflects the many contractions and conflicts that were inherent in many Africans of many generations perhaps since the 1880s in the classic novel “Things Fall Apart” by the renowned African writer Chinua Achebe.  This is the conflict between Western Christian culture and indigenous Tumbuka or African lifestyles. For example, describing  her experiences in the village Chinamwali traditional girls initiation ceremony, Zindaba says:

“Here I was, a girl from the city who danced to discotheque music like the songs of Michael Jackson’s  “Thriller” and The Commodores, reciting all their lyrics by heart. And the women in the village were beating drums demonstrating and teaching me how to wiggle my waistline. “My God, this child is stiff!” they would exclaim angrily……..After this whole episode, I graduated with mkanda strand of beads adorning my waistline, ……….” (p. 103-104)

Conflicting Influences

Clearly, these powerful conflicting influences are apparent in her entire book.

Zindaba links her personal family tragedy to the last five chapters in which she challenges all readers to day to find a solution to poverty, HIV/AIDS, orphaned children and death in Africa. Zindaba proposes that the heavy contamination of drinking water and pollution by the mining industry chemical waste disposal, unclean drinking water in the entire country, and malaria may be leading to poverty, disease, suffering, and the high death rates in Zambia and Africa. What is the reader going to do? Why is there so much silence among Africans and Zambians about these serious problems especially wide spread deaths from HIV/AIDS?

“This AIDS epidemic is indicative that the land and the air is so polluted, and people are not going to survive until we address the source of this calamity and dilemma in the Southern hemisphere. People are dying, suffering from every single thing and more – a product of careless mining efforts and mess that is man-made, engineered by human hands in the quest of materialism and spreading civilization – and no one is doing anything about it. People are choosing to remain silent, and this silence reigns.” (p. 169)

Is it because of deep shame? She does not spare herself blame for being silent for so long. What is very eerie is that in the very last part of the chapter of the book, she gets another mid-night phone call; her sister had just died of HIV/AIDS.

African Elites

The book is about the elite Africans who were born in the 1960s at the dawn political independence from European colonialism in Africa coming to intellectual maturity. They want to tell their own story and ask the difficult problems of globalization today. The book is passionate and refreshing as it is no longer about how an American reporter, Western technocrat, or International AID worker sees the lives of Africans. We have enough of these books.  It is an African herself passionately expressing and narrating her point of view and perhaps the views and experiences of many Zambians and Africans in the Diaspora.

I highly recommend this book for all readers who want to understand what it means to be an African living abroad to day. I especially recommend it for all young and older Zambians and Africans who live in the Diaspora. This book will expose you to a little bit about our history, the role of Christianity and spirituality in our lives, some of the triumphs, joys and nostalgia we enjoy. Zindaba will also expose you to the pain, grief, heart breaks and frustrations we endure every day, and some of the hope, the possible questions and solutions to our lives. The book really expresses the strength and resilience we have always had as Zambians and Africans.

 

 

What Good is Thanksgiving this year?

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

We are only fourteen days from the terrible Paris attacks in which 130 people were killed and scores wounded. Before that, suicide bombings in Beirut had killed 43 and wounded 239. Two days before the Paris attacks, Boko Haram in Nigeria had killed an estimated 60 people and wounded hundreds in suicide bombings. There is heightened anxiety and vigilance about whether these terror campaign bombings and shootings will hit the American streets. One can ask the question: “What should we have Thanksgiving for when we are living with so much terror, death and war?” Where is God?

This is what we should characterize not as the fog of war but the fog of life. The most troubling memories from those who survived the immediate aftermath of the total destruction after nuclear bombs were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan to end WW II, was not just the utter devastation itself the likes of which no one had seen before. But it was the aimless wandering of survivors as there were no other human beings in sight to help the wounded survivors and the destitute in cities of more than 300,000 thousand.

This Thanksgiving we should be thankful that the survivors of the Paris massacres, the Beirut bombings, and the Boka Haram killings have police, the military, emergency workers, hospitals, doctors, nurses, families, neighbors and all of us who offered them love and consoled them. We should be thankful that those killed can be laid to rest is safe peaceful cemeteries. We have been there with candle lights at make shift memorials.

Cooked Turkey ready to be served at the Family Thanksgiving table.

Cooked Turkey ready to be served at the family Thanksgiving table.

These tragic events this Thanksgiving may be the best moments for us to acknowledge what we have lost, appreciate what we have, and the best we can truly hope for tomorrow. We have lost so many people and military members in the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. We have lost so many lives to guns due to gun violence in cities, neighborhoods, streets, families, schools and colleges. Many of us may have an empty seat at the Thanksgiving table because a member of the family passed away this year who might have been a patriarch or matriarch in so many ways we might never have truly realized until they were gone. Others are grown children who have moved away to distant places for work and marriage. All we have is their empty seat and place mat. Pets that used to hover under the table may also have passed away.

The brightest part of Thanksgiving is if the family has the newest member who was born or was adopted this past year. The new exciting addition of the baby may sooth some of the emptiness we may feel as families. That empty seat will have a baby booster on it with a young person who is wondering what this spectacle is all about with all the chatter, cheer, laughter, smells and taste of food, and clanking silverware. Next year the new member of the family will forever know what Thanksgiving dinner is and will happily anticipate and participate in it for many years to come. We should all be thankful that we have each other and can still feel good, have hope and be optimistic about tomorrow. If anything happened we still have other people who love us and can depend on whether we are in America, Nigeria, Syria, France, or Beirut this Thanksgiving. May be God is still present after all.

Principles of Electricity in a Zambian Language?

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

Since the British colonized the then Northern Rhodesia now independent Zambia in late 1800s, we have been made to believe that English is the only, best, and superior language to express thought. We have English as the official language which we use in education from the first grade all the way to secondary school and university. Since Zambia’s independence about 50 years ago, with Zambia now having over 17 universities, we have never really seriously questioned or even explored whether English is the only and best way to express sophisticated thought. What about our 17 major Zambian languages which include Nyanja, Bemba, Tonga, Lozi, Kaonde, and dozens of others? Can they be used to convey sophisticated thought?

Communicating in a Zambian Language Video Clip

I have always known that our indigenous Zambian languages may be best for communicating, exploring, and even for research and development, technical inventions and innovations which we have been erroneously made to believe are only possible using English only. There is a 2.12 minute video clip that has been viewed more than 56,000 times that clearly confirms that we can use our Zambian languages to explain basic principles of electricity as one example. The language the boy used to explain his ideas is Lusaka Nyanja which is the lingua franca of the Capital City of Lusaka. In the video clip, a poor boy from Misisi compound in Lusaka holds a model he had built from discarded material himself to explain basic principles of electricity. https://www.facebook.com/samson.phiri.7/videos/1050732518280060/?pnref=story

He does this in such a surprisingly articulate way, that even I, as a grown man who has a Ph. D but not in electrical engineering, could instantly grasp the principles of electricity from the Kariba Hydroelectric Dam to my own domestic use may be in Lusaka or Kitwe, or Luanshya. Some have suggested that Zesco should have used this boy to explain power shading to the public.

Recommendations

The vast majority of viewers of the video clip comment that Zesco should sponsor the boy, government should sponsor the boy, and some even have said they could individually volunteer to sponsor the boy to get an education. He is clearly a boy who lives in poverty right now. My own reaction is that large institutions like Zesco and especially the Zambian government may already be preoccupied. Samson Phiri who made the video can track down the boy. He can start a fund drive that will first and foremost educate the boy. I would start by donating a hundred dollars myself toward the fund. If there is more money, he can start a program that will educate all the boys and girls who have been found to be as intellectually creative as that boy. There are thousands of talented boys and girls in Zambia who are like the boy in the video. But because of poverty and lack of opportunity, the boys and girls cannot use their creative talents for themselves as well as for the whole nation.

1.Abiudi Banda in Grade 9 when he was 15 years showing one of his projects in Entomology. He had made an insecticide from natural products; tobacco and 3 other ingredients from the bush.

 Abiudi Banda in Grade 9 when he was 15 years showing one of his projects in Entomology. He had made an insecticide from natural products; tobacco and 3 other ingredients from the bush.

First and foremost, we have to make sure that corruption is completely removed. If the 56,000 viewers of the video clip each donate just 5 dollars or K65.00, a total of 280,000 dollars or K3.6 million would be raised. If we can keep all the corruption out of this, this would be enough money to educate the boy, but may be hundreds of other boys and girls who have similar creative talent but live in poverty. If we harness this boy’s creative talents, there are also other benefits for you and me and the whole country. There are many possible benefits but I identify the possible two.

Teaching Pedagogy

What the boy is illustrating in the video clip is what is called teaching pedagogy in sophisticated lingo. The boy clearly illustrates teaching methods or how we should teach from the first grade, all through secondary school, up to higher education in colleges and universities. His methodology and simplicity should be incorporated into teaching which may involve bilingualism. This means teaching both in indigenous Zambian languages and English language in order to maximize clarity when explaining a complex subject to anyone especially students in a classroom and even the public. All my fellow teachers from grade one to college lecturers should take note of the basic fundamental principles of this video clip.

Abiudi Banda showing his natural insecticide.

Abiudi Banda showing his natural insecticide.

Construction of Models

The simple hand held but quite sophisticated model illustrating basic principles of electricity and the power grid can be manufactured on a large scale by Zesco and other manufacturers in Zambia. These models can be of so many different types of sciences which could be sold to thousands of schools. The models could be in biology, physics, chemistry, geography, astronomy, botany, medicine, anatomy, physiology, computers, engineering, and many others. The simple but cheap models could be exported to neighboring and other countries in the world which could also use them in schools, colleges and university. That could create both jobs in the country and exports. Instead of waiting for hard to convince foreign investors, Zambian entrepreneurs, companies, educators, individuals and others could easily join in this very exciting possible profitable venture that could help enhance education.

Abiudi Banda showing me a plastic container which can heat water by inserting electrodes in the container.

Abiudi Banda showing me a plastic container which can heat water by inserting electrodes in the container.

Creative Talents in Zambia

There are thousands of young boys and girls in Zambia who have creative talents but live in poverty. One such boy is my own nephew Abiuldi Banda who lives in poverty with his parents, his brothers and sisters in Lundazi. But the boy had incredible creative talents, curiosity and was always experimenting building and testing different models of science from when he was a small boy. Once he completed Grade 12 in 2012, he was admitted to UNZA. But his parents did not have money and the government bursary was not available to him. He is now languishing with wasted talent that he and the nation could benefit from. There are thousands such boys and girls in Zambia. As a nation we just need to harness these talents for the benefit of both the individual boys and girls but also for the entire nation of 13 million people. Mr. Samson Phiri could start the ball rolling without waiting for the government, Zesco, or someone else to start what would be the best project for the nation ever.

A plastic container which can heat water by inserting electrodes in the container.

A plastic container which can heat water by inserting electrodes in the container.

Zambian Languages and Sophisticated Idea

If you are still skeptical that Zambian languages can be used to express sophisticated ideas that can only be expressed in English, I believe in practice. I wrote an academic article in

My son Sekani Tembo who was a Third year computer major in at an American College showing his cousins, Abiudi and Nina, a lap top computer behind the Castle Hotel in Lundazi in 2009.

My son Sekani Tembo who was a Third year computer major in at an American College showing his cousins, Abiudi and Nina, a lap top computer behind the Castle Hotel in Lundazi in 2009.

English a few years ago. I translated the abstract into Tumbuka and Nyanja languages. You can try also to translate the abstract into Lozi, Kaonde, Tonga or Bemba Zambian languages. There is a link to the complete academic article in English. The title of the article is: “Eurocentric Destruction of Indigenous Conceptions: the Secret Rediscovery of the Beautiful Woman in African Societies.”

  1. http://people.bridgewater.edu/~mtembo/menu/articles/BanthuBakaziKukongolaAbstractDec92009.pdf (Nyanja)
  2. http://people.bridgewater.edu/~mtembo/menu/articles/BanthuBanakaziKutowaAbstractDec92009.pdf (Tumbuka)
  3. http://people.bridgewater.edu/~mtembo/menu/articles/AfricanBeautyRevisedMarch162010.pdf (Abstract and Full Article in English)

 

 

 

Gender Based Violence: Zambian Solutions

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

Introduction

My 22 year old niece was about to complete her studies at Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka so she could graduate with a Diploma in Gender Studies. But she was left with one more last hurdle; she had to do an internship. She was attached for a month to one of the 8 Gender Based Violence (GBV) One-Stop Coordinated Response Centers located in hospitals. These centers are in Livingstone, Mazabuka, Kabwe, Chipata, Kitwe, Ndola, and Lusaka has 2 centers. What she told me in our casual conversation after she completed her internship is that she had personally attended to 24 cases of gender based violence. She said 12 cases were very severe and 12 were average to mild. The examples of 2 severe cases was a 2 year old girl who was brutally defiled by her uncle. The other case was a woman who had been brutally raped and dumped. My niece said she was emotionally drained but learned a lot. I was stunned that such Gender Based Violence is very wide spread to epidemic proportions in my otherwise beautiful country of Zambia. What has happened? Why are so many Zambian men beating up women, raping, and some even defiling very young girls?

School boys and girls at Bethel private school at Mpika Village of Hope in Mpika in the Northern Province. Comprehensive Gender Based Violence prevention should include all school and other institutions.

School boys and girls at Bethel private school at Mpika Village of Hope in Mpika in the Northern Province. Comprehensive Gender Based Violence prevention should include all school and other institutions.

Incidence of GBV in Zambia

According to a GBV survey conducted in 6 countries, the highest incidence of GBV was in Zambia with 89% of those women surveyed in Kasama, Kitwe, Mansa, and Mazabuka reported having experienced or been victims of Gender Based Violence. In the same survey, “86 percent of women in Lesotho, 68 percent of women in Zimbabwe, 67 percent of women in Botswana, 50 percent of women in the some provinces of South Africa studied and 24 percent of women in Mauritius have experienced GBV.” (Chanda, 2014) According to another “2007 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey, 47% of women in Zambia have experienced physical violence since age 15 – 77% by a current/former husband/partner – and one in five have experienced sexual violence in their lives, 64% of which is perpetrated by an intimate partner.” (CARE, 2013, p.2)

Why are these incidents of Gender Based Violence very high in spite Zambia’s enactment of a landmark Anti-Gender Based Violence Act of 2011? Since then there has been a public campaign to stop GBV through concerted efforts to treat victims, and for communities, organizations, police, health workers and judiciary to be involved in the fight.(Chanda, 2014)

The Zambian papers have frequent reports of such Gender Based Violent incidents. This article will explore the definition of gender based violence, possible causes of GBV in Zambia, and the author will recommend solutions that both include and go beyond those proposed by many institutions, organizations and government.

Definition of Gender Based Violence

Gender Based Violence is not only a serious public health social problem in Zambia but all over the world. The vast majority of victims are overwhelmingly girls and women. Although some men are victims of GBV, they constitute a much smaller number. The public may have the mistaken assumption that GBV, also called Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), only happens when extremely unstable drunk men or husbands beat up or rape their wives after a drunken night out. Gender Based Violence has wide a definition that includes many abusive behaviors that men direct at women and girls. Sexual and Gender Based Violence is “physical, mental, or social abuse that is directed against a person because of his or her gender role in a society or culture.” (ASAZA SGBV Training Manual, n.d., p.9).

The GBV includes sexual violence, Femicide (female killing) is quite common in Asian countries like in India and the Middle East; Battery is common in Zambia and worldwide; property grabbing after the death of a spouse; rape in and outside marriage. Marriage is not a license to force an intimate partner or wife to have sex when they don’t want to. Sexual harassment is a form of GBV; beating of women perceived to be improperly dressed especially at bus stations of urban areas; forced prostitution, engagement in pornography, sexual cleansing, trafficking in women and children for immoral activities, and finally forced abortion.

Causes of Gender Based Violence

The causes of Gender Based Violence are so many that they are multifaceted. The dozens of factors that cause GBV are both intertwined and may overlap. These may include poverty, unemployment, changing gender norms in which men’s dominance in marriage and relationships is being challenged, history of family dysfunction and violence in the GBV perpetrator and victim’s family background, male personality disorders, and lack of or poor legal or police action against GBV perpetrators. This is what may make finding one or two effective explanations and solutions that can solve the entire problem  very difficult to identify. The causes of GBV can be categorized into those that are Societal, Community, Relationship, and Individual. (ASAZA SGBV Training Manual, n.d, p.27).

Proposed Solutions to Gender Based Violence (SokoRelaNdi)

Gender Based Violence in Zambia both the physical and the verbal type or psychological intimidation especially of girls and women cause horrific harm to thousands of children and women, imposing havoc in families and communities creating untold life of suffering. All forms of campaigns, policies, and strategies to combat and eliminate this serious problem should be supported. But since most of the overwhelming evidence including surveys suggest GBV is  deeply embedded in the Zambian society, I propose a comprehensive national approach. This approach is most likely to eliminate or reduce the problem to a greater degree after many years as it will more likely result into transforming the entire Zambian culture from children in the home, marriages and families all the way to the national institutions. A problem of the GBV magnitude that is apparently deeply embedded in the Zambian society cannot be easily solved using piece meal approaches  much as the existing policies and strategies may be implementing very helpful programs.  The new comprehensive program should go by the very Zambian sounding acronym: SokoRelaNdi. This stands for Society, Kommunity, Relationships, Individual. “Community” is spelled with a “K” instead of the English “C” as this makes it very Zambian. “Ndividual” as a Zambianized word sounds very close to the English “Individual”.

The use of this new acronym, the programs and policies will draw attention to the reality that Gender Based Violence is both wide spread and needing comprehensive action by all 13 million Zambians at all levels. For example in SoKoRelaNdi, “Societal” or “Society” would mean GBV can be eliminated by creating more jobs lowering unemployment on the level of Zambian government. “Kommunity” means communities should create more shelters for victims of GBV.  The same would apply for “Relationships” and “Individual” components of solving the serious problem of GBV. The program would start with ministry of Gender Development, The President, Schools, Churches, towns, compounds, villages, and the way to families in rural and urban compounds. The media would lead the publicity. Everyone and all organizations would find a way of acting to reduced and eliminate Gender Based Violence (GBV) under one or some of what is represented in SokoRelaNdi. Zambia had at least 4 national Development Plans since independence in 1964. Gender Based Violence needs similar serious comprehensive national policies if we are going to eliminate Gender Based Violence as a nation.

References

  1. ASAZA, (undated), Care Givers Handbook, A Comprehensive Household Model. (The author derived the acronym from from the 4 components of causes of GBV ASAZA had identified in its manual: Societal, Community, Relationship, and Individual.)

http://preventgbvafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/ASAZA_GBV_Training_Manual_Zambia.pdf

  1. Chanda, Mwazipeza., “End GBV: Prosecute perpetrators”, in the Zambia Daily Mail, November 27, 2014. https://www.daily-mail.co.zm/?p=12375
  2. CARE, Lessons from CARE Zambia: One Stop Model of Support for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence.

http://www.care.org/sites/default/files/documents/GBV-2013-ZMB-CARE-ASAZA-OSC-Case-Study.pdf

  1. Kamanda, Mwelwa, A Hidden Truth: Gender Based Violence in Zambia,Video for Change.

https://blog.witness.org/2011/11/a-hidden-truth-gender-based-violence-in-zambia/

  1. Klomegah, Roger Y., “Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in Zambia: An Examination of Risk Factors and Gender Perceptions”, Journal of Comparative Family Studies, Vol. 39, No. 4, (Autumn) 2008), pp. 557-569.

 

Critical Book Review: Have my Views Changed?

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

The Africans, by David Lamb, New York, Random House, 1982, 363 pp. $17.95, Hardcover.

********************

I wrote this critical book review in 1985 as a young Ph. D, student. Have my views changed 30 years later?

I wrote this critical book review in 1985 as a young Ph. D, student. Have my views changed 30 years later?

David Lamb, author and journalist, opens the book with a bang whose reverberations might remind the reader of the typical modern “Hollywood” plots or reminiscences of the diaries of early European colonial explorers in Africa.  There is only one exception; the modern technology – alas, the little that still works in Africa – enables him to travel virtually the whole of Africa in four years during the late 1970s.

In the introduction, Lam places the proverbial carrot in front of the reader’s eyes.  What book about Africa can be “good” without droughts, death, wars, ignorance, massacres, superstition, coup d’états, political turmoil, contradictions and other juicy alleged excesses that can tantalize any reader?  Lamb though, claims he is only trying to answer the question; “What is Africa and who are the Africans?”  Lamb further summarizes what he found or discovered in Africa and how he did it.  From his base in Nairobi, Kenya, he travelled 300,000 miles by air, road and rail through 48 Sub-Saharan African countries including South Africa.  He talked to presidents, villagers, university professors, guerilla leaders and many others.

From the opening chapter, the details about Africa begin to unfold and in some cases spill out.  For example, in the first chapter, Lamb describes the “portrait of a continent”.  In it the reader learns about impoverishment in Guinea-Bissau, the growing Sahara desert, poor farming, lack of population control because of ignorance and superstition.  “Only Gabon, in West Africa, has managed to achieve population stability – largely because 30 percent of the women have venereal disease.”(p. 18)  Over Two Hundred thousand Hutus were massacred in 1972 by the Watusi because of tribal conflict.  According to Lamb, there are only four black African countries where there has been political stability and meaningful economic development; Kenya, Cameroon, the Ivory Coast and Malawi.  The book has a total of 18 brief chapters that address issues such as “Collision of Past and Present”, “The Ghost of Idi Amin”, “The Colonial Heritage”, and “Culture Shock.”

A politically astute reader all along is anxious to lean about the political hot potato; the racist South African society.  He rightly devotes an entire chapter to this matter.  He describes the high level of economic development and at the same time the racial polarization.  He predicts the blood shed that will occur unless South Africa eliminates its racist policies.

This book contains mountains of information which, if carefully sifted, should be useful particularly for the African, the Africanist and those in the black diaspora who wish to search for positive changes in the progress, knowledge and understanding of the African continent as a part of humanity.  There are myriad useful facts about African economies, politics, social characteristics, tragic problems and contradictions that seem unique to the continent and its individuals.

But unfortunately, this useful information is shrouded in tints of outrageous anecdotes that should be dismissed as largely garbage by most intelligent readers.  For example, sex is perhaps the most emotion laden and sensational issue in the human contemporary civilization.  When David Lamb states that population control in Gabon has been achieved because 30 percent of the women have venereal disease is to deliberately open a can of worms whether his statement is “objective” or not.  In this and other curious sexual and other innuendo and unwarranted generalizations, one cannot fail to see the grim cultural ethnocentric implications of the anecdotes.

The author in numerous instances projects serious contradictions which he erroneously attributes to the African inhabitants but which clearly reside in the author’s own intellect.  For example, Lamb claims that the more he stayed in Africa the less he understood the African character. (p.234)  “But the African often becomes a deepening mystery.” (p. 235)  But in many volumes of words, he tells the reader in very clear and strong words devoid of any tinge of hesitancy what the African is all about.

Also, Lamb claims that Africans have resilience which “extends beyond any logical human limits”; crops fail, children die, “his government can treat him grievously and still carries on, uttering no protest, sharing no complaints”. (p. 235)  At the same time Lamb devotes a whole chapter to political “Coups and Countercoups” in Africa.  He also ignores that there were bloody liberation wars in Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique, Mau Mau rebellion in colonial Kenya.  All this and much more is obvious evidence that Africans “protest”.  Has David Lamb ever “experienced” with an African family whose child has died and what type of anguish and subsequent searching personal actions and behavior modification that emanate from such tragic incidents?

I recommend this book particularly for mature, well informed and seasoned Africanists.  For only they can be trusted to possess the ability to sift through the subtle Western European or more specifically the American propaganda coating that is hidden in the book.  For it is one thing to say that an economic statistic of a certain African country has declined by 60 percent but quite another to say African children are “deprived” or “unstimulated” because they do not have toys of the Western European stock to play with when they are growing up.

Those who are being introduced to Africa for the first time are advised to either steer clear of this book or trust themselves to read it with extraordinary caution.  Otherwise instead of gaining useful knowledge, they will end up unwittingly consolidating their prejudices and racial stereotypes about Africans as constituting “pygmies, jungle, heat and lions” ironically the stereotypes that Lamb detests.

Post Script: This review was rejected for publication by over at least half a dozen African and Black Studies journals. The tone of the polite but hostile rejections by the editors was that of consternation and being stunned at the criticism of the book. I found the unpublished review in my old papers. I have not edited it. Have my views changed from when I was a young Ph. D. student 30 years ago in 1985 compared to now? Absolutely not to my surprise. My views or perspectives on this book have remained the same. One journal asked me to revise the review. Since as a young scholar “publish or perish” is such an urgent matter if you wish to climb the ladder of success and be accepted in the academic community, I reluctantly agreed to revise the review. This is how a heavily edited, shorter, less critical version of the review was published in the “African Social Research” a publication of the Institute of the African Studies of the University of Zambia at the time.

**************

TITLE:  Book Review     The Africans, by David Lamb, New York,

Random House, 1982.

AUTHOR:  Mwizenge S. Tembo

Affiliation:  Research Fellow at the Institute for African

Studies, University of Zambia,

Lusaka, Zambia.  Currently on

Study leave at Michigan State

University.

ADDRESS:  Michigan State University,

1575 I Spartan Village,

East Lansing,

MICHIGAN  48823

DATE:  18th January, 1985.

Are You a Hopeless Romantic?

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

I caught the radio news story in the middle during the second week of August in 2008.  “….he grew up poor working in the fields in the American South. His rise to fame in his music career came when……he produced the album …..Hot Buttered Soul …….Isaac Hayes dead at the age of 65.” My reaction was “Oh! My God. I didn’t know he was so young.” Another one of my music heroes was gone. What might have appeared as an insignificant revelation about him in the story confirmed something very fundamental that drew me to his music like a butterfly to sweet nectar.  How did an American, Isaac Hayes, influence a teenager who was growing up ten thousand miles away from America deep in Africa in Zambia in the late late 1960s? It happened in the most unlikely way.

Warm sunsets in Savannah Zambia are best for a hopeless romantic.

Warm sunsets in Savannah Zambia are best for a hopeless romantic.

I was a poor village kid who was excited to complete Chizongwe Secondary or High School in 1971 in the remote provincial town of Chipata. I got a job in town at a small local volunteer organization Dzithandizeni: Chipata Nutrion Group where an American had just arrived as a volunteer worker. We became good friends. After my first small pay check, I was so proud to buy a small portable record player; about the length of two 2 small lap tops and 4 inches wide. It looked just like a briefcase. I could also only afford to buy my only 45 single of Crosby Stills and Nash “Suite Jude Blue Eyes” for seventy-five cents or forty-five ngwee. I played the record over and over.

Rainbows are good for a hopeless romantic

Rainbows are good for a hopeless romantic

As a Christmas gift,  Bob the American friend gave me a couple of Long Play Albums. One of the covers had a huge close up photo of the top of a black guy’s shinny shaved bald head; that was Isaac Hayes’ album “Hot Buttered Soul.” By this time I was an undergraduate at University of Zambia and listened to the album so much in my dormitory room in Africa Hall. The music, the story line of the lyrics of the song “By the Time I get to Phoenix”, and everything about it invoked a certain bitter sweet painful melancholy. I did not understand why his music appealed to me so deeply at the time.

Flying Sea Gulls against the ocean blue sky is best for a hopeless romantic

Flying Sea Gulls against the ocean blue sky is best for a hopeless romantic

The answer came as I listened to subsequent radio news stories of earlier interviews Isaac Hayes had conducted. He said as he was growing up poor and working in the fields in the American Deep South, he was a “hopeless romantic”. That’s it. That’s what drew me to his music. Looking back I have always been a “hopeless romantic” while growing up all the way to my adulthood. What is a hopeless romantic? Some readers may get the mistaken impression that this is a human being who sits passively, frustrated because girls reject his advances, doing nothing but wait while day dreaming about romantic escapades. Nothing could be further from the truth. A hopeless romantic is a person who is always totally consumed by the deep feelings of passion, awareness, perpetual feelings of romance and desire while involved in some of the most seemingly mundane activities to the ordinary soul.

The Lundazi Castle Hotel is best a hopeless romantic.  My characters in my novel "The Bridge" spent a night in this Castle Hotel.

The Lundazi Castle Hotel is best a hopeless romantic. My characters in my novel “The Bridge” spent a night in this Castle Hotel.

A hopeless romantic sees infinite possibilities of vivid and intense human experiences in such normal activities as eating food, taking a walk in a botanical garden, riding a bicycle in a remote Savannah bush path, listening to music, walking in the park, fishing, having sex, reading, living in poverty, driving to the store, working on the farm, seeing the sunrise and the sunset, hearing birds singing, crashing waves on a beach, mourning loved ones, and conversation. When some of these activities are combined with the passion of romantic love, it is like pouring petrol or gasoline on ambers of fire. The elevated emotions flood the senses and create a symbiosis of taste, smell, sight, hearing, painful longing mixed with heavy doses of nostalgic memories. The hopeless romantic suddenly becomes engulfed in deep and overwhelming experiences with intense tearful emotional drama and anguish sometimes reminiscent of the Shakespearean Romeo and Juliet.

A minibus about to travel with a beautiful woman about to board it on the left. This is best for a hopeless romantic.

A minibus about to travel with a beautiful woman about to board it on the left. This is best for a hopeless romantic.

When Isaac Hayes said he was a hopeless romantic the remark invoked in me those deep memories of the pain and sweet anguish in his music which is the stuff of the soul. The remark validated my lifelong inclination to be drawn to deeply intense soulful music from any genre; from the traditional Mbira music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe in Southern Africa, to the thundering Nigerian Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s 1970s hit “Gentlemani”, to Jim Reeve’s Country intensely romantic love ballads like “A hundred miles to Mariam”, to the American Blue Grass music of  “Seldom Scene”, Alison Kraus and Union Station’s “Every Time You Say Goodbye”, and to the heavy metal Quiet Riot’s “Mama Mama let’s not get crazy now”.

This is one of the best scenes for a hopeless romantic.

This is one of the best scenes for a hopeless romantic.

The hopeless romantic is not just confined to music but also to readings such as novels. I still remember the most intense romantic experiences of the characters in my few favorite novels down to the page number even though I read these novels decades ago. These are such novels as Charles Dickens’ “David Copperfield”, Mongo Beti’s “Mission to Kala”, and Peter Abraham’s “Mine Boy”. I am hardly surprised that twenty years later I published a sizzling romance novel called “The Bridge” that only a hopeless romantic could write. We should all be thankful and appreciate music heroes such as Isaac Hayes and many others in many genres who especially help validate the intense feelings of all hopeless romantics in us in this wonderful world.

 

Is Tribalism Threatening One Zambia One Nation?

by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

“And Chama said the UPND in Southern Province were polygamous by nature and “may be by having so many children, one day after 100 years, they may lead the country, but not under Hichilema.

If at all they will ever be in power, may be a hundred years from now, they are polygamous by nature so may be as they have more children they can be in power. But under the leadership of Hichilema. I don’t think it will happen,” he said. (The Post, June 9, 2015, p.8)

These are the incendiary offending remarks that have apparently stirred passions of tribalism so much among some Zambians today that there are even reports of a small group of  the Tonga in Southern Province defiantly talking about secession. The purpose of this article is to provide some advice and perspective in the form of the Zambian tradition of mphala, insaka, or indaba on the bigger picture about our beloved Zambian nation. First, I will briefly discuss the offending remarks by the PF Secretary General Davies Chama. Second, I will discuss why Zambian politics may be reaching a dangerous stage. Third, I will discuss the bad news or even potentially tragic news for those all over Zambia who have contemplated secession in the past, the present and in the future. Fourth, I will discuss the great news about our beloved country of Zambia and how anyone can be elected the President of Zambia from whatever tribe they belong. Last, I will mention a few Kaundaisms that all political leaders including the current and future Presidents of Zambia will find very useful in leading the great nation of Zambia.

Mr. Davies Chama’s Tribal Remarks.

Mr. Chama’s remarks were offensive not just to Tongas but may be to Zambians all over the country and the world. The best thing would have been for Mr. Chama to issue an apology but he has vehemently refused. What I found surprising was that the offending remarks were buried deep into his long statement about the PF swallowing MMD and the UPND. This suggests to me that he may not have fully meant the remarks to be harmful. His remarks were actually a form of taunting after someone has won a contest. He may have been carried away in the moment of exuberance and PF party chauvinism after electoral triumphs. This does not excuse Mr. Chama’s remarks. Taunting is unprofessional and is poor sportsmanship. In recent Zambian elections, whenever a particular party has won, the cadres of the winning party afterwards taunt the ones from the losing party sometimes resulting in violence. Taunting after winning elections has to stop. May be one of the reasons we are having so many problems with cadres, some political violence, and talk of secession is that we have too many young people in Zambia and too few elders like veteran politician like Mr. Vernon Mwaanga.

Zambian Population

The population of Zambia is 13 million. The proportion of the country that is under 14 years old is 46.7%, those between 15 and 24 years old are 20%, those between 25 to 54 years old are 28.4% and but those between 55 and 64 years old are only 2.9% and those above 65 years old are even smaller at 2.4%. The age statistics that are the most important in explaining both Mr. Chama’s remarks and how Zambian politics may be in danger of becoming dangerous is that Zambians that are younger than 30 years old may be about 70% of the population which is about 9 million young girls, boys, women and men. And yet those who are over 55 years old are only 2.9% which is only 377,000. Therefore, there are fewer elders to day in Zambia to teach younger people about our political history, customs, and our culture perhaps due to the high death rate of older Zambians who are over 55 years old because of the HIV/AIDS epidemic since the 1980s. Urbanization also takes its toll as the 36% of the urban population is rising. This means increasing numbers of Zambians lose their connection to elders,  rural areas where the source, strength and origin of our Zambian traditions are the strongest.

The Bad News about Political Future

When there is political frustration in a young population, certain people in Zambia who might feel they are not getting a fair share of the resources might contemplate revolution and violence as the sure and quickest way to getting what they want. This will not work in Zambia and may not be working very well in many countries where people have tried revolutionary violence. Peaceful secession is very rare. The vast majority of Zambians today have access to the internet through cell phones. There is Facebook, email, twitter, web pages, blogs, and Instagram. We read and see exciting images of the Arab Spring revolution in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria and many other places.

It is tempting for many younger Zambian leaders to assume we will just import whatever is abroad to solve our problems. While some of the information is good, some or much of it may be unrealistic and just plain dangerous and destructive for the nation. This author is advocating peaceful solutions for the Zambian nation not because he is a coward, scared and deathly afraid of revolutions but because I know we have a very peaceful country. We do not need revolutionary violence. I just love and cherish the peace that we enjoy and I am sure many Zambians would like to maintain it too. Many younger Zambians may have no idea how badly people are suffering with violence and chaos in the Eastern Congo, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Boko Haram in Nigeria, Iraq, Central African Republic, and many other places. I will discuss more of this later about Kaundaisms.

The Great News about Our Country

The greatest news about our country is that we are probably the most integrated in the world. Our founders were intelligent enough to create the foundation. This is our greatest strength that very few countries in Africa and the world have. Even some of the most powerful countries such as the United States, the oldest European and other countries are not as integrated as Zambians. We Zambians do not have the deeply entrenched deadly hatred and segregation of one tribe against another of  the 72 tribes. Our founders made sure that we loved each other. This does not mean we have no problems or internal political differences. I had to laugh when there was news about Tonga secession. I was thinking if Southern Province seceded, I would need a passport to go to Mwanamayinda on the Kafue Road on the Mazabuka road. I am a Tumbuka from the Eastern Province. I have a sister who is married to a Tonga man who is my mulamu (brother-in-law) and I have more than 8 nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews in Southern Province. Would they suddenly be in another country? All of us Zambians have close friends, blood and marriage relatives in regions and provinces all over Zambia in the 72 tribes.

Any Zambian Can be Elected President

Because we are so integrated, that’s why anyone in Zambia from any tribe can be elected President. The talk that a Tonga, Lozi, Kaonde, Namwanga, Chokwe and any member of the 72 tribes cannot be elected President is just not true. Who would have thought President Obama, a black American, would become the President of the United States which has deeply entrenched racism against African-Americans? This is the advice that every political party and individuals who aspire to be elected President of Zambia should know. If you are a Presidential candidate who is Bemba, Lozi, Ngoni, Chokwe, Nkoya. Lozi, Tonga, Soli, Lenje, Lamba, and many others, don’t waste your time campaigning in your province or region. You already have that vote in your pocket. You need to have a good manifesto, organization on the ground, and then travel to all the other provinces to personally appeal for their votes. If you are genuine, Zambians can see you are  serious, fair, determined, you have a vision for all Zambians and you are genuinely non-tribal, Zambians will vote for you irrespective of your race, ethnicity, tribe, man or woman. This is why any Zambian man or woman can be elected President of Zambia.

Kaundaisms and One Zambia One Nation.

The younger generation of political leaders today in Zambia might take the peace, tranquility, the One Zambia One Nation we enjoy for granted. That is the most dangerous attitude. There are two of the many Kaundaisms that might help all of us Zambians which we should always remember.  First, if you advocate revolutionary violence, when the country of Zambia is up in flames, you won’t enjoy whatever you thought you will achieve. President Kaunda addressing a rally in the 1970s even said that once the whole country is engulfed in violence, thieves, saboteurs, those who are holding dark corner meetings, political opportunists, tribalists, racists, and even those engaging in corruption will not be able to enjoy their spoils. Second, if you as a President unjustly politically verbally or physically attack or imprison a particular opposition group leader(s) or political party leaders, the supporters of that party or group will hold a grudge against you and you will be creating more martyrs and enemies as a political leader or President. His advice was that it was best as a political leader to be fair minded, make just decisions, follow the law, be reconciliatory, be kind, and respect others including the opposition because you yourself as a leader might be out of power one day.