Mwizenge Tembo is the author of the entire web page including photographs. He is probably one of those very few living Africans who have a very strong last link between the fast diminishing old traditional Africa and the modern age of globalization. He spent his early childhood in the village exclusively among the Tumbuka people of Lundazi District of Eastern Zambia in Southern Africa in the late 1950s. He was surrounded by hundreds of loving people at his mother’s village; young cousins, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, grandparents, clans men and women, and even larger numbers of dozens of relatives and close kin at his father’s village which was about two miles away. It was an extraordinary life surrounded by fertile soil with good subsistence farming, communal work, song, dance, customs, rituals, rich and deep indigenous language, and good food. Subsistence farming had a strong heritage in the area as his paternal grandfather smelted iron and forged axes and hoes in the 1890s.The encroaching world of external disruptive influences of colonialism and Europeans at that time was as distant as it could be from his childhood. The adults around him in the village had a deep lasting positive impression on him that he cherishes up to this day.
Leaving the comfort of the childhood routine of his village to first step into a school classroom at Boyole primary School is a very deep memory. His school journey took him away from the village to the middle school at Tamanda Dutch Reformed Church Boarding Upper School, to Chizongwe Secondary School in Chipata, to University of Zambia in the Capital City of Lusaka, and eventually to the Michigan State University in the United States for his Masters and Ph. D.. These profoundly different life experiences gave him a unique appreciation of the much deeper role of technology and culture in sustaining our human lives. When we do not have the complete deeper experiences from our culture as human beings, we experience a unique chronic yearning in our lives that is difficult to fulfill. This Hunger for Culture is what this web page seeks to satiate.
Contrary to the contemporary common, superficial, abstract, superiority complex-tainted and simplistic academic understanding of culture as simply song, dance, customs, this web page takes the more meaningful perspective that culture is deeper. It takes the holistic deeper perspective that culture involves not only technological production, but more important language, customs, dance, music, values, systematic socializations, rituals, beliefs, philosophy, gender, marriage, love and challenges of gathering and transmitting knowledge and satisfying the sense of curiosity. All of these are addressed and articulated within the crucible of strong communal relationships among the people. It is the crucible of strong human relations that bring humans the most emotional and physical safety and intuitive comfort.
The paradox of all of this is that in the contemporary world, we have to break down everything into discrete pieces to enable human comprehension or to enjoy ourselves. People who exhibit the least boundaries between the various dimensions of culture and technology have the happiest and most effective life. Tembo is fully aware that this goes against the contemporary premise that everything including culture has to be chopped into small pieces for purpose of selling, comprehension, and to accommodate short attention spans.
The hope is that his web page will serve a bigger and deeper more holistic purpose in human life than serving some of the purely momentary fleeting superficial contemporary human inclinations. The two fundamental philosophies or foundation that undergird all the articles, poems, music, dance, discussions of technology and other aspects of culture on this web page are these two: Kukomola and Kufwasa. The reader is advised first to carefully read these two philosophical ideas with a sense of kufwasa.