Storytelling by Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.


While growing up as a child in the village in the Lundazi district among the Tumbuka people of Eastern Zambia in the Africa of the 1950s and 1960s, Dr. Mwizenge S. Tembo developed a keen interest in story telling, African traditional dances and drumming. His wide range of cultural experiences and first hand knowledge of African culture make him an entertaining story teller, African drummer, African traditional and modern dancer as well as an articulate teacher and academic. He calls his act “BambaZonke”, which in his native language means “.variety show”. Dr. Mwizenge S. Tembo was born in 1954 in Chipata in the Eastern Province of his native country of Zambia in Southern Africa.

He has made presentations in his classes at Bridgewater College, has been guest lecturer in classes at University of Virginia, as well as making presentations in many elementary and middle schools in Bridgewater, Harrisonburg, Staunton, Richmond, and Charlottesville School districts and Library system, the Roanoke Library Branches, and the Staunton Public Library. He has made presentation at Waynesboro Public Library, Samuels Public Library in Front Royal, Churches, Banquets, and Birthday parties. Dr. Mwizenge Tembo has a passionate interest in preserving traditional African culture such that in his book Legends of Africa, he states: “I would like to express my strongest heartfelt wish that Zambians and Africans of all persuasions document in the many media (audio, video, and print) available today our rich traditions, knowledge, and culture that are, as you read this, unfortunately rapidly going to waste in both urban and rural areas.”.

He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Zambia in 1976 with majors in Sociology and Psychology. He did his M.A and Ph. D. at Michigan State University in Sociology in 1987. He was a Lecturer and Research Fellow at the Institute of African Studies of the University of Zambia from 1977 to 1990. During this period he conducted extensive research and field work in rural Zambia particularly in the Eastern and Southern Provinces of the country. Dr. Tembo joined the teaching faculty at Bridgewater College in 1990 in Virginia and retired in 2022.