Media Editor, Barotseland Post
“Luzamaela kai” or "where are we?" is a too often asked question by those that wish to genuinely know the progression of the struggle for Barotseland self-rule as well as those that seek to scorn off the apparent lack of visible progress on the matter.
WENA WAHESU, a facebook activist decided to offer his answer to the question and we thought it was a very interesting answer he gave.
With emphasis added, Wena Wahesu writes:
My out right and personal answer is that we are where we are politically, socially and mentally as individuals and as a society. We are (still) voting in Zambian elections, we openly profess to be UPND (Zambia’s main opposition United Party for National Development) or PF (Zambia’s ruling Patriotic Front party)... we don’t protest when one among us is victimized for standing up for Barotseland.
We do not want to get close to those that are having the burden of the struggle. We have not invested anything in the struggle, not even a one ngwee (Zambia’s smallest money unit), as such that’s where we are.
The struggle will only move to another level when malozi begin to demonstrate the change and the fact that they are Barotseland citizens (and not Zambians) and invest in the struggle, then and only then will we get the recognition we need.
They (world) cannot just recognize Linyungandambo (leading Barotseland independence movement) or BNFA (alliance of some Barotse activist groups) or BRE (Barotse Royal Establishment) executive committees. No! They need to recognize Barotseland, its peoples and government.
So the question is where are the people of Barotseland? Definitely it’s not them who were lining for Zambian elections; these are Zambians. The Barotseland citizens stand out and be counted; and by so doing they will be acting as statehood recognition advocates. END.
What is your say? Let us hear from you! Join in the debate!
This book traces Barotseland’s existence in the Zambian nation from 1964 to date. The book challenges dominant discourses on Barotseland from various sources, including the Zambian Government. Indeed, such narratives have either been explicitly biased or have sought to distort Barotseland’s quest for independence from Zambia. In the same vein, it departs from previous works that have sought to legitimise what the people of Barotseland now refer to as the “illegal occupation of Barotseland by the Zambian Government”.
Ndangwa Noyoo is an author, activist and academic. He holds a Ph.D from the University of the Witwatersrand, an M.phil from the University of Cambridge and a BSW from the University of Zambia. He was also a post-doctoral Fellow at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris, France from 2005 - 2006. He is an Associate Professor at the University of Johannesburg.
The book can be ordered directly from the publishers via this link: http://www.kwartspublishers.co.za/NdANGWANOYOO
Renowned professor, Dr. Ndangwa Noyoo, recently shocked many Zambians when he touched on the ‘forbidden’ subject of Barotseland’s rights to self-determination at a University of Cape Town workshop that focused on Zambia's just ended elections.
Many Zambians presented on various aspects of Zambia's elections, but were dumbfounded when Prof. Ndangwa, as part of his presentation, dared to touch on the subject that many Zambians would wish into oblivion. Consequently, as the professor came to the section on Barotseland, the Zambian contingent was visibly tense. Eventually, however, Dr. Ndangwa’s presentation generated a lot of discussions as the petrified Zambians seemed to have then mastered their emotions and went into raising issues of boundaries and the fallacy that Barotseland would never take those areas it once ruled.
Dr. Ndangwa boldly and effectively tackled them all as such familiar sentimentalisms were something that various Zambian governments had used to rally other parts of Zambia against Barotseland, especially those areas in the former North Western Rhodesia. Without mincing any of his words on the subject, Dr. Ndangwa clearly stated that Barotseland was no longer looking for the reinstatement of the defunct Barotseland Agreement of 1964 or some other form of decentralization.
The lion-hearted professor ended up his presentation on the matter by declaring that whether Zambians liked it or not, Barotseland statehood would sooner than later be actualized.
“Our fore bearers in the name of Sir Mwanawina III and some members of his Barotse Cabinet did not go to Britain (in 1964) to play, and neither did Kaunda in his capacity as Prime Minister of Northern Rhodesia, when they signed the now dead agreement,” stated Prof. Ndangwa, emphasizing that Barotseland wanted redress in order to get back that which was rightfully hers. "As such," he further stated, "the Barotse should not be made to exculpate themselves in this matter, but rather the Zambian Government."
He also corrected the notion that Barotseland wanted to take with her all parts of Zambia and other SADC countries which used to be under Barotse rule (Barotseland Empire) at some point in history. According to him, the self-determined Barotseland would build a new, modern, democratic and functioning African state, and not another failed African state.
Dr. Ndangwa Noyoo (Ph.D), who is an Associate Professor, Department of Social Work at the University of Johannesburg, made his presentation at the Workshop on Contemporary Zambian Politics, Centre for Social Science Research, which was held on the 29th - 30th September, 2016 at the University of Cape Town, an event that had many Zambians in attendance.
Dr Noyoo, has written more on the subject in his latest book; “Barotseland’s amalgamation with Zambia: A political conundrum.” – 2016, Pretoria, Kwarts.
Yesterday, Friday 30th September 2016, was the first National Lozi Picture Day, and out of several dozens of many beautiful and interesting Lozi pictures submitted in the month, we picked the Munyinda family submission to illustrate some symbolic Lozi cultural values.
In submitting this family photo, Mr. Munyinda had this to say:
“I was thrilled as I went through this very interesting article which endeavors to promote and preserve the Lozi culture. I wish to thank the initiators for coming up with this excellent idea.
“Please, find attached our family picture which depicts the genesis of the Lozi culture as starting with the family. If families are stronger with our culture, I am convinced everything else will fall in their (rightful) place.
“I will encourage parents to encourage their children to know the Lozi culture so that it can be preserved and passed from generation to generation.
“I will, therefore, be greatly honoured if it will be shared with others.” END.
THE MUNYINDA FAMILY LOZI PICTURE
The Munyinda family of Kalumbila, Northwestern Zambia, sent in their family ‘Lozi Picture’, here featured, adorned in the Lozi national dress, musisi for women and siziba for the man. As you may see in the picture, that was not all as the Munyindas added some beautifully typical Lozi accessories to match their outfits.
Here below is what really makes this photo our particular pick of the month:
1. Mr. Munyinda bore the iconic Lozi leadership staff known as Mulamu. It is usually carried as a walking stick for prestige and not necessarily for necessity. It is also a symbol of Lozi civilization. It symbolizes high class for one that has achieved something noteworthy in life. The top of the staff could be a depiction of different Lozi animals. Ideally, many would choose the stick depicting the enduring and endearing male Elephant, the Lozi national symbol of leadership, although it is not uncommon to find lions, leopards, crocodiles, etc. chosen for their various respective traits.
2. Of course, his Siziba is incomplete without the red beret iconic of the Lozi leadership and maturity and a red bowtie to match and Mr. Muniynda knows it.
3. The Munyinda women are simply a marvel to watch in both beauty and style. Not only are they adorned in the beautiful Musisi dress but one of them (the youngest) also carries the Lozi ‘purse’ (si Kwama) that would compete with the biggest brands of the world, all handcrafted from a very special type of river reeds. They also sport the Kuwani headdress, also handcrafted from the same river reeds, in exquisite style and fashion unparalleled anywhere in the world.
4. The tennis canvas shoes not only match their musisi, but are also a very practical choice given the sandy terrain of Barotseland as 6 inch heels would never do in widespread deep Barotse sand. So a natural choice would have to be boots or tennis canvas shoes. They probably went for the latter for easy mobility.
5. The Munyinda family also has the cultural Lozi ivory bracelet known as ‘Tou’, the same name used for the Lozi elephant, as they are a product of its tusks. It is customary for every Lozi to own at least one of those at every stage of life. However, for the effective conservation of the elephant population, this Ivory Jewelry is normally inherited and passed down from one generation to the next.
6. Another clever conservative measure is the introduction of wooden bracelets, also worn by the Munyinda girls in the picture. These are made from high quality timber, perhaps from the Muzauli tree readily available in Barotseland. Popularization of such wooden bracelets could lessen the heavy dependence on the elephant ivory for this Lozi cultural symbolism, although conservation of wild and natural resources has never really been a serious issue until the commercial exploitation of such resources by mostly entities foreign from the centuries old Lozi way of integration with nature.
To the Munyinda family and the several others that submitted and shared with us their beautiful Lozi pictures, we wish to say thank you as we look forward to the October installment of your perfect Lozi picture.
FILE: Uncut picture of Litunga Yeta III (Litia Lewanika) – seated. He was the first born son of King Lewanika I and father of Litunga Yeta IV (1977 - 2000) who himself is father to HRH Inyambo (Lubasi Yeta), Reigning Prince at Mwandi palace in Sesheke, Barotseland.
Standing (left) is, the Litunga's Private Secretary Mbikusita Lewanika, who three decades later became Litunga Lewanika II (1968 - 1977) and is also the father to Her Excellency Princess Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika and Prince Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika among others.
Mbikusita Lewanika was the 40th born child of King Lewanika I who had forty four (44) children in total. Twenty-two (22) of them were sons and Twenty two (22) were daughters.
To his right is Kuta's Secretary Lishomwa Suu. Suu was later appointed Ngambela during the reign of Litunga Lewanika II.
This picture was taken at the BBC Offices in London in 1937, on the occasion of the visit to England of Litunga Yeta III and his Ngambela (Prime Minister) Mbangweta Munalula, not in picture, for the coronation of King George VI of England and discussions on the Barotseland Protectorate.
They also visited France, hosted by the Paris Missionary Society (PMS), who together with Basotho evangelists founded the Church of Barotseland and initiated modern education in Barotseland.
Picture Courtesy of Dr. Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika
A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.
“What food might this contain?” The mouse wondered - he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.
Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”
The mouse turned to the goat and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”
The goat sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.”
The mouse turned to the cow and said “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”
The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose.”
So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house - like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.
The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught.
The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever.
Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main Ingredient.
But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbours came to sit with her around the clock.
To feed them, the farmer butchered the goat.
The farmer's wife did not get well; she died.
So many people came for her funeral; the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.
The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.
So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.
We are all involved in this amazing journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.
Each of us may not be connected through a blood line; we may not even be friends. But we are all connected through humanity. We may come from different tribes but we are like a rainbow which has different colours but together these colours make it look beautiful - AUTHOR Unknown, Adapted & Shared by Dr. Mufalali & Sibeta Mundia.