BAROTSE CHANGE: Reflecting on the Ten Elements that can make Silozi Culture Great again – Part 1

BAROTSE CHANGE: Reflecting on the Ten Elements that can make Silozi Culture Great again – Part 1

BAROTSE CHANGE: Reflecting on the Ten Elements that can make Silozi Culture Great again – Part 1 Featured

By Lindunda Wamunyima, Barotseland Post / Featured News / Friday, 02 June 2017 03:27


This post gets us back once again to one of our most prised subject - Silozi culture. Really no amount of writing on this subject will actually suffice or bore us because of the importance of culture in any community like Barotseland. Universally, culture provides guiding principles for people to be and do everything. This goes without saying that a community that does not adhere to its culture gets characterised by chaos.

So great cultures make strong nations! But what makes a culture really strong? Each culture is unique and there are a myriad of factors which go into creating such. However, I have observed at least eight common components of great cultures. So, isolating these elements can be the first step to building a great differentiated Barotseland culture and a meaningful lasting national legacy, in correcting our colonial history and contaminated culture.


Howard Stevenson once said that “Maintaining an effective culture is so important that it, in fact, trumps even strategy” – RIGHTLY SO AS IT CONCERNS BAROTSELAND COMPLETE INDEPENDENCE STRATEGY IN PARTICULAR. In other words, when our culture is put in its proper perspective it becomes a useful tool to drive our UDI Mandate and national developmental strategies in a manner that is effective and efficient. That is how crucial culture is, especially in a dynamic and progressive society of New Barotseland. Dynamic Serotse (Silozi) culture has its unique role in giving that needed impetus now to our complete liberation struggle and thereafter to our national development agendas. In essence Silozi culture influences our discretionary behaviour in everything and wherever and it picks up where the Silozi literature and oral traditional counsels leave off; in the lives of every Mulozi. This same culture tells us how to respond to all unprecedented, custom experiences and events on daily basis. Additionally, it is culture that will inspire you whether to take those calculated risks about our new country, and whether to surface or hide problems from our leaders or anyone within your reach. In short culture does everything we do! Each culture has different tactics and unique qualities which, in our setting, we can therefore exploit to advance the 2012 BNC Mandate magnificently. We can conclude from the aforementioned facts that strong culture and good national productivity and development are inseparable. This makes Silozi culture exceptionally important; in our Barotse Change crusade.

Furthermore, Silozi culture should be enhanced to such extents that it can sustain individual Barotzish mania to do extra-ordinary activities in our country, across all aspects of Barotseland national life.  This way it will act as a conscripting tool when attracting investors to our country, as we start looking to lure available, willing and able investors to our beautiful country Barotseland. Mediocre cultures only attract mediocre investors leading to a mediocre national economy. From the minute people begin to travel and visit Barotseland, they should find our country a different place with a unique culture ya Silozi!

Therefore, the paragraphs that follow are a dedication to cover the critical elements of our Silozi culture which can exploit to make great Silozi culture again, in no particular order.


There are other factors that influence culture but these eight components can provide a firm foundation for shaping the New Barotseland based on a strong culture. And identifying and understanding them more fully in our country can be the first step to revitalizing or reshaping Silozi culture toward the ultimate, in Barotse Change crusade.


Every culture has a place as a venue of practice, observation, custom or tradition whether it be a company, home, church or other communities of people you can name! Barotseland too is the place; our place and centre stage for all this “song” characterising most of our postings here. Many questions can be asked as to why a certain place has this and that or a building built this or that way. There are obviously numerous answers to each of these questions, but one clear answer is that place shapes culture and answers are based on host culture. Names of people, places and styles of everything are unique to every particular place. While the world is globalising, places and countries have local cultures that should reinforce their respective cultures. Globalisation does not mean, as far as we know it, global colonialism or uniformity of culture but unity of diversity. The same applied to the aborted Unitary Zambia – NEVER coerced assimilation or annexation of our country to the Rhodesians. Place — whether geography, architecture, or aesthetic design — impacts the values and behaviours of people in a place and that is what Barotseland is and does to us! To live and to die it is because of who we are and to passionately know and understand this means step No. 1 toward building a strong Silozi culture. Why not, when it premises your true identity and citizenship?


We need to set ourselves as people fitting and living the Silozi culture, nobody else. No company can build a coherent culture without people who either share its core values or possess the willingness and ability to embrace those values. As Barotseland nation we need to stick with culture and restore it for no one else will do it for us. We are the people and right Silozi culture carriers to reinforce as well as improve what we already have.

Experts on culture studies agree and break down types of individuals commonly available in an organisation of worklives and living, like Barotseland. Below are our classifications as a mixed group nationally and how we each have been impacting our national Silozi culture in particular.

a.    STARS: those conformist, lovable Barotzish workers at home, church, school, hospitals, shops, offices and so on who do the right things (effective) - that is, they perform well, as goal getters, and do them in the right way (efficient); in a style that supports and builds the desired organizational culture. These make culture great indeed because more than anything, they are models and constructive trendsetters!

b.    HIGH POTENTIALS: these are our people as youth and adult workers across all ranks whose behaviour we value because they do things the right way but their skills still need further maturation or enrichment. With training, time, and support, these people become our future stars. So they have the potential to contribute to a making our silozi culture great too.

c.    ROBOTS: also called Zombies because, unfortunately, they are people who fail on both counts culturally, since they have limited independence of mind and mostly rely on second thoughts from others. In effect, they fail to do the right things and fail to do them the right way, when chance avails itself. As a result, their behaviour doesn’t align with the work cultural aspirations of an organization like the New Barotseland and their performance is mediocre. They simply qualify as the proverbial dead wood or ‘Sishingwa mwa Bulozi’! Their ability to inflict harm on Silozi culture is mitigated by their lack of credibility in our society. Therefore, they tend not to add much value, and the damage to Barotseland culture they do is limited and, obviously, these are the workers or people most of us try to rid ourselves of in our communities or work places mwa Bulozi. Nevertheless, our Lozi adage aptly states that “Munukayumbwa” – no matter how depraved a human being is still one and not worth throwing away like other animate and inanimate things.

d.    PREDATORS: sometimes termed vampires as people who are the real threat to any organisation and potential rebels because while they are key bureaucrats or perform exceptionally well it is seriously so in a modus that thwarts the desired organizational culture. Due to their strong functional performance they acquire power and influence, and over time, they also secure followers usually the zombies who share their different set of values and aspire to performance better. Before long, there’s a small legion of vampires and zombies attacking the high potentials and stars who are doing the right things. So, vampires, if left unchecked, given their solid performances, it is these vampires’ attitude that is detrimental to organisational culture and its business rather in more like a predator and prey relationship! These need to convert to High Potential and Star status or be fewer than those in the top two (2) categories and in lower ranks, in restoring our Great Silozi culture.

Therefore, each one of us as Barotseland national need to introspect and see where we fall, doing so in full cognisance of the facts that as Barotseland citizens we are an embodiment of Barotseland values and therefore represent our country both inside and outside of the national boundaries. It is better and possible to be a culturally High Potential and Star mwa Bulozi, regardless of our Zambian background. Even so, the good thing is that any damage done to us is reversible.


Read BAROTSE CHANGE: Reflecting on the Ten Elements that can make Silozi Culture great again – Part 2

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