SIBESO: What a befitting name for the incredible Professor Zoe!

19 August 2019
Author  Sibeta Mundia, Barotseland Post
Prof. Zoe Spencer - Click image to enlarge

She joined the president of Diversity Restoration Solutions (DRS), Anthony Mubita Sheppard and his dear wife, Lisa, along with nine others under the African-American Homecoming Project trip to Barotseland for this year’s commemoration of the 400th anniversary since the beginning of slavery in English America.

However, Dr. Zoe Spencer, Ph.D., a professor at Virginia State University (VSU) in the USA, may never in her wildest dreams have imagined that when she travels to the remote Kingdom of Barotseland in Africa, she would return to America, a couple of weeks later, with a new name given to her by the Litunga, King of Barotseland!

Before we explore a little more about Prof. Zoe, let us see what is in her new name.

SO, WHAT IS IN HER NEW NAME, SIBESO?

In Barotse culture, names are given for significant reasons. Whether they are names of places, animals or people! Even Kings and rulers in the past have been named for the specific achievements they may have accomplished along the way.

For example, we have already shared elsewhere how that, although born Maimbolwa Santulu, King Mulambwa ended up being named Mulambwa due to his significant stand against slavery. He effectively banned the slave trade in his Kingdom in the late 18th Century when he directed that the Arab slave traders must buy dogs rather than their fellow humans.

For that significant act, he became Mulambwa - one who buys dogs!

Another great King, Lewanika I, King Mulambwa’s grandson who ruled between 1878 – 1884 and also 1885 – 1916, was also so named for uniting the different communities of Barotseland in such a significant way that he ended up marrying and taking several consorts from all the major ethnic groupings of Barotseland, out of which were born 44 children, 22 being female and the other 22, males.

His birth name was Mushondwa Lubosi, but after uniting different tribes and people, he became Liwanika, later corrupted as Lewanika.

According to Mwana Mulena (Prince) Godwin Mando Kaluwe, 'Ku Waneka' is a Siluyana phrase meaning 'putting people together', hence 'Liwanika' is 'one who puts people together!'

Similarly, the name Sibeso is a very significant name, and Prof. Zoe could not have gotten herself a more befitting one!

Sibeso is 'one who delights, excites, lights-up or energizes', and who would encounter Dr. Zoe and not testify that they have been delighted by her exuberant self?

Just watching videos of the DRS team as they arrived in Barotseland, on Thursday, 9th August 2019, one would immediately be drawn in by her exuberance! She literally looked like she was home already and not a first time visitor.

"Sibeso, wow! What a befitting name for her personality!” were my first thoughts on learning her new name.

His Majesty definitely got it right in the way he personified her delightful demeanor, as Dr. Zoe does indeed ignite joyfulness and brings life!

WHO REALLY IS ZOE ‘SIBESO’ SPENCER?

Do not be fooled by her joyful and exhilarating character because, while she is indeed beautiful and warm, Dr. Zoe Spencer, Ph.D., is a very serious academician and by her own words, unapologetically black, unapologetically woman, and a Professor of sociology at the Virginia State University (VSU) and Civil Rights Strategist, who hates injustices with a noticeable passion!

Back home in Virginia, for instance, she fights against gender disparities in academia and advocates for rights of those marginalized and discriminated against on the basis of gender or race, and also teaches the importance of self-love among black women.

Recently, she chaired the Gender Equity Task Force at Virginia State University (VSU), where she was charged with the responsibility of identifying deficits in gender equity.

She has also been involved in the Black Lives Matter movement and was recently in Barotseland through her association and involvement with the Diversity Restoration Solutions (DRS) Inc. social business entity that conducts Homecomings and project development activities in America and Africa, to reconnect families and communities previously separated by institutions of slavery for mutually beneficial socio-economic restoration.

DRS also endeavors to restore economic and cultural relationships with the countries in Africa and the people of African descent in America.

This August, the DRS team of 12 was in Barotseland for the 2019 Africa Homecoming Pilgrimage to commemorate the 400th Anniversary since the first African slaves arrived in America and also to commission the construction of a global facility called Restoration Center, which will serve as the African headquarters for all African Americans who wish to reconnect with their ancestral roots in Africa.

So, to Bo Sibeso and the rest of the homecoming team, we say Luitumezi for your coming! Luitumezi for your love and lwa milata a hulu too!

You are welcome back home to your motherland and we hope you will share with us your experience and knowledge acquired in America so that we can truly say, what the enemy meant for bad the Lord has turned for good!

Prof. Zoe giving a vote of thanks after the official commissioning of the Restoration Center which will be constructed in Sefula, Barotseland, which will be a one-of-a-kind genealogy, cultural heritage tourism, business and world-class conference facility where African Americans can reconnect to the Continent and renew lost ties severed as a result of the transatlantic slave trade.

AMATEUR VIDEO (00:03:21) - Bulozi London

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  • Zoe Sibeso Spencer Zoe Sibeso Spencer Monday, 19 August 2019

    I am so truly humbled and honored by this article but most importantly by the love and innerstanding ansnaolrexiation doe my work and who I am. Sibeso one who brings delight. How about one who experienced joy hope and delight. I couldn’t help but reciprocate the love that was shown for our team. I’m so glad you all felt me. So much love to my new family. I can’t wait to get home. Nitumezi for the love in this article and I real life Lwa milata a Hulu for real!!!!!!!

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The Barotseland Post, also known as The Barotsepost, is an online media platform, for now, that is dedicated to reporting stories and news around Barotseland and beyond, giving exclusive coverage and access to the people and the nation of Barotseland to fully express themselves in their aspirations for self- determination.