Monday, October 31, 2011

My Ichilanga Mulilo – 22nd October 2011

All smiles

Dad (Mr. Kamanga)
Mum (Mrs. Kamanga)
Ichilanga Mulilo is a tradition which must be performed before the marriage of two people can take place. After engagement, the next step is paying of the dowry and then its time for Ichilanga Umulilo (showing you the fire). The ceremony is arranged by the family of the woman to show the bridegroom the type of food which is eaten by the in-laws and also what the groom should expect the bride to cook for him when they are finally married.The other purpose is to let the groom know that whenever he decides to visit the in-laws, this is the kind of food he will also be eating.

Arrival of Racheal's family
The ladies preparing themselves with food stuffs

22nd October 2011 marked my ichilanga mulilo where Racheal and her family prepared various kinds of food for me to eat with my close friends and family, it was held in Kitwe at 14:00hrs at the home of the Chilongoshi’s in Nkana West.

The time to show the fire - Ichilanga Mulilo

This day began on a slow note as I woke up as early as 04:30hrs to prepare for my journey from Lusaka. I travelled for over 5 hours and it was a worthwhile journey as I found people waiting for me to arrive. I received friends from Mufulira and within Kitwe to attend the same. This event was suppose to pass on the 8th October 2011 but was postpond to 15th October because Racheal had a funeral, it was again postponed from 15th October to 22nd October as my parents were working on 15th October and so could not travel from Chingola where they are working.

Racheal's family arrive with the various kinds of food

The food was brought and we had a great feast, this function was meant to welcome me into Racheal’s family meaning that I was free now to visit the Kumwenda’s home and have a meal from there, I was being welcomed into their family. As the women brought the food passing through the door step, my heart began to bump fast as I did not anticipate to see such a crowd of women, I really enjoyed the food especially the chikanda (African polony) and the chicken that was prepared.

Racheal's aunt explains about washing hands
This event has passed and now what is remaining is our wedding day scheduled for 26th November 2011. I am anxious as I can’t wait for this event to pass as it has really put me under a lot of pressure in terms of preparations and I always have less sleep and sometimes sleepless nights. I have been in a relationship with Racheal for over 4 years now and its time we took our relationship to greater heights. 

The various traditional food stuffs that were brought
The friends and families that were present from my side for this event were; the hosts Mr. and Mrs. Simon Chilongoshi, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Kamanga, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Phiri, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Sinkala, Mr. and Mrs. Mumbake Chishya (My cousin and her husband). Marron Chita, Rodrick Phiri, Bwalya Chishimba, Mwiinga Makashinyi and last but not the least my Bashi Bukombe Mr. Paul Ng’andwe. My cousin from Kalulushi Mrs. Monde Mwanza came later on after the function had finished. We failed to finish the food that was prepared for us as our stomachs got full and we still had plenty of food on the table, many of us had to carry the food that was left to our various homes.

Tasting the traditional dish with my Bashi Bukombe
I travelled back to Lusaka on Monday 24th October 2011 around 10:35 hours and arrived in Lusaka around 15: 20 hours.

My Bashi Bukombe explains the real meaning of the washing dish and the chicken

Thursday, October 27, 2011

2011 Presidential Election in Zambia

President Michael C. Sata

It is very interesting for one to think about the 20th September 2011, when the people of Zambia where once again making a critical decision of choosing their political leaders of the country. I may have a lot to write about these elections but let me confine my writing to the Patriotic Front’s victory and “donchi kubeba…shiii…” concept. I got up early in the morning around 05:30 hours to go cast my vote at the nearest polling station and wow, I found a very long line, people reported to the polling station as early as 03 hours. It seemed to me that a number of people were really anxious about casting their votes.

Swearing in Ceremony at the Supreme Court

Historically in Africa, It is not easy for one to remove or even talk about the incumbent presidents ,let alone the issue of competing politically so you could offer yourself to the people as the best alternative to the ruling Party. The last time such a thing happened was in 1991 when Dr. Kenneth Kaunda lost to Chiluba. I was quiet young but I remember that day as there was a lot of jubilation among the people of Zambia. The Patriotic Front and its master mind Michael Chilufya Sata could be defined as the “an impossible possibility”

The man of action - Mr. Sata

Basically, the man provided balances that most people believed him that they wouldn’t want to miss his words. Not to exaggerate, the youths called him president before he became one and the little children knew his “donchi kubeba shii…” slogan. I was shocked when I was on a bus heading home and a phone belonging to one of the passengers rang… the ringing tone was the Donchi kubeba song and a little young girl began to sing along.

But what made this man win the hearts of youths or more still, his supporters?
When you asked someone in Zambia, they will tell you that he identified himself with the people. He used simple language to communicate; he never told people everything but challenged them to think if it was not possible to change the status quo.  

PF Leader Mr. Michael Sata addressing a Rally

Mr. Michael Sata addressing a Rally
Mr. Michael Sata has been in Politics for a very long time. He served as governor of Zambia in the 80s when Dr Kenneth Kaunda was President, he then moved on to join the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) in 1991 under the Chiluba administration, in all the positions he held, he proved to be hard working. This man is now the 5th President of the Republic of Zambia.

The past and present presidents of Zambia

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dad celebrates his 56th Birthday today - 1st October 2011


Happy 56th Birthday dad! I just wanted to take a few moments to reflect on the past and let you know how much I appreciate the father you have been to me and my sisters. I look back over the past 28 years of my life and it is full of such powerful memories; some good, some not so good. Even with all the struggles, the memory that is always foremost in my mind is how you cared for us your children despite your busy travelling schedules at work while working for Scripture Union Zambia. Being the only boy in a family of four children, I never felt a sense of emptiness and loneliness because you were always there for me and encouraged me in many ways you may not know.

I know these are the types of things I couldn’t possibly have understood as a child (or a teen), but now that I am approaching the 30s, I find myself in the struggle between family & career, I know how much you must have sacrificed in order to be there for us. As I look back, I know that you were there because you wanted to be there …that is what means the most to me. I know I haven’t always been the easiest to love, but you were still there. I know I wasn’t kind, or appreciative in some ways, or even remotely loveable…but you were still there. I know I wasn’t always respectful, but you were still there. You were there because you are my dad, and that is what “real” dad’s do...they are there always despite the situations or circumstances.

If only I could just fast forward and forget all those years between then and now. If only I could just skip over all the hurt I caused, avoid all the pain that resulted, and just arrive to where we are today. But we can’t, and that’s OK. Each and every one of those experiences has helped shape my full appreciation of you as a father. If there is one thing I have learned in the past few years, it is that if you don’t see the bad news, you’ll never fully appreciate the good news.

Mum and Dad in 1997
You see, that perspective is also part of what has caused some dissension between us over the past few months. I finally understand the “bad news” of how I look to the Perfect, Righteous & Holy God. I finally realized that I am not “good” when compared His Holy standard. I used to compare myself to others, and compared to them I do look quite good. I don’t do what “they” do, or I’m not as bad as “them”. But that isn’t how God says it works. We are not going to be judged according to our standard, we are going to be judged according to God’s standard, God’s perfect law.
Hebrews 9:27 says, “it is appointed for men once to die and after this comes judgment”, and when we die we will each be judged. And the result of that judgment is eternal. You see “all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God” (Romans 3:23). None of us can possibly be found innocent, we have sinned against an infinitely Perfect God, and His Word is clear that the punishment is an infinite punishment in hell. I finally realized that I deserve to go to Hell. I broke God’s law, and I deserve to be punished. So that is the bad news.

Family Picture taken in the late 80s
But here is the Good news. God doesn’t want us to go to hell. God is Love. And how does He demonstrate that love? “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) See, I deserve the punishment of hell. But God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to pay my fine. He didn’t “just” get beaten, bruised, and mocked, die & then rise again defeating death…He took the full wrath of God upon His head so I didn’t have to have it on mine. And He did the same for you.

I thank you dad because you were so patient with me with regards to my salvation, indeed salvation belongs to God. You helped me and also baptized me on 24th September 2000.

Dad with his mother in Eastern Province (August 2011)

Dad, here is why I wrote this letter. Life is short, who knows how much more time we have left. I didn’t want to risk another day to go by without me telling you how much I appreciate what you’ve done for me. I don’t want to risk the chance that I would look back after you are gone and say, “I wish I would have told dad how much I loved him.”

I love you dad, thank you for all you’ve done for me. Happy Birthday, and I praise God for giving me such a dedicated dad.