G CONTENTS N T. A 6tA
NISIILANO ANNIS 8, FIELD U.M.C.A. MSORO
TALES OF SOME N.E. RHODESIAN TRIBES H. ZULU (R.L.M.)
2. About the Tribes
3. About Clan Names
4. Clan Names of Miti
6. About the Cewa
7. Kalonga and Undi Part
8. Undi Divides His Country
10. Mwase of Kasungu
11. Mwase of Kuminga. The Bisa of Kambwili gets a Country
12. The Nsengs under Kahndawalo Mundikula
13. Old Home of Mundikula
14. The War of Mundikula and the Abatwa
15. Kalindawalo Sicimutu
16. Kalindawale Nsanga and the Akatanga
17. The first Ngoni war
18. Mpezeni and Mombesa
19. Second Ngoni War under Mpezeni
20. Kalindawalo Chabala and the Acikunda
21. Kalindawalo Tembo
22. The case of Chumbi
23. The case of Chapapila
24. The Boundaries Kalindawalo's Country
25. The Country of Mzenje Msunga Njala
26. The Reign of Ukwimi
27. Cabala Makumba
28. The Journey of Mambwe
29. The Coming of Mambwe
30. The first War of Mambwe
31. Mambwe death of Uluba
32. Ciluya Manda
33. War with the Bisa
34. Malama of Cikunto
35. Malama Kavimba and Cibaula
36. The flight of the Kunda
37. The Country of Jumbe
38. Yukanda and Kampasa, a Cewa
39. The Reign of Kabindula (Makanya)
40. The Reign of Tabe (Tindi)
41. Chiefs of Lusangazi
42. The Journey of Sandwe Kanyozo
43. The Country of Lusangazi
44. Sandwe Nyanyokwe
47. The Reign of Kakumbi
49. The Country of Kabala
50. The Reign of Msoro
51. The Mandangwe
52. The Story of Kazubezube
53. The Coming of Europeans
54. Ancient Kunda
55. The Families that came with Mambwe
56. Kunda Advancements
57. The Life of Ancient Nsenga
58. About Mwavi
The Nisiilano book tries to explain the
story of ancient people who long ago inhabited this
country. These ancient men did not know how to write,
but they passed the stories by word of mouth to their
children. These children as they grew up remembered the
stories which they told their children in turn. In that
way the grandchildren knew what their grandfathers did long
ago. To-day we write ancient stories in the books so that
the future generations may know of these things. We cannot
testify whether all these stories are true or not. We can
certainly point out that some of the stories are false, here
we have included them because they were narrated by old men.
The stories might have changed with length of time by men
who passed them from son to father and to grandsons. Some-
times men change the wording of the story to please their
Therefore the readers must not suppose that the
stories here are genuine, because they are contained in this
book. What is written here is information collected from
the men dwelling in this country concerning their own
2. ABOUT THE TRIBES
There are many tribes in our country to-day.
Long ago there were but a few, later they began to break down
to form the Acewva, Ansenga, Alala, Ambo, Akunda and many others.
We have a story that shows us how some of the tribes split.
Undi, Kalindawalo and Mambwe arrived together
in this country; they stopped at a place called Ongolwe near
Petauke. After a short time they began to build a very big
house. At that time these men were regarded as one tribe,
because they came from one place Kawale Makumba.
All the three chiefs were on top of the roof
one day. One of them said, "Bring me an axe". The other two
chiefs hesitated because the word he used for an axe (Nkwangwa)
was Cewa. Then another chief said, "Give me mud" (Matika -
Nsenga). The other two failed to give him what he demanded.
The last chief said, "I want some fibre strips (Lusisi (Nkunda)";
the others did not get him.
In the end the three chiefs came down from the
roof and said, "All those who say Nkwangwa (for an axe), Matope
(for mud) and Maluzi (for fibre strips) should follow Chief
Undi and you will be called Cewa. You who say Katemo (for an
axe), Matika (for mud) and Nzizi (for fibre strips) will be
called Ansenga tribe. Now you who say again Izembe (for an axe),
Matipa (for mud) and Lusisi (for fibre strips) follow Mambwe,
you will be called Kunda,
3. ABOUT CIAN NAMES
People all over Africa have great respect for
clan names. Among some tribes a chief is succeeded by a maternal
clan person. Again a man or woman cannot marry from a maternal
side because they call themselves brother and sister. The Ngoni
tribe regards children of paternal side also as sisters or brothers.
When men from different tribes with one clan-name
meet they look upon one another as brothers and help each other
in all things. .When persons with the clan name of Mwanza meet in
Halare though one may be coming from Nyasaland and the other from
(N.R.) Kalindawalo, they call themselves brothers, though they had
never met before.
We do not know how the clan names began; some of
the clan names began as names eneCulu, eneLungu and eneMumba.
The eneCulumsomba began as a nickname. This is the story: When
Gulu the elder brother of Mambwe was crossing the Luangwa river,
he saw fish in a pond (Kusonda) and remained there to stab them;
thus Cula and the men who remain with him at the pond were called
The clan name of Nyangu was a nickname because
when Lundu arrived in this country, there was a certain woman
who hid cow-peas (Nyangu) from a patient the brother of Cisenga
whose clan name was eneNyendwa. There are many such clan names
which began as a nickname e.g. eneKolwe (Monkey), eneMbuzi (goat),
eneNJoka (snake), enelmbwa (dog), eneNg'oma (drum). When a
man with the clan name of eneCulu (hill) does good service to any
one, the person helped says, Yo! Oulu. When the paternal name
is eneNgulube (bush pig) they say, Yo! Nguluwe; or Yo! Mbewe; or
Yo' Daka. When a chief gives something to a man he must say,
Yo! Calo = Your country.
4. CLAN NAME OF MITI
Enemiti and eneNg'oma are relatives, Long ago
the name Ng'oma was not there; they were called eneMiti; they
split on this cause. One man of eneMiti clan fell seriously
sick. This man sent messages to another mwineMiti who was
staying in another country. That person was asked to come and
see his relative. The country man answered that he would go
there after making a drum. The sickness of his friend became
serious that he sent again another message. The other friend
told the messengers the same words as before. At last when he
visited his friend he got that he was already dead and buried.
The people asked him why he delayed as to get his relative dead ?
The man replied that he was making a drum. Then the men told him
that he and his friends in his village will be called eneNg'oma
because he preferred to make a drum rather than seeing his relative.
Tb-day though you hear of eneMiti and eneNg'oma clans remember
that they are relatives.
Cousinship is in many ways; when a (MwineMwanza)
man from Kalindawalo sees a (mwine Phiri) of Undi they call
themselves cousins. When a Mwine Mwanza dies, men of the enePhiri
clan came the corpse on the buttocks and say, "So you also die"
and they mourn after covering it. The rest of mourners cry after
the enePhiri. The cousins clothe the corpse with a cloth. When
they reach at the graveyard the enePhiri and eneMwanza insult
each other and Laugh as if they were not burying a person. When
they back at home the enePhiri shared food, swept the houses of
the deceased and smeared it. Afterwards they brew beer for the
This kind of cousinship is acted by men in same
manner as grandchildren do to their grandfathers. There are three
kinds of grandchildren. There is that where the relation is
just created, there is that of clan names and that which is created
by birthright. Here are forms of cousinship:
Enemvula (Zulu) are cousins with eneMiti
Enelungu Phiri) are cousins with eneNgulube (Mbewe, Daka)
Enemumba Sakala) are cousins with eneMbawo (Tembo, Iwale)
Enenyangu (Nyendwa) are cousins with eneMwanza (Nyerenda)
Eneculu are cousins with eneNzovu and eneNgulube.
The wise saying says that "clan names run deep
into the soil" = wherever you get a man with a clan name synonym
regard him as a brother.
Another relationship found among the Africans is
called Cendo to help each other. When two tribes are in very
good terms, there is often great love among them (which exempts
one from crimes such as death for a wife or son, which when Cendo
is not there a man whose wife is dead is made to pay for her death)
When a man and woman bound by Cendo want to marry one another
no dowry is bought by the woman and the man pays no lobola. Thus
the eneNyendwa (chieftain clan name) who stay on the other side of
the Luangwa river call the eneNzovu as their best friends. This
was made possible by one chief (Mwine Nyendwe) who married a common
woman from eneNzovu clan. The children bore by that woman were
very much loved by the eneNyendwa because of so Cendo was begun.
6. ABOUT THE CEWA
The Cewa are the majority on this side of the
Luangwa river. Their clan name for chiefs is Phiri. The Cewa
are found in three different places. Those under Mwase of Lundazi,
Mwase of Kasungu in Nyasaland and those under Undi of Fort Jameson.
The Cewa arrived in their country before all other
tribes. The first european who visited the country in 1798 found
chiefs Undi, Mkanda and Mwase. The first Cewa chief was Kalonga,
Undi was his young brother. Kalonga had three sisters Nyangu,
Gilunje and Cisamba.
7. KALONGA AND UNDI PART
Cilunje the sister of Kalonga got married to
Mkanda, whose clan name was Ngulube, the Cewa clan name equivalent
to this is Mbewe. Cilunje built a village near Cawa hill,
called Mcemeni. Nyangu and Cisamba went to stay in Ncheu country.
Cisamba had a son but Ngangu was sterile.
When this son of Cisambu was grown up Undi the I
died, and that son succeeded him (his nephew). It so happened that
Kalonga had no son and no nephew to succeed him. He worried over
this question for a length of time. In the end he contacted a
doctor (african doctor). He got from him medicines that enabled
Nyangu to have a son called Cangamilo. Before Cangamilo grew up
Kalonga died. Being a child he was not able to succeed his uncle.
This enabled Undi the son of Cisamba to rule as Kalonga Undi.
When Cangamilo was a young man he claimed to rule as Kalonga in
place of his Uncle, but Undi II refused. He advised him to wait
until he died, so that he too may rule the two sections of people
under one name Kalonga Undi.
Since Undi was at the same time called Kalonga it
meant that he ruled the whole country. The claimant to the throne
of Kalonga collected all the men who inhabited the Malavi country
and told them that all those who preferred to be ruled by Undi
should leave his country with their possessions. The men gathered
at one place. They were told that when the drum is beaten those
who liked Undi were to sit down, those of Kalonga were to stand.
When the drum was beaten it happened that the number for both men
was fifty-fifty. The standing men went away with Undi, the rest
remained behind with Kalonga.
8. UNDI DIVIDES HIS COUNTRY
Undi II began to divide his country to Mwangala,
Zingalume, Katumba, Mlolo, Kawaza and many other chiefs found in
Portuguese Angola and near the Zambezi River called Agowa. Kawaza
was told to build his village on the grave of Undi's mother. The
country called Milanzi found near Lake Nyasa in Kotakota was given
to Msusa. Kanyenda was sent to Bandawe. Culu was stationed at
Kasungu together with Nkandwe and Cilowa. Mwase Mkongowala was
stationed at Ciwande and Kalonga was sent at Nkonde. The Kalonga
above is not his brother but a different man.
After dividing the country Undi came to Lenje country
ruled by Chief Mkuni. He stayed there for many years. On his
return journey he met Mambwe and they came together. Some of the
Cewa men who married Lenje women never came back. On this journey
Undi was trying to return to Uluwa, to his father-land, but he
dropped the idea because of the Bemba wars.
Nkanda married Cilunje, the sister of Kalonga and Undi;
she ruled the Cewa country. There she built a village called
Mcemeni. When she died she was not succeeded by a royal family man.
Kalonga told her husband (Mkanda) to rule that country. From that
time onwards Mkanda and his family were regarded as chiefs. As the
country enlarged Mkanda shared his country to Mbang'ombe who was sent
to Matunga. Cikube was sent to Ciwande, Mafuta to Mtope, Kanyindula
to Ciziye and Canje to Mdwala. All these places were the divisions
of Mkanda's country. Mkanda was honoured and respected. During the
reign of Kalonga the I and Undi the I Mkanda used to travel in a
hammock made from the skins of a Zebra.
10. MWASE OF KASUNGU
Undi had given Mwase the land called Ciwande. Mwase put
there his brother Citungulu instead. Mwase went to Malavi to collect
his sister. He Met his brother Culu at a place where there were
certain types of animals that used to kill people. Mwase and Culu
therefore arranged a big hunt to terminate those animals. After the
hunt Culu compelled Mwase to occupy the land that lie below Lukwaka
river. This country now-a-days is called Kasungu. Mwase became so
powerful that he took the countries under Nkandwe and Cilowa
afterwards and received tributes from them.
Chief Mwase was full of mercy. When a convicted person
was brought before him he would often say, "What is your clan name?".
If the persons answer was, "I am MwineLungu" he was set free. The
men who were thus rescued said "Indeed this is Kasungu". After the
death of Culu, Mwase ordered Mwase of Lundazi to move his village
to Ciwande and was named Mwase of Kuminga.
Chief Mwase of Kasungu was a muscular man, even to this
day his successors are like the Angoni of Mombela.
11. MWASE OF KUMINGA. The Bisa of Kambwili
nets a Country
When Mwase Mkongowala left his country (Ciwande) he
gave it to another Mwase who later was known as Mwase of Kuminga.
This Mwase asked his brother Mwanya, who was staying at Lukusuzi to
come to him because of wars.
Myanya came to Ciwande; he made it a point that he will
eat the meat of an elephant killed in that village. One day men
brought a dead elephant to him. He kept it without informing his
brother (Mwase). Mwase hearing this said, "Is it right that in
this village there should be two chiefs?" In the end he
bewitched Mwanga and he died. The mother of the chief who was
present there said, "How could Mwanya die so soon without staying
for a year in this village.
The woman contacted a diviner who devined that Mwase
killed his brother. Mtemba (mother of the chief) because she had
great love for Mywanya tried to kill Mwase, but the charm failed.
At this time Kambwili was passing through this country. He was
going to Mbwani to sell tusks of elephants. Kambwili stayed in
Mwase's village for a night. During the night Ntemba came to him
and was asked to kill Mwase, Kambwili assured her that he was
going to do that on his way home from Mbwani. On his way back he
passed at the village and told Ntemba to let him first take his
possessions home. From his country, he came with an army. Hwase
and his men fled to the hill of Ngongomwa. They stayed on that
hill till their food finished. They descended the hill and went to
Makani village. Mwase was trying to go to Kasungu but Kambwili
followed him and cut off the head. Kambwili washed the head of
Mwase and kept it in a dish, which he later used for propitiating
the spirits. After the war Kambwili said to Ntemba, "Give me a
present for the help rendered and for the loss of my men in the
battle." Ntemba gave him his possessions but Kambwili refused
and said, "I want this country, if you stop me I shall fight for
it." Ntemba being a woman gave in to Kambwili.
In that manner Kambwili took the country of Mwase
because of his mother. Kambwili compelled the old woman (Ntemba)
to show him the boundary of Mwase's country. Ntemba said, "On
this direction the boundary is chief Mambwe, on that direction
Cintungulu and then Mcaca and Kanyindule.
12. THE NSENGA UNDER KALINDAWALO
Kalindawalo, Undi and Mambwe came from Uluwa or Uluoa
in the West. It took them many days to travel from Uluba to the
lake. They followed the lake eastwards and reached the Betwa
country. They crossed the Luangwa river and arrived in this
country. The Batwa or the Katanga were at that time occupying this
Kalindawalo the I was called Mudukula, he was a mwineMwaza
(clan-name). His sister was Nyakaluwa, who was married by Undi;
the sister of Undi was Ndalama, who got married to Mundikula.
These two Chiefs were brothers-in-law.
Mundikula began to send away men when he reached the plain
of Nyika Mkulu. Undi continued moving eastwards, to the land called
Mano. Mundikula stayed in that plain at Mgala. That country was
called Mbala because it was very thick and had very tall grass.
The name Nsenga came at that time. When men from Uluba arrived in
this land they brought with them cotton seeds called Nsenga. The
cotton was made into cloth. That type of cotton plant grew a few
feet from the ground unlike that brought by Europeans. The people
under Mundikula because of wearing clothes made from Nsenga plant,
and since everyone cultivated the plant in the garden, the natives
of that land began to call the foreigners Nsenga the name used
to this day.
13. OLD HOME OF MUNDIKULA
After leaving Uluba, Mundikula built his first village
at Citete. He stayed there for many years. Nearby there were three
hills, Nsimbo, Nkombe and Cipili and two rivers Matonga and
Kang'ombe. He built his second village near Mboza at Kafyula.
Mundikula left his young brother at Citete, who later was named
Kalindawalo Mupe. Heads of dead people were soaked in a well at
Kafyula. After rotting these heads were cleaned, dried and used
as drinking cups for beer.
Mundikula brought the following animals with him; cattle,
goats, sheep etc. He had a bull called Mbalavu. This name was
inherited by another bull when the old one died.
14. THE WAR OF MUNDIKULA AND THE ABATWA
Soon after Undi had left for Mano, Mundikula fought
with the Betwa. These people in Nsenga were called Amwanionela
Kuni pygmies. The men who were found in that country were
very short. They built no houses, instead they slept in holes. Their
ears were bored like the Ngoni tribe. They were great hunters of
elephants. They had no guns but used arrows and spears instead. They
never cultivated, their main food was gamemeat and wild fruits. The
spear and arrow heads were rubbed with Ulembe poison. At times we
find grinding places in the bush especially near a certain river
where the Batwa used to make their flour.
This is how the war was caused. When the Batwa met the
Nsenga the Batwa always said, "Did you see us when we were far from
you?". The Nsenga answered, "No we didn't see you." The Batwa
took this as an insult and they killed the Nsenga. If, however,
the Nsenga answered that they saw them from a far distance they were
set free. Because the first reply pointed to the Batwa that they
were very short people. When they were told the latter answer the
Batwa sang, "So we are tall, so we are tall."
15. KALINDAWALO SICIMUTU
Mundikula was succeeded by Sicimutu. This man carried on
a battle with Chief Kunda. That Chief hearing of the Nsenga was
very determined to defeat them that he made many ropes with which
to tie the Nsenga. The Kunda unfortunately failed to defeat their
rivals. Kunda (Chief) was frightened and he fled across the
Luangwa river. At Lukusashi he collected many stones and piled
them as a sign of his failure to win the Nsenga. The chiefs he
left besides the Luangwa were Luembe and Mboloma.
16. KALINDAWALO NSANGU AND THE AKATANGA
Sicimutu was succeeded by Nsangu. This man fought with
the Akatanga who came across the Luangwa from lusemfwa river. The
Akatanga had shields nade from buffalo's skins like those used by
the Ngoni warriors. Firstly soon after crossing the Lwangwa the
Akatanga built a village at Sasare. Sasu Walongolaka was their
chief. After a short time these men used to pay visits to the
Nsenga and they began to intermarry between themselves. They even
danced Cindeya together. When there were troubles among the Nsenga
they asked for help from the Akatanga. These men always helped
the Nsenga with their shields. After battle the Akatanga and the
Nsenga would then dance Cindeya accompanied by these songs:
Firstly: Who has killed the crow bird because of asking?
Yeleya! who has killed it?
Secondly: The whirlwind that started soon killed people!
The whirlwind that started soon killed people.
After the death of Nsangu, Villi succeeded him. Zongendaba
Mpundi found him on the throne when he reached that country.
17. THE FIRST NGONI WAR
The Ngoni came from South Africa under their chief
Zangemdaba. When they reached the Zambezi they failed to cross
it. With them was an African doctor named Mbelebele; he prepared
medicine and rubbed it to a walking stick. He struck the stick on
the Zambezi and the river dried on that position the Ngoni then
crossed it on that dry part. iWe hear again that the Ngoni on reaching
Zambezi river, got men there whom they forced to canoe them across.
These men were killed by the Ngoni when they reached the other
side of the river, because they did not want to be traced by the
men left in South Africa.
They crossed the Zambezi at Kaimbwa in the area called
Kacomba under Kalindawalo supervision. At last the Ngoni reached
Mkoke where they stole Nsenga cattle from the owners. The Ngoni
came with no cattle from South Africa because they were refugees.
When the Ngoni approached a Nsenga village the Nsenga left their
women under the trees and the men climbed up with bows and arrows.
When the Ngoni warriors saw the men up in the trees they feared to
go near, though they had shields.
To this day we have two Nsenga chiefs who were captured
and then taken by Mpundi. Their names are: Masyanga, the nephew
of Kabaza and Lukezo the nephew of Mawilo. After the Ngoni had
taken all the cattle from the Nsenga they advanced northwards
and crossed the Luangwa river at Mpupusye on the central part of
Cilenga country. From there they travelled again northwards until
they arrived at Chizyozyo in the country of Mambwe. Zwangendaba
Mpundi died there.
Zwangendaba had one sister Tandose and two wives Sosela
and Lomagazi. Sosela had a son before crossing the Zambezi, his
name was Mpezeni Ntuto. When Mpezeni was about seven years old
Lomagazi gave birth to Mombera Mshasho. Lomagazi was a Ngoni woman.
18 MPEZENI AND MOMBERA
After the death of Zwangendaba, Mpezeni and Mombera
Mshasho remained at Chilenga. The two men loved each other and
went for a beer party together. One day Mpezeni killed an animal
and he called his brother Mombera to a sort of feast. His brother
came along with his dog Luzyalusunza. Mpezeni had many dogs, the
oldest dog was Buku by name. It was their habit to throw bones
at the dogs when eating. Mombera on that day kept all the bones
in a heap. Mpezeni asked him, "Why are you keeping the bones, give
them to the dogs?" Mombera replied, "I will give it after eating."
Mpezeni added again, "Will you give all the bones to your dog alone?"
His brother's answer was, "Yes, it will eat all."
Therefore the two men ate all the meat and finished.
Mombera took the bones and gave his dog. Buku, the old dog of
Mpezeni came to interfere, the dog of Mombera sprang and bit the
old dog Buku. Mpezeni was annoyed; he took a stick and hit
Luzyalusunza. Mombera with his Ndunas were annoyed too, they left
for their home with anger. Mombera narrated the story to his mother.
Lomagazi said, "Why did leaido that when his mother is a slave and you
Mpezeni and Mombera claimed for the throne of their father.
As a result Mpezeni followed back the route of his father while as
Mombera continued to advance northwards.
19 SECOND NGONI WAR UNDER MPEZENI
Mpezeni crossed again the Luangwa river and waged war
with the Akatanga at Sasare. After defeat they were forced to go
with him to Matambazi.
The Nsenga who heard about the Ngoni war fled to Uvinza
near Zambezi. Mpezeni left the Nsenga country and entered the
country of chief Mbang'ombe of Mpangwe. The Nsenga, after the Ngoni
war, returned to their country and built a big fortress at Mbala.
Mpezeni fought again with Mkanda the chief of the Cewa.
20 KALINDAWALO CHABALA AND THE ACHIKUNDA
Kalindawalo Chabala waged a war with the AchiKunda.
These men came from Zambezi river in Portuguese East Africa. They
came in that country as elephant hunters. Our chiefs liked these
men because they were given guns and gunpowder by them. They bought
the right to hunt freely with guns and other European articles. When
a Chief allowed them to hunt elephants often they were given a guide.
After killing elephants they took the meat to the chief and carried
the tusks to their country.
Our Chiefs used to send the Achikunda men to kill their
enemies. In that way friendship was strengthened between the
hunters and the chiefs or ordinary men. Prominent Chikunda
hunters whose names are remembered to this day were Chiulika, Mzaza
Under the rule of Kalindawalo Chabala, the Achikunda
used to come as before but the Nsenga said to them, "Why do you
bring these mortal weapons here, they will explode our bodies."
The Chikunda then thought of wars. The Nsenga were not
clever people, the Chikunda always entered their villages as friends.
Sometimes the Chikunda sent scouts who reported and studied how to
attack the Nsenga. The next day the Nsenga would be attacked by
the Achikunda. At times the Achikunda came in the Nsengas villages
one at a time till they were very many in the villages. The Nsenga
again gave presents to the Achikunda men in order that they may kill '.
their own Nsenga friends. This act enabled the Achikunda to overcome
the Nsenga easily because the whole country was corrupted.
21. KALINDAWALO TEMBO
When Chabala died Kalindawalo Tembo succeeded him. He
too, fought with the Achikunda. At the same time when Tembo
was fighting with the Achikunda, the Ngoni came to capture slaves.
The Nsenga now were faced by two enemies. The Nsenga gave up
themselves to the Ngoni because the Nsenga who had stayed with
them begged their relatives to aside with the Ngoni. Nsenga
country was neglected, the Nsenga had moved to the Ngoni country.
Kalindawalo Tembo and the man who lived in the two fenced villages
of Lukunka and Kawele remained in their country. The Chikunda
seeing that a few Nsenga had remained behind, went and surrounded
the village of Lukunka on the Lusobe river.
The Chikunda began to fire guns at the village and owners
of the village fired back. As the fighting went on, one of
the Achikunda man named Silemeka stood on top of an ant-hill, a
bullet from the village got him and he fell down dead. Seeing this
fellow dead the Achikunda fled and the war ended.
22. THE CASE OF CHUMBI
Chumbi was a mwine Ng'oma, he came along with Undi. Later
he loved the wife of Undi-Nyakawa the sister of Kalindawalo. The
pair ran to Mumbi the young brother of Kalindawalo who was staying
at Ongolwe. Mumbi sent messages to Kalindawalo that Chumbi was
staying in his village. The news reached Undi who sent men to
kill Chumbi: His skin was separated from his body like that of animals.
This old custom was done to any person who wronged a chief as proof
that the foe of the chief was killed indeed.
23. THE CASE OF CHIPAPILA
Chipapila was a nephew of Kalindawalo Mudita; he had
built his village opposite to Mkanda, the Cewa chief, Chipapila's
village was built on river Mayila.
Once Chipapila took gifts to Kalindawalo. He did that to
please his Uncle. The chief interpreted the gifts as a trick to
him, he sent men to kill Chipapila. They caught his pregnant wife
and brought her to the chief. She was killed and skinned there.
Her skin was made into a bag of war charms.
Chipapila was infuriated by that deed. He sent his men to
fight Kalindawalo. Unfortunately his men failed, they were chased
as far as the Luangwa river.
24. THE BOUNDARIES OF KALINDAWALO'S
Kalindawalo the first, after the Akatanga war, sent men
of eneMwanza clan to guard the boundaries of his domain. Ukwimi
and Melaza went to Lusandwa, Sandwe to Lusangazi and Sopa to
sasangazi. Mambwe the Kunda chief had his country next to
Kalindawalo. In that way the Kunda and Nsenga began to intermarry.
Sandwe and Ukwimi married Kunda women. To this day we
found Kunda families among the Nsenga of Sandwe and Ukwimi. It
is hard to find a man with true Nsenga or Kunda blood in that
country, because ancient people inter-married freely and extensively.
25. THE COUNTRY OF MZENJE. MSUNGA
Mzenja, Kalindawalo and Cibekwe his brother arrived
together in this country from Uluba. Cibekwe was son of Mzenje
and he was a mwineMwanza. Later Cibekwe changed his name to Msunga
Njala = hunger proof. His relatives said to him, "Since your
name suggests that you can't feel hungry, can you live without
food?" We shall throw you in a hole without food. We want to see
whether you will not die of hunger."
Cibekwe was thrown in a hole and he stayed there for three
months. His son used to bring food to him every night. After
three months had elapsed they found Msunga Njala alive and robust
in body and mind. His relatives said afterwards, "Indeed he is
hunger proof." Cibekwe made a gathering of his relatives and
declared, "I hand over my rule to my son Mzenje." Mzenje therefore
got all the land that was under his father because he had saved
the life of his father.
Mzenje I was Cibombe, the man who had long hair on the
chest. The second was Nyakttlukunda, the third Kapilya, the
fourth Mkangaza, the fifth Cibale. Undi was given Simambumbu
country on other side of Msanzala because he used to make fire
for Cibekwe during their long journey from Uluba.
26. THE REIGN OF UKWIMI
Ukwimi was a mwineMwanza, he was a Bisa from the
Cikulang'ombe situated on the other side of the Luangwa.
Kalindawalo had sent him there to guard the boundary line that
separated Kalindawalo and Mambwe. Ukwimi the I died very early
and his successor was Sopa. Ukwimi had left his sister on the
other bank of Luangwa because she did not want to wander with him.
A man called Cizalila, who came from Kacenga country, got married
to the sister of Ukwimi. After their wedding the woman asked her
husband to take her to Ukwimi. The couple journeyed to Ukwimi,
his grandson was Ngazi Calamuka. Under Sops the Cikunda war broke
out again. Sops, Lubambe, Mselwe and Cilazapo fled to Kantuma.
Sops was caught there while bathing in the Lupande river by a
crocodile. Now only three eneMwanza were alive Mselwe, Cilazapo
and Lubambe. They were driven away again from the Kunda land by
the great floods of 1925.
Kambani the nduna of Tindi was killed by that flood.
Men stayed up in the trees, they made shelters over the branches
where they slept. The flood did drop after two days.
The three eneMwanza said to themselves that the land
was not good for them; their brother was caught by the crocodile
and now their possessions were destroyed by the floods, so they
returned to their old country. They built a village there and
Kapenda became the head of the village in place of Sopa. The
eneMwanza multiplied in number soon and they began to quarrel with
Malama of Cikunto. Tindi Sinjani was annoyed, he waged war with
the eneMwanza and Kapenda was killed. After the war the eneMwanza
built another village again which was ruled by a woman called
Nyakantaci until her son Pindo was grown up to take over the
ruling from her. When Pindo was a young man he took over the rule
from his mother. When he died he was succeeded by Malaza and
Malaza was succeeded by Ukwimi the II.
The name Malaza came as a result that during the Tindi-
Mpundi war the men of Malaza wore rattles on their legs. So the
Chief was later called Malaza which means rattles.
27. CABALA MAKUMBA
Cabala was a big chief among the African people. His
home was Uluba in the west, his clan name was MwineNgulube. The
chiefs that came from Uluba or from Chief Cabala Makumba are:
Undi, the chief of the Cewa, Kalindawalo the leader of the Nsenga,
Mambwe the leader of the Kunda, Kapepa the leader of the Ambo and
The rule of Cabala Makumba was like this; he killed new
born prices and served princesses in his family. It happened that
his last wife gave birth to a baby boy. The mother hid her son
in a hole of a tree at Mwala. She used to send her slave woman to
go and feed the baby there with milk and porridge. The name of
that child was Mambwe.
28. THE JOURNEY OF MAMBWE.
Mabwe as a young man popularize himself with his
father's people by helping them in many ways and inviting them to
beer parties at his house. Men began to talk of him as being fit
to be a chief. Mambwe having created men's confidence in him,
suggested to leave the country of his father with his followers.
He pointed to them the wrongs of Cabala Makumba. Mwane Mambwe and
his relatives Cula and Malama and their followers left Uluba in
search of new land. On the journey they met Undi and Kalindawalo
in the Lenje country. Again he met Kanyozyo and Masenga he told
them to follow him.
After travelling for many days and nights they met the
Makwewo (Anyasala) men from the salty lake country which is found
in Portuguese West Africa. Mambwe bought cloths from the Makwewo
with elephant tusks.
He and his men found Luangwa river full of water. He
struck a tail on the water and a dry path was left where the
crossing was done and that is how his people arrived on this side
of the Luangwa.
29. THE COMING OF Mambwe
Cilynya Manda had two daughters in Uluba land; the elder
was Mbikoulanda, the mother of Cula and Malama, the last born was
Kabaciloba, the mother of Mambwe and his sisters. Mambwe had grey
hair on the chin, he was a fat man, his head was very big and his
forehead protruded. His forehead enabled Mambwe to look up
without actually casting back his head. He used to see the full moon
only. When he saw the shadow cast by the moon he uttered words in
cibetwe saying, "The moon is on to-day." The people in village
shouted and danced whenever Mambwe saw the moon.
Mambwe and Malama stayed at Cikunto because the mother of
Mambwe was sick. He summoned an African doctor who devined that
his mother was bewitched by the grandparents of Malama. On that
fact Mambwe left Malama at Cikunto and went away.
Mambwe crossed the Luangwa on the upper course called
Cenje Pool. Mambwe found his elder brother Cula catching fish.
Cula asked his brother to join him in fishing but Mambwe refused
and continued with his journey. Mambwe called his brother and
his followers eneNsomba (clan name of the fish). later on Cula
and his men were called eneCulumsomba.
At first Mambwe erected a tusk of an elephant at Ongolwe
to make friendship with Undi of Mano and again with Mwase of
Cisombelo and already he had made friendship with Mkanda as he
came on his journey at a place called Nyungwe.
30. THE FIRST WAR OF MAMBWE
The Kunda country was occupied by the Nkalonde tribe
(Atumbuka). They had furnaces where they smelted iron which was
used for making hoes, arrows and bangles. Though they knew how
to smelt iron they did not know how to make clothes. Their senior
chief was found in Lundazi, his name was Badza. Mambwe defeated
the Tumbuka who ran back to Lundazi. The Tumbuka wore animal
skins which passed under their legs. The men of Mambwe called them
'skin men'. In Kunda country there were two big villages. The first
one was built at Kayenga a part of Kasengwa and the chief himself
was Kayenga. We get a tall hill at Eayenga. Men to this day
when they see it say, "This is the deep slope of Kayenga". The other
village was built at Mtondo, even to this day men say, "Mtondo of
Kanyumbu." The Tumbuka who ran from Mambwe found their chief Badza
killed by the Ngoni of Mombela. The clan names of the Tumbuka are:
Anyilenda, Anyasulu, Alongwe, Anyilonga, Azimba and Amando.
When the country was in the hands of Mambwe he gave portions
of the land to his brothers. Tindi was given the land beyond
Lupande called Mlomba where Simzandu village is built now. Tindi
was named Mambwe Kabindula. Jumbe was given the land he possesses
to this day and was named Mambwe Mcaca, his village was Katomfya.
Therefore all his brothers were named after his name Mwambwe. He
moved from Citempa and went to stay at Ulanda.
31. MAMBWE DEATH OF ULUBA
After Mambwe had defeated a big country he gave land to
his brothers and retired to Citempa. As he was very old he died a
natural death and was buried in the forest of Kambeteke. The
Chiefs then like Mcaca, Jawe, Kabalika, Cibaba and Kabindula met
to elect a man who was to succeed the late Chief. Ciluya the
sister of Mombwe explained to them that the place was not to be
succeeded by any man. A man chosen was to be in charge of
the village only. And the Ohiefs dispersed and went back to their
respective villages. That woman was sterile but now she was
determined to have a son who was to succeed Mambwe. She got medicine
from a Bisa doctor to cure her sterility and she was pregnant when
Mambwe died. The place of Mambwe remained vacant for many years
until Malama Kavimba was elected to rule Citempa village.
32. CILUYA MANDA
Afterwards, however, CilLya the sister of the dead chief
(Mambwe) who was pregnant gave birth to a baby boy who was named
Mambwe Nsakilwa childd born out of medicines). When the child
was about two years old its mother passed away. Malama Kavimba
the chief of Citempa did not tell the chiefs about the death of
Ciluya Mando. When Kalelemvya Jumbe heard about the death he
came by night, exhumbed the womans body and cut off her head which he
washed in the Msandile stream and proceeded to his home. Mambwe
Nsakilwa was annoyed when he heard that news because he used to draw
drinking water from Msandile stream where the head of his mother
was washed. Therefore he sweared that he would not drink water
from that stream. He decided later to.move away from Citempa
and went to build a village at Mwangazi known as Mazola.
Afterwards he named the place Ulanda Sad Country' because he
had gone there on account of being sad for what Jumbe did to his
mother. Mambwe Nsakilwa put signs in his village by planting trees
of Mzumba on the places where his houses stood. To-day men can
see the places where Mambwe had built shrine huts.
33. WAR WITH THE BISA
One day the Bisa chief quarrelled with his wife. That chier
had got uncontraceptive medicine from Mambwe. The Bisa chief was
Mwape Colola. The wife of Mwape came to report to Mambwe because
he was a great friend of Mwape and Mambwe recognized that woman
as a chiefs wife. Mambwe received the woman and kept her quietly
in his village. The men of the village did give respect to that
woman and they payed visits to her and made love to her openly.
That in the end was the cause of the Bisa war.
Mwape Colola came to ask for his wife one day. Soon he
observed that the men turned her into a harlot he declared war
of Nawalya. He entered the village with his men and captured
Mlcolo Conje the wife of Mambwe. Mambwe escaped from the village
by magic. The men of Mwape saw Mambwe's guinea-fowls and followed
them. When the guinea-fowls were surrounded they turned into a
fig tree. The Bisa tortured his wife and told her that if she did
not reveal the magic of Mambwe she will get killed. Fearing death
she told them to take a needle, an arrow and a razor blade. She
added that if these things were pushed into the fig tree Mambwe
would be caught.
When the men did that Mambwe was caught and killed. Cioleka
succeeded Mambwe, There was a man named Kavuzya Malambo of
mwineMwanza, he was travelling from Jumbe going to the land across
the Luangwa to his relatives. When he reached the fig tree he found
the coffin of Mambwe under it. He buried it carefully. The grave
of Mambwe Nsakilwa is known to this day because of Kavuzya Malambo.
34. MAIAMA OF CIKUNTO
Malama was mwineCulu, he came together with Mambwe from
Uluba. His elder brother was Gulu, Malama was the second born in
their family, Mambwe the third born and Mcaca the fourth born.
They left Cikunto because of witchcraft practises. Malama alone
remained at Cikunto, he placed Kabindula Cintenji at Nsenzi and
Mkumpa at Mwembezi. Malama did not run away from wars as did
other Kunda chiefs who ran to Cikoba at Lundu. He had been living
where he is from the time of the great movements. When Europeans
arrived in this country they got Malama Tumbwe at Cikunto. The
first white man to visit that country was Vizie. This white man
advised Malama to stop tribal wars. After Vizie left two white
men again came Pite (Piet or Peter) and Sda. These men brought
a flag which they gave to Malama. They explained to him that
they had come to stop tribal wars among the Africans. After the
Ngoni were subdued, Cipalapata came to Malama and assured him that
now they would stay in peace because the Ngoni were defeated.
Malama welcomed the first Europeans happily and he never put
up a fight with them. He told his men that Europeans were fierce
that if they tried to fight they would never win. He added again
that he dreamt that their country would be taken by the whites and
that they would rule them. The Ngoni said that white men are
weaklings because they live in water and they said that they would
win the war.
Malama of Uluba was Sikaumba when he died he was succeeded
by Cisambo, Mpyanasante, Kapatamoya, Tumbwe, Cikoko, Davis (died
1934) and the present chief Mangani. The greatest of all these
names is Malama of Cikunto.
Malama Kapatamoyo was killed by the Ngoni, the Ngoni warriors
found him in his garden and killed him there. After the Ngoni
had killed Kapatamoyo, they found Capalapata (white man) waiting for
them at the village of Mpezeni. Malama Cikoko the cruel, used to
bury himself in the sand of Luangwa leaving only his head in the air.,
when women from Tumba came to draw water he used to cut off their
heads which he hung around his fence. In the end he was nick named
Kalyanika (one who stays in the sun to get dry).
35. MALAMA KAVIMBA AND CIBAULA
After the death of Mambwe, his name remained famous far and
wide as we have read already and also Malama the chief of Citempa
This Malama fought with the Ngoni because he did not run
away like the Nsenga and many other chiefs. It was from that
deed that he called himself Kavimba (to grow or to swell up).
He boasted to his friends that you ran the ngoni wars while I
stayed behind to fight them and to guard the country. The skin he
wore were like those of the Ngoni..
This man reigned for many years, he was a brave man and the
Ngoni did not terrify him. He married a mwineMbawo woman from
Sandwe village named Mkosa, with her he had five children:
Cibaula, Pondaponda, Pundi, Kapala and their sister Nyanje. Since
Kavimba hated his brothers he shared the land therefore to his
sons: Cibaula was given Mwangwa (where the present village of
Camata is built), Pondaponda was sent to Kakuni, Fundi to Bwaku,
the last one was given Nyavindanda. One man wronged Kavimba and
escaped to Sandwe's village. Kavimba asked among his brothers
a volunteer to go and kill that man. No one among them was
willing. Then he called his sons and explained his mission to
them. Ciboula accepted, he went to Sandwe as an elephant hunter
he gave tusks to the chief there. Cibaula secretly by night
caught the man who wronged his father and killed him at Lubaneni.
After the death of Kavimba, Gibaula tried to kill the relatives
of his father because he lusted for power. But in the end Mulu
the brother of Kavimba succeeded him. Soon after the death of
Kavimba, Cioleka was acting as a regent. Cioleka tried to kill
Cibaula on the ground that he claimed to be the next chief. He was
stopped by Mnkanya who pointed to them that Cibaula had a right to
the throne. Many other chiefs again supported Cioleka. Though
Mnkanya saved the life of Cibaula after a short time Gibaula began
to kill the relatives of Mnkunya and in the end Mnkanya himself was
killed. Men to this day say Cib-ula was a bad man.
Mulu, being annoyed by the acts of Cibaula wanted to get his
country from him. But instead Mulu and his nephew Nsefu Cibandanka
were chased away. They fled to the country of Kambwili at Cibande.
Later Cibaula called Mulu to come and pray to the ancestral spirits
for the rain because there was a great drought. When Mulu came at
Citempa he was caught and killed at Lubaneni. Nsefu hearing about
the death of his uncle fled to the lake country at Kotakota. That
was the end of the eneCulu rule at Citempa, leaving the eneMbawo.
Cibaula was a very bad chief, he killed many people included
his wives. He killed many Ngoni men, he would invite them to a
beer party and when drunk axed them. The Ngoni even to-day hate
Cibaula after killing his rivals ruled the whole country
alone. Here is the song he used to sing:
solo: I am a great fighter (3)
I killed even Cimbungwe, my rrand-parent!
(Ten names of Chiefs are mentioned here)
chorus: I am a great fighter
I kill even those who eat powerful charms!
36. THE FLIGHT OF THE KUNDA.
After all the chiefs from Uluba were dead and half forgotten
their successors began to fight with the Akatanga people who were
inhabiting Lebelezi country under Chief Makale in Nyasaland. That war
was not very serious. When the Ngoni war under Mpezeni was fought at
Cikoba, the Kunda foreseeing the strength of the Ngoni ran away
leaving only Malama Kavimba at Citempa and Malama of Cikunto in the
whole Kunda country.
The Kunda went to stay in Nsenga land at a place called
Cikoba in Lundu land. Before Lundu came there that land was under
Then Tindi and his war commander Pemba Cinyamunyamu waged war
at Cipika village with chief Cikwqtu. He captured many men and
women. The captured women sang as follows:
Solo: The war of Cikwatu (3)
Chorus: Has caused troubles in Kanjelenjele
This song is for visanga, a dance for women.
Malama the man who remained at Citempa sent messages to the
Kunda refugees saying, "Return the Ngoni have failed to defeat me,
come before your country is turned into wasteland." Tindi came to
live at Wimbi or Bimbi; Kabilika, Kantuma and Kabindula came to
live at Citete and Mcaca built his new village at his former place
37. THE COUNTRY OF JUMBE
Mambwe the I from Uluba placed his brother Mcaca at Kasinga.
Mcaca because of shutting off the Cewa from entering the Kunda
country called himself Kacinga (the impeder).
The Anyasala used to come for purchasing elephant tusks. When
Jumbe of Kota Kota heard that there were many elephants in the country
of Mcaca, he sent Cikoko to him with three bales of cloths and said
that from that time onwards Jumbe of Kota Kota was to be called
Mambwe. Mambwe Mcaca was to be called Jumbe instead. The river and
the sister of Mcaca was to be called Kota Kota and Mkadi respectively.
The sister of Jumbe was called Mkasa which was the name of Mkade,
previously (Micosi was the real name of Mambwa's sister).
Then the name of Mambwe Mcaca was transferred to Jumbe of
Lake Nyasa. When Mcaca Kapope died, Mcaca Cibandanka Jumbe
succeeded him, when Cibandanka died Msenya took over. This man
ignored the title of Jumbe and called himself Mcaca, that enabled
Cibangalala, another chief to entitle himself by the name of Jumbe
and then we had in one village of Kasinga Jumbe and Mcaca. Later
Jumbe Cibangalala left Kasinga because his mother had committed
adultery with Mcaca. He built his village at Kalongo.
Mcaca Msenga was succeeded by Kabatika Mcaca, who was still
ruling when Europeans opened up this country. When he was asked
by the Europeans whether he was the senior chief he told them that
Jumbe was the senior chief and that's how he lost his power.
The story about Mcaca Kacinga Kalelemvya and the death of
Ciluya Manda are found under the heading of 'Ciluya Manda' inihis
book. After Jumbe Cibangalala, Mfyangama succeeded him and the present
chief is Mateyo (Mathew) of 1947.
38. YAKUNDA AND KAMPASA. A CEWA
In the beginning they were three, Kamanya, Kampasa and
Cikwawe; they defeated Mcaca Kacinga. Kapopo who succeeded Mcaca
fought again with Kampasa but he was unsuccessful. Kampasa made it
known round the villages that the drum he had made was called
'Matako a Tindi' (buttocks of Tindi). During that war the men of
Kamanya helped those of Kampasa. Kapopo interpreted the name of
that drum as an insult to his elder brother Tindi. He called all the
Kunda under Tindi, Kavimba, Kabalika and Cibaba to fight with
Kampasa. They fought with bows and arrows only since guns were not
known at that time. The Kunda were victorious, they captured the
village and was given to the mother of the chief to control. She
was called Cikuni.
After sometimes Kamanya died and the Kunda put their man to
succeed him. Thats how the Cewa rule was got rid of among the Kunda
of Mcaca. Cisulo came very late to aid his fellow Cewa chiefs,
when he arrived he got that they were already defeated. He asked for
a place from the Kunda where to stay and he was given, to this day
he lives in the country of Jumbe.
39. THE REIGN OF KABINDULA (MNKANYA)
Kabindula Citenje Canama came from Malama the chief of
Cikunto. He was the man who sent Kabindula to build a village at
Nsenzi. Kabindula Citenje married the sister of Pedwe Kazubezube
we shall read about him later.
Kabindula Citenje was inherited by Kabindula Ciba. When the
mother of Ciba was sick his wife cared very little for her and soon
she died. Her spirit rose up and began to worry the people. One
day the women went to make salt called Cikonkos: among them were
the mothers of Chief Mnkanya and Chief Kabindula. The mother of
Mnkanya was married to Kabense and she was called Ntembe. The spirit
of Ciba's mother turned into a leopard and killed Ntembe. Her
friends ran home and reported the news to Mnkanya. Mnkanya
interviewed a diviner. The diviner explained that the dead woman
was killed by the spirit of Kabindula's mother. Mnkanya was
annoyed and wanted to see Kabindula. Kabindula knowing that Mnkanya
was a great elephant hunter and a fierce man he deserted his country
because of fear. Mnkanya included the country of Kabindula to his
own. He sent his men to rule there; Mnyangu of Lungu clan was
placed at Cenje now called Kapanzi and Cipe of Ngoma clan name was
given Lukonde nowadays called Mngomba. Bey and Luangwa river
villages under Kabindula were Kabanzi, Cilelete, Cibawatala and
many others. Those villages were taken by the Bisa who ran from
the Bemba wars into Luangwa valley. The Kunda ran from those
villages, crossed on this side of the Luangwa leaving their
villages behind. The villages were Makuli, Kawanzi, Cibawalata
and Gilelele, those who remained behind are under the rule of the
When the Acikunda war approached the Nsenga country, many
chiefs ran to Kazole. Mnkanya, Mzenje, Mwanjabantu, Sandwe,
Masenga and Lungu were among the refugees who rant to Kazole. The
village where these men went was called Mtamba Ndembo because it was
very big indeed. Masenga and Sandwe were given one separate village
at Kabila, now the place is called old home of Masenga'. When
the war was over some of the chiefs remained in that village. They
were driven from it, however, by famine of Kasamba Mngoni. When the
Ngoni wars attacked Kazole the village had at that time fewer people
than before. The Ngoni got all the food in the gardens and told
Mnkanya to cultivate next time on the trigger of his gun. MnKanya
instead called his garden 'Cikope' a trigger. His son Tumbwe
called himself Kapatamoyo life-hater. During famine times men
ate wild fruits and wild leaves were used as relish e.g. (Nivungula
and soya, nkama and Kandambuwa) respectively. The women during
Mubonde dance sang this song:
Song: Cika, Cika has no mercy for Mnkanya
Oh Sir, Oh Cika (bis)
The wife of Mnkanya deserted him and got married to Cibaula.
Mnkanya and Cibaula became bitter enemies. Mnkanya summoned his friends
to help him in combating with Cibaula. Tindi Mtimbasonjo called
upon the Ngoni to help them. Cikolopete, the son of Mnkanya secretly
went at night and told Cibaula that his father would be fighting
him the next day. When the day arrived Mnkanya gave some of his gun-
powder to Cikolopete not knowing that Cikolopete was working against
him. When he reached the battlefield Mnkanya noticed that his gun-
powder was not there. He sent for the powder he gave Cikolopete but
his men found that Cikolopete destroyed it. The men who had come
with Mnkanya were annoyed, they told him that he had wasted their time.
They went back to their respective homes and Cibaula was left untouched.
There was another case asain which was caused by Cing'anze, the
grandson of Mnkanya. He had committed adultery with the wife of
Fundi the brother of Cibaula. Cinganze in the end killed Fundi.
The third trouble was this; Cilopa the son of Mnkanya of Mvula clan
stole Vizi the wife of Cib'ula and eloped to Minga. Cibaula followed
them and killed Cilopa. Therefore men of Mnkanya and Cibaula remained
bitter enemies and later Cibaula with warriors came secretly at
Mtomba and killed Asilongela, secondly they went at Mtewe and killed
Cimpungwe, thirdly they killed Kabindula at Cibovu in the end they
killed all supporters of Mnkanya.
In 1892 Cibaula summoned the son of Mpezeni who lead the war
of Mtabonga. The son of Mpezeni destroyed the village and took
Mnkanya and his brother Mpandika as captives. On the way to the
country of Mpezeni when they came to Kandafulu river Mnkanya refused
to cross it. Cibaula felt mercy for Mnkanya and wanted him released
but Mnkanya said to Cibaula, "You a little child cannot rescue me,
I have been a chief since I was born." Then he turned to the Ngoni
men and said, "Since you have made me cross this river every tribe
here is powerless" and he added, "I give you Mpandika, take him to
Mpezeni in my name and please kill me here." He was burnt alive
under the tree of Mnungula. They placed a reed in Mnkanya's hand
as if he were smoking a pipe and then they set the logs on fire.
The tree where Mnkanya was burnt alive is still in existence. Mpaza
of Nguni clan got some bones of Mnkanya buried them and built his
village close there. If Mnkanya did not die a sad death caused by
Cibaula, early Europeans would have found him alive.
Mnkanya Mpandika went to stay with the Ngoni. When the sister
of Kakumbi was sick the diviner told them that the sickness was
caused by the spirit of Mnkanya. The spirit demanded that Mnkanya
Mpandika should leave Ngoniland to take up his throne. Kakumbi sent
men to call Mpandika. When he came back he married the daughter of
chief Kawela. In 1900 Kakumbi placed Mnkanya Mnandika at Cenje in
the village of Katuze of Ngoma clan. Later Kakumbi placed Mpandika
at Minga and beer was made for enthroning him as Mnkanya II.
Cibaula hearing the news of a new Mnkanya said, "I will kill
him.". Kakumbi was angered by that statement and he demanded that
Cibaula should kill him first before taking off the life of Mnkanya
the II. When the first Europeans came to Cibaula and asked for chief
Mukanya and his country, Cibaula said that Mnkanya was not a chief
but a name of a riverlet. When Mnkanya heard the news he and Kakumbi
Went to the Europeans and told them that Cibaula was a liar. The
Chiefs who were staying at Kazole were: Kabindula, Citenje, Canama,
Kabindula Ciba, Mnkanya Mpandika (died 1940) and Mnkanya Phillimon Giba.
40. THE REIGN OF TABE (TINDI)
When Mambwe was sharing his country to his men he sent Table at
the upper part of Lupande to a place called Mlomba; he stayed together
with Kabalika. Karenga Kaungo and Zazatike and Pemba Condo got Tabe
already settled at Mlomba.
At first Tabe waged war with the Akatanga. The battle was a
draw match therefore Tabe made friendship with Makale the head of the
Akatanga who was stayed at Lubelezi on the other side of the Mcinji
mountain in Nyasaland.
The nephew of Tabe was Tindi, the son of Kabense of Lungu clan
name. Kabense married two chief-mothers. He had two sons, Mnkanya
was the son of Kabindula Queen, Tindi of Tabe Queen. Tindi married
later, the sister of Kacenga. They had a son called Cauluka. When
Tabe died Tindi the son of Kabense succeeded him.
The new chief retained his old name of Tindi and the name
Tabe was piven to a man who was ruling at Kasinga.
Tindi who was very ambitious waged many wars than any other Kunda
chiefs. He lead his men to Ciziye, there he defeated Kanyindula the
Cewa chief and killed him. On their way home they sang this song:
Put no blame on me to-day again bi'ss)
Tindi, you keep the custom of Maziti
The skin clothes swayed aside. YaYa to-day,
Giziye has been buried eh! eh!
When they reached home at last men played the drums or added
some wax on top of the membranes or fired guns in the air to show
that they had captured some slaves for themselves. Even when a person
captured a weakling or a person half dead because of hunger he
praised himself. In the end the men drank beer in which Nkulo medicine
was added. The chief took a red-cloth, tore it in strips and dressed
his great warriors.
During that war Pemba Cinyamunya Ciimyakulu was present. Tindi
now called himself 'Cifurafwanta', the crusher. This name terrorised
people during his reign. We have already seen that when Tindi and
Pemba were staying at Cikoba of Lundu they used co wage wars with
Cipika of Cikwatu land. The Ngoni knew too that Tindi was a strong
fierce chief because whenever the Ngoni passed by his village he sent
them away. His reason for doing that was that the Ngoni walked half-
naked and kept long hair which frightened the children. Therefore at
times the Ngonils hair were cut short and were given pieces of cloth
to wear before entering the village.
Tinde the crusher was succeeded by Tumbwe Sinjani and he
retained the title of Tindi. There was in that village a young boy
who was called Mponda. When this boy grew up he claimed to rule
instead of Tumbwe. Tumbwe tried to kill Moonda with charms, but it
failed. The mother of Mponda obtained medicine used for treating her
son from a Bisa doctor Canzyampapa. Soon after the illness of Mponda
the wives of Sinjani died. Sinjani therefore ordered Kabalika to kill
the Bisa doctor on his way home. Kabalika accepted it and killed him.
Mponda knew that the doctors death was caused by Sinjani, therefore
he and Sinjani quarrelled. Since the quarrel seemed to have no end
Sinjani being old fled to Msero with his nephew Situmba and another
man called Conzola. Mponda now made himself chief under the name of
Mponda now as a chief tried to occpy the area of Kapenda whose
village was called Lumbuka in Sandwe country, but he failed and
came home as he had begun.
Sinjani who was still at Msoro, tried again to bewitch Mponda
Mponda knowing that he fled to Ngoni country. Tumbwe Sinjani came
back from Msoro and recovered his power as Tindi again. Later a war
terrorized the country of Tindi, the following people were taken as
captives: of Conzola family, of Tindi family, the sister of Mponda,
Colo of Sakala clan name was a brother of Mpondi but were born of
different mothers. Mponda's clan name was Mwanza. Then Sinjeni
was bewitched by Mponda and was succeeded by Limbalimba. When the Ngoni
were defeated by Europeans, Mponda came in 1899 and fought with Limbalimla
Mponda in the end became Tindi and Limbalimba went back to his old home
In 1904 a white man nick-named 'Ciutale Kalelamkosi' a
neck-nurser, came to Tindi to find out the extension of his country.
Tindi replied, "My country runs from here to Msoro to Lusandwa and
Cikoba of Cisapa." Tindi was called to the Boma one day to give an
account because there was much upheaval of troubles in his country and
was penalised. Tindi married Cindafwa from Kapunula village. It is
believed that Cindafwa bewitched her husband because in 1912 the chiefs
legs paralysed after enduring a mortal illness. Until his death in
1.918 he moved himself by crawling. He was succeeded by Malukutu (died
1932). Malukutu was followed by Msenya who was living by 1947.
41. CHIEFS OF LUSANGAZI.
Lusangazi chiefs came from Mkuni in Lenje country,
their clan name was Tembo.
Their old home was near the Kafue river at a place
called Lufwansoka. Here is a story about the birth of Sandwe I. There
were two women, Nyakatola and her young sister Nyamcela. Nyakatola was
the mother of Sandwe and his two sisters. This women died before her
children were grown-ups. Nyamcela took the place of her elder sister
and she brought up the children left by Nyakatola. This woman had
her own child called Cimbuzi.
The name of Sandwe I of Lenje was Kanyozo; he was a great
farmer. The country frequently was attacked by famine because of
snakes that prevented people to go for hoeing. Therefore many people
came to live with Kanyozo who gave them food to eat. Kanyozo received
these people well and instead of sending them away he turned them into
relatives and renamed them after his own dead relatives.
In the end he had many people around him and he made
himself chief. His young brother Cimbuzi became second chief in
succession. They arranged to search for a new land. They began their
long trip together with Masenga and Kasabi; Masenga was Kanyezo's
42. THE JOURNEY OF SANDWE KANYOZO.
On their journey from Lenje country Kanyozo together
with other elderly men wished to go to Uluba, because they had heard about
the great kingdom of Cabala. Makumba. On their way to Uluba they met
Mambwe who told them the evils of that great King. Then Kanyozo followed
Mambwe up to this country. These two tribes of Awetwe and Lenje
began to inter-marry. Mambwe married Ngabo the sister of Kasabi.
They crossed to Moinga escarpment together and reached the Luangwa
river. They re-crossed the Luangwa at Lwamfwe near the old home of
Chief Saili. From there they arrived in this country. These people
built their first shelters at Kabaye.
Ngabo the wife of Mambwe died soon after crossing
Luangwa. It is believed that she was murdered by Mambwe because she
committed adultery. Mambwe skinned off her belly skin because it had
beautiful tattoos. The Lenje had developed better tattoos than the
Awetwe people from Uluba. Kasabi was angered by the death of his
sister, He asked Masenga to fight with Mambwe. Masenga in turn
ordered his brave nephew Kanyozo to attack Mambwe. In the end of
that battle Mambwe gave Lusangazi country to the Lenje chiefs in place
of their dead sister.
43. THE COUNTRY OF LUSANGAZI
Kasabi and Masenga made Kanyozo their chief because
he was a good war leader. Kanyozo shared his country to his relatives:
Myanda and Mumba were placed below the Lusangazi, Nyakauta and Fube
were placed near Luangwa, Cipanzawe and Kakwele were placed above the
Lusangazi. Kanyozo and Cimbuzi went to build at Lumbuka, Kasabi was
left at Mbiya and Masenga at Kabaye. When Kanyozo was firmly settled
he changed his name to Sandwe 'one who changes the country'. His
young brother was named Makoba 'one who stays with a friend permanently'.
Sandwe moved from Lumbuka to Cunga because of the Acikunda who killed
Katenje. Sandwe I died at Cinga and he was succeeded by Kampinga the
cruel. He used to kill men for pleasure. Later he moved his village
to Citete fearing the Ngoni and the Acikunda wars. When the war
swept through Citete Kampinga fled with his wife to Mbala where he
died. Kapala of Cibaula family succeeded him but he was soon dethroned.
A man of Nyanyokwe family then succeeded him.
44. SANDWE NYANYOKWE.
Nyanyokwe fought many times with the Ngoni and
Acikunda and he fought again with the Europeans. At first he.moved
his village to Mukanya cause of wars. As he stayed in Kunda country
he built a fortress at Mtondo. His men were well armed vith bows and
arrows and guns. He bought those things from the Anyasala, with
elephant tusks. His men made three trips to the country of the
Anyasals. Therefore he was a very strong chief, the chiefs under him
used to run into his fortress for protection during war times.
The common clan name found in Lusangazi is Mbao the
relatives of Sandwe. They changed their name to Mbao because of the
insects that worried them in that country called Mbebu or Mbewu. The
other reason that might have brought this name could be inter-marriages
between Sandwe's men and the Kundu people where the clan name Mbao
was in existence long before. Mbao was a clan name of Kunda chiefs
on the paternal side.
It is said that Kasabi had leprosy. He married the
sister of Mkono, this man came as a hunter from Mulunguzya. The
relatives of Kasabi felt no mercy for his sickness, therefore he told
his son alone to bury him after his death. He gave his son the village
of Cibole where Mbuya was staying. Kasabi soon died and Mkono his
brother-in-law buried him in the stream of Kang'ombe.
Nsangwa the brother of Sandwe married Mbawentundu
the sister of Kalwa. Mbawentunda one day told her brother Kalwamui
that she was leaving for Lebeba.
She parted and came to a small river with a fertile
plain called Mcembwe. They stayed there for many years and her
sons Cipanzabe and Citi were grown-up men. They had plenty of
food. One day the two sons made a big bag and filled it with
food. Then they invited Sandwe to their home. When Sandwe arrived
there he was introduced to the giant bag. Mbawentundu said, "I am
in the giant bag and my name is Cinzimbenzimbe". The chief seeing
the sons of Mbawentundu asked, "Whose sons are these?" Mbawentundu
replied, "They are for Nsangwa." The chief said, "Nsangwa means hoes
this bag will be mine." The woman gave the bag to the chief with an
elephant tusk on top as a sign that she was a chieftainess. Then
the woman said, "My child Cipanzabe is a chief." Sandwe consented
and said, "He is a chief alright but he must kill small elephants,
big ones are mine, when killed they should be brought to me."
Sandwe consented to make Cipanzabe a chief. Later the
wife of Sandwe committed adultery. The villain man fled to Mbala.
The chief paid charm medicine for the man to come to trial but the
chief of Mbala refused, he said that if it were a stretch of cloth
he would have had sent the man to him. Cipanzabe hearing this sent
the required length of cloth to Sandwe. Sandwe now sent it to
Mbala and the chief of Mbala arrested that man and was given
messengers to bring him to Sandwe. Unfortunately the man died on
Then the wars came and left the men homeless;
afterwards however Sandwe returned to his old village and stayed
there. The next chief after Sandwe was Cibale. Cipanzabe had come
and said, "This is my country." Sandwe refused and said, "This is
not your country and afterwards I shall hand it over to Cibale, you
ran away from this country with your mother."
47. THE REIGN OF KAKUMBI.
Kakumbi was a relative of the Culu clan people
because his fore-father Mungu was a brother of Mambwe Nsakilwa.
Kakumbi was a mwineMbao, he was a descendant of
Sandwe. Their mother was Kawela. Eawela was married to Lubewa of
Nzovu clan and this man came from Kalwani. Lubewa built his village
at Malanga in the country of Chief Malama. Lubewa had two sons
Kakumbi and Cipotela and two daughters Kabinga and Cisuma. When
Kakumbi grew up he became an elephant hunter and a trader. When the
Bisa Yumba moved from Cipela to attack Lubewa the trader was killed
in that war. Kakumbi after the death of his father ran from
Malanga and went to stay across the Luangwa at Kapili. The Bisa
chiefs came to him and told him to pay tributes to them because
he was staying in their country. Kakumbi therefore used to take
tributes to Cioolo the Bisa chief. After doing that for many years
Cipolo would give back elephant tusks to Kakumbi again on what
Kakumbi was well known among the Bisa. One day he
asked Cipolo to allow him to build a village on the other side of
the Luangwa. He shifted with his men equipped with bows and guns
to Kafunta in the country of Mnkanya. Later Kakumbi made friends
with the Acikunda and he got magic charms for war from Nyakazika
an Acikunda doctor. Since Kakundi had many Acikunda men in his
village and had a well equipped army he decided to attack Mkwesa
of Lusandwa. Some of the men of that village fled to Msoro. They
explained to Chief Msoro that they were attacked by the Acikunda.
Msoro sent his sons Makoloka and Mpandika to the battle-field. The
two sons of Msoro cut off the Acikunda from water. They guided the
wells day and night. In the end the Acikunda began to drink their
urine and many died of thirst. Many from Cibaula deserted the village,
leaving their guns lying here and there. After that war Msoro
retaliated by waging war with Cisuma, the sister of Kakumbi who was
married to Kalomba. The men of Msoro reached near the village of
Cisuma. They heard men speak but could not see them or their
houses when they wanted to charge. Therefore they tried to besiege it.
The men of that village had played a trick on them. One day the men in
the village created a cat (by magic) and deliberately made it blind.
They let it free at night near the besieging men. Since it was
mewing the men caught it, finding that it was blind they thought
it was a sign of bad omen and hence went back home unsuccessful.
Kakumbi had many names; He was called Lobe or
Cimpusu or Imbwa (a dog without a tail). He ruled for many years.
He had a brother called Cipotela whose wives one day quarrelled with
the wives of Kakumbi at the well of water. The wives of Kakumbi on
reaching home told their husband that the wives of Cipotela laughed
that he was a leper and that he had a bad smell because of not washing
The wives of Cipotela told him what the other women
said of him that he was a lazy man, who wears leg bangles like a Bemba
chief. Cipotela was infuriated, he went to Kakumbi and knifed him
through the neck. Maozya the brother of Kakumbi tried to rescue his
brother but was knifed on the neck too. He knifed again Cikauza and
Kalindankonyo the other brothers of Kakumbi on the neck and stomach
respectively. Out of the four stabbed men only Kalindankonyo survived
After killing his brothers Cipotela fled across the
Luangwa. He lived for a short time with the Acikunda who were under
a European Captain nick-named Kamzaza or Mwane Mambo (son of the
chief) in Nsenga. Cipotela explained how his flight was caused in
details. The Acikunda took Cipotela back to his country and forced the
people to look upon him as the successor of Kakumbi. The Acikunda
explained that if Cipotela had killed his brothers with out cause he will
not stay long on the throne. The Acikunda said that if Cipotela was not
going to be respected they would declare war upom them. Cipotela ruled
without troubles and was found by white pioneers on the throne.
Cipotela died in 1910. He was succeeded by his nephew
KomaKoma Pwalu who died in 1911. He died soon after reigning because
he was immoral with the wives of his uncles and others say that he
used to kill the husbands of the women he loved.
KomaKoma was succeeded by Nsyanga who later called himself
Katate. This man was alive in 1947. This how Nsyanga changed his
name to Katete. In 1917 Europeans wanted him to move from where he
was because the people were attacked in great numbers by itch disease.
Nsyanga refused to move into Serenje. The Commissioner brought the
case to Livingstone but the headquarters sympathised with Nsyanga.
From that moment Nsyanga called himself Katate (in a way over come
Ambo people were found mainly in Petauke district.
Their ancestors came from Uluba and were under Cabala Makumba. The
Ambo are close relatives of the Lala and their clan names and language
are similar. The royal clan name of the Ambo is Nyendwa. Some of
their rulers were women e.g. Mwape and Nyamaluba. To this day the
successors of these two chieftainesses are women (their daughters).
Muma and Kalale came firstly from Kalinda near Masenga;
these two men belonged to Nyendwa clan. Muma built his village at
Cilenga below the Mcinga escarpment and he controls all the land
called Lusibasi. Kalale too controlled all the land along the Luangwa
on both sides. On this side of the river his boundary was the
mountains that cut the men of Nyakatula village from us (Nyalratula
was under Chief Kasabi), his country stretched as far as Lundu under
chief Cikoba. He had boundaries with Malama of Cikunto who in turn
had boundaries with Kazyula. On the other bank of the upper course
of the river Kalale had boundaries with Bisa Yumba, the Nyamafere
stream was their boundary. He had boundaries again with Muma, Mtisase
and at the lower course of the river he had boundaries with Kalyango
and Nsyobe. Kalale had a very big country. Kalale was succeeded by
Citambo of Culu clan who in the end built the beautiful village
Gibombomele village was surrounded by water (had a
big canal round it), the Ngoni and the Acikunda failed to attack it
cause they could not cross the water. The chiefs under him were:
Kalinda and Kacinga Nyau (bridge-keeper). One day Citambo murdered
the hunter of Mzaza, a Cikunda chief. The Acikunda declared war upon
Citambo. Some of the men who hated the rule of Citambo led the
Acikunda into the village through the bridges. Men hated Citambo
because he exchanged men for tobacco or Indian hemp.
Cisenva and his brothers Caui and Lundu were of Nyendwa
clan. They once killed elephants and took the tusks for selling at
Mbwani. The three brothers were excellent hunters. Firstly they built
a village in Lenje country at Cisani. It happened that when these men
were moving from Uluba the nephew of Cisenga fell seriously ill and
he cried for cow-peas but found none. After some days they saw a
woman from Lundu group carrying some cow-peas in a gourd. Cisenga
was annoyed and named the men under Lundu eneNyangu 'of cow-peas'.
Cisenga and his people were still eneNyendwa.
When they reached the Luangwa Cisenga found that there
were as many elephants as he had thought. He decided to stay there
but his brother Caui continued the journey with his men. They settled
at last in the Bisa country under Chief Cipolo near the Luangwa river.
Later Caui crossed the river and found with Mkunda Mnyalila at
Cinzombo and he became an enemy to Cipolo.
Cipolo died during the great epidemic of small-pox,
his nephew Kumba Kapopo succeeded him. Caui boasted to Kumba that his
predecessors failed to defeat him, therefore Kumba a young man could
do nothing to him. Kapopo replied, "I am Kapopo. When I am determin-
ed to do anything it cannot be changed." Kapopo in Bisa language meant
a baby born dead. Then Kapopo called the Acikunda on his side and
destroyed the village of Caui at Conzombo. The men of Caui ran in all
directions, some ran to Cenje others to Kateme or Kakumbi. Kapopo
told the Acikunda to build their village at the home of Caui and they
named it Nyungwe. Lundu again fearing the Acikunda war ran to the
Kunda country of chief Mnkanya. The wife of Lundu was Nyamtaba. Lundu
returned to his brother Cisengs who was staying on this side of the
Luangwa. Afterwards again he left Cisenga's village and followed
Cikoba who was staying near Capalapata mountain. On this journey Lundu
was accompanied by his brother Kapenda. Kapenda passed through
Capalapata and went to Lusangazi to hunt elephants. Kapenda found
Sandwe already settled there. Sandwe sent Kapenda to fight a war with
Teyaya, A Tumbuka chief because Teyaya had killed aid kept the skin of
Katenje, the Uncle of Sandwe. Kapenda accept and killed Teyaya, the
skin of Katenje and part his waist was also found. Sandwe for a present
gave Kapende the country known as Lumbuka Cibontya, and the land of
Lundu began to expand. The son of Kasabi who was given the clan name
of Nyangu gave his portion of country called Mbiya to Lundu and Kapende.
The country under Cikoba was as follows: Lundu had
boundaries with Mambwe of Cilope, then he placed Makale to guide his
boundary with Nzenje at Sasare a.bdl hngS~osit#glg@ and Cisenga
remained apart for many years.
country of Lundu and Lundu never went to Malama. In Lundu country
or Cikoba the following Chiefs ruled there: Cembe, Cabala, Mpofu,
Mtobeka, Malanda, Cembe the II and Cinema.
49. THE COUNTRY OF KABALA
The first chief to settle in Kawala country was
Kaungo Kacenga of Sakala clan. He came from Cinzale near Mankungwe.
Mmbang'ombe came to this country soon after parting with Mkanda.
He found a good place called Matunga where natural salt was got and
built a home there. Then Kaungo moved his village at Kacenenje where
death got him. He was succeeded by Cipwambwaza, this man moved again
to Kakoba. When Cipwambwaza died some of his men moved the village to
Cibambo near Civyololo. Other people remained at Kakoba and their
next chief was Mwanzabamba, the nephew of Cipwambwaza. After him
came Canluka the son of Tindi. During the reign of Cauluka two men
came Zazatike and Kasezya Kabenga, who were the brothers of Vizi the
woman that ate the medicine of Kazubezube. These men came from
Cingale. Kaungo gave them land on the other side of the Lupande.
Mwanzabamba was succeeded by Mbonela his sister because all the male
heirs were very small. Then Mbonela called upon a feast and the feast
she declared that Zazatike would be the new chief and that he would be
called Msoro Mwanzabamba. After the death of Zazatike, Pemba Coudo
(the son of Vizi) the nephew of Zazatike succeeded him. When Kasezya
Kabenga grew up he claimed the throne of his grandfather and was
50. THE REIGN OF MSORO.
Zazatike had a great fame, because when Maziti captured
Kaungu Kalima in a war Kaungu soon escaped because Zazatike brought
him a small elephant that carried his brother across the river. That
river was called Kaungu from that time to this day. During the reign
of Zazatike his two big areas were Msoro and Mwanzabamba. Out of two
areas Msoro was very famous. From him to this year there has been
three successors Zazatike Msoro the I who died at Makwekwe, then
came Kasezya the son of Lauzi, who had many self-praising names like
Mazwemazwe because of sorcery.
In those days a man came to Kasezya from Cikunda and
said, "Chief Msoro do you know mtunilo"? The chiefs answer was a
negative. Then the stranger sent his wife at the well to bring some
stones. The woman brought many stones to him. The stones were
pounded in the pounder and a pot containing beer was put on fire. The
stone powder was added to beer on the fire and the woman continued
to stir until the mixture turned into oil. Msoro was greatly surprised
with the trick. He called important men and women in the village and
all the children. He ordered the warriors to bathe in that oil. The
remainder was kept aside in the oil containers. When they went for
wars they observed that bullets aiming at their bodies did not kill
them or harm.
51 TO MANDANGWE
Kalumba belonged to Sakala clan, he had a nephew
Sibembo. He built his first village within Mtondo trees at
Civyololo. The wars forced him to run together with Msoro to Tindi.
When Msoro was settled at Eawala he sent men with three bags of
food to Kalumba. War again came which killed many followers of
Kalumba. After that disaster Kalumba moved and made his home
within Cinzewe. During that time war was fought in that village.
Kabuma the brother of Pemba and Msoro was travelling from Mandangwe
to Pemba. When he arrived at Cinzewe he stood on an ant-hill and
watched the fighting men in the village. A Kunda man aiming his
arrow at the chief shot him round the tits. The chief fell down
dead instantly. When the news reached Pemba and Msoro they declared
war upon the men of Cinzewe, the Kunda under Kalamba and the villages
around Mandangwe. The village of Cinzewe was burnt down, that place
is now called Mtente. This is the Malaila (a dance) song Pemba sung
in praise of his victory.
Song: What these people say I hear, but often I ignore them.
Where there is smoke there is fire
Where black-ants take their food
O, mother my tail place itches (my heart pains when
there is trouble
52. THE STORY OF PENDWE KAZUBEZUBE
Kuzubezube was a great hunter. He used to hunt
through many countries. When he went to hunt in Kalindawalo's
country, a woman called Nizi destroyed some of the hunting medicines
for Kazubozube. That woman was arrested and taken to her brother
named Kaungo. Kaungo refused to pay fines for his sister and instead
gave him the same woman to marry. That woman was again the sister
of Zazatike the elder brother of chief Msoro.
The nephew of Kabindula again married Mwami the sister
of Kazubezube Nsunkanya. Kabindula Citenje used to kill his children
for no good reason. When the woman was again pregnant she went to her
home village. She had a child and when returning to her husband she
left the child to her brother. Kazubezube knew that Citenje used to
kill the children, therefore he was called for trial. In the end
Mambwe the brothers of Citenje gave part of his country to Kazubezube.
Mambwe buried tusks of elephant at Kaliwata and said that from that
tusk onwards the country was given as a fine to Kazubezube.
53 THE COMING OF EUROPEANS.
The first Europeans to come to our country were the
Portuguese; they started from Tete Boma near the Zambezi. They
travelled far and wide, they crossed the Luangwa after leaving the
country of Ciwande, They visited Lake Banguelu and stayed within
the village of Kazembe. The man who lead those expeditions was
Dr. Lacerda. This man wrote down his travels as we read them to-day.
As they passed through another country they came across the Malave
people under Chiefs Undi Mkanda and Mwase. 150 years has now elapsed
since that time when Dr. Lacerda made his journey here. The Kunda
Ambo and Bisa were still unknown in this country and were outside it.
The Portuguese men tried to make treaties with the chiefs and they
wanted to open up tusk trade and slave trading in exchange for cloths
David Livingstone arrived in this country a century ago.
He found that the Kunda, Bisa and many other tribes had come to settle
in this country and he found the Ngoni and the Acikunda terrorising the
tribes here. The Anyasala continued to buy slaves which they took to
Mbwani. Dr. Livingstone was struck by slavery and tribal wars that
he was forced to go to England to ask for volunteers to help him it
stamping out the evils of Central Africa.
The Bishops and ministers of U.M.C.A. sympathised
with the Africans and they came to Africa to work among them. The
main work of Missionaries is to preach the ;vord of God, to make people
Christians and to teach them to love one another so that they should
stop to fight among themselves. Europeans like Vizy, Solo and Piet
(Pite) stopped wars in a different way. They approached the chiefs
and told them to stop tribal wars. Many chiefs followed the advice
these men gave them. Later many European officers began to arrive in
this country from Zomba in Nyasaland. Mpezeni believing that he had
won many victories and soon had defeated Mwase of Kasungu declared
war on the white man. The Ngoni said, "Though these men are white
they cannot overcome us." Capalapata (European) dispersed the Ngoni
men with a cannon. From that time on the men began to live peacefully
and they cultivated their gardens without fear, had fine villages
and many tamed animals. The Boma have continued to do their work
and we have stayed peacefully ever since under the rule of King
George the ruler of England and our country.
54 ANCIENT KUNDA.
The Kunda came from Congo. Many centuries have
passed since their arrival here. They fought with the men of the
countries they passed through on their journey from Congo. They
left Uluba because they wanted Ciluba to rule them but when they failed
to get him they decided to move away. They travelled great distances
until they came to Kaonde country. They stayed there for some years.
When the Kunda resumed their journey Kasonso a Kunda man remained
behind, now he is a Kaonde chief. During their stay in Kaonde
country the Kunda learnt a little Kaonde language. Then they entered
the Lima country and passed on to Utwa.
During their stay there they learnt the Batwa language.
In the end they had learnt three languuages: Ciluba, Ciutwa and
Cikaonde. They moved again from Utwa where they left their sisters
Ciluvya who because of staying there long got married to a Utwa man.
The off-springs of Ciluvya settled in Ulima and Lamba country, hence
we find men of Culu clan in those countries. The Kunda language is
made up of Ciluba, Cikaonde and Ciutwa and there has been no one wise
enough to break down the language again.
The first Kunda to arrive in this country were speaking
Ciwetwe. At that time there were great movements of tribes. The
Nsenga ran away from the Acikunda wars, the Bisa from the Bemba and
the Cewa from the Bisa war. The Bisa came to Kunda country and when
together they inter-married. Later the Kunda fleeing from the Ngoni
wars ran to the country of the Nsenga, Ambo and they copied the Ambo
language and now their language included five different types of
languages, therefore the Kunda language has changed its wording
CIWETWE CIKUNDA I CIKUNDA II
Mat Usalo Utanda Mpasa
Cloth Litonje Tonje Nyula
Thick porridge Wall Insima Nsima
Sleeping place Ulo Ulo Mawelo
go away Amwaya- Kabiyeni Nkoyani
Our home Kunkufu Kumwesu Kwasu
fibre-strip Luzizi Inzizi Nzizi
Mud Mateke Mateke Matika
Hoe Lukasu Kakasu Kambwili
The Ciwetwe and Cikunda I have disappeared completely,
the third column or the Cikunda II is spoken to-day. There are,
however, many Ciwetwe words still in use, like Katemo = axe,
Uitonga mtenje Maize, Kankoma = cow peas etc.
55 THE FAMILIES THAT CAME WITH MAMBWE.
Mambwe came with three clan families from Uluba;
Ng'oma family, Lungu family and the Mwanza family. They met with the
Mbao clan family on their way. Many small families joined Mambwe
because he was a strong chief. Such clans were the bakala, the
Ngulube, the Mvula etc. The Mvula clan came from Mzenje, the Sakala
came from Kacenga, the Ngulube came from Mpeta under Chief Mvuvye and
many others came across the Luangwa to join Mambwe. Again the Nzovu
came from Kalwani, the Lungu (another family) came from Ulondo under
Cifuka, others ran from the Bisa war that was overwhelming Mwase's
area and a few came from Kasungu, they were forced to move because of
great enmity among themselves. All the mentioned people found a
resting nlace in Kunda country and later they formed one tribe. The
other Ng'oma clan came from Vunda, they were Senga Comeue of Lundazi,
others came from Kabaza and these people joined with the men of Mambwe
Another group of Mwanza clan came from Sopa. They had
ran from their country cause of wars. After the wars a few returned but
the great majority remained behind in Kundaland. The Ng'uni clan was
a group of Ambo men from the other bank of the Luangwa; the Miti were
Cewa from Cikomeni. The Mbulo, Ingo, Koni, Luwo, Kaubi, Mbuzi, Beza,
Nzoka and Ng'ona were Bisa family clan names, but Wall were Bemba.
56 THE KUNDA ADVANCEMENTS.
Mambwe men from Uluba cultivated cotton trees. They
never knew how to make animal skin cloth but knew how to spin cotton
and then to turn it into cloth which they wore. They planted a
variety of cotton trees. This is how they planted the trees: seeds
were sowed, when the plant grew it was given a name 'Cimbila', then
they placed near it an instrument called 'Muomba' which was used for
crushing the cotton to separate the seeds (this work was done by
women), The men made a bow from the ligaments of cheetah and an arrow
was aimed at a cottom tree and fired, that was done to prevent bad
weeds from growing near the plant. When ready the cotton was collected
and carried round a reed. The best cotton was called 'Mizinji'.
Then the cotton were transferred from the reeds and made into a ball
'mitavu'. These balls of cotton were put in an open Winnowing basket
called 'Kasangwalupe' as in large eating-dishes (made of reed or palms).
The balls of cotton threads were used as a form of money. A man found
guilty would pay balls of cotton thread or exchange them for another
The next step was to spin the balls of cotton into good
strong threads. They prepared a place where the weaving by hand was
to take place. They dug four holes and placed four poles in them. Two
poles ran on top from one end to the other. Then they put two threads
running across the frame-work, one at the top and the other at the
bottom. If they wanted to make a bir cloth sir big reels of threads
were used but for a small cloth only four or three were used. The big
cloth was called 'Cimbwe', the small was called 'Kaliyombele'. The
cloth that was made from three reels of threads was perhaps the smallest
it was called 'Kalimumu'.
The cotton was weaved into cloth by a wooden needle
'Msumbu'. 'Sindo' = a mallet, was used for pegging the threads when
weaving. The wooden instrument that was used for separating the threads
was called 'Twetwe'. The thread linings were made firm by a liquid
obtained from trees (like bees-wax). When the cloth was finished it
was wetted and hammered with sticks or pounded in a wooden pounder.
After washing it was dried and worn. There were three types of
cloths: Cimbwe was 100 ins x 90 ins, Kaliyombele was 80 ins x 70 ins
and Kalimumu 70 ins x 50 ins.
One cloth of Limbwe would be exchanged for a girl
between 12 18 years old, Kaliyombele would be exchanged for a young
SOAP: Before the advent of the whites, Africans who
lived here never washed their clothes but they knew hor to dye the
When the cloths brought by Europeans were known and worn by many
people the men began to wash them with Mzanga, mwamuna mzulo and
Katangala. This is how they dyed their clothes: when a man had a
white cloth, he dug the roots of mgonono tree, scraped the outer
part and made it into a powder. The cloth was boiled in the mixture
of the powder and water. It was dried without wringing and the
mixture was left to cool again and was kept. This cloth was worn
for three days, on the third day it was dyed in the same mixture again
but this time black mud was added to the mixture. The cloth was left
soaked in the mixture for a long time, from there it was washed in
clean water. The cloth then appeared blackish. It was worn for
a week. After a week the cloth was dyed again with the mixture
obtained from powered zimwe with black mud added. The cloth now
was dyed black.
PERFUMES: The ancient Kunda got their perfumes from Nkula tree. They
cut the tree and took from it the core (heart) which was made into a
powder. They put the powder in a shell of Cizimbili fruit (African
orange), oil was added and the lotion was applied to the skin after
bathing. This lotion was called 'Pokwa'. Again they dug the roots
of a big 'ndabo' plant. The roots were pounded and oil added. The
lotion produced a beautiful scent.
HOUSES; The Kunda built fine houses with a sort of veranda round it.
The roofs had three or four 'mibalo' (stocks that serve for the same
purpose as beams). It is said that women seeking for pardon from
their husbands would by mentioning the beams be excused. Many would
forgive their wives when only the last beam on top or the second from
last was mentioned.
The roofs were long and came too far down that people
were forced to crawl when entering. They dug holes huts at times
and put maize stalks in them. Some houses were built of mud, there
were two poles at the door to which the door was fixed. Again they
knew how to make beds. The Kunda never knew anything about smelting
ore from stones. Their hoes were made from a tree called Kasalusalu.
During Kunda-Tumbuka war the Kunda managed to steal many iron hoes from
the Tumbuka who were iron-mongers.
THEIR FOOD: The Kunda came with these foodstuffs from Uluba: Finger
millet and cassava which was their main flour. Their relish were
Nkunde, Kankoma and bnego. They brought a bulrush Millet from Lambo
country called Nkambwa, later the same millet was called Nokosa (the
millet became harder than before, perhaps on account of different
soils). Even to-day millet seeds taken from other parts of Kunda
country would become very hard that it cannot be ground without being
Here are all the foods brought by the early Kunda:
Finger millet, Indian hemp, brown cassava, maize, tobacco, brown rice,
brown potatoes, some kind of monkey nuts, yams, sugar stalks (some of
these sugar stalks are ready for eating in February) etc. The maize
gets ripe by January, the maize with big cobs were called Mkwela.
White rice and many other food stuffs were brought by Europeans.
OTHER ASPECTS OF ANCIENT KUNDA LIFE
Long ago a stranger was never given food. When a man
decided to pay a visit to his relatives he carries his own food.
The stranger started to great the owner of the place. 'Mtende' was
the greeting word because they were awetwe at that time or the stranger
would say, 'Taonamwe' (now 'Timuoneni') good-day the other answered,
"Ee, tasaona ambaenda, nili pansi amwizyo" = good-day traveller, can
I help you? The stranger was given no food, he had to eat his own
food. After his visits he said, "Twali twaya lelo" = I am going to-
day. The host then said, "Amwaya, mwaza kulyako makoko alimo mulibala
cikata nkuonana" = Go well, seeing one another is better than eating
one's food. That was the normal life among the Awetwe.
When these men went for hoeing if a hoe of ny one
fell off from the handle he called his friends and sai8, Awaya
kunkutu, lukasu lwabenga" Let us go home the hoe says we musn 't
hoe to-day, and everyone returned home. When in a certain garden some
type of plant called mpesya was growing there. The owner had to make
a beer ceremony for cutting the plant away from the garden. When the
plant was cut the men came home to drink beer singing this song:
Song: Shebele you have gone there for ever
You have killed Mangwelengwele and
Have made him not to look behind,
In summer the Awetwe made trenches round their
garden to stop running water from eroding their gardens.
If an animal fell in the trench and got killed the
Awetwe buried it without taking any part from it and said, "Twali,
twalinda male apye" we are still waiting for finger millet to ripen.
If the animal had horns they were left projecting above the surface
of the ground. They did that to let them know that the animal has
never been taken or stolen. When the finger millet were ready they
exhumed the animal but found that all the meat was gone, only bones
were there. They did this again and again, at last it was regarded
as an Awetwe custom.
ABOUT GARDENS: The Nsenga used to cultivate in low places called
cipoka, they said that the lands beside the mountains were not fertile.
They used to grow maize, millet, monkey-nuts, yams etc. Time and time
again famine attacked them and they moved long distances in search
of work for food. Here are the things that the Nsenga worked for:
beads, hoes, cloths, mats, fowls and goats. When a family was really
hungry they used to sell one of their child for food. A person would
be bought with one basket-full of millet and five baskets of monkey-
nuts. When hunger was no longer experienced the Nsenga who had slaves
exchanged their own son again with two slaves of both sexes.
When a man had very good harvest in a year he was
called Ci Kumbe. Ancient men could not imagine that one man could
have a very big garden. When they saw one, however, they thought that
it belonged to many people. During famine times men hoed for a basket
of millet for a day. During summer or rainy season the man with plenty
of food did not demand for service from men but instead he exchanged
his food with goats, cloths, hoes etc. When men had gone hungry for
many days or weeks they would creep quietly to the men possesses much
food, embrace him and bite him on the knee and cry for food saying,
"I am your slave, give me some food to eat", or if such a man had
children he would sell them to that man for food. Now after some
years the off-spring of that man would still be called by their master
as slaves because their father or grandfather had bitten the leg of
DIVINING AND SHRINES: In olden days when the sister of the chief
was sick the people said, "Let us go to a diviner, we want to know
the cause of this sickness." When they came to the diviner they told
him what they wanted. The diviner would say, "I have seen a very tall
man and a woman, they say they want beer." The men then would say
that was easy therefore they went back to brew beer.
In the evening of that day the men gathered at one place
to hear the message from the diviner. The people always followed his
advice. In this case beer was to be made. The grand-children (made
up or real) were told to build shrines. The gourds and earthen pots
were brought to the shrines. After this the Uncle of the Chief stood
in front of the shrines and began to propitiate to the spirits saying,
"We have brought some beer for you to drink, you spirits you are a God
because you keep us here on earth." During the prayer some men clapped
hands, the grand-children danced and fowls were slaughtered. The
following day they visited the shrines to see whether the spirits drank
the beer. When the beer was drank they said, "Ahi Ahi come and see how
spirits and God drink Yi! Yi! Yi! Yi!" The men shouted Wi! Wi! Wi!
the spirits have drank our beer." On reaching home they began to
dance Nyelewe dance, or Combe and Ulimba. There are three kinds of
grand-children; there are those of friendliness, those made up by
clan names and direct birth grand-children.
58. ABOUT MWAVI.
Long ago before the advent of Europeans in the
country the people used to drink Mwavi poison. If a person was found
guilty of theft, adultery, witchcraft or any other offences he was
taken before a chief. If the convicted man claimed that he was
judged unjustly he was given Mwavi poison to drink. This is how it
was performed; if a person died a sudden death the men drank Mwavi
to find the person who caused death or who bewitched the dead person.
The next morning the barks of Mwavi tree, pounders
and winnowing baskets were carried to the well. The barks were pounded
and soaked in water, the liquid was poured on a sieve to separate the
fibrous stuff from the liquid. The poison was then poured into big
pots ready to be :iven to people. If a man did not vomit the stuff
or if his stomach did not swell up he was killed because that showed
that he was a witch. If a man vomited he was saved and he was given a
slave as a present for drinking the poison. When such a man returned
home they bathed him and slaughtered fowls and goats for him cause
of escaping the mwavi tragic. The men in the village danced for the
whole night. Another way of finding witches was this; a mans hands
were dipped in a pot full of water and the pot was placed on fire.
If the water boiled very quickly he was killed, if the water took a
long time to boil he was set free and paid.
The Mwavi was not a perfect way of judgement. The men
often got killed because they were generally hated.
PUBERTY CEREMONY: When a girl reached puberty stage the parents
of the girl cut the string beads worn around the neck and took it to
the chief to show that their daughter was matured. The chief in turn
told them to brew beer for the feast day. The beer made for a puberty
girl was called 'cilizya ng'oma' = the drum player. The sorority
group shared the beer to the people and the drum player and the women
wardens were given beer alone.
This initiation for girls has great advantage in that
it teaches girls to behave themselves and to know how to handle their
families later on in life. In those days if a girl recently initiated
met a woman going for water she took the pot from the woman and went
to draw water for her. When she met a man she knelt down and
continued her journey after the men had passed her.
NSONGW'E DANCE: In those days a dance called Nsongwe was very
popular. It was danced by women when they had a first child. Firstly
they informed the chief, the sorority guardians or wardens and then
they made beer. The drum players were called and the dance was staged.
This dance was devilish in that women danced naked. There were many
cases on which husbands were annoyed cause of the nudity of their wives,
that they murdered them straight way on spot of the dance. The women
acted like lunatics. At times a husband of the danced woman was locked
up in a house to. stop him from killing his wife.
PREGNANCY: When a woman was pregnant her husband observed strict
sexual abstinence. It was believed that if the husband committed adul-
tery the wife was going to die on the birth day. This was called
destroying pregnancy. The case was often very serious. When a woman
died on the birth day the husband of the woman approached his relatives
and explained that he had a case. The relatives of the man could say
no word but the guardians of the girl had right to demand for anything
from their friends. If the couple were cousins or if the husband was
related to a chief, the guardians of the woman would say, "Give us a
portion of your country so that we may become chiefs too." To an
ordinary man they told him to bring his sisters to replace thebad
woman. If he had no sisters he was killed. If the man came from a
well-to-do family they paid a lot of things to the claimants until they
were satisfied, and declared that the case was squared. This custom
was began at the time of Zwangendaba (Mpundi), when men began to loose
their homes and live in foreign lands, hence to this day if a woman
dies before birth in Nsenga country the man is fined a good sum of money.
ABOUT ADULTERY: Long ago when a man committed adultery the case
was very serious. At times the man and woman were killed. When the
man had many relatives the charge was as follows: they presented one
man each to the offended person, the man would then get about five
to ten men as slaves. If the offended person was stubborn he took
all the sisters of the offender and turned them into slaves. If the
offender could not stand it all his brothers were killed to end the
case and sisters were freed.
MARRIAGE SUCCESSION; Long ago when a man or woman died the
remaining person was always in trouble. When the man died the widow
was said to have caused the death of the deceased because of being
unfaithful. If the woman had Uncles they paid for the case but when
the woman was poor she was turned into a slave by the family of her
husband. When the relatives of the woman had enough goods with which
to pay for the woman they freed her without difficulties. The same
thing is also true to the man. Sometimes for a case like this land
may be given to free one. Thats what Mambwe Citenje and Pendwe
When the married couples were somehow related or cousins
there was often no serious case. The side that lost a member agreed
to get pay steadily and they may give the man another girl to marry
again. This is also true to a widow, she can be given a husband. The
case finished in that manner, they feared to charge their neighbours
heavily because one day the case might fall on them and their friends
will not compromise with them.
ABOUT POLYGAMY: Once in olden days a man had two wives who left us
this story here. In those days men married even five women. Between
the two married women one was very lazy and the other was not. This
is what she used to do; When there were strangers the man would say,
"Cook food". The woman answered, "What have they brought for me that
I may waste my food?" Another day the man said, "Let us go for hoeing".
The wife replied, "I am paying a visit to that village yonder." Again
the man said, "Cook some food for me". The woman said, "You will eat
at your other wife." The husband was annoyed and promised that he
would not go to her house again. The man went to stay with the quiet
woman. One day he said to her, "Let us go for gardening". The woman
accepted. When he demanded for food or for a warm bath the woman did
the work without a question. The nagging woman now wanted to be
divorced. She complained that she had no clothes and that the man
did not cultivate for her and that the man was not staying with her
in her home. The man's answer was a divorce statement, he added that
she was a lazy woman. The guardians of the woman came and the man
told them that he was divorcing their sister. The sorority group
turned to their sister and said to her, "Do you hear that you are
divorced?" The man gave them divorcement beads and the marriage
ABOUT THE DOGS: A man possessing dogs was respected by his
friends in ancient ages. Such a man used to hunt with his dogs
during the time when bushes were burnt. He killed these animals:
duiker, rabbits, wild-pigs, warthog, mongoose, kudu etc. The dogs
were given medicine to enable them to catch these animals.
When a man killed a dog for somebody in those days
the owner reported the case to the chief. The case was held on the
following day. Then in the morning the people gathered round the
chief and the man who killed the dog was asked to explain how and why
he killed it. That man may say that the dog ate my meat from a pot.
The chief told the man that he should have taken the pot of meat
to the owner of the dog and he would have paid. Then the dog-killer
paid in the end to the owner of the dog for killing it. The owner
of the dog was happy and went to his house satisfied.
During the time when the bushes are burnt, the owners
of the dog. went to the man who killed his dog and said, "See you killed
my dog now I cannot go for hunting, give me my dog or you will pay me
again. I told you to count its hair and to pay me that number. The
cases where dogs were involved did not end, they only came to a stop
when the owner of the dog died.