Interviews in Siachilaba by Stefan Hecke

Article Index

Obert Mpande (TONGA)

Lives : Binga, Back Harbour

Occupation : Student, Binga HS, Upper 6th Form (A Levels)

Subjects : Ndebele, Geography, Management of Business

Arrived asking for information to ‘join’ the project.

Have you been here before?
Yes, but not too much.

What do you want to come and do at the centre?
I want to learn through internet. I have used that CD, Encarta for Geography.

What do you think of the centre?
It is really helpful. It is helping in learning and giving more information on countries all over the world. Here we don’t have text books, so we can use computers now.

Anything else?
I want to go to University after A Levels, and I need to learn how to operate the computer programmes and become more computer-literate.

What do you think the centre and the internet can do for Tonga culture?
It can promote and let people know about us.

Do you know about Ngoma Buntibe?
Yes, a little.

On Sunday 8 September there will be a gathering here to listen to music from Kariba in the 1957 over the radio (Mulonga Loop explained.) We are interested in hearing what you think about Ngoma Buntibe music - we know it is there in the past, and it is also in the present, but what about the future? Will it still be there for Tonga people?
Ah no, in some areas, it is dying. In our area at Muchene, because of some churches, many youth are rejecting the ngoma buntibe, they are told that it is sinful, it is no longer allowed. We are losing the culture, and only old people are found there in our area. There are these styles besides ngoma buntibe - Chilimba and Malimbwena - these are no longer existing, they are dead forever.

Do you think ngoma buntibe is something that should continue, even now that we have technology like the internet?
Yes it should continue. We need support from foreigners, materials for instruments, and to explain to our people that it is not a sin, just our culture. If we talk about it, people won’t listen, but if foreigners like you people talk, then they listen.

Do you think if everything was available, young people would be interested again, or is it too late already?
It is not too late. If things were available, horns, drums, they will be very interested. But we need to be taught again.

OK, thank you for your time.
On Sun 8 Sep invited and Mulonga Loop explained