Vibrant Lwiindi Celebrations in Sinazongwe / Zambia

This years Lwiindi ceremony in Sinazongwe on the Zambian side of Lake Kariba took place on 30th and 31st of July as a vibrant community festival. It was attended by more than 500 people including government departments, chiefs from Zambia and Zimbabwe, ngoma groups from Zambia and Zimbabwe. Residents of Sinazongwe chieftainship and those from outside Sinazongwe as far as Maamba also attended the function. There were two chiefs from Zimbabwe Chief Siansali and Chief Sinakoma, assistant district administrator for Binga district, Mr. T. Mugoriya, Basilwizi board member Ms. C Sianyuka, and Basilwizi officer, Mrs. D. Mudimba. Basilwizi Trust’s Tonga.Online project supported 30 musicians from Nampande Ngoma Chita from Sinakoma ward, comprising of 11 women and 19 men, to go across The River.

The main objective of Lwiindi cultural ceremony is to give thanks to the Gods for a good harvest as well praying for good health of all BaTonga people. For the Tonga.Online project, this serves as a platform to promote culture across the water as well as helping the ethnic Tonga people to re-unite with their kinsmen across the waters.

The ceremony was blessed by singing the Zambian national anthem. After the national anthem there was a welcome speech by Lwiindi chairperson followed by remarks from his Chief Sinazongwe. After the chief’s remarks, there was a brief speech from the local Member of Parliament for Sinazongwe constituency. The event was officially opened by the District Commissioner for Sinazongwe. Thereafter there were entertainments from cultural Ngoma groups, Sinazongwe Basic School, music from local Tonga musicians.

A time to offer gifts for well-wishers to Chief Sinazongwe followed the entertainment which led to the closing remarks from the chief for the day of activities. However, the closing remarks marked just the official part of the ceremony but actual entertainment continued through to the second day with all musical groups taking turns to play.

Day two was mainly for ngoma groups who were dancing the whole day. The day saw a lot of creativity from various Ngoma groups. Most of the groups were showcasing their newly composed songs and trying to outperform others, which made the event even more rewarding and entertaining. On the sidelines, Chiefs from both Zimbabwe and Zambia took time to network and discuss key issues relevant to their traditions, cementing ties and communication across the river.

This year’s ceremony was an eye opener for Zimbabwean chiefs travelling. The two of them, Chief Siansali and Sinakoma, are newly appointed chiefs and this experience was very educative for them to replicate the important ceremony on the Zimbabwean soil. Basilwizi Trust is very grateful to our funding partners Austrian Development Cooperation/ADA, AZFA and HIVOS for the success of the ceremony and promoting cultural exchanges among the BaTonga of the Zambezi Valley.

Source: Report by Basilwizi Trust