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Publié par
Date de parution 01 janvier 2005
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9789982120913
Langue Français
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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ISBN 9978982120913
Maiden Publishing House
Kachinga Sichizya
Psalm 78:2-4 I will open my mouth in a parable I will utter dark sayings of old which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children .. .
© Kachinga Sichizya 2005
First published 2005 by` Maiden Publishing House, P.O Box 51276, Ridgeway, Cheetah Road, Showgrounds, Lusaka, Zambia
Reprinted 2009, 2013, 2015, 2017 ISBN978-9982-12-091-3
Dedicated to the memory of my father, Reverend James Munkondya Sichizya (1910-2002), whose life, more in deed than with words inspired me with true humility, gentleness of spirit, love and the fear of God. To the memory of my sisters Lukundo, Elizabeth and Meribah, my brothers Israel, James and Michael. They would have been proud of me today.
This historical fiction story is written for my children and for all others who never had an opportunity to sit at thepipembo, around an evening fire and hear grandfather tell tales about our past. It is a journey that has taken over 15 years to complete. Indeed it has been a labour of love. Many thanks to my mother, Aga Namundi Sichizya for the love, insight and guidance. To mama kulu Rhoda Namwila Sichizya and all the elders of the land, both living and departed, who had the patience to answer my inquisitive mind and narrate stories of our past. A special thanks to my beloved wife and friend Veronica, my children Alindela, Lango and Chipo for being there for me at all times, in failure and in success. Also to my dear sisters, Chazya, Ndimukonka, Sarah, Pauline, Penina and Chola for their unfailing love and support. In writing this story, I relied greatly on the oral history that was told to me by countless elders,watatakulu nawa mamakulu, most of whom have since passed on. To them I am greatly indebted. Part of the research involved scavenging history books written by eminent writers of our time. Much praise to the following works which were invaluable in putting this story together: 1. Reaction to Colonialism: A Prelude to the Politics of Independence in Northern Zambia 1893-1939, by Henry S Mebelo. 2. Imikalile ya Wina Mwanga by H M F Sinkamba. 3. Ivyili ni milumbe in Namwanga, by the Wina Mwanga Literature Committee, Mwenzo. 4. Bwana District Commissioner: White Colonial Master, by Kapasa Makasa. Many people, too many to mention, have been helpful during this journey. I want to thank them all. Special thoughts to a dearly departed friend Phoebe Ntembe. Her criticism gave direction to this book. In this story, I have used many Namwanga words. You will find the glossary at the end of the story helpful.
Kachinga Agrippa Sichizya November 2005
The anticipation in the village of Kasichila drew to a climax as the cocks crowed, indicating that midnight had finally come. Matthew and his bride Mwinji were secretly withdrawn from the partying relatives and friends and taken aside to a hut prepared for the consummation of their marriage. Matthew’s excitement and anticipation were almost choking him. He had waited for this moment for such a long time. As for Mwinji, dread and apprehension besieged her. The situation she found herself in was not of her own making. Almost a month ago now, Malinga forced himself on her and took away her virginity. She did not tell anyone about it, afraid she might lose the man she loved. Even her mother Chituntululu was kept in the dark. Mwinji wondered how she would feel when the ululation did not come but most important of all she feared how Matthew would react. She decided she would explain everything to him once it was all over. Telling him the truth before they ‘met’ would be taking too much of a risk. What if he got angry and walked out in disenchantment? Earlier on, before the day’s wedding festivities began, Matthew was taken aside by his grandfather Sosopeka and a few other male relatives to address the matter of tonight’s important event. ‘Tonight’s ceremony is very important, my son,’ started Kamesya. ‘It will determine whether you should really be allowed to take that woman as your wife or not. At the first cockcrow, you and your bride will be taken to a prepared hut where we expect you and your bride to consummate your marriage in the act of sexual union. We will give you the whole night, from the first cockcrow until the fifth. So you canmeet, as many times as possible,’ he paused endeavouring a congenial smile. He continued. ‘Upon the fifth cockcrow, as the sun begins to redden at the horizon and dew is still
holding onto grass, the two elderly women given the responsibility to confirm that you two are indeed man and woman will come to examine your bride for signs to indicate that you performed and released theseedinto her. The bride will be given a small piece of dark cloth calledakamwele, which she must quickly put in the space between her thighs after you havemet. The first woman to enter will be an elderly nachimbuza. She will remove the cloth and inspect it to see if things went well. She will be looking for traces of blood in your seed. If she finds that you are a man indeed, fair enough. She will come out and inform us by way of ululation. Then there shall be more rejoicing on our part, knowing our son is a man indeed. If your bride is also found to be a virgin, it shall be so well. You will takeinkundiand place it under the bed as a sign that she was still pure at the time you took her. The bride’ssenjewhose task it is to inspect underneath the bed to see what you have placed there will then come in. If she findsinkundi, well and good. She too will come out dancing and ululating because their daughter had ears to hear what her parents taught her. We may even give her family another cow, thanking them for taking such great care of her.  ‘On the other hand, should the bride be found to be a chifwamba, it will be shameful indeed. You will take an open round wire and place it under the bed. We may demand for a refund in the form of a cow. But we may just forgive them and forget about it. ‘Now, in the event that you fail to perform as a man, it will be very shameful indeed. But it won’t be the end of the world. What it will simply entail is that you will be given more time to see if you can function. If after a few days you still haven’t done it, then we will have to look for medicine to help you. There are many skilled medicinemen who are good at solving impotence problems. ‘Now where do we come in as a family?’ he continued without pausing. ‘It has been known for rival families to jinx the groom to make him fail to perform. We are well aware 2
of the strife that exists between our family and the family of Kwiwe. They believe and still claim that Mwinji the bride is theirs and we have just stolen her from them. They haven’t given up on her yet and they may use this chance as an opportunity to embarrass us. It is our assumption as a family that they will attempt to bewitch you so that you fail to perform.’ He paused, allowing the full impact of his words to be felt. Then he continued. ‘As a family, we have decided to take precautions. We have thisichinjilawhich you must wear around your arm as protection against their witchcraft so that everything goes on well. Is my instruction clear?’ he added as he made to hand over theichinjilato Matthew. Matthew took it into his hands and began to examine it. The look in his eyes revealed more consternation than loathing. A cowry shell and several small animal bones and roots were affixed to a thick string whose dark coating looked like dried old blood. He would never put such a thing on his arm, he said to himself. Outright refusal to take it would embarrass his grandfather. He quickly stowed it away into his shirt pocket. The past few days had been very hectic for both Matthew and Mwinji. The wedding festivities began two days ago on Thursday in Museseng’oma, the village of the bride. As evening set in, the news of the arrival of the groom at the entrance to the village of Museseng’oma set everyone into a state of great excitement and celebration. But the groom would not be allowed to enter the village until he bought his passage by way of a live goat. This goat would be given to Tamika, the bride’s father. This was just the first of the many payments he would have to make during his stay in the village. Matthew was not going to disappoint his in-laws by being ill-prepared. He was here to impress them. Next he paid for the hut in which he was going to stay during the negotiations for the last payments ofmpango. Meanwhile he would have to part with another chicken to ‘buy fire’ for warmth in the hut. Only when he had parted 3
with more chickens, hoes and pieces of cloth to complete the bride price was he allowed to go and get his bride from the house of her grandmother. The wedding celebrations would finally begin, all the payments having been completed. The groom, his bride and her aunt headed for the house of the bride’s mother, holding each other by their waists and dancing backwards in the dance ofukukwema,singing as they went along. The village would spend the whole night dancing, singing and feasting. As the midnight hour approached, the bride and the groom were quietly whisked away and taken to thembuza. This was a specially prepared hut where elderly women would initiate them in intricate details that sexual union in marriage entailed. Each one of them had an instructor. No children were allowed to enter thembuzaonly few selected and brothers and sisters, most of whom were already married and had been there themselves were allowed to witness the teachings. No one was expected to reveal the secrets of the mbuzato the uninitiated. Mulozi accompanied Matthew. There was a perpetual twinkle in the eyes of his nachimbuza.The old woman was obviously inebriated for that was the only way she could appear so thrilled when discussing a subject as risqué as this was. She looked directly into Matthew’s eyes as she conducted her lesson, causing Matthew to flinch and look down. The gruellingmbuzaonly ended as the early morning rays of the sun were beginning to chase darkness away. Mwinji still had to undergo further training at the hands of elderly women who conducted her through the rigours of how to best make her husband happy during consummation. Later on in the day, the event moved to Kasichila village. The bride spent the rest of the day and evening resting at the house of her mother in-law while the groom stayed at his hut as the celebrations continued. The following day, Saturday, the third and final day of the wedding ceremony, more food
was cooked and there was a lot ofipumpobeer to drink. As dusk set in, the young couple was allowed to bath and dress nicely after which they were brought out in the open and made to sit on a reed mat spread outside the hut of the groom’s grandmother. Members of both families were in attendance. It was time for the young couple to be given the last instructions before they ventured into marriage. Members of the bride’s family spoke first. Tamika the bride’s father opened the floor. After welcoming the guests he addressed his daughter. ‘The family of your husband is now your family and you should take care of relatives from both sides with all your heart. When you see your husband’s relatives, don’t say,these are not my brothers or sisters. Do not deny them food. That will divide the family and bring sadness and anger.’ He turned to face his son-in-law. ‘Our family is very big, tata, as you have seen. You are now our father and we expect you to take care of us. ‘My last word for you my son-in-law is very important and I would like you to pay attention. I have given you this daughter, above all other men. Take care of her and watch over her. Protect her.’ He stood up to his feet and advanced towards where the bride and the groom sat and extended his right hand, presenting a brand new spear to Matthew. ‘This spear I give to you. Any man who tries to ruin your marriage is an enemy. As the father of this girl, I give you the authority to protect your marriage. Don’t be afraid to use it.’ Ululations and clapping from the gathered crowd followed his speech. Chituntululu the bride’s mother spoke next. ‘My daughter, you have made me a very proud woman today. This day has come to pass because you heed the words of the elders.An elder may miss with a stone not with words,and thechild that refuses to heed the words of elders grows pubic hair only. He will not live long enough to develop grey hair. His days on earth will be shortened.
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