How come only Lozis, Bembas and Tongas are heard in tribalism talk?

Dear Editor, It will be highly appreciated if my article is published.

It is so common that time and time we read articles in our newspapers about tribalism. More interesting is always among the three tribes Bembas, Tongas and Lozis pointing at each other that that one is more tribal than the other. Imagine my fellow readers out of 72 tribes it sound as if there are the only Zambians we have. However have we ever stopped and reflect what goes on in the minds those who are not among the three tribes? In the spirit of One Zambia and One Nationother tribes accepted to use other languages in schools and on national radio. It was really a sacrifice remember that any language not taught and spoken dies.

Out of 72 tribes only seven languages where chosen to be taught and used on national radios that is Bemba, Chewa, Tonga, Luanda, Luvale and lozi. If we observe well will see that each language chosen in each province was imposed by one language and only north-western has two but was not an easily one had to fight over it. Although some argued that other languages where similar to the one chosen is not valid argument in all circumstances. For example was lunda spoken luapula similar to the bemba which was imposed? Or is tumbuka in Miyobe similar to Bemba? Is namwanga and Mambwe similar to Bemba? Is chokwe similar to Luvale?

Right now we cannot do a good similarity because these languages have lost a lot that are so mixed up with the language which was imposed in the areas. My point aim not saying was bad idea but that was a great sacrifice to let go our languages now whoever spokes is identified and classified as one of that language spoken that every time we see musonda and mumba we straightforward conclude is a Bemba.

The other interesting we have classified politics in tribes where did it start from, why can’t we campaign on principals than on tribal. Right now there are lot of lies which has been spoken among the three tribes to proof the point that the other one is really tribal. Furthermore we will ever hear more during campaign times.

Mr Musonda J.

Both women and men MMD leaders locked-up in one cell
ACC does not need permission from Sata to probe ministers - LAZ

173 Responses to "How come only Lozis, Bembas and Tongas are heard in tribalism talk?"

  1. Nandi  December 12, 2012 at 16:25

    Issues concerning tribal boundaries usually cause a lot of fighting and arguing. I am Lozi but married to a Bemba man and our children’s names do raise eyebrows. Sometimes what people call ‘tribalism’ isn’t really tribalism. For example, each time I meet a Bemba speaking person and when they come to learn that although I am married to a Bemba man I am Lozi, I receive very special treatment from them, more than they would treat their fellow Bembas. Will you call this tribalism, favouratism or what? Every tribe feels a sense of belonging when they meet someone they share an ethinic group with but it should not go beyond that. This tribalism thing is really ripping us apart. Lets all work towards bringing it to an end. Besides who speaks any Zambian language perfectly well in Zambian towns? A few. All these languages have been ignored by their native speakers that’s why they are not compulsory in Zambian schools.

    Finally all tribes in Zambia have a name they give to non-native speakers of their tribes for example; the Lozis say ‘manyukunyuku’, the Tongas say ‘balumbu’ and the Bembas say ‘abenafyalo’. The Nyanja term has already been mentioned in the aforesaid discussions. So who is a tribalist and who is not a tribalist?

  2. Kolo-bwazi  December 12, 2012 at 02:13

    The most neutral tribe in Zambia so far are the LAMBAs.
    If we accept all tribes as the LAMBAs do then we will learn to respect each other.

    Secondly we should learn to share light moments as much as the “Banda and Zulus” take it with the “Bwalya and Mutale” in every Zambian city you find them.

    When ex president Banda at a conference once said he was going to take that monkey which urinated on him and give it to Mr Sata, every body just laughed and moved on. If he mentioned other leaders even today they will be sing about it.

    Please remember, all politician are just public liars and nothing else.
    All they do is capitalize on people’s sentiments to gain for their own pockets. Forget about politicians and work for your own and enjoy company of all your friends from all Zambian tribes.

    When lam with my friends we don’t think about tribes, but the moment l open a political page, l get embarrassed about tribal comments from these useless politicians

  3. Zimbwi no brain  December 11, 2012 at 23:57

    There is only One ethnic group in Zambia called Bantu, One Ntionality called Zambian, and one identity called African. The rest is simply contextual and semantic.

    Tribes are units of internal social organization. They have to do with who you marry, who your political leadership and alliances are, the paths by which you trace your own family lineage, and the complex interplays of kinship.

    Ethnicity is a much more generalized set of cultural attributes: language, location, customs, clothing–how a people describe themselves and how they are described by others, in relation to other cultural groupings.

    So why make a fuss about this stuff?

  4. mukupa  December 11, 2012 at 22:22

    Allowe me to express my gradtuide to all those who have made contributions to this trible fracuse among three tribes in zambia ,am a bemba but this does not make me superior to others,lets raise above our tribes to develop zambia.

  5. Boma  December 11, 2012 at 21:31

    Only 3 tribes display tribalism in Zambia; BEMBA, LOZI and TONGA but the worst of them is BEMBA.

  6. Wantanshi  December 11, 2012 at 20:58

    Bembas are not tribal. We were the first to start marrying across tribal lines. We fit in perfectly in any environment. We are gregarious, open, outgoing, extroverted, entertaining, we love ourselves to bits, we believe we are the most intelligent species on this planet and we feel very good about this. It doesn’t mean we are correct in thinking this way but that’s what an average Bemba person thinks. Mr. Mazoka Anderson was the first to begin thinking this way and he was rewarded with astounding support from Bembaland and we believe the vote was stolen from him, Bemba vote. So the gist is all of you Bemba haters, please get out of your negative shells and introverted cocoons and become at least human and shunt aside this tribal thing.

    • bashi dr economist  December 11, 2012 at 21:22

      please do not cheat people,this is avery important site which is being read by people across the world. the great mazoka was never given massive votes from the so called bemba land.he lost the presidence because of you bembas. so please do not tell lies go to the ecz web site and sé the voting parten then you will know the truth.

    • Boma  December 11, 2012 at 21:30

      Bembas are the most tribal people in Zambia creating hatred with Lozis and Tongas.
      Have you evrr heard of any easterners saying they hate another tribe, never!

  7. chipampa  December 11, 2012 at 20:49

    We people who grewup on the copperbelt in the 70s know how irritating the stupid stereotypes. Of tribes can be great nations like Nigeria have been damaged by the silly socialization of tribe it is easy for any national to establish business in kasama mansard monze etc but its difficult to invest in mongu why primitive tribal politics. Go tochipata city compare with lukulu all Indian investors losing investors bemba investors are welcome and yet people of wesrern province feel neglected they chose neglect by blocking investment even China has opened up its tribal suicide

  8. swaswa  December 11, 2012 at 20:45

    iam bemba with a brother married to a beatiful lozi lady my sister in law. they have three lovely kids. two boys and a girl. their names first born mwale a bemba name, second born nawa a lozi name with a bemba surname and third born girl with a very foregn english name. I love the kids my niece and nephews.
    these children are they bembas or lozis…………….. help me

    • Umkonto We Sizwe  December 11, 2012 at 22:36

      They are lost period.

    • Achi  December 12, 2012 at 05:23

      Their Surname will determine their tribe. How can nawa Mulenga be a lozi or chileshe Banda be a bemba? simple, isnt it?

  9. kingkawez  December 11, 2012 at 20:42

    Politicians, royal establishments countrywide,and tribal organisation.e.g nsakwa yaba kaonde,planted and are proudly promoting this uncivilised,dangerous,and stinking issue in ZED.I av mentioned nsakwa becoz in NWP specifically Mufumbwe & solwezi districts:promotions,demotions,transfers,despatching of new government staffs are done in consultation with this org.Heads of Department here are “underskin- tight “.Its not only NWP stinking this,but the whole nation.But LAMBAS are unique, there is no such stinker in them.Am not lamba but cishinga.The named desciplines av to realize and come back to there senses,let them help lovely ZEDians to unity again as it was in 60s to late 80s.My fellow youths let’s not vote,support or feast with tribalist.Lozis love bemba speaking like any other tribe,becoz i av family-freinds in kopala and am married to a lozi from Mukubesa loyal family in kalabo.”73tribes”- One zedian-one nation.Zd i love u

  10. swaswa  December 11, 2012 at 20:12

    my youg brother is married to a lozi first born is mwale, second born nawa what do think about this?

  11. Barotseland Black Bull  December 11, 2012 at 20:04

    Useless article,,

  12. No Name  December 11, 2012 at 19:44


  13. Gumugumu  December 11, 2012 at 19:07

    The auther of this article has missed out a number of issues.One thing he should have asked is how come Lozis & Tongas go along very well. The truth lies in certain attributes that are inherent in these people such as Honest,truthfulness,integrity,hard working & displine which u find among Tongas & Lozis. Actually I agree with those who say it will take time to have a Tonga or Lozi president the reason is simple,it is difficult for these people to stand on a podium and tell lies.Any person or tribe white or black that has no attributes that I have mensioned above will find it difficult to mix with tongas and lozis.Not long ago the nation & world at large was informed that there is a lebel group in Lukulu and the army was instructed to go and kill Lozis,& some tribe was even calling Lozis as cocroaches up to date note even a single person has been arrested, The president hasn’t even apologised and the reason is simple telling lies is acceptable in his tribe.

    • mimi  December 11, 2012 at 21:14

      Hear hear. Waiyasa nondo muliso.

    • Achi  December 12, 2012 at 05:33

      Tongas could be hard working not Lozis!what is there to show that lozis are hardworking when they have failed to develope their province through their representative MPs and Ministers?the only thing characteristic about the lozis is their self centredness, period!the only thing they seem closer to their counterparts is chimbuyaship..also the bembas like the Easterners..kekekeke

  14. Ndutu  December 11, 2012 at 18:51

    Beautiful bloggers have really enjoyed the debate and i guess the point has been picked.Its high time we get united and forged ahead.Dont forget that for Mazoka to have almost won the election he was supported by the majorit bembas and other tribes which means that when people want change they do think outside the box.HH would have gained momentum if he had not entered into a packed with pf.So blogers change is envitable.Dont insult oneother you will need eachother later to effect change.Im bemba and have alot of Lozi and tonga friends so it hares to c such comments

  15. Maxwell Mwila  December 11, 2012 at 17:58

    they are the majority

  16. ARTHUR D.CHULU  December 11, 2012 at 17:26

    One fine day all this nonsense about bembas,Tongas,Lozis,Ngonis,etc
    will go into the drain.How can we be talking about tribal issues and claim to be a christian nation.What we need is a bloodiless revolution where we will stop pretending to be a christian and you can not embrace a fellow man.Excuse me,this world is meant for all of us to mingle freely.If you think greedy,lust,anger,hate,ego,pride and attachment will take anywhere,then you are very wrong and you check your brains.It is sad that people must use money and brains to promote a tribe.We need change and it must be soon,otherwise you will find yourself a very lonely person.The train is moving and you are remaining behind.GET ON BOARD AND MOVE.THIS IS NO TIME FOR THIS TRIBAL NONSENSE.GOD HAS NO TRIBE AND YOU ARE THE IMAGE OF GOD.Why go to church if you think of GOD’S image in NEGATIVITY?

  17. The Don  December 11, 2012 at 16:55

    You can only say Lozis ar not tribal if you have never been called munyukunyuku, am working from werstern province and here they practice tribalism openely.

    • Mamochisane  December 11, 2012 at 17:10

      My brother if you are not from the USA , despit the country you are from you are named an Alian. so if you find yourself not tobe part of the Lozi group tribes then you qualify to be called munyukunyuku

    • Guyana  December 11, 2012 at 17:59

      In England we are called minority in Barotse they say munyukunyuku, you have no idea what you are talking about mate. You are not lozi so you are munyukunyuku that’s not tribalism

    • Mei Matungu  December 11, 2012 at 19:56

      “Munyukunyuku” simply means one who speaks an un-understood language. In Botswana such a person, is called “mukwerekwere” and has similar connotations.

    • Umkonto We Sizwe  December 11, 2012 at 22:43

      In eastern province they are warmly called Alendo with no evil meaning attached to it. How I love Easterners so wise indeed. You can’t fault so much.

  18. Turnerac  December 11, 2012 at 16:52

    This is one debate in a long time on this site that has exhibited an objective exchange of views. I wish this would be promoted more and more. Bigup and congrats to all bloggers who have contributed to this discussion.

  19. Ruth Hams  December 11, 2012 at 16:52

    Its sometimes difficult to comment on trible issues in Zambia. Even in Zbritain when you find group of zambians be it that there is one Bemba you will hear them speak Bemba. One wonders why PF has not given or appointed a Tonga in high positions and is there no Tonga who suffered for assisting PF or HE Sata who could be rewarded?

  20. Zozifunila paku vota  December 11, 2012 at 16:48

    Why didn’t the author of this article ask a pre-school teacher to edit this piece before posting it on the web? Please do so next time you want to communicate with the wider community.

    • Mamochisane  December 11, 2012 at 17:14

      english is ust a language. as long as you can get the meaning of the writer, i belive thats what is important. kep it up Zambia Watchdog

  21. brutal lawyer24  December 11, 2012 at 16:41

    Don’t forget that the Rwandan Genocide was as a result of Tribalism. Am just saying….

  22. leo the senior  December 11, 2012 at 16:40

    Please people stop saying lozi is a tribe. Lozi is just a language commonly spoken in barotseland where a multitude of ethinic groupings live. The fact that I speak english does not make me english. This means that the majority of the people just use lozi as a means of communication. The same is true for bemba and tonga though these two are also tribes.

  23. The Don  December 11, 2012 at 16:25

    Umubemba mukalifye,people dont just want to accept.

    • FROM PAN 2 FIRE  December 11, 2012 at 17:45

      nimukali chani iwe mambala? ukawalala Atii mukali, ata! !

  24. bigboy  December 11, 2012 at 16:10

    love you guys. stop fighting like kids.Me Iam coloured coz my parents come from different tribes i.e. Lungu(father) and Tabwa/chishinga(mother). And sometime back I thought I had Arab blood- you know the “Tanzania conection” etc. I THINK U ARE ALSO COLOURED!

  25. bigboy  December 11, 2012 at 15:55

    I find this talk very dangerous especially at a time like this when we should be talking about unity of purpose and development of the nation Zambia. I myself come from the ” Bemba speaking lands”. One interesting aspect of my life is that the closest friends I have are Lozis. I do not understand this hate-talk. It is so cheap, so backward! Please ZAMBIANWATCHDOG learn to curtail such discussions which only breed hatred and suspicions. Let us stop the rot now. Do not pass on this curse to your children. My friends, posterity will curse our memory if we continue on this path of fault finding. I LOVE YOU ALL- LOZI, TONGA, MBUNDA, KACHOKWE, SOLI, LENJE, USHI, NAMWANGA ETC ETC- viva le difference!

    • Guyana  December 11, 2012 at 18:02

      Buhata( good girl).

  26. ubec  December 11, 2012 at 15:45

    If we are not careful, this country will be on fire. And let me assure you people that nobody is going to win. Every one will be a loser.

  27. ubec  December 11, 2012 at 15:35

    Nice writing. This tribal thing wont take us anywhere. And as for the presidency, there can only be one President at a time. Zambia’s presidency is not for certain tribes only. NO! But the time certain individuals started debating and campaigning issues rather than on tribal lines is the time we will see different tribes occupying the presidency, as this is not automatic. But let us be alive to the fact that we have just had 5 Presidents since independence. So let us appeal to the whole nation as Patriots, and not as tribalists.

  28. RED SQUARE  December 11, 2012 at 15:12

    May i congratulate all the bloggers for the intelligent debating that has been exhibited except for a few insults.Lets continue to debate intelliggently and please stick to the topic under discussion.

  29. Godwin_Lewanika_formed_ANC  December 11, 2012 at 15:07

    All those getting worked off by this guy – man you can’t even see that the guy was being humorous. I doubt he meant any offence at all, read between the lines and get a life. Look at this comment; he first offended the Lozis and their cousin with an insult before he came down n Bembas. Jeez man, this tribalism is clouding even people’s sense of humour. I may be wrong but I don’t see any offence except he is using stereotype to throw in black humour.

  30. Language_&_culture  December 11, 2012 at 14:39

    It’s shocking that is mostly in Africa where one can find a small country with only 12 million people speaking 73 different languages or rather dialects.

    Where did this all start? Is it selfishness or what? Or is it because truly Africans are the first humans on this earth and so their millions of years of evolution just produced so many languages?

    The English for example would have only one rich language, only different from one location to another in the ‘accent’. I can understand in India with more than a billion people, but then Sino only has Mandarin and Cantonese.

    Whinging and whining about the extinction of your native language when you are busy writing in a totally foreign language (albeit broken) is ridiculous and naïve. Try writing in your native language for starters and may be many would even understand you and take you seriously.

    It’s just madness to think that all 73 languages should be given equal status so that every kid can speak his/her mother tongue in school. That would just create more disunity and confusion. The fore fathers weren’t that dumb when they said go with English for the sake of unification.

    It’s just not true that that ‘other’ people’s cultures would be lost. Usually the differences in cultures among the people where one ‘dominant’ language is spoken is very small. They would usually do almost the same traditional things, so this argument isn’t valid whatsoever.

    I’m from Kalabo and I can assure you that growing up there I heard, comparatively, ‘other’ languages being spoken more often than the actual Lozi language (the original Luyana was non-existent except in tales and proverbs). The only place where Lozi is predominantly spoken is Mongu and Senanga. The rest Mbunda, Kaluvale, and you go to Nyengo and Makoma, and Mwenyi it’s Nyengo, Makoma and Mwenyi being spoken respectively – the later 3 are credited to resemble the ‘orignal’ Luyana, including Ma Kwamashi. So this argument that only Lozi language is given special status, in that part of the world, only holds true when you listen to the radio or go to Mongu – but even in Mongu there are so many languages spoken there.

    So while it is true that nationally on radio and tv, only 7 or so are spoken, in reality on the ground it’s in fact a combination of many. When you go to rural Tonga, including Nampundwe, it’s not actually the Tonga (from Choma) spoken there and I would think the same applies to Northern or Eastern Province or N/Western. I would in fact say that we need less of these languages if we were to unite as one people. As for giving them equal coverage, it’s just impossible and impractical. Besides no one really chose, intentionally, to muzzle other languages – it’s just by default these 7 or so languages just happened to be spoken by many people. It is most probably the earliest settlers in that particular area (with the exception of C/Belt or LSK provinces).

    • Makuli  December 11, 2012 at 16:48

      Though the population is so small, Zambia has so many languages because we all came from different places and settled in this land.Even the people claiming for Barotseland just came and found it. Its the reason we have to tolerate each other; we are all foreigners in this land but God decided to put us together by the hand of the muzungu.

      • Guyana  December 11, 2012 at 18:09

        Yes but we finally have what we can call our land. You can jump in othe people’ country and say even you just found this land.

    • Muunga a matwi abacizakala  December 11, 2012 at 22:12

      What do you mean lusaka province? Mukamaambo a tonga from the valley founded a chiefdom here ,loongo a valley tonga ruled saala,MWIINGA occupied Lukanga before bene mukuni.

  31. Malita!  December 11, 2012 at 14:32

    I have stayed/worked with Tongas namely Muwaika, Cheelo… Bemba namely Musonda and many more and a Lozi namely Sitali as our company contract’s manager. I never noticed anything tribal about these people. I think it is mostly about personalities and not the whole tribe. God Bless everyone and the watchdog!

  32. Mulongoti  December 11, 2012 at 14:30

    Food for thought: D.S. CHIBS, why is that Mainza Chona had to give up the president position to a “bemba speaking” person, even Arthur Wina? why do bemba speaking people end up with leadership role? once you find the answers and you adopt them, then you are on your way to have a Tonga or Lozi president. the starting point for your research read what comment Livingstone wrote about Bembas. Lozi and Tongas, had a lot of opportunities to produce a president (infact they among the first people to be educated in this region). what is the issue?

  33. Muzyanyina  December 11, 2012 at 14:18

    Chief tribalists are BEMBAS and label others to hide their own negative charactieristics. Lozis and Tongas are the only ones who can stand up against them and point out their flaWS hence the beef. Tongas are not beggers and they are hard working hence the fear of lazy Bembas should a Tonga be made a President. Lozis are proud and have a superiority complex hence their clash with Bembas.

  34. Mwinemushi  December 11, 2012 at 14:10

    More than 60% of the the Zambian population speak Bemba. Why are u troubling yourselves by claiming to be popular wn you ar not, reason is simple, Bemba speaking pipo are naturally enterprising and always look for business opportunities everywhere, thats the reason why the language is spreading like bush fire and no matter how you try to block this language from being spoken you will never achieve your goals.

    • Muunga a matwi abacizakala  December 11, 2012 at 15:08

      You are wrong the figures are. Bemba speakers 5822000 Nyanja 3023900 Bantu botatwe 2046700 Lozis 1585000 Nwp 1203000 pls add

      • The Judge  December 11, 2012 at 19:40

        So thats your preoccupation – tribalism… Get a life.

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