The Chungu Lwiindi traditional ceremony held by the Chikanta Royal Establishment in Dundumwezi over the weekend proved to us its value, worth.
It brought together not only the drought stricken people of the area but Zambians from many other parts of our country. It was attended not only by chiefs from Southern Province and their subjects but also by those from other provinces.
In the end, it was a nice fusion of various Zambian traditions and cultures. It was really a One Zambia, One Nation traditional ceremony for which chief Chikanta and the Chikanta Royal Establishment deserve credit.
And as Dr Fred M’membe told those who attended this traditional ceremony, “Traditions represent a critical piece of our culture. They help form the structure and foundation of our families and our society. They remind us that we are part of a history that defines our past, shapes who we are today and who we are likely to become. Once we ignore the meaning of our traditions, we’re in danger of damaging the underpinning of our identity. Tradition contributes a sense of comfort and belonging. It brings families together and enables people to reconnect with friends. Tradition reinforces values such as integrity, personal responsibility, a strong work ethic, and the value of being selfless. Tradition provides a forum to celebrate the things that really matter in life. Tradition offers a chance to say ‘thank you’ for the contribution that someone has made. Tradition enables us to celebrate diversity, and unite as a country. Tradition offers an excellent context for meaningful pause and reflection.”
It indeed enabled many to reconnect with friends, relatives and meet new people, make new friends.
But it is easy to fall into the temptation of taking these traditional ceremonies for granted. And Dr M’membe aptly warns us against this: “We must strive to utilise every opportunity available to us to reinforce the values and beliefs that we hold dear. The alternative action is taking these values for granted. The result is that our beliefs will get so diluted, over time, that our way of life will become foreign to us. It’s like good health. You may take it for granted until you lose it. If we disregard our values, we’ll open our eyes one day and won’t be able to recognise ‘our world’ anymore. The values that support the backbone of our country, our families, and our faith will have drifted for so long that the fabric of our society will be torn.”
These traditional ceremonies belong to us all and should become the collective responsibility of society. They should not be left to our various royal establishments to fund. It costs a lot of money to host these ceremonies. Without the sponsorship of Seed-co it would have been very difficult to have this year’s Chungu Lwiindi traditional ceremony. But there’s always the danger of commercialising these ceremonies when private enterprise takeover their organisation.