That was in at Zuze village in Petauke district, where villagers were showcasing various traditional dances. Asinet, who was 14 years old then, was participating in the regular traditional dances for girls known as Chimutali when Mekelani spotted her. He recalls how he was so attracted to Asinet that he did not waste time to inform his parents about his intentions to make her his wife. The couple, which is now 55 years in marriage, narrates how bitter- sweet the golden jubilee in their union has been.
Mekelani, 75 years now, married Asinet 69 now, on 15, June, , and together they had eight children of which four sadly passed on. Asinet recollects how she did not mind getting married at a tender age as she did not want to be on the record of unwanted pregnancies.
She adds that the failure by her parents to enrol her in school propagated the desire to get married. Asinet blames the stereotyping of the age as most parents, especially in rural areas, found it as a waste of time to send a girl to school. Asinet and Mekelani, who are now reputable marriage counsellors, have no regret marrying at a tender age. Mekelani, who equally does not possess any education, is proud of the decision he made 55 years ago to spend the rest of his life with Asinet.
Asinet recollects how devastated she was when her husband abandoned her for over 10 years for an older woman, who already had children. I had an obligation as mother of the children to raise them without their father. She says although she felt betrayed by Mekelani, she was at peace and was ready to forgive and welcome him back into her arms. She remained optimistic he would someday return to her.
Mekelani recalls how he was haunted during the years he abandoned his wife and children. Even when I was away, my heart belonged to my wife. She is the love of my life. Mekelani counts himself lucky to have been accepted by his wife after so many years. Asinet, however, advises couples to avoid adultery and other vices that can destroy their marriages. She says couples should strive to stick together in both good and bad times to prevent their children from going astray. If a couple does not adhere to the above principles, the marriage is bound to fail.
She further advises couples to persevere and pray together to overcome stormy situations. Asinet, a staunch Catholic, is a renowned marriage counsellor who derives the expertise from her experiences. Mekelani says the past experience has taught him to love and appreciate his family more. When there are differences in the house, resolve them amicably.
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The ceremonies highlight the unique cultural values of a particular people or province where they are celebrated. The aforementioned traditional ceremonies are not the only ones the country celebrates but are among the most prominent and attended. This was because the ceremony was incorporated in the recently held Luapula Province tour and investment expo as one of the tourism events in the province. Apart from that, it was also dubbed because the 19th Mwata Kazembe Paul Mpemba Kanyembo was celebrating his 19th year on the throne.
Various dance troupes both from Zambia and the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo DRC performed dances as they awaited the arrival of the Mwata later that day. Apart from President Lungu gracing the ceremony as guest of honour, the event was also attended by 17 others chiefs from across the country.
The diversity of people cutting across backgrounds and beliefs signified the unity of purpose associated with traditional ceremonies. After waiting for many hours, the Mwata finally arrived at the main arena much to the amazement of the cheering crowd. There was jubilation and gunshots to signify the arrival of the chief.
The bearers then took the Mwata round the arena, while lifting him high on the carriage. He later took his place on the royal seat. Paramount Chief Mpezeni and his Ngoni impis also added flavour to the event when they went round the arena showcasing their culture and clad in traditional attire.
After the performance, official speeches both from the Mwata Kazembe through his representative Misheck Kaoma, and President Lungu were read. The Mutomboko is a conquest dance that symbolises the victories the Lunda people recorded in conquering the various tribes they defeated on their way from the Democratic Republic of Congo before finally settling down in Mwansabombwe district.
The Mwata was armed with an axe, or mbafi as they call it, and a sword, locally known as mpoko. After performing his dance, the Mwata retired to a waiting muselo and was lifted back to his palace from the main arena as the crowd followed behind, signifying the end of the ceremony. Earlier, scores of people presented various gifts to the chief both in material and financial form.
One of the notable gifts was a speed boat from President Lungu. Although almost all the traditional ceremonies alluded to earlier are celebrated year in and out, there are unique features each time when people attend these ceremonies. The maidens, who poetically eulogise the Mwata before he performs his royal conquest dance, are a preserve of knowledge regarding how the Lunda people who are believed to have hailed from Kola, moved from their original settlement in Sudan and settled in Kola before finally crossing into Zambia.
In line with the saying that a nation without a culture is dead, the Lunda royal family has done well to invest its knowledge in the young girls the maidens. They can be guaranteed that it is the same knowledge that will preserve the rich Lunda cultural heritage for generations to come. Only then can young ones appreciate their culture and value it.
And most importantly, they also explained the difference between the Lunda people of North-Western Province and the ones from Luapula and how the two groups went their separate ways.
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During this period the tundanji are kept at the camp for 6 months. They are taught good morals and to allow sores to heal. Ndendeule It is an initiation dance from Eastern Province of Zambia. It is performed by the Nsenga speaking people.
When a girl has reached puberty age she has become of age Ndola. She tells her grandmother what she has seen, the first menstrual blood, then the grandmother arranges for a traditional attendant called Phungu who puts her in a hut for a period of six months. If there are two or three girls who have become of age at the same time in a village, they are put together in one hut at the same time.
This Phungu teaches them how to take care of their loin cloth during menstrual period. She teaches them how to do waist wriggling during sex with their husband when married. Moba It is a spiritual healing dance from Central Province of Zambia. This dance is performed by the Lenje speaking people. Swaleh used Mawlid festivities to unite people through Islam and celebrate diversity.
According to Badawy, Swaleh would invite surrounding tribes to Riyadha to celebrate their traditional dances during the festival, a custom that continues today. Badawy says that when groups in the area come into conflict, the Riyadha Mosque has been able to assist with resolutions when the government has failed, owing to the deep respect and connections Muslims throughout Lamu have for the teachings of Swaleh.
Musicians on the streets. Throughout festivities, traditional instruments are played by both women and men. However, women only play within private spaces or at women-only public events, while the men take over public streets. Traditional Swahili poetry is also showcased on the seaside. According to Ali Salim Mwenye, a local historian, most musicians and poets come from beyond Lamu. Women stand to the side to watch, take photos, and film the traditional dancing and singing at the seaside.
Dancers, singers, and musicians are often awarded with money slipped into their hats called kofia, traditionally worn by men along the Swahili coast.
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According to Badawy, there has been growing concern around the rise of Salafism in Lamu, an Islamic movement that believes the most authentic Islam is found in the practices of the early Muslims and which reject innovative Islamic celebrations like Mawlid.
They are not insignificant. During Mawlid, Quranic recitation competitions are held among young boys and girls for a small cash prize. According to locals, this competition gives the children an incentive to memorise the Quran.
A dhow race in progress. Dhow races are also organised. Money is collected among the bystanders and the winner receives the cash. This competition has become all the more important with the establishment of Lamu port, which officially opened this year.
Men cheer on their friend as they follow in a boat. As tourism suffers, the demand for dhows has also waned, putting the intergenerational tradition of dhow-making in jeopardy. A donkey race unfolds. They are raced during Mawlid and locals say some donkeys are only used for racing and preparing for competitions.
Estonian Comedy Workshop. Wednesday, January An Improv Theatre Workshop… will guide participants in flexing their spontaneity muscles with a fun workshop.
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The session is limited to 20 participants — please register via vemu tartucollege. The workshop is in English peppered with Estonian.
January 24 and Saturday is Standup with Andy Valvur as the headliner returning from his sold out performance in … Show is in English, cash bar during reception.
Ekow Nimako. January 17 — June 7. Public Opening Party. Admission is free, cash bar available. Performance for video also exists as live performance. Filmed at Aserradero Italgua, Guatemala City. Courtesy the artist. Image from The Power Plant website. Non-Members pay-what-you-can at the door.
This series is open to new participants and those continuing from last year. Jeng Yi. Zither performer Joo Hyung Kim and traditional Korean dancer Soojung Kwon join Ensemble Jeng Yi for an hour featuring collaborations, pure percussion pieces, and the renowned ribbon hat dance.