NCWALA: Chipata runs of ‘venue’ as over 600,000 condoms roll in

Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province

WITH only two days to go before the climax of the Ncwala ceremony of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province, Impi, as the traditional war warriors are called, are busy pounding the ground with their feet and penetrating the skies with their short stabbing spears in war dances called Ngoma.

All over the small squeezed town of Chipata, the mice eating warriors are dressed in the animal skin under the watchful eye of Wildlife Crime Prevention unit.

However, in stomping and penetrating, the Impi are not alone. Over 20,000 local and foreign tourists have travelled to witness the ceremony, by all indications, are also pounding-in penetrations in the lodges and guest houses in the mountain town which has led to all rooms being fully booked and priced.

With truckloads of over 600,000 life-savings condoms all but delivered to the district, the Saturday climax of the ceremony will surely ride on the back of several safe climaxes currently underway in the town notorious for ‘Chidyelano’ practice.

Visitors to the district have been arriving since Monday, February 19, and are receiving their share of condoms and advice to drive back to nearby districts such as Katete to look for venues for their nocturnal programmes and only come to Chipata on Saturday.

There is build-up motorists and cyclist traffic in the city with cars, motorcycles also crowned in animal skin – one wonders on how many animals have been skined in the nearby national park ahead of the ceremony.

A series of activities will kick-start this afternoon with Inkosi Mpezeni’s movement from Ephendukeni Palace in Feni to Laweni in Mtenguleni, ahead of Saturday’s main event.

Inkosi Mpezeni, will be flanked by thousands of bare-chested traditional Ngoni warriors called Impi who look so aggressive that one could assume they eat twenty mice (mbeba) each for breakfast and another fifteen for tea break.

Prior to the procession, Gogo Madzimawe, who is the guardian of Ngoni Chieftainship, will lead fellow chiefs in presenting the first fruits of the 2023/2024 Farming Season to Ngwenyama Inkosi yama Nkosi Mpezeni so that he may bless the produce and allow subjects to begin harvesting fresh produce for their consumption.

The procession is expected to go round Chipata Town but Parliament of Bemba Monkey eaters who have already camped on Umozi highway will not allow Inkosi Mpezeni to go smoothly without getting their share like traffic officers on the speed roadblock.

The scenes will be married with baby powder armed by Bembas to smere on Ngonis, who will only go scott free once they pay a bribe to soften the Bemba hearts. This could be coins or Mbeba so as to allow the Eastern warriors to gain access to the road in showing off traditional cousinship.

Even though bemba believes that Ngonis run away from the Ghost of Shaka Zulu who died in September 1828, N’cwala ceremony is said to be a thanksgiving ceremony celebrated, to pay homage to the Ngoni ancestral spirits, commemorate their victories during their tribal wars at the time of their migration from current day South Africa in 1835 and to praise the Lord for giving them fresh crops in the field.

The main ceremony of the Nc’wala will be on Saturday, 24 February, 2024.

Kalemba February 22, 2024



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