The chart-buster Mukamfwilwa by John Mwansa was about the wife of Ndola United famous footballer Edwin Mbaso who died in a car accident.

Shortly after his funeral, his widow (I will withhold her name to save her more mental torture) allegedly started frequenting drinking places like Falcon and Savoy hotel in Ndola.

Mukamfwila is probably the best selling single in Zambia. The Kaponya terminology in the song reflects the period. It includes words like waikala lufyanya waikala peniza both derived from ci-Bemba words ukulufyanya-making mistakes and ukupena-going mad respectively.

The song also reflects the stigma attached to widowhood (even in urban areas like Ndola) with beliefs that they were haunted by the ghosts of their husbands which had to be cleansed.

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69 COMMENTS

    • Please stop abusing widows and women.
      You men doing this abuse, can do that because you not yet dead.
      You women doing this abuse, are lucky because your husbands are alive.

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    • Ba LT her name was Barbara Mbaso, she sued the band and lost the case, John Mwansa went back to the studio and sang another classic about her ” teiwe bembile ….. mukanfwilya ,bushe niwe weka walufya umulume”

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    • Teiwe bembile was done by the Mulemena Boys. According to the song, the widow went from the lowest court to the highest court and kept on losing the case and the judgement was that she was not the only widow in Zambia and she finally committed suicide. Mukamfwila is among the only three records/albums to have hit platinum in Zambia. The others were by Paul Ngozi and Natural Pithceni Kazembe

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    • The substance (moral) in the song is that when a wife looses a husbandor, indeed a husband loosing a wife, they have to go through a mourning period and cultural rituals before resume “normal” life. At least get cleansed by cultural practises and not for one to force the matter in a bid to get on the ladder of campaigners. Mandela’s wife took a year before she spoke out in public. Mwanawasa’s wife has taken 6years before throwing her weight in Politics. Kaseba took barely a week to do both and surely, by any standards, that should raise eyebrows.
      Therefore we are interested.

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    • @Robin
      Point of correction. Indeed the name of the lady was Barbra Mbaso and she is late now so no mental torture would be occasioned to her. The subsequent song, “Mukamfwilwa Afwa”, where there is a line ‘teiwe bembile’ was not done by John Mwansa but by The Mulemena Boys. Just thought I should put the record straight

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    • It is not good to talk bad of someone. Every Zambian has their democratic right.

      Why people have lost respect for Bamama Kaseba, is the way she timed the whole political entry.

      Morals, Norms and Values of a Funeral are very Important. I do not think even a Man who would Lose their beloved Spouse, would enter in to politics this quick.

      She still had a chance for 2016?? this was just too quick.

      Sorry Mama Kaseba but you have wrong Advisers. Trust me, some of them who pushed you are now laughing at you.

      Withdraw and mourn your husband. No need for this desperation. It is not worth it because anyhow. PF is already messed up,

      Zambians will not vote for them. HH will win this clean.

      Zambians please be on the Look out for Vote rigging make sure we seal any openings.

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    • And your point being? You do not seem to realise that it was a mere allegation that the song alluded to Barbra Chibulu Mbaso. And it was just that; “an allegation”. So do not make a sweeping statement that the song was about her.

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  1. Naughty choices LT. Light hearted fun or making a point? Either way in the spirit of entertainment may I point out that Nashil Pichen Kazembe’s single A Phiri ana… broke all known sales records and even had Teal records throwing out Motown records to make ‘kalindula’ until MJ’s Thriller album came out for which they release an orange record… go figure. No one matched A Phiri’s sales…

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  2. Nonsensical article.Kaseba is very free to express her democratically rights to prove her popularity at the convention but I’m sorry HH will have it this time he has my vote without doubt!

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    • @The Civilized Sam:
      The song is not talking about Kaseba! The article is not talking about Kaseba either! Why the paranoia??? Barbara Mbaso lost the case in the courts of law because she concluded that the song was about her, even if her name was not mentioned. Are you not making the same conclusion by bringing in Kaseba when she is neither mentioned in the song nor in the article?

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  3. Yaba , its bad for madam Kaseba. Any way she has a democratic right to stand as president but she has to be strong.

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  4. MUKAMFWILWAS ARE SUPPOSED TO REMAIN SILENT AND BEHAVE FOR THE NEXT SIX MONTHS AFTER HUSBAND DIES. WHAT KASEBA IS DOING IS A TABOO, AND SHOULD BE DISCIPLINED BY THE ELDERS. KASEBA IS AN OPPORTUNIST!

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  5. the lady in question even stood on MMD ticket but lost to Hon Chenda or Katema??? She unfortunately died on the South African bound plane at Ndola Airport last year. Barbra was her name..omwer of BBC

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  6. Kasebanya bwelela mama.ulubemba naludabwa naba chief kumu.U’ll be most useless woman in the world after loosing the party come 2015.tell membe whatever secret u had with that i can’t win.listern to pipo not to cartel who want eat n keep their businesses .cartel is protecting it’s interest.I’ve heard that cartel now is also supporting UPND.mafia style!!ba kasebanya bwalela maya before wetusenya saana.Nowander kanshi bapokela icupa bana mulenga.Amano yanono mayo uyu

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    • It’s a piece of historical information which has educated me. Thanks LT. Now did she kill herself or did she die on the plane?

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  7. The relics of :::teiwe bembile ….. mukanfwilya ,bushe niwe weka walufya umulume”
    was actually done by the Mulemena boys.

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    • Mumba Mumba you are right. “Te iwe bembile” was done by the Sound Inspectors as the Mulemena Boys were known at that time they used to patronise Luanshya’s Kosapo Bar. The other hit by the same band was Bana Mayo bambi lelo (kabotolo in sate kwacha)

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  8. @ Robin,

    A point of correction. It was not John Mwansa who went back to studio to sing follow up to Mukamfwilwa. The band which sang ‘teiwe bembile’ was Mulemena boys trio of Brian Chibangu, Gift Chisha and Joseph Mutemba. Yes indeed ‘ Mukamfwilwa song vibrated everywhere in the early eighties. Edwin Mbaso was a skilled footballer who died in a road accident. His widow Barbra took offense of the song and dragged John Mwansa to court. After the case was thrown out, the Mulemena boys produced another buster, ” Ifwe fwe bemba twaimbo lwimbo at mukamfwilwa. Chikashana umo calimukolele, aima aya, aya ku Luanshya ati ninebo bembileee mukamfwilwa. Bashichilye nabo, nabo bakana. ati we mayo bushe naupena. Niwe fye weka walufyo mulume, alateiwe bembileeeee, mukamfwilwa.”

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  9. Ba LT you have an agenda against Kaseba. You have continued to publish articles against her in the name of tradition. This is tantamount to stigima just like AIDS.
    Vasco RB has abundoned his ailing wife in South Africa and you are queit. Stop this nonsense.

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  10. This song reminds me of the hey days when we went for pass-out parade for the 06 intake in Ndola at Mushili military camp (July, 1982). On the other hand, PF leadership can you put your house in order before it is too late. Opposition parties have already started campaigning.

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  11. IF it was a man, such nosensical abuse and sheepishly written article could not have been posted on this site. STOP ABUSING WOMEN because one woman is better than a lot of you drunkard men put together. So childish and unprofessional.

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  12. The lady lacks natural intelligence! How dare she? Its time to send this thuggery, corrupt, tribalistic and nepotistic party packing. The chaos in the way the man lived is manifest post his death through confusion that is prevalent in the party. Lets not behind a finger by failing to face up to the truth! Away with PF, they stole behind the facade of roads and infrastructure development that is identified with them when a lot of it was started by others!! Its time to put the power in the hands of well meaning citizens who have the interest of the Zambian people at heart.

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  13. Thanks LT for that lecture, I thought it was a fictional song like many. It seems musicians of yesteryears were very innovative.

    Out of curiosity is the same singer, John Mwansa alive?

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  14. Let the song pump up some sense in Kaseba state house is not personal to holder let other people enjoy the sweetness that is in that place. Power is sweet were told by late chiluba.

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  15. This article may seem biased against women right now,but the truth is that widows (and widowers) are supposed to conduct themselves with a certain measure of decorum after the death of a beloved spouse.culture also demands this. That is why Dr.Kaseba’s action have shocked so many. By the way,when Barbra Mbaso stood as MP on MMD ticket in Ndola,the opposition PF simply started playing Mukamfwilwa whenever she appeared.This was many many years later,but it was still a hard blow for her.

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  16. Primitive backwardness simply means you blissfully hold on to ancient beliefs while the rest of the world forges ahead in search of news horizons.

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    • That is what makes us us and them them. What ‘new horizon’ would be sought and found by a mourning president?

      Carter G. Woodson once said,

      Those who have no record of what their forebears accomplished lose inspiration which comes from teaching of biography and history.

      The mistake Zambians make is to treat everything about them as inferior and everything foreign as superior. And when the foreigners come and pick up on their stuff, dust them up and polish them, they gravitate to them like turtles to water. Listen, you are just OK the way you are with your cultural practices. There is nothing wrong with them. Get comfortable in your skin!

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  17. Guys, guys argue all you want on the pro’s and con’s of John Mwansa’s very popular ‘Mukamfwilwa’ song but agree that it carries moral advice in the face of modernity! Enjoy Kalindula guitar work at its best in this song!

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  18. Barbara never commited suicide iyeeeeeeeee mwe bantu ubufi.She passed away abt 3years bkoz of BP. Shame on you lier. She was a wealthy bzness woman.

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    • no one said she killed herself. Its just in the “fictitious” song by Mulemena boys who sang that she killed herself. They had to cover their back in case she sued again

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  19. This is a useless article, but the lady in question is Mrs Mbaso started doing everyone, including the singer Franco, VJ Mwanga,Charles Chitengi and some South Africans.

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    • You witnessed these events?
      Respect the woman, please!
      You will not miss your supper if you did not vilify her.

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  20. I hope this is not meant to attack Dr. Kaseba. Some of us have posed questions like how long does it to mourn.? Is this mourning period only for the widows?

    You can mourn your loved one in so many different ways even by continuing with what they have left behind and stood for. The woman in the song started prostituting immediately after the death of her husband. But if she decided to support a club in honour of her husband, I do not think Mwansa would have sang that song. Text without context becomes pretext ba LT.

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    • “Prostituting”?
      You don’t know that for sure. Neither did Mwansa say that.
      Prostitution, if you did not know is selling one’s body for something of value, usually cash. You did not see her getting shagged and getting paid, did you?

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  21. DID LT MENTION KASEBA IN THIS ARTICLE? THOUGHT THEY JUST DID A FLASHBACK FOR THE OLD SONG, DIDN’T THEY? SO WHO IS TO BLAME, LT OR YOU ADDING KASEBA & PEOPLE’S NAMES TO IT?

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  22. Hi,
    This is Maureen Mwanawa. This song is so so real. Am so broke and my business partners have vanished and it is true now am prostituting with UPND until I kill it too after chewing their money. After all, nisangwapo chabe because PF’s Edgar Lungu will win the Presidential elections.

    I was surprised that finished and worn out people like Mwaanga, corrupt suspects where at that rally, awe mwe deceiving ba UPND! We don’t believe in UPND all we want is their campaign money and after they lose, we wait for 2016…

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    • Ubupuba Maureen is too intelligent to write such rubbish why not come out and tell us who you are than hiding behind someone name

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  23. Actually, I been hearing this song talked about by people recently, but wondered who sang it and what it is all about. Now I have the gist of it. But it doesn’t mention Madam Kaseba or anyone, it’s a song of thoughts and ideas like many other songs. If anyone is touched by it’s message he/she has just be caught in crossfire. therefore we cannot blame LT or the late singer. People knows the song already and LT just clarified what it is all about-in a way correcting all those applying a song to specific individuals.

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  24. Uupamfiwe eulwa ne chibi. How many people today are widows? Let them observe tradition.

    By the way, since when did Kaseba become a politician? Let the politicians in PF do their work and we know who we want in PF to be elected on 20th January 2014. It’s only one man and we all know him the rest are wasting their time. Chapwa…

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  25. Hasty indecency.

    Even at a younger age, she could not wait for her own husband, but recycled some other woman’s husband.

    Society defines it’s morality code for the better of that society.

    A president of a country is a keeper of its culture, nomes and must be seen to uphold those. So why do we have a whole Ministry of Culture then? Maybe Luo can clarify why we must discipline Kaseba. She is so blinkered right now. 2016 would have been better and less hasty.

    PLEASE don’t go on about democratic rights! She is a disgrace to all Zambian females in politics.

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  26. There must definitely be peace. Edgar Lungu should calm down follow the constitution procedures. Edgar has not been denied a chance to stand but what others are asking for is a fair way that is inclusive according to the constitution.

    It looks like Edgar and the team are already set to become president without following the due law. The worst I have seen is a bunch of the so called MCC unconstitutionally suspending their boss. This is total madness. I hope in that meeting you will be fair to Guy and I encourage Guy to remain strong and not fall victim to these former KMB Kitwe Main Bus staion presidents.

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  27. Bakasebanya please mourn our beloved president.Mukamfwila ulwimbo tamwakakuwanishe.U’ll fail to campaign when they start playing on TV and radios.Always fresh memory of ba sata n u’ll die with stroke.Please even bible is very clear on that.I don’t know if this woman believes in God or not.She’ll never be happy again coz of her move.cartel forced u coz of knowing yo secrets.Maybe u killed yo hasband why forcing u mama kasebanya?

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  28. Why does John Mwansa make news now? of course its because you want to hit at Christine Kaseba. And because most of you especially the editors of Lusaka Times are misogynists. You like yapping about the ‘bad’ things you see in women but never examine yourselves. Are women supposed to be trashed for their minutest behaviours when all the riff raffs we see causing problems in the world are male? The Mukamfwilwa song was trash then and trash now It should not be encouraged in the 21st century where people have resolved to treat each other equally.

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  29. I don’t understand why most of guys would relate the situation in the song to that of Kaseba.most of you will Commit suicide when kaseba pulls through, your HH will not be a match to her.she is a game. Watch the space. I tell you this woman is very strong and Courageous far more than you Cowards.sunday will be a different ball game when we heat the Campaigns in kitwe.

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  30. Koma ba LT kaseba amivuta. You go All the way to the 70s just to dig up a song dissing widows! Why is John mwansa news now? You are creating news. Journalists don’t create news. They report on what s happening unless they have an agenda.

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  31. Kaseba’s joing the presidential race is good for pf as she will be part of the team accepting defit. She is actually brave and i like the naive

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  32. MC Wabwino also sang: “Icifukushi te kusova.” So uo cakalipa pa kushulumuna John Mwansa tapali ifyo alasova. Ifwe tuleumfwa kenge! Personally I have a lot from this song from the achieves. I’m sure ku ZNBC eko lwaba. Nkayashita pakuti ndelisha lyonse pakunwa tea.

    This was one of the best articles published by LT. Keep on keeping on. Kikikikiki!!! Mukamfwilwa kuti aba no mwaume. So the article is not against women.

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  33. First she needs to tell us what illness the husband died from. From him shrinking at Parliament looking like a little boy it may be an omen that Kaseba is another funeral waiting to happen. These presidential candidates need to take medical tests because we are tired of these by-elections. Anyway insanity is defined as trying the same thing but expecting different results – that is Zambians for you with short memories.

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  34. Now you say she first mourn for 6 months then she joins politics. So after 6 months ‘ bushe bakawela ?’ so asks glorious band.

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