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Saturday, August 15, 2020

The New York Times report on the death of King Lewanika I of Barotseland in 1916 – a perfect Lozi Picture

Columns The New York Times report on the death of King Lewanika I...

This report appeared in the 16th February, 1916 edition of the New York Times, a popular publication in the United States of America, announcing the death of King Lewanika I of Barotseland who had died eleven days earlier on 4th February, 1916. In fact, Lewanika’s passing was also headline news in other world media in Europe and Africa.

King Lewanika was such a great ruler and his reputation went beyond his kingdom to other boundaries of Africa and across the entire known civilization of Portugal, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Americas as well as the entire British Empire.

In 1902, King Lewanika traveled via Cape Town, South Africa, to England and was a royal guest at the coronation of King Edward VII where Lewanika is reported to have impressed his hosts at Westminster Abbey with his ‘fine’ and imposing figure and ‘most charming and courteous manners’ according to Sir Harry Johnston, G.C.M.G, K.C.B, at one time H.M Commissioner &c., for Northern Zambezia.

What is disheartening, however, is that Zambian history and historians would rather ignore the great legacy of this great African king altogether on account of petty jealousy and political expediency.

We, however, have often emphasized here and elsewhere that it will be impossible for any knowledgeable person, lawyer or judge on earth to be oblivious of Barotseland’s rights to self-determination because even her very boundaries are well known globally and recorded in major world libraries of many powerful nations of the world, as well as international organizations such as the United Nations.

It is now entirely up to the Barotse to assert and claim their rights and the people of Barotseland alone must decide how they wish to exercise their self-determination.

Many thanks to Dr. Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika for ‘fishing’ this New York Times newspaper extract out of the archives.

By Sibeta Mundia, Barotseland Post


  1. Legacy and popularity are two different things.

    King Lewanika was popular but he was not a good ruler. He engaged in wars that did not advance his people. He was full of pageantry and the only people he pleased where the British. Bye!

    • Bo Sibeta Mundia,

      What makes you believe that King Lewanika I of the then Barotseland left a Great legacy which history has ignored? Could it because his death was carried in the New York Times, and other pro-colonial rule papers in the Western capitals?
      I admire your endearment for the late King but unless your qualify it, there is nothing memorable about rule. Therefore this whole push for a great legacy is nothing more than another case of platitudes among lieutenants. Other than being subservient to the colonial system, what Great things did he do for Barotseland?

    • Let’s discuss this issue and possibly put it to rest. Mundia, you kindly qualify endearment for the late King. Some of us believe there is nothing memorable about his rule to be called a Great King.

    • For your own information misguided lady, Lubosi was given the name Lewanika, “Luyanakuwanika” meaning the uniter by tribes from neighbouring Countries he had defended and embraced. Whether you like it or not he was a man of the people and a legend of his time and era. Fortunately you cannot re-write history. Part of the copperbelt would have fallen to the advancing Belgians and been part of Katanga had it not been for the same man you loathe and resent.

    • In Response to Senior Citizen, boss Barotse National School (BNS) built in 1907 which is called Kambule Secondary School today is one of the many projects Lubosi set up. A number of Lozi speaking graduates at Independence 1964 were proudly products of BNS. Other projects such as Lewanika General Hospital followed. I bet you thought they were created by Kaunda.

    • Comments 1 to 7 are typical of how Kaunda wanted us to think. Truth is KK distorted the history of this country to perpetuate his lesa kumulu kaunda panshi mantra. The Lenshina story is one classic case of this country’s history that is hidden from us.
      Godwin Mbikusita Lewanika, Katilungu, etc are one liners in our history books & yet these were the men who started an organised resistance to white domination. Mama Chikamoneka is only remembered for undressing in front of ogling white men BUT what was her full story? For as long as this history is buried TRIBALISTS will continue dividing us.

    • Zedians are priceless. It will forever irk you that Zambia = Barotseland + the rest. Denying one’s birth is always a good formula for an inferiority complex. Those were different times and when put in context, you did better than the equation the whites in S. Rhodesia were looking for. S.Rhodesia+Barotseland+Katanga and minus the rest.

      There is a lot for some of you to learn. Read that Hansard and see how the Brits kicked everyone about like a ball. It was the same one you are dissing who went and spoke up for you in England. Those are the people who fought for your right to exist and it is a matter of record.

      What pride you have in borders drawn up with colored pencils by fools who never wanted anything out of you aside from your land and minerals. KK did a real job on you. We…

    • Zedians are priceless. It will forever irk you that Zambia = Barotseland + the rest. Denying one’s birth is always a good formula for an inferiority complex. Those were different times and when put in context, you did better than the equation the whites in S. Rhodesia were looking for. S.Rhodesia+Barotseland+Katanga and minus the rest.

      There is a lot for some of you to learn. Read that Hansard and see how the Brits kicked everyone about like a ball. It was the same one you are dissing who went and spoke up for you in England. Those are the people who fought for your right to exist and it is a matter of record.

      What pride you have in borders drawn up with colored pencils by fools who never wanted anything out of you aside from your land and minerals. KK did a real job on you. The…

    • All those smart Lozi forgotten by Zambia.
      Imwe Lozi disappointing. Look at Swaziland, Lesotho today. Balotseland…

    • Who spoke for everyone to have the right to speak and self determine? Should we ignore what is in the archives of the British in order to diminish those actions? This man and others did that years before Kaunda was able to peddle his version. Their being arm twisted and conned is a matter of continual public record because of the degree of legal engagement and attempts to settle things in a language other than their own based on a law other than their own. Similar to the dilemma African Americans faced when trying to explain why Lincoln freed slaves yet they were still marching hundreds of year later. Fighting a system loaded against you. With the other tribes the Brits simply held up thumb marks and said deal done. At least the AAs celebrate efforts. We just diss because it is an…

    • Some people are really childish… Really why should you be so butthurt over a an obituary?. I suspect the so called Nubian princes was frothing from the mouth as he typed…There’s no guessing that some of the animosity and hatred of Lewanika has to do with tribe.

    • Legacy? Do you even know what you’re talking about it, questioning Lewanika’s legacy? First he ought to have had a legacy for him to his death to have been reported in international media of that time when there was no internet and the connection of Africa to the rest of the world was almost non existent. His legacy would have been bad or good (you can take a pick). Let not pettiness and prejudice cloud your judgement. Show me an African chief/king whose death was reported that far away in esteemed newspapers at that time? Perhaps only Shaka Zulu.

      Now let’s talk about legacy of this great son of the nation. First he was loved and united many different tribes of Barotseland. And if it wasn’t for him and his descendants, perhaps you wouldn’t have the country Zambia as you know…

    • …perhaps you wouldn’t have the country Zambia as you know it today. That time, tribes were conquering land from other weaker tribes elsewhere. You also wouldn’t have the independence of Rhodesia and perhaps your ancestors would have been sold out into slavery. At the time whites and colonialist thought of Africans as uncivilized and monkeys incapable of thinking, he and his descendants were revered and respected by all whites who came in contact of him. His legacy trumps that of all your presidents combined.

      Finally compare his stature and attire in 1902 to your Lungu in 2017 and tell me who is more statesman? This is the type of stuff you show your racist friends in your country who keep asking you when you and your people actually became a civilised society (at least it…

    • “A Native Ruler”, “Barotse is the North-west of Rhodesia – From Livingstone, Rhodesia”. This means that Barotseland just like and other native Bantus, for example Ulubemba, were part of Zambia (Rhodesia).

  2. I knew this pf camel toe will be the first to respond to this article because of her hate for lozis, my friend if you don’t like them and have vowed that you will not allow any lozi person to rule this country, why not let them go, what benefits do you derive from been stuck with them?

  3. Some black people get very excited when a white man recognizes them. White people know this and use the attitude resulting from black inferiority complex to their advantage. I often hear blacks boasting that their tribe was first to host white people or to be introduced to white education. White education? White brainwashing.

    • Maybe we just didn’t have our own newspapers yet. Perhaps it was just as widely ‘reported’ among Africans but talking drums, messengers and word of mouth plus oral tradition mean nothing versus print for some people. The first foreigners to try and establish a school in Barotseland were not white. Just as a matter of interest. They were Ethiopians. Believe the David Livingstone hype if you want to. This territory has more recorded history than most.

  4. What great ruler? these people are seller outs and till today they want the country divided. How can a white man share our country amongst us when he is just outsider with interest in his donkeys . Just join him in hell.

    • What jealous Panama papers,you so useless, you are the ones praising the whites or Europeans in lies. Simple question to you. Who discovered mosi-o-tunya falls? Your answers is David livingstone. Rubbish you telling me there were no people worshipping or living around the smoke that thunders before this boy (David) came to name it after his queen. In Africa these Europeans want to discover our natural wonders for themselves not for us because we lived here in Africa. We learn about mwene mutapa and because he was never in good books with the Europeans they call a master robber or thief. That ka king of the lozi the master or thief looking at how he almost sold the country,thanks to KK. Shame on you

    • You cannot have it both ways you maggots. You cannot hate Lewanika and love Zambia. Zambia is a product of Lewanika’s actions. Some of you would’ve been Congolese and Tanzanian had it not been for Lewanika.
      There was no country called Zambia before Lewanika.

    • Bembas hate Lewanika because he was involved in the structuring of Zambia while Bemba leaders were still jumping from tree to tree. Lewanika’s pitching for British protection, after getting advice from his friend Khama, meant that the Portuguese failed to link Angola with Mozambique. Had Lewanika opted for the Portuguese, Zambia would not look like what it does today. All the credit goes to King Lewanika for that. Be thankful you uncultured thieving manyukunyuku.

    • @Buck teeth… be serious and realistic. This got the respect of the whites because he lied. He lied that all the land up to the Copper belt was his. He is a fraud who obtained favors by false pretenses. He then sold off the minerals in exchange for biscuits and education for his children. Most though were only sent to schools with education in cookery, knitting, house keeping etc.

      Lewanika was a fraud.

  5. Why is the above called a perfect Lozi picture? Of course because it originates from the white man. Let’s wake up and see things broadly not narrowly

  6. Article says “he concluded a treaty with the British South Africa Company acknowledging it’s supremacy”…interesting that a King should acknowledge supremacy of a company over his kingdom.

  7. What is interesting to note is the fact that the Chewa Kingdom of Gawa Undi is much older than Baotseland and also covers a far greater land mass than that of the Lozi Kingdom and yet Chewas generally do not have this nauseating pride and superiority complex that Lozis tend to have. Does this come about because their King was given a salaula uniform to wear by the British? I think the regalia of Mwata Kazembe is much more dignified as it is truly African. The area which is supposed to constitute Barotseland is rather vague and to some includes the lands of the Nkoyas who do not want to be part of the kingdom (some of them actually want the Zambian government to create a new province called Kafue so that they are not lumped together with their Lozi neighbours) as well as other ethnic…

    • Hmm. Makes you wonder why a Nkoya was chosen as bride to a Litunga. At the time it was to provide a clear message to those the Nkoyas were running away from that they had greater protection… Don’t worry. It’s an inconvenient truth the modern day lot might overlook as they rewrite their own history and forget all about where they were, who wanted to get rid of them and whom they ran to for protection.

    • Mphendula Kayaula, it is your type that always gets overly exercised at anything to do with the Barotse. I suspect you’ve either got an overbearing inferiority complex or you’re just primitive bigots with extreme hatred for the Barotse. And most of the anti-Lozi comments are from one tribe….you know your evil selves.

    • POINT OF CORRECTION: Mwata Kazembe’s regalia, specifically the brass hat is an old Fire fighter helmet from either France or Belgium. I am leaning toward Belgium. Just that fact makes it the most despicableexample. You could have selected Chitimukulu’s or Mpezeni’s. Those are unadulterated.

  8. groups such as the Kaondes, Ilas and Lambas to name but a few. Are you telling me that the average Lamba or Ila person would see the Litunga as his or her monarch?

    • It is quite clear that you do not know the history of the Luyi people. The Luyi people who became the Lozi ruling class migrated from the Lunda Kingdom of Mwata Yamvwa in Western Zaire around 1500. It is for this reason that the Lozis’ and the Lundas’ commonly greet each other as, “Kaluyi Mwambwa Kalunda Mwambwa” to signify same origin or to go woman ruler who led the Luyi on the trek was a sister of the man who led the Lunda group. Some of the tribes you have mentioned above also share same origin with the Luyis’.

    • Sharing the same origin does not mean that the Litunga is their ruler. The Bembas and the Chewas hail from Lubaland. The Chewa left Lubaland in the 14th century, the Bembas in early 1700s. Does that mean that Gawa Undi is also King of the Bembas or the Chitimukulu is King of the Chewas? Yes, Lozi Kings might have married Nkoya women (amongst many others) but that does not mean that the Nkoyas are subject to the Lozis. You cant force them to be in your Kingdom if they dont want to be part of it.

    • Barotseland or Western Western Province does not include the areas that you have mentioned, even the Barotse National Council of 2012 refers only to Western Province and the districts within. You are right some Lozis’ are a mix of Luyi and Nkoya. In fact Lozi is a language widely spoken by 36 tribes of Western Province, just like Nyanja is to Eastern Province. Since Nkoyas’ and Luyis’ are blood relatives they are better placed to resolve their own differences as members of one family.

  9. You know what you want to know. What many do not want to know is what makes them look at their own and feel inferior. Instead they will invoke the white man as an excuse to stop looking in the mirror. At least that white man will admit that among his white tribes there were many and some were valued and others were not. Some of you up here refuse to give any value to anyone who is not one of yours. That is your real problem. The peoples of Barotseland will forever remain unique for their ability to transcend your BS.

    • Their uniqueness is limited by extent to which they intermarry with other tribes and peoples. There are Valakis, Herringtons, Pompidous claiming to be Lozi. That’s following the Kaluba Matokwani, Inutu Bwalya, Sibeso Chishimba, Litebe Kamanga, etc. Other examples include the Mwalitetas, Evans, Lubindas, etc.

      Point is there’s no uniqueness among us. We’re unique as a people, not as tribal groups.

  10. How can we praise him when he was continously engaged in tribal wars against the natives but when oppressors from overseas appeared, he miserably failed to protect his own kingdom and opted to bow down to their foreign orders and flirt with their lifestlye?

    Like Uncle Tom, self-preservation and fear of retaliation (in case of an uprising) was the only legacy they left, generating an atmosphere of passivity and servitude among Africans which paved the way for colonial rule. No wonder they are in the curriculum of European and American history but you will not read a lot about Shaka Zulu, Mau Mau, Nelson Mandela and other real freedom fighters.

    • Alternative facts, boss? Show evidence of the curriculum you speak of because the one I see is more likely to either ignore them all and focus on slavery or jump from little mentions of Shaka to Mandela and that is only during black history month if you are lucky.

    • @Nine Chale Africans are too scared of the white man. The litunga was happy to fight fellow blacks but not the white man. Fast forward to 100 years later and you see that that’s why the xenophobic attacks in South Africa target fellow blacks not the real foreigners the whites. Blacks in south Africa aren’t scared of Nigerians, Zimbabweans, Mozambicans, Malawians but when they see Dutchmen its baas!

    • @Nine Chale, why don’t you tell us why your Chitimukulu failed to protect his Kingdom? Why did you allow yourselves to be colonised? The same applies to Mpenzeni? Did you also ask for British Protection or you just allowed yourselves to be colonised?

  11. Africa was civilized millennia before Europe. That is all I have to say here. We as Africans should read all history then pave our own destinies.

  12. It is amusing that you refer to Shaka Zulu as a Freedom Fighter. King Lewanika was one of the Southern African traditional rulers who were party to formation of ANC in 1912. Mandela himself wrote tribute to Lewanika and named his own son Lewanika.

    • After he had exaggerated the extent of his kingdom and signed it over to the British! At least the Bembas and Ngonis had to be defeated by the British in war for them to lose sovereignty over their lands. Lozis should start by stopping their Litunga from wearing that ridiculous uniform during Kuomboka. He should wear the original regalia from the lands of Mwata Yamvo as Mwata Kazembe does.

    • I do not debate on tribal grounds, I’m connected to Bembas’, Tongas’, Nyanjas’ and Lozis’. I also speak all the 4 main Zambian languages very well.

    • @mpendula what is this regalia? I often see the Mwata in a western styled jacket on top of chitenge. By the way even musisi is firm Victorian Britain

  13. White people are naturally intelligent according to THRUMPs administration. This King was promoting slave trade by trading people with cloths such as suits and food e.g. sweets. According to the history he became upset when slave trade was abolished

    • Abolished by whom? The slave trading Brits who were pushed out of business when the newly formed US figured out you could just breed them and not import? Or Arabs? If British the first act is 1807 and then 1833. You have Livingstone complaining in the 1860’s about Arab slave trading. The last slave ship to leave for the Americas was The Candida off the coast of Angola in 1859. He came to power in the late 1880’s by 1911 those same Brits were the colonial power, having replaced the mining company they GAVE the territory to. Methinks he had bigger problems hence the original ANC when whites created the land act arrogantly stating land could only be owned by whites. I am sure that mattered more than sweets. Divide and conquer. Trump is not worth even referencing.

  14. The Mambwe- Lungu Kingdoms and the Tongas existed way beyond the 1800. In fact it existed in the 1600 before the Kololo came to what was northern Rhodesia and today’s Zambia. The only problem with our colleagues the Aluyis is that when they talk of their history they want to claim secession and now they went separation. The kingdom of the Aluyi extended as far as the eyes could see (it is anybody’s guess where that would be)

  15. Be thankful to KK if you don’t know your damn facts.

    At independence KK had to “buy” the mineral rights off the British South Africa Company. Check this fact anywhere.

    So Lewanika signed off mineral rights which KK had to buy off, paid for in Pound Sterling !!!

    How dare you demonise KK who had to repair the selfishness of so called patriots who sold their subjects and land off for a nice suit.

  16. Be thankful to KK if you don’t know your damn facts.

    At independence KK had to “buy” the mineral rights off the British South Africa Company. Check this fact anywhere.

    So Lewanika signed off mineral rights which KK had to buy off, paid for in Pound Sterling !!!

    How dare you demonise KK who had to repair the selfishness of so called patriots who sold their subjects and land off for a nice suit.

    • Oh boyi, there’s lots of misinformation out there. If you read Barotseland Agreement of 1964, it was only the Lozis who retained ownership rights over their land and elsewhere the incoming administration had control. FYI, the whites and colonialists just conquered and colonised but in Barotseland, they negotiated and traded with the Litunga. It is a known fact that the colonialists found Barotseland to be the only civilised society they could do business with and negotiate while everywhere else, dudes were still behaving like headless chickens. You can choose to ignore facts, and rely on your own ‘alternative facts’.

  17. So he became King in the 1800″s, 22nd in the line of succession for a clearly defined Barotseland. So powerful he was uniter of stray dogs (tribes) and acquiessed to the needs and demands of the explorers, modernizers and received his uniforms and badge! Meanwhile Kaunda was born in 1924 at Lubwa, north province two years after the Kings passing to come and deny as well as obliterate history! What a shame.The Lozi need to reclaim their borders, build a wall, and heed the slogan Barotseland first. This brave move will Trump all logic!

  18. So in part of modern day Zambia reigns an indisputable king! Fine, the Lozi’s have the right to self determination and the Litunga if need be that the title be referenced in English he should then be addressed King period!

  19. Lozi’s are a great people like all the other people of Zambia and Africa and King Lewanika was a great leader. Let’s respect this.

  20. Historians in our universities,can you please do your job, dig deep into the history of this country, let that information be in the public domain not only restricted in the academia.That could help to understand and put certain aspects into their right perspective.

    • Well said ,the lozi people have to understand that Zambia is here to stay as united and every time they try there dirty games ,we will send the zambia army to beat the hell out of there dirty dark skin. They sold the country and just wanted to return there kingdom and sell the rest of zambia. They are so selfish to the extent of thinking they are the only tribe in zambia. No wonder they are backwards.

  21. This story is a hoax. The news of the death of this guy could not have reached New York in less than 11 days in 1916. Bufi! By what means? Were the people running to Cape town to send telegraph?

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