Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Intangible Cultural heritage degree programme will not include any witchcraft courses-Luo


Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo
Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo

Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo has revealed that the intangible Cultural heritage degree programme which will be offered at the University of Zambia will not include any witchcraft programme.

Prof. Luo said the Intangible cultural heritage is a programme whose development and implementation will be funded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) at a total cost of USD340, 000.

The Minister said the objective of the programme is to ensure that the country documents and reserves its intangible heritage.

Professor Luo said this when she rendered a ministerial statement in parliament this week.

She explained that the support was secured through a competitive process where the University of Zambia submitted a project proposal and were awarded the project.

Professor Luo noted that two countries succeeded in their bid for the financial support of which the other country is Uganda.

She stated that the project is aimed at developing and implementing a degree programme at UNZA on the documentation and preservation of intangible heritage.

The Higher Education Minister added that Zambia is a nation rich in cultural heritage which include among others the ‘gule wa mukulu and makish dance’ which were inscribed on the UNESCO safeguarding list in 2006.

She further explained that the cultural heritage needs to be safeguarded and protected for future generations.

The Minister stated that to interpret the rich cultural heritage as witchcraft is both misleading and unfortunate.

She said it is an exhibition of a severe lack of understanding and appreciation of the country’s history and culture at the highest level.

Professor Luo disclosed that witchcraft is a crime in Zambia as outlined in Chapter 90 of the laws of Zambia therefore it is unthinkable for UNESCO , a law abiding and international institution and UNZA to engage and support criminal activities of witchcraft.


    • The moment you mentioned ‘gule wamkulu’ is the moment you confirmed the witchcraft associated with the cultural heritage programme of yours.
      Do you think those masks are worn anyhow and anywhere?
      You will have to tell the would be students the truth before recruiting them, otherwise you cannot run away from the witchcraft being talked about.
      Pathetic programme.

  1. It strikes me how much fake news is really parading the print and online media. I am sure this explanation by the Minister will be taken and twisted to perpetuate some perception as usual. We need a new journalism as much as we need a new politics. Enough is soon to be enough.

    • Yes, because the Minister is twisted. First of all, she is not even a professor, if she is, tell us at which University?

    • Monica: Nkandu Luo used to be a professor of micro-biology at UNZA medical school. She will probably go back to university teaching after politics. It may be tasteless to call oneself professor while not holding an academic position. In the West, it is just not done. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany used to be a professor of physical chemistry but you never hear anyone address her as professor. It is just out of place in politics and other non-academic walks of life.

  2. I thought her seat was nullified. How long does it take/will it take to conclude election petition case?

  3. “So, if we are not able to do anything on our own and we depend on these guys (foreign nation-states) to do everything for us, then surely, they must have a right to comment on our internal affairs. But under international law, they are not allowed to do that”. What? How? Why? The reasoning is wrong. There is no logical conclusion to e drawn from it. Ownership (sovereignty) has nothing to do with capacity to do everything by oneself. The capacity would be an added advantage but not a necessary condition. Think of babies. They own everything but a regent or an administrator can be appointed in case of need. The dogs of war belong to you. You own the dogs of war. But the dogs of war can attack you. The attack does not take away the ownership of the dogs of war.

    • I agree Dr Makasa Kasonde. And the cost is small, US$340,000 , about the cost of 4x4s you see parked in government and quasi-government car parks.

  4. It still begs the question: what is witchcraft? Very shuddering to imagine my children growiing up in fear because of ignorance

  5. Please introduce tangible programs with tangible results not these intangible wicked programs of ‘Gule wamkulu’. That nonsense will not add value to this nation. We already have appropriate programs that can immediately incorporate such nonsense. Kindly reconsider and look at motor vehicle assembly and manufacturing plants. We had these in KK’s time why not relook at that and implement job creating economic activities than this intangible stupidity!!

  6. It is very true that gule wamkuru is a dance that is not performed without magic. One has to perform certain rituals to enter into the arena. So therefore students will have to accept to perform those rituals in order to take a study. Otherwise how will they enter liunde if one is not initiated into the nyau dance. Let us not sound academic when we are not aware of what is involved. After all those who enter the arena to perform a dance are not people but chirombos how then will communication be between a student and the chirombo. It goes without saying that any students taking the course will have no way out but to get initiated in the magic. Hence the out cry that Wich craft will be inevitable in this study.

  7. Witchcraft is the largest part of our Zambian Intangible Culture! How can you leave out that important aspect?

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