Saturday, June 15, 2024

It will be hard to win the fight against tribalism if it is fought hypocritically


By Venus N Msyani

The fight against tribalism should not be fought hypocritically. Zambian youth have come up with a song ‘Bupuba bwesu mwalitwebele nina pamwato twanina pang’ombe’ (is our stupidity you told us to ride a boat we rode a cow).

Because cow (ng’ombe) is mentioned, to some people automatically the song becomes tribal. They are refusing to accept the song. Only Zambians understand. You mention a monkey, someone from Mwinelubemba (the northern part of the country) feels teased.

You mention a rat, a person from the eastern part of the country feels teased. A cow, someone from the southern part of the country feels teased. Beans, uwakwilanzi (a Nakonde person) may feel teased, and so on.

Every tribe in Zambia is a victim of teasing. It is common and accepted in Zambian culture. What is wrong is to start promoting to make one tribe feel more victim than another. By refusing to accept the above song we are making Tonga different from other tribes in Zambia.

Back in 2017, Fumba Chama sang ‘Koswe Mumpoto’ (the rat in the pot.) When the Patriotic Front government started to harass him because of the song, Zambians including then the opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema defended Pilato.

By the way, ‘Koswe Mumpoto’ is one of President Hakainde Hichilema’s favorite songs: “”Koswe mu mpoto,” one of my favourite songs from this courageous, patriotic and talented gentleman. I’m proud of you @iampilato.” President Hakainde Hichilema tweeted on October 1,2019.

If you are not a Zambian, ask a Zambian near you. ‘Koswe Mumpoto’ is not different from ‘Bupuba bwesu mwalitwebele nina pamwato twanina pang’ombe.’

A few days ago, Dr. Chishimba Kambwili was live on his Facebook page complaining about a threat he received from President Hakainde Hichilema concerning tribalism. On January 26, 2023, He had allowed the youth to sing the above song at his residence.

Kambwili didn’t hesitate to share the threat: “My dear colleague Mr. Kambwili I am sure you are aware that it is a crime to promote tribalism in Zambia.” Hichilema threatens him.

It is a confirmation of hypocrisy. Pilato’s ‘Koswe Mumpoto’ is not tribal, ‘Bupuba bwesu mwalitwebele nina pamwato twanina pang’ombe’ is a tribal song! That is exactly what President Hakainde Hichilema seems to tell Kambwili. We should tell him no.

Hichilema has accepted Pilato’s ‘Koswe Mumpoto.’ He should also accept ‘Bupuba bwesu mwalitwebele nina pamwato twanina pang’ombe.’ The youth and anyone who likes the song should sing it without intimidation.

All tribes in Zambia are equal. It will be hard to win the fight against tribalism if it is fought hypocritically.


  1. I don’t see comments from praise singers from well articulated articles especially where oval has been mentioned doing the opposite of what he preaches.

    Koswe mumpoto is quite now that he is permanent secretary. Everything said by upnd is sugar now. Upnd will leave government and all the cases will resume!!!

  2. In this country, when some people are not in Government, it is tribalism. Any Zambian should be chosen at merity.
    Zambia today is mature enough to work with any team. Make one place better, we shall all shift there after all it is One Zambia One Nation.

  3. Well said Venus. Very well said.
    All I can say is that the things some of us have already experienced in less than 2 years are quite interesting.

  4. Governing humans is difficult enough; without adding to the difficulties by being too prescriptive in how they should behave. People sing and say all sorts. You cannot take everything that comes out of people’s mouths as (literally)aimed at you. A government or leader, can’t keep getting into ‘unravelling’ possible conspiracies in what citizens are singing or saying. I think you’re a better government and bigger person(Leader), when you let some of the stuff just be.


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