By Paul Shalala

I too didn’t know this until a few years ago.

2006 was the first year I attended the Kuomboka Ceremony in both the Lealui Royal Village and the Limulunga Royal Village.

The next was in 2017 and I was convinced we only had one Kuomboka Ceremony in Barotseland.

However, a little research shows that we the Lozis actually have three Kuomboka Ceremonies in a calendar year.

This fact is not known by many Lozis, and worse off by many Zambians.

The most publicised and well attended is the Kuomboka Ceremony which is done by The Litunga.

It is usually the first one and officiated by the Head of State.

This year, President Hakainde Hichilema was here to accompany Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II on the long voyage.

Now that the festivities in both Lealui and Limulunga are slowly coming to an end, the focus now shifts to Nalolo District where the second Kuomboka Ceremony will be held.

The Litunga La-Mboela, the second most powerful leader in Barotseland, will also perform her Kuomboka Ceremony on 16 April.

She will move from her palace in Nalolo to a place called Muoyo which is on higher land.

The third Kuomboka involves Mboanjikana who is the third most powerful Chief in Barotseland.

He will also perform the Kuomboka Ceremony on 7th May in Kalabo District.

This is actually my own Senior Chief because Kalabo is my ancestral home, that’s where my mother and dad came from in Makomaland under Chief Mwanamambo.

Dad was from Singanda Village while mum comes from Silopu Village.

Mboanjikana will move from his Libonda Palace to Mulundano which is on higher ground.

Our three royal leaders move between the two palaces every year to escape the increasing water levels in the Barotse Flood Plains.

However, most people don’t know that after they move to higher ground they wait for water to recede.

And once it recedes, they go back to their initial palaces through a ceremony we call Kufuluhela.

However, Kufuluhela is not as well publicised as the Kuomboka Ceremony.

Barotseland at the moment does not have many industries and if it markets the other two Kuombokas and the Kufuluhela, it can bring the much needed revenue in the region.

What is needed is to expose these events, show how attractive they are and make them easily accessible.

Let the business community move in, put in the much needed infrastructure and all will fall in place.


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