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Lithathe Lya Miondo Ya Mbunda Ceremony 2012 in Pictures

As per adopted custom now, this year the ceremony took place during the second week of August, 2012 in Lumbala Nguimbo, the traditional capital of the Mbunda Speaking People, Moxico Province, Angola. This is a ceremony in which the Mbunda Speaking People, not only celebrate the restoration of the Mbunda Monarch but also to thank God the Creator for a good harvest they enjoyed in the year. The ceremony was attended by delegates from Luanda, headed by Prince Josť Katuya,  Luena headed by General Africa Kambala and Zambia, headed by the National Chairman, Cheke Cha Mbunda Cultural and Writers Association. However, It was surprising for the first time. to note that the Government Provincial Administration in Luena or even the Local District Administration in Lumbala Nguimbo was not represented, not even financial contribution as has been the case in the previous years since the year 2008, during the restoration of the Mbunda Monarch when the Government of Angola played a pivotal role. Not even Police presence was seen on site to protect the audience in event of any unforeseen occurrence.

However, the ceremony was a great success as can been seen from the pictures bellow:

Travel Experience of the Zambian delegation to Lumbala Nguimbo, Moxico Province, Angola
 
Arrival at Liumba, the capital of Mbunda Chief (Mwene) Mundu in Kalabo District, the delegation could not wait for the ceremony as the celebrations started with the Cheke Cha Mbunda, National Chairman, serving the Mbunda local brew called Kachipembe to delegation members.
     
     
The delegation arrived at the Angolan border at midnight and made a bonfire, before crossing the border.

The journey started in earnest the following day with challenges of the heavy sandy road. Delegation members had to disembark from their vehicles often times to push and walk for some distances to offload weight on the vehicles.

     
   
Excited for visiting his forefathers' Mbundaland for the first time, Mr. Edwin Luneta, one of the Cheke pioneers and father to Allen Luneta, who designed the Mbunda man with a bow and arrows on the Cheke Cha mbunda logo, admiring and showing the fertile forest and fruits of Mbundaland called "Vimbungo"
     
   
Exhausted, National Chairman, Cheke Cha Mbunda takes a nap as the other delegation members, not in the picture attend to an overheated vehicle. Woken up to resume the journey
     
Cheke Cha Mbunda N.E.C. member, Mr. Makuwa Kapanda cooling himself in N'inda Kathanga river. Notice the clarity of the Angolan river waters. You can literary see through to the bottom, no mud. Cheke Cha Mbunda N.E.C. member, Mr. Maxwell Kalukango shooting a documentary for the ceremony. The delegation arrived in Lumbala Nguimbo, Angola at 20:00 hrs local time on Friday, one day after the start of the ceremony. The Organizing committee headed by Nobleman (Mwata) Pedro Chavaya (obscured, second from left) pondering the logistics of the Zambian delegation.
     
Luena delegation leader, General Africa Kambala with glasses seen in the main arena of the ceremony. Zambian delegation leader, Cheke Cha Mbunda, National Chairman with glasses seen in the main arena of the ceremony. Cheke Cha Mbunda, Vice National Chairman Mr. Leonard Mubanga Chuma seen in the main arena of the ceremony.
     
Mbunda Paramount Chief (Mwene) Kangamba, from Municipio de Kangamba (Kangamba District) seen in the main arena of the ceremony with his Lixano (wife). Mbunda Paramount Chief (Mwene) Ngimbu Vukolo, from Municipio dos Bundas (Lumbala Nguimbo District) seen in the main arena of the ceremony with his Lixano (wife). Various Mbunda Chief in the main arena with their royal families.
     
Mbunda Traditionalists doing their thing, leading the youths as they remember olden days. The youths also, not only taking a keen interest but imitating the dances. Gathered crowds enjoy their time in the main arena, before the arrival of the Mbunda King.
     
Finally, the King arrives in the main arena, accompanied by his Praise Singers. The Cheke Cha Mbunda, Vice Publicity Secretary, Mr. Maxwell Kalukango continues taking pictures of the King's arrival for a documentary On arrival, the King lMbandu III leads the crowds attending the ceremony on a prayer to the Almighty God for his blessings and Holy Spirit to preside over the ceremony.
     
During prayer, his sword of authority in seen hanging on his left side. His subjects are seen reciprocating in prayer.
     
Satisfied that the Almighty God's Holy Spirit is presiding over the ceremony, King Mbandu III takes his royal seat in the main arena, accompanied by his two Mbunda Paramount Chiefs in Mbundaland, Paramount Chief Kangamba from Municipio de Kangamba (Kangamba District) and Paramount Chief Ngimbu ya Vukolo, from Municipio dos Bundas (Lumbala Nguimbo)
     
It was now time for "Kukumbuka" a special time for a royal poetry. One of the living Mbunda historians, Nobleman (Mwata) Maimba Maliti is seen narrating the chronology of the Mbunda Monarchy from the first Mbunda Monarch his Majesty King Nkungu in KOLA to the current 23rd Mbunda Monarch, his Majesty King Mbandu III on the Throne. His Majesty, King Mbandu III listening attentively.
     
Next was the lighting of a fire with the famous Mbunda matches (Mwotolo) seen in the middle picture, with the royal delegation watching with keen interest.
     
Followed by the laying of a wild animal called Duiker (Mbambi) on a specially and traditionally constructed table, made out of pieces of tree branches assembled together without the use of ropes or nails. This shows that Mbundas were not only warriors but great hunters. Notice the bewildered look from the Cheke Cha Mbunda, National Chairman.
     
It was now time for some Mbunda Makithi artifacts out of the not less than fifty (50) Mbunda artifacts, to pay homage to their King.
     
Cheke Cha Mbunda, National Chairman takes time to introduce the Mbunda Makithi artifacts by names and ancestor descendancy, accompanied by the Makithi delegation leader called Mukwetunga Kajenjela. The media contingent in the right hand picture are only perplexed.
     
Speeches Time:    
The National Chairman, Cheke Cha Mbunda called upon all Mbunda Speaking People to protect and preserve their cultural heritage. he continued to say their history is well researched and elaborate from Sudan, through KOLA and confluence of Kwilu and Kasai rivers in DRC Congo, up to when they settled in their Mbundaland (from Mithimoyi to Kuando Kuvango in the south) in the 1600s, which is now part of Angola. However, because of the Mbunda/Portuguese war from 1914 to the 1920s when Mbundas lost their Mbundaland which was joined to Angola, and following the persecution of the Mbundas after the war, the Portuguese invented a tool called "Ngangela Tribe or language", in order to wipe out their enemy tribe and language called Mbunda.

He warned the fellow Mbundas that they should continue to be on guard. Whereas the Portuguese colonialists are no longer in Angola, the seed of division left by the Portuguese is still busy trying to legitimate "Ngangela" to continue wiping out Mbunda. As a result, Mbunda is slowly being removed from the six: KIKONGO, KIMBUNDU, UMBUNDU, CHOKWE, MBUNDA AND KWANYAMA; Angola National languages, according to the Official Gazette No: 3/87 of May 23, 1987 following a resolution adopted by the Council of Ministers, and systematically being replaced by Ngangela. Surprising, Mbunda programming in national languages ​​was removed from the Public Television of Angola (TPA), even on some community radio stations.

He continued that, ways to protect and preserve their cultural heritage and history is by:
1) Writing literature to disseminate their history to the world,

2) Write school literature, so that their children could be taught Mbunda in schools,
3) Work with and support the Government of the day, led by MPLA and its great leader, His Excellency, Josť Eduardo dos Santos to develop our country and Mbundaland, which lacks behind in development because of the wars.   
     
Cultural Corner:    
 
A number of Mbunda handcrafts foods were displayed to the public to see and taste, as can be seen by the Chairman, Cheke Cha Mbunda and others, tasting the various foods and local brew called vwala vwa maxangu (seven days).
     
Blacksmith Corner:    
   
Instruments for fabrication of several tools in Mbundaland were not only displayed but demonstrated. Above a blacksmith is fabricating a traditional Mbunda axe.
Historical Corner:    

 One of the living Mbunda historians Nobleman (Mwata) Maimba Maliti, who physically took part in the Mbunda history research seen in the main arena.
 
One of the living Mbunda historians Nobleman (Mwata) Pedro Chavaya, shows documentary evidence of the Mbunda history in Angola. One of the living Mbunda historians Nobleman (Mwata) Pedro Chavaya, stresses a point on the Mbunda history in Angola.
One of the living Mbunda historians Nobleman (Mwata) Pedro Chavaya, showing the first Mbunda history translation manuscript into Portuguese language, earmarked for printing. An official book showing the six: KIKONGO, KIMBUNDU, UMBUNDU, CHOKWE, MBUNDA AND KWANYAMA; Angola National languages alphabets, approved for literature in schools, according to the Official Gazette No: 3/87 of May 23, 1987 following a resolution adopted by the Council of Ministers, being perused before Mbunda King Mbandu III.
     
Cultural Entertainment Continues    
After the display of the Mbunda cultural handcrafts and historical documentation, the audience were treated to a variety of cultural dances, of all tribes found in Mbundaland, such as Luchazis, Luvales, Maxis, Mbundus and so forth. In the middle picture below are the Mbunda Mukanda initiates, ready to showcase their dance. Mukanda ritual institution plays a vital role in the Mbunda Monarch history. It caused the transfer of Mbunda rulership from Female Monarchs to Male Monarchs, because it was a ritual for Kings and therefore females had no control over it. 
     
What goes up must come down. Late in the evening, shadows were getting long and the King, followed by Lixano (the wife) and lead by the Njamba (Elephant) makithi artifact  had to return to the Palace.
     
This was followed by more interviews from the media as; the left picture shows one of the organizing committee members being interviewed by a journalist from the Mbunda section, and the middle picture showing the Cheke Cha Mbunda, Vice National Secretary being interviewed by a journalist from the Luvale section of Moxico radio in Luena. The right picture shows the master of ceremony and an organizing committee member chatting the success of the ceremony, as celebrations continued into the wee hours of the night.

Much more was not caught up by the cameraman. Can you afford to miss this, next year? Prepare well in time. Remember it is the second week of August every year.
     
 

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