Editor's Comment

Let’s promote cultural tourism

Ukusefya-pa-ngwena traditional ceremony.

THE traditional culture spotlight today falls on the Ukusefya Pa Ng’wena Traditional ceremony of the Bemba people in Mungwi and once again Zambians are reminded of the nation’s diversity.
The ceremony also brings to the fore, once again, the socio-economic significance of these traditional celebrations or commemorations.
As the Chitimukulu, the head of uLuBemba, calls his subjects to the original Ng’wena village to celebrate the formation of the Bemba people and nation, and their subsequent achievements, the occasion presents an opportunity for all Zambians, especially the Bemba, to keep alive the story of their roots.
The highlight of Ukusefya (celebration) pa Ng’wena (on the crocodile) is the re-enactment of the journey from Kola to Lubemba.
Last weekend, two other annual traditional ceremonies – the Kulamba ceremony of the Chewa people and the Likumbi Lya mize ceremony of the Luvale were celebrated.
Traditional ceremonies have proved to be great platforms for reunion by people of the same tribe as well as visitors from various sections of society.
They have also become investment-prospecting platforms by companies and individuals who would have not ordinarily travelled to such areas.
This is why Government attaches great importance to traditional ceremonies which are perfect platforms for traditional authorities and Government officials to interact.
Government leaders including President Lungu as was the case last weekend at the Kulamba ceremony, are afforded an opportunity to listen to traditional leaders’ wisdom and counsel.
On the other hand, Government seizes the opportunity to explain its policies and developmental programmes, including emphasising the need for peace, unity and stability.
Traditional ceremonies have assumed importance not just on the cultural calendar of the country but of Government as well.
Traditional ceremonies play a very important role in the country as tradition and culture is passed on from generation to another.
Cultural events provide the opportunity for children, youth and visitors to appreciate the country’s values and beliefs.
Traditional ceremonies have taken a new dimension because of the important role they play in promoting the country’s tourism.
Almost 80 percent of the decision to travel abroad is motivated by the desire to understand culture.
Organisers of modern traditional ceremonies have transformed them from being stand-alone events into tourism and economic activities.
During modern traditional ceremonies, there are exhibitions by companies showcasing their products and services while vendors sell their merchandise.
Mobile companies have used the arenas for branding as a way of promoting their products.
Other spin-off activities include the hospitality industry as lodges fill to capacity during traditional ceremonies.
Other beneficiaries are transport providers, tour guides and those who sell food.
Collectively, Zambians should build on this and make cultural tourism a key income earner while preserving traditions and having great fun.

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