Mmbelwa V leads Ngonis to Incwala

Ngoni Jere’s of Mzimba and Mchinji led by Inkosi  ya Makhosi Mmbelwa V the King paid homage to their King Mpezeni at the annual Incwala celebrations held at Mtenguleni in Chipata, Zambia.

Former Vice President Khumbo Kachali also attended the event which was presided over by King Mpezeni and Zambias Minister of Local Government Gary Mkombo.

The Nc’wala was deemed to be too warlike by the colonial administration and banned. It was only in 1980 that the Paramount Chief Mpenzeni III revived the ceremony.

The day before the ceremony, the Paramount Chief Ngwenyama Inkhosi Yamakhosi Mpezeni IV travelled from his palace in an open jeep in a slow convoy of warriors to the Mtenguleni where the event took place. Singing crowds lined up the route to welcome their Chief.

The Inkhosi Yama Khosi, ruler of the rulers, and selected heardsmen take the first crops of the season to the Paramount Chief for his blessing. 

The Mulumo, the process of tasting the food, is a solemn occasion as the chief becomes the medium of communication between the royal ancestors and the tribespeople. 

This was followed by rousing dances performed by Ngoni Impis clad in skins and brandishing knobkieries, the Khuzeyeni, mainly women, clap and ululate. 

The climax of the ceremony is the ritual slaughter of a black bull, the Mnikelo, the Chief then drinks the blood of the bull.

Kachali in an interview said the celebration fosters unity and networking among the Ngonis in the two countries including business opportunities for small scale and large traders.

“Culture is an industry, from manufacturing zitenje to other gears to bringing tourists. If we bring tourists to Hora in Mzimba to enjoy Umtheto or here to Incwala, we are generating foreign exchange and creating jobs. We just need to be organised and invest in museums and historical places,” said Kachali.

Inkhosi Mtwalo said the ceremony had gone as expected thanking all those who took part in the event.

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