Learning a New Language


thierry-jawiyambe-uyirwoth-2016_jpegBy Thierry Uyirwoth, Stagiaire at St. Lawrence, Lusaka

I struggled to improve my English and learn few words in Chibemba at my novitiate in Kasama last year. Now, I have just completed ten weeks of Chichewa or Chinyanja, as it is called in Zambia. I am very happy as I am building a foundation for my future missionary life. As Frank Smith said: “the limits of my language are the limits of my world”. Ludwig Wittgenstein also said: “A different language is a different vision of life.” By learning new languages, I feel that I am opening myself to the world. It is really a special gift that I am receiving from the Society of the Missionary of Africa.

In return, I do my best in learning new languages. As a group, we started after a session offered by FENZA called “Welcome to Zambia” which gives a general view of Zambia. It took me some courage and conviction but I am able now to speak some basic Chichewa/Chinyanja.

I am overwhelmed with joy when I interact with people. They are happy to see that I am putting efforts to learn their language with enthusiasm. I feel challenged when I see people like me who have learnt and speak a foreign language. Soon, I will be fluent in Chichewa/Chinyanja.

learning-a-new-language-03We had a nice group of students. We were united in the struggle and work together. We found means of supporting each other. As a Chichewa/Chinyanja proverb says, “Mutu umodzi susenza denga”, meaning “one head does not carry a roof”. Hence, we were motivated to work together. This spirit of togetherness helped me a lot to go ahead. We were really a family though coming from different countries such as the USA, DRCongo, Kenya, South Korea, India, Ireland and Togo.

Of course, it has not been always easy. At times, I was discouraged as I could not see much progress. Perseverance is the key. As we were saying, “pang’ono pang’ono ndi mtolo”. This proverb was for us a motto. Literally, it means; ‘a bundle of firewood grows gradually.’ In other words: ‘gradual and persistent attempts reach their objective’. That proverb helped me by concentrating my efforts.

Most missionaries I have encountered have been telling me that knowing languages is the key for a fruitful mission. Therefore, I am putting all my efforts in view of enjoying the mission. Today, I can agree with them, when you know the language, you find yourself part of the people to whom you are sent. It is really a nice experience. After learning the structure and grammar of Chichewa/Chinyanja, we now have to go into the field and practice. May God help us always to give our best in the mission which we have been entrusted.

Thanks be to God for giving us this opportunity through the Society of Missionary of Africa. A special word of thanks to FENZA community for their hospitality, to the teachers, all the students, especially my fellow stagiaires; Chandan Nayak, Emile Baguma and Emmanuel Kopke with whom we had a good time.

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Link: 10th Year of Cinyanja/Cicewa – Cibemba Class in FENZA

10th Year of Cinyanja/Cicewa – Cibemba Class in FENZA


p1140903bToday marks the 10th Graduation ceremony at FENZA. From August 15th till this day, two students spent their efforts learning Cibemba together with ten others who learn Cinyanja/Cichewa. They are from nine different countries; Burkina Faso, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Ireland, Kenya, South Korea, Togo and the United States of America.

Songs, plays, dances, power-point presentations, speeches, certificate presentation and food made this 10th Graduation ceremony a great event.

Thanks to all of them and in a special way our stagiaires Emile Baguma, Emmanuel Kokpe, Chandan Nayak and Thierry Levinas. We wish you to improve even more your knowledge of languages and feel at home in your new country Zambia.

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Where African and Conventional Medicine Converge!


By Romaric Bationo, FENZA Director

African and Conventional MedicinebOn Friday, 7th August, FENZA convened a discussion on the importance of African Medicine under the theme: “Where African and conventional medicine converge, if at all they do”. From 9:00 hrs, 35 people; traditional healers, medical doctors, religious sisters, priests and people with interest in traditional medicine gathered in the hall of FENZA. Among the attendees, there was honourable Guy Scott who represented the Parliament.

The event started with a display of various traditional medicine as a way to welcome the attendees.

Four speakers brought to light various points and situations regarding African traditional medicine. Dr Muyangana Chrispin and Dr Mampwe Gertrude spoke of the convergence of African and conventional medicine. Mr Saili Kelvin from ZABS (Zambia Bureau of Standard) expounded on the need of standards for African medicine and what it involves. Mrs Chabinga from Canvendish University, made a strong appeal on building networks and collaboration among traditional healers, on training in traditional healing in order to promote African traditional medicine. The discussion ended after 12:00hrs.

The conference made it clear that the time has come for African traditional medicine to be officially and internationally recognised and promoted. This will entail joined efforts from all stakeholders. With the enthusiasm and passion shown by the participants a follow-up of the conference could be expected soon.”

Invitation to the African Traditional Medicine (ATM) conference


FENZA Logo 2Topic: Where African and conventional medicine converge, if at all they do. A Discussion of the Importance of African medicine.

Date: 31/7/2015.  Time:  9:00 AM.   

Venue: FENZA. Faith and Encounter Centre Zambia, Off Leopards Hill Road, next to Radio Yatsani

Dear Sir/Madam,

Africa Traditional Medicine (ATM) has for centuries played a very important role in the treatment of various illnesses in Zambia and Africa at large. However it has faced a number of setbacks which has made it difficult for it to be officially and internationally recognised.

You have been identified as a key stake holder in the promotion of ATM and are therefore invited to attend a conference that will seek to explain the importance of ATM and how ATM can bring economic and health benefits to Zambia.

  1. Over view of the topic, by Fr Patrick Mumbi
  2. Where African and western medicine Converge, by Dr Muyangana Chrispin & Dr Getrude Mampwe
  3. Standards for African medicine: – ZABS, by Mr Saili Kelvin
  4. Patenting of African Medicine, by PACRA Representative
  5. Enhancing trade, training in traditional medicine. Participation in the global movement. Way forward. By Dr Chabinga