My language course experience and my cultural integration in Saint Gabriel Parish, Namushakende, Zambia.


“Nitabile hahulu kuli nakona kubulela silozi.”

“I am very happy to speak Silozi.”

« Je suis très content de parler le lozi. »

jean-marie-vianney-konda-2016-02_jpegBy Jean-Marie Vianney K. Cishugi, stagiaire.

I came to Zambia in July 2016 to follow the “Welcome to Zambia” introductory course in Lusaka. It was not easy for me to communicate efficiently in English. I made an effort to learn and to practise with people who were willing to help me to improve my English. In fact, I got some help from my brothers who were patient enough to correct my mistakes while speaking.

Then, I came in Barotse Land in Western Zambia on the third week of August 2016 in order to start my apostolic training in Saint Gabriel Parish. I was sent to learn the local language Silozi which is a beautiful one with all its grammatical formulations and verbal richness. While learning it, I was also getting acquainted with the Lozi culture. Amazingly, one must clap his hands (ku bulela niitumezi ni kukambelela) to say ‘thank you’. We were four learners to follow the language course at Limulunda for three months.

I came to realise that I have to humble myself if I want to learn a new language.  It took me few weeks to be able to speak a bit. I struggled a lot with my intonation and it took me a lot of courage. Once in a while, l would join my community at Namushakende on Sunday and visit an outstation of our Parish. Initially, l was afraid and shy to speak but I managed to communicate.

I went to Nanjuca, one of our outstations, for my immersion into the language and the culture. I was nicely welcomed in this village. Some people thought that I was there to interact only with Catholics. Slowly, they discovered that I was there for everyone. Children were happy to be with me. I was eating everything they offered me except tortoise (kubu).

I led the service prayer on Sundays. Everybody, children and parents alike, were praying with me though the majority belong to the United Church of Zambia (UCZ) and the New Apostolic Church. I had the trust of Parents who helped me to practise the Silozi language.

I seized this opportunity to deliver a message from Father Venerato Babaine encouraging parents to send their children to school and live together in peace and harmony with other religions.

I had a very fruitful experience and l owe the people a huge debt of gratitude. During my last days in the village, l was really touched by the generosity of the people who came to bid me farewell. Regardless who they are or where they come from, they offered me few presents. People were sad and some burst into tears when Father Christian Muhineza came to pick me up. I felt sad as I had to go.

I am happy to be with the Lozi people and they are pleased when I speak their language.

Niitumezi kaufela a mina (Thank you all) mi mulimu amitohonolofaze (and God bless you)!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Namushakende – Home Coming for Frs Christian Muhineza and Alfred Awogya


Namusahakende, home coming for Christian and Alfred 03bGreat joy marked the Sunday celebration (5th Oct 2014) where the Christian community of St. Gabriel’s parish, Namushakende, warmly welcomed back Christian and Alfred.
Christian is newly appointed to Namushakende after his priestly ordination on 12th July in Burundi. He had his pastoral experience (Stage) here in Namushakende from 2009/2011. And so being appointed to Namushakende was a beautiful home coming for him. The Christians greeted him with great joy amidst singing and dancing. When Christian greeted the people at the end of Mass in Silozi, which he learnt during his period of stage, the Church cheered with joy and ululation. Christian will spend a short moment of re-introduction to the Silozi language and culture in Limulunga and then take full residence in Namushakende. We wish him a very fruitful and fulfilled ministry. Alfred, on his part, returned back to Namushakende after three months of home leave in Ghana.
Fr Robert Chipumbu presided at the Mass. It was a delight to have Fr. Oswald Mallya, the Delegate Superior of Zambia with us at Mass. We are grateful to Oswald for accompanying Christian and Alfred from Lusaka to Namushakende, ‘Western Power,’ he calls us. The liturgical celebration was also coloured by the celebration of the rite of acceptance into the order of catechumen, an initial step in the RCIA journey.
Namushakende community was started in 2002. It lies at the edge of the awesome Zambezi flood plains in the Western province of Zambia in Mongu Diocese. The community at the moment is composed of Robert Lavertu, Robert Chipumbu, Christian Muhineza, Joseph Kakule and Alfred Awogya.
Written by Alfred Awogya

This slideshow requires JavaScript.