A Family of Different Tribes

A Family of Different Tribes

Dear Editor,

I have been encouraged to write something about my family by the article written by Austin Mbozi that featured on your website. The article persuaded some readers to write about the different tribal dynamics in their families. Though I often consider matters of family private, I am compelled to talk about my family especially in light with the ‘war of words’ that has been going on in the media between the Bembas and Tongas.
You see my late mother was a single woman. Her parents came from Chief Mapanza in Choma. She met my father Elliot Ngwenya while at Kabulonga Girls Secondary School. Elliot Ngwenya is a Ngoni from the Mpezeni Chiefdom. So that makes me a Ngoni-Bull as I like to refer to myself.
Next, there is my younger brother Webster Mwangala whose father, Moses Mubita Mwangala, recently passed away and served as deputy minister of tourism in the MMD government. Needless to say, Moses Mwangala is Lozi from Western Province. So that makes by brother Lozi-Tonga. Then there is our youngest and only sister Mutinta Musonda whose father Anthony Musonda is from Northern Province. That makes Mutinta Bemba-Tonga.
The idea that Tongas hate Bembas or the reverse is ridiculous. The three of us are all in our thirties and for more than thirty years we have been interacting freely with our different step fathers and their families. At no point did we ever hear our mother talk ill about this or that tribe. Even all the stereotypes about certain tribes have been completely proven wrong in our family.
I will not even go into detail to talk about our spouses because we have all married different tribes. So, what does that make our children—considering that the parents are of mixed tribes? Then there are our cousins who are married to Bembas, Lambas, Nsengas, Lozis, and so on.
Both my immediate family and extended family represent a twenty-first century Zambian family. There are many families across the country with similar mixed dynamics. Therefore, to insinuate that these people will kill one another is unimaginable. Only little minds from homogenous family trees would think of dividing us.
Finally, I would also love to hear your many different stories on the dynamics of your families. [email protected]
Wesley Ngwenya

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