[FoME] Tonga.Online newsletter # 56

Kuthan / argezim argezim at silverserver.at
Do Aug 23 09:45:24 CEST 2007

    Tonga.Online newsletter # 56

    *Maliko Lwiindi Ceremony on 28*^*th* * July 2007 in Sinazongwe /
    Zambia: impressive celebrations and encounters*

    The annual traditional Lwiindi ceremony at Sinazongwe is a function
    where the Tonga people appease and thank their ancestors for what
    they have done for them in the just-ending agricultural season.
    Central to the ceremony is the visit to the Malende site and shrines
    where the hosting Chief pours traditional brewed sorghum beer onto
    the graves of the ancestors whilst their spirits are called by nyele
    horn blows and clapping hands.

    This year, Tonga.Online facilitated the participation of Simonga,
    the Ngoma Buntibe group from Siachilaba, to go across and join their
    counterpart group Maliko, Honourable Chief Sinazongwe and the
    community on the Zambian side in vibrant Lwiindi celebrations on the
    28th July. 

    The function was not only an opportunity to meet family members,
    often after a long time, but also an eye-opener and learning process
    for the BaTonga from the Zimbabwean side on how to preserve and
    develop their common cultural heritage which faces the risk of

    The occasion was also blessed by the visit of Elizabeth Colson, an
    American anthropologist who has conducted research among the Tonga
    since 1946 and is particularly known for her study /The Social
    Consequences of Resettlement/ (published 1971). In her most recent
    book /Tonga Religious Life in the Twentieth Century/ (published 2006
    in Lusaka) she refers to such ritual occasions as the Lwiindi.

    She describes it as follows: "On the Plateau and in the Gwembe
    hills, major communal celebrations are associated with the
    agricultural regime. These are referred to as /lwiindi/. The two
    most important are the /lwiindi lwakumwaka/, associated with
    planting, and the /lwiindi lwakutebula/, which takes place after
    harvest. On each occasion, the ritually recognized households of a
    neighbourhood are expected to make beer for offering to the
    ancestors, and people go from homestead to homestead celebrating the
    occasion. At /lwiindi lwakumwaka/, they may also visit the community
    shrines (/malende/)...Zambezi River communities, less dependent on a
    single harvest, did not celebrate either of these /lwiindi./" (page 39) 

    Interesting to note is how dynamically this cultural heritage has
    adapted to today's world and to the needs and occasions of a vibrant
    Tonga community in the Gwembe Valley, and how Lwiindi encourages
    further cultural encounters across the lake. 

    See pictures of Maliko Lwiindi celebrations and encounters on
    _www.mulonga.net <http://www.mulonga.net/>_ 

    *Tonga.OnAir: Sinazongwe Community Radio Station established
    A milestone in the development of Sinazongwe district was marked at
    the end of July by the establishment of the first community radio
    station in the Gwembe Valley by a team of Austrian 'open access'
    radio activists, Sandra Hochholzer, Ingo Leindecker, Hannelore
    Leindecker and Marcus Diess, who are reporting on their website
    "..the new /Sinazongwe Community Radio/ is ready to go on air!"

    More information including a detailed project documentation is
    promised to come up soon, read also their blog TRAVELOGUE (in
    German) on http://www.servus.at/tongaonair/index.html 

    The radio station, based at Sinazongwe Basic School adjacent to the
    ITC, has the capacity to cover a radius of 20 kilometres and reach
    out to 11,000 people but plans are under way to use a transmitter at
    Sinazongwe Boma which would expand the range to a 60-kilometre
    radius covering the whole Sinazongwe community as far as Mamba and
    Kanchindu. An application for the relevant licences is in the
    pipeline with fund raising still in progress to cover the costs. The
    relevant frequency will be announced as soon as the licence is
    granted and broadcasting starts.

    Alongside the construction of a VHF-transmitter, mast and a fully
    fledged radio-studio, the Austrian team conducted a training
    programme to capacitate the local community to run the studio and
    radio station. The training covered studio and transmitting
    techniques, analogue-audio-cut, recording and microphone- techniques
    and the editorial and technical preparation of some
    radio-transmissions. The community has already established a
    committee to manage the station.

    The Radio Station was officially handed over to the Sinazongwe
    community by the Austrian 'Tonga.OnAir' Team on the afternoon of
    28th July, following the traditional Lwiindi ceremony. The occasion
    was graced by the Zambian Minister for the Southern Province, the DC
    and by Chief Sinazongwe. The school choir of Sinazongwe Basic School
    provided enjoyable entertainment to the guests, teachers and pupils
    attending, including a special 'Radio Song' for the occasion.

    The 'Tonga.OnAir' project was developed and implemented in close
    collaboration with AZFA in Linz and the Tonga.Online team in Binga.
    In fact, the two projects perfectly complement each other since they
    share the same goals: to capacitate and equip the Tonga community to
    use modern technology for their information and communication needs,
    to promote freedom of expression; self-representation and self
    esteem; and to promote a sense of cultural identity.

    Both projects emphasise an open-access approach in order to empower
    the community at large. There is also a shared vision that modern IT
    technology will eventually contribute to the healing of the split in
    the community caused by its relocation and resettlement resulting
    from the building of Kariba dam.

    see pictures of the construction and hand over ceremony on
    _www.mulonga.net <http://www.mulonga.net/>_

    *Tonga.Online / Tonga.OnAir - live input at Africa Remix Panel @
    Johannesburg Art Gallery JAG

    The second Africa Remix panel discussion -- Digital Africa - took
    place on Saturday, July 28 from 10am to 3pm at the prestigious
    Johannesburg Art Gallery JAG in South Africa.

    'Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent', running at the JAG
    until September 30, features the work of more than 85 artists from
    25 countries on the African continent and in the Diaspora. The
    exhibition has already visited Düsseldorf, London, Paris and Tokyo.

    In partnership with Trinity Session, the Digital Africa panel
    comprised two sessions focusing on technology and its uses in
    relation to the visual arts. The panel discussed how art advances in
    the technological world, how, in turn, technology influences
    artistic creation, and how technology is shaping contemporary
    African art.

    The panel included, Lorna Abungu (Kenya), Bassam El-Baroni (Egypt),
    Adam Haupt (Cape Town) and from Johannesburg William Kentridge,
    Ishmail Farouk, Mphethi Morojele, Pavlo Phitides, Jason Hobbs, Aryan
    Kaganof and Christo Doherty. Moderators were Stephen Hobbs and
    Marcus Neustetter.

    A special input for the discussion was provided by Keith Goddard in
    a live interview via cellphone from Sinazongwe/Zambia where he was
    attending the annual traditional Lwiindi ceremony. Keith explained
    the joint endeavour of the Tonga.Online and Tonga.OnAir projects to
    use modern digital means for the promotion and development of Tonga
    music and cultural heritage.

    The next Africa Remix panel discussion on August 25 is dubbed
    'African Intellectuals'. Another discussion focusing on Museums and
    Exhibitions will follow in September. The final discussion will also
    be held in September in conjunction with the Art Historians Conference.

    find some pictures from JAG in Johannesburg and Keith Goddard
    phoning from Sinazongwe on _www.mulonga.net <http://www.mulonga.net/>_ 

    read more about Africa Remix: ´Art that gets to the heart of Africa´




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