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The stories below are excerpts from the Mwinilunga District African Quarterly Magazine (1955)
Editors: R.S. Thompson and J.N. Chindefu

Mwinilunga is in Zambia's North West Province. At the time, Zambia had not yet attained independence and was called Northern Rhodesia. The magazine was set up by the District Commissioner in charge of Mwinilunga District in 1955, Mr R.S. Thompson, as a way of promoting communication between the local villagers and the British colonial administration.

The magazine was produced bilingually in Lunda and English, with contributions from both administrators and readers. The readers' stories below have been singled out to offer an insight into the life and perils of that particular time and place.



Mr Spider Chanza fights a Leopard
Newsletter, No.1
Contributed by Mr. Phanuel Muchona


On 10th January, this year Mr Spider of Ngombi Village went out with the other men of the village to chase the ruinous wild pigs with dogs. They first went to the fields where these destructive wild animals come to eat cassava. They found that wild pigs had come the night before to eat cassava, and they therefore started following their spoor with the aid of dogs. They followed and followed until the trail led to a thick jungle. The men thought that the wild pigs were possibly in that jungle, moreover the dogs were very much excited and they abruptly rushed to the jungle. The men were then sure that they had found them, and so stood ready with bows and arrows as well as guns.

Mr Spider was very near the spot where the wild pigs were thought to be resting. The dogs instead of terrifying the wild pigs, came to where Mr Leopard had been taking a nap. The leopard being thus infuriated made a tremendous roar and thereby pursued the dogs. The dogs as the result were very much frightened and ran in the direction where Mr Spider was anxiously waiting to see a wild pig run towards him so as to shoot at it. The dogs passed near Mr Spider at a considerable speed and in a short time, Mr Leopard confronted Mr Spider. The leopard thought that Spider was the one who had interfered him with his nap, and therefore jumped onto Mr Spider's chest so as to break his neck. Spider stood his ground against his foe, and called for help but there was no response from his colleagues. There was a real combat, the leopard trying to make an end of Mr Spider, and Mr Spider endeavouring to kill it with his fists. In the long run, Mr Leopard gave in and jumped down and took to its legs towards the jungle for fear of being chased by Mr Spider. The other men approached Mr Spider in fear and found that he had been seriously scratched; the whole body being red with blood from the scratches.

Mr Spider came to the Boma dispensary for treatment and he is now recovering from his scratches.


A Lion is Killed
Newsletter No.1 (1955)
Contributed by Head Messenger Muzeya Mulopu

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There is a village in Chief Chibwika's area called Manjolu Mulopu situated near Kanzenzi stream. This is the village where Head Messenger Muzeya Mulopu comes from. Mr Muzeya had purchased some sheep and goats and gave them to a man to look after them for him.

One evening a sheep strayed and the shepherd did not know that it had gone astray and therefore shut the rest in their kraal. The missing sheep wandered about the village and eventually came and slept outside the Headman's door. In that area there are many lions which roam about the places, and that evening a lion came in that village. He saw a sheep lying asleep outside that house and therefore came stealthily and sprang on the unfortunate sheep. He dragged it around a neighbouring anthill and started devouring it.

When people woke on the following morning, they found the footprints of a lion and some pieces of a sheep's skin also a big trail leading to the anthill. Kamawu was called to come and assist in a fight against the lion. He ran towards the scene with his bow and arrows. When he came to the place, he found that the lion was still enjoying its breakfast. Kamawu did not waste any more time but aimed an arrow at the lion and let go the arrow. The arrow went through the beast's fore part and Mr Lion roared in pains. The other men came along with axes and spears and decapitated Mr Lion. The lion therefore died of an arrow shot by Mr Kamawu.



A Hunter
Newsletter No.1
Contributed by Johnson N. Chindefu


One man named Sawila of Kanmba, Chief Kakoma, was hunting sititunga in the Lunga swamp in Chief Kakoma's area. He has been a very good hunter, many people knew him and carried him away in the swamps to hunt meat for them.

You can remember Lunga in certain places it is covered on top with grass but water runs under the grass. The grass on top is a little hard for one to cross, it makes one go up and down in water as you walk along. Sawila was one day hunting as he was accustomed; he was crossing the river on top of the swamp with his muzzle-loading gun, a spear, a knife and an axe. When he was about to cross the river, he was in water about 4.5 feet deep, a crocodile caught him by his leg. He was brave enough that he tried to struggle. The gun became useless in water, he then used his spear. The crocodile left him seriously injured. Sawila called for friends who remained in the damp to help in carrying him. He was taken to Kakoma Dispensary in August. The Orderly there found that the wound would be better under treatment at Kalene Hospital. The sick person refused and asked to be treated with African medicine. He was brought home, where last in November he died of sickness.



A Woman Dies after being Pecked by a Cock
Newsletter No.2
Contributed by K.S. Yowanu

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Some time this year, news was received that a certain woman by the name of Kuyanda, Kamukuma village, Chief Nyakaseya, Mwinilunga, was one day pounding some cassava in the village to make some food for her family. A ravenously hungry hen tried to come nearer in order to feed on cassava belonging to Kuyanda, when it was caught by Kuyanda who wanted to punish it for eating her cassava.

When caught, the hen called for a help from a nearby cock which could defend her from blows; and the cock furiously came and pecked Kuyanda on one of her thumbs, which, afterwards, swelled up exceedingly and caused much pain. Kuyanda was then taken to Hospital to receive medical treatment; but unfortunately she was promoted to the next world - never to be seen again!



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