New Life Center Zambia - A ministry of the United Methodist Church

THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND FOR THE RAIN
FESTIVAL (CHIDlKA CHANVULA) AT CHIEF
KANYAMA MAKANDA-KAN DA’S PALACE.

I wish to first and foremost register my sincere gratitude to all of you gathered here today. This is a very rare occasion that only takes place once every year here in Chief Kanyama’s chiefdom.

I would like to give you a historical background of what this ceremony is all about.

In the past, the Lunda people realized that it was important to thank God for the good harvest and also pray to him for good and adequate rainfall during the following rain season. This was Called MUSOLU. In doing so, the people gathered their food from their harvest and, led by the Chief, they heaped the food under the MUCHA TREE which they believed possessed to bring enough rainfall that would result in a favorable harvest during the following season. The ritual was done every year during the month of October which was the beginning of the rain and farming season. In this area, the last Chief to have performed this ritual in the style explained above was Chief KANYANIA SAMATENIBA who died in 1947.

In 1990, his successor, the late Chief KANYAIVIA KASONGU decided to revive the ceremony in its present form. Realizing the fact that no tree possessed power to bring rainfall except God our creator, he made a decision that people should instead thank God for their harvest and petition him for adequate rainfall. This is what we are witnessing today. Zambia is by constitution a Christian Nation and it is proper that we turn to God through His son Jesus Christ for all our needs. I should however, not forget to mention the fact that this ceremony is not restricted to Christians only. All other denominations and non believers are most welcome and encouraged to participate. The gathering today is a combination of people from all walks of life. You may attend cultural ceremonies in other parts of our country and you will realize that this is unique since it is not characterized by cultural dances but praise and worship songs to our God. You may have to find half naked Women dancing and children in the main arena. We however, encourage and support preservation of our cultural heritage though we have decided to do it another way.

OFFERING

When I talked about the background of this ceremony, I said that people gathered food from their harvest and heaped it under a Mucha tree. The food was left to rot while some of it was eaten by birds, wild animals and dogs. During our time, the food offered at this ceremony is given to the less privileged and at times. The food has been donated to the prisons and hospitals for consumption by inmates and patients respectively. Monitory offering is given to the organizing Committee to help it meet operation costs. Other items donated are sold and money given to the Organizing Committee for the same purpose. Nothing goes to benefit any individual.

DECLARATION OF ZAMBIA AS A CHRISTIAN NATION

In the first instance, may I take this opportunity, on behalf of His Royal Highness Chief Kanyama to greatly thank the late Republican President, Fredrick Titus Jacob Chiluba, may his soul rest in peace, for declaring Zambia as a Christian nation. This declaration is in line with the ideals of the late Chief Kanyama Kasongul who declared this area as a Christian Chiefdom.

WORD OF THANKS

Lastly but not the least, we would like to thank you most sincerely, for attending this occasion. May God Almighty bless you and everybody who has come to attend this ceremony. We thank all the organizations and individuals for their financial and material support which has contributed to the success of this ceremony.

THANK YOU!

May God bless you all,
His Royal Highness
Chief Kanyama