An investigation of the view that the chisungu rite has nothing positive to offer to the Bemba culture: a case of Shibwalya Kapila chiefdom.

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Lwao, Chilambwe
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The University of Zambia
The study explored the investigation of the view that the Chisungu rite has nothing positive to offer to the Bemba Culture. A case of Shibwalya Kapila Chiefdom in Lunte District. In doing so, there was deep interrogation in terms of the description of Chisungu rite and how it is conducted, its contributions to the Bemba culture and ways of how Chisungu can be more effective in the enhancement of the Bemba culture were suggested. The study employed a case study design to collect, analyze and interpret the data. The qualitative approach was used in order to provide an in-depth description of what the research intended to achieve. Data collection protocol mainly involved the interview guide, and focus group discussion guide. The population comprised of 30 respondents of whom 10 were initiated girls (16 to 20 years of age), 10 initiated women (21 to 40 years of age) and 10 women initiators (Aged above 40 years). Purposive sampling was used to identify respondents in order to select relevant participants who are active and directly linked to Chisungu initiation ceremony. Data was analyzed using emerging themes. The study established that Chisungu rite played a major role in the Bemba tradition contrary to the view that it has nothing positive to offer to the Bemba culture. The Chisungu initiation rite transmitted values and traditions of the Bemba culture from generation to generation. Chisungu helped girls to be moulded into persons who are morally and socially upright in that girls were taught to respect elders and how to behave in the community. Chisungu initiation rite was part of the Bemba cultural heritage and was a way of preserving values, norms and customs of the Bemba people. The Chisungu rite also helped in strengthening of family ties in that it brought families and relatives together. The study recommends that Chisungu should delay teachings on marriage and reserve them until the girl is mature enough and ready for marriage. The study also recommends that whipping and pinching of initiates during initiation should be avoided in order to allow more girls to be initiated and learn the values and traditions of the Bemba culture. KEY WORDS: Chisungu, Bemba, Culture, Rite, Shibwalya Kapila, Lunte
Initiation rites. , Bemba (African people). , Puberty rites--Zambia.