By Kenneth Ngalamika
We will talk about things here that are 1, Umulamba, 2, Ubulamba 3, Ilamba.
Umulamba is a person who is Lamba and this is by virtue of his/her parents that are either both parents maybe Lambas or one of the two parents is Lamba. Lambas are found in two countries the DRC and Zambia, in Zambia Lamba people mainly are found in the Copper belt, some parties of Central province and North Western Province. In the DRC Lambas are found in the Katanga province of that country, and the Lambaland in that country starts from Sakania in Ndola up to Kolwezi in length, and from Likasi to Kipushi in width. Lamba people a part of the Bantu people and the central Bantu as we look at the geographical location of the Lambaland.
Ubulamba are the attributes and virtues of a Lamba person, among others are humility and truthfulness. How those central Bantus came to be called abalamba. The story goes on like this, there was a conquering king and this king conquered any group of people he encountered, but as for the lambas they were discrete, when this king faced them they all bowed down and prostrate themselves on the ground the sign of humility henceforth the name abalamba came forth.
Ilamba is the Lambaland and lamba chiefs rule as traditional leaders, there are 15 chiesfs in Zambia and 8 chiefs in the Katanga province of the DRC. (In fact even the name Katanga comes from the Lamba chief called chief Katanga in Lubumbashi.) Of interest to note is the fact that only lambas belong to two cities in two different countries and different provinces that is Ndola and Lubumbashi.
The names of the Lamba chiefs and their areas in DRC: Chief Saili (Lumbembe), Chief Katala (Mokambo), Chief Mfundamina (Mfundamina), Chief Kombo (Kombo), Chief Katanga (Lubumbashi), Chief Sakania (Sakania), chief Kaponda (Kolwezi), Chief Nshindaika (Likasi).
In Zamba Senior chief Mushili, to government he is designated senior chief but to the Lambas he is the paramount chief of Lambas in both Zambia and DRC. Chief Lesa, Chief Selenje, Senior Chief Kalilele in north western province mushingano area, Chief Nkambo, Chief Mukutuma, Chief Shibuchinga, Senior Chief Chiwala, Senior Chief Nkana Kitwe, Mufulira, Kalulushi. And according to the seniority of chiefs Chief Nkana is next to chief Mushili. Chief Shimukunami, Chief Ndubeni, Chief Lumpuma, Chief Malembeka, Chief Kalunkumya, Chief Fungulwa and Chief Machiya.
According to Professor Clement M. Doke the Lamba kingdom was established around 1500 to 1889, but the empirical evidence indicates that this kingdom could have been established much early. Because the first documentation of the Lambas were done by the Portuguese Explorer Francisc de Lacerda on 21st September 1798 at that time the Lamba kingdom had covered the whole coper belt and the Katanga provinces.
The person who led the lambas to the lambaland was a woman whose name was Chembo Kasako Chimbala, she was a youngest wife of the great king Mwati-Yamva, she was not happy with the polygamous marriage she belonged to and she left to find a suitable place to settle in with her son and a good size of people.
Since the time Chembo Lambas had no chiefs up until the arrival of Chimpipi and his sister and his son Kabunda, the first lamba chief was Chimpipi and next his son Kabunda. From the time of Chembo probably in the 1400 lambas used to eat wild fruits and many other types food like honey and so forth. The coming of Chimpipi and his sister from the Yeke kingdom, crop cultivation was introduced in Lambaland or ilamba. The original lambaland wasn’t like the one we see today full of deforestation and polluted rivers. It was a land full of trees both fruit bearing trees and trees that make up thick forests.
The first place lambas settled on was around the Lake Kashiba near the mining town of Luanshya and it was from here that Lambas spreaded northward, southward, eastward and westward. In Zambia Lambas boundaries the Ushi from the north and the north in Lamba is called Kumaushi, the Lala northwest, the Lenjes on the north and the north in Lamba is Kumalenje, the Kaondes on the west, and the Lambaland enters the Katanga province in the DRC.
At the time Lambas met the whites it was reported that (1700) Lambas believed in the existence of God and that He was the creator of all things, who came from the east and that He who went on with His creative works to the west. It was the Lamba belief that if you are walking in the deep forest you will come to the end of the land. The town of Ndola is so significant to the Lamba history, because this is the plan.
In in the picture is Chieftainess Malembeka, the seventh in the lineage of the Bulima chiefdom of the Lamba tribe