By Kaluwe Kaluwe in Mungu
An annually Kuomboka which literally means ‘ to get out of water’ a traditional ceremony with paddling tournament has kicked off on Friday from Lialui to Mungu in the western province of Zambia.
This year’s ceremony was started by a local Mungu man who came first on last Saturday during a selection of those to take part in the Friday paddling tournament.
The paddling starts from Lialui to Mungu at a distance of about 20 kilometres.
The Kuomboka ceremony is slated on Saturday April 9, visitors and indigenous people have started arriving, many people are divided according to their paddling skills, others will go on a one on one competition using banana boats, and others will be two by two and four by four on a boat, and winners of each competition will receive prizes.
This is done to encourage people to keep their paddling skills, and keep the culture as it depends on paddlers, even the females get on in the competition.
Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema and his wife (first lady) are expected to attend this year’s ceremony on Saturday.
In Barotseland, Kuomboka is a traditional ceremony of the Lozi people which normally takes place at the end of the rainy season, when the flood plains of the Western Province are flooded by the Zambezi River waters.
This festival celebrates the movement of the respected Litunga (king) of the Lozi people, from his court yard at Lialui in the Barotse Floodplain of the Zambezi River to Limulunga on the higher ground.
His return trip is usually held in August every year with a journey called Kufuluhela.