Inventorying of Kuyabila of the Tonga ethnic group of Zambia

  • Financial assistance:
    • US$ 83,790 granted in 2021
  • Dates of implementation:
    • 21/12/2021 - 20/12/2024
  • Documents:

Benefitting country(ies): Zambia


The proposed twenty-four-month project, being implemented by Zambia’s Ministry of Tourism and Arts, aims to undertake an inventory of the Tonga ethnic group’s poems in the Monze and Namwala districts of the country’s southern province. Accompanied by music and a special dance, kuyabila is the poetry of the Tonga people. It is accompanied by music and a special dance and performed during various social gatherings such as funerals, festivals, initiation rites and other traditional ceremonies. It also serves as an educational tool in sensitizing community members to issues such as gender-based violence and health concerns. However, the majority of kuyabila practitioners today are elderly, putting the practice at risk of extinction if safeguarding measures are not pursued. In light of this situation, the project seeks to safeguard and promote kuyabila through the following activities: (a) awareness-raising meetings in the community; (b) capacity-building training in conducting inventory-making; and (c) inventorying of forty poems.

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