By Media Editor, Barotseland Post
King Mulambwa Santulu, the tenth male Litunga of the then Alui Kingdom, which was later named Barotseland, and Moses Grandy, an African-American former slave, were on Sunday afternoon recipients of honours from their respective descendants for the distinguished roles they played in ending the centuries-long transatlantic slave trade.
At a national prayer rally held on 12th August 2019 to commemorate 400 years since the first African slaves arrived in English America at Mongu Stadium presided over by the Honorable Ngambela, Prime Minister of Barotseland, Mukela Manyando, and attended by thousands of Barotse people from across the Kingdom, the two historical figures were given honorariums in recognition of their rare courage and determination.
The Ngambela of Barotseland received the honorary trophy on behalf of His Majesty the Litunga, King of Barotseland and the Kingdom, while Mr Eric Anthony Mubita Sheppard received the honorary trophy on behalf of Moses Grandy.
Captain Moses Grandy, the African-American author and abolitionist, was a slave for the first four decades of his life, while King Mulambwa of Barotseland was born Maimbolwa Santulu but later named Mulambwa for ending the slave trade in his Kingdom in the late 18th Century.
According to recorded history, Maimbolwa Santulu, who began his reign somewhere around 1780, loathed the idea that one could sell humans, and therefore, ordered the slave traders to buy dogs instead – therefore earning his new name Mulambwa.
While many African rulers during his time were helping and directly benefitting from the slave trade, King Mulambwa’s action to stop the slave trade in his Kingdom stands as a rare exception, hence the special recognition he is awarded to honour his unique courage by Diversity Restoration Solutions (DRS) Inc. (USA) who have now decided to set up their African-American homecoming headquarters for Africa in Barotseland.
The mass prayer rally to commemorate the 400th anniversary of slavery in English America was characterised by prayer, cultural performances and euphoric celebration – a mixture of emotions all in one because, while the slave trade is arguably the worst atrocity ever committed to Africans, the Barotse people are happy that their brothers and sisters from the USA have decided to reconnect with their ancestral roots in Barotseland!
There was a great joy, prayer and unity like never witnessed in recent times as the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and the people from all communities of Barotseland displayed cultural and dance performances cutting across the artificial ethnic and political divide that the Kingdom has suffered lately.
And the African-American homecoming team yesterday travelled southward to pay a courtesy call to the Litunga la Mboela (Ruler of the South) who is second in the hierarchy and co-ruler with of the Litunga, King of Barotseland!
In Barotse governance, the Litunga la Mboela is always female, in line with customs and traditions of Barotseland, to offer a balance of power to her male counterpart, the Litunga of the Kingdom!
She directly presides over Nalolo and Senanga Districts.
Meanwhile, speaking at her Winter Palace in Muoyo through her acting Sambi (Ngambela), Malitela Malitela, Her Royal Highness, the Litunga la Mboela, Mbuyu Imwiko, recounted briefly how King Mulambwa ended slave trade many centuries ago and commended the African-Americans for finding time to trace their roots.
She also explained that the cow symbol on her Royal Insignia represents the love of a mother that embraces everyone in the Kingdom regardless of their beliefs.
At the Nalolo Council Chambers, the entourage was officially welcomed by Nalolo District Commissioner, Teddy Chimbinde, who said he was certain that the African-American Homecoming team will assist in restoring dignity in the Africans’ livelihood.
Mr Chimbinde said the African-American Homecoming program will change many lives in Africa as witnessed by the various activities that have taken place from the time the team arrived.
The District Commissioner mentioned that the return of the African-American team will erase the fears of the underdevelopment in Barotseland adding that the team is full of experts who are willing to work tirelessly and develop Barotseland and some parts of Africa.
He assured the Homecoming team that Government is committed to creating a conducive environment in order to see the robust dream come into reality.
After the characteristic visit at Nalolo, the African-American entourage travelled to Senanga where thousands were eagerly waiting to receive and welcome them.
In Senanga, the team was officially welcomed by the Senanga Member of Parliament (MP) Honourable Mulowa Mukumbuta and Senanga District Commissioner, Vivian Mubukwanu, after which the procession moved to Senanga open grounds where thousands gathered to welcome them.
Cultural performances, as well as other forms of entertainment, were on display to welcome and celebrate the African-American brothers and sisters.
The people of Senanga also organized and presented gifts to the African American team.
Unfortunately, due to time constraints for the day, the team could not proceed to Sioma as earlier planned.
Therefore, the Sioma trip will sadly not happen this time around as the team has instead travelled to Kalabo, instead today, Tuesday 13th August 2019.