Africa, Eastern Africa, Zambia, Wikimedia, Media Consultant, Vice President, Wikipedia, Mwape, General, Online Museum, Lusaka, Mulenga Kapwepwe, Samba Yonga, Germany, Energy Right, Tessie Lusale, Current Leader, Philosophical Theories, Mukulu, Leading Ladies, Historian, Postcolonialism, Congo, Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian People

Africa, Eastern Africa

Museum of women: How Zambia inherited patriarchy from colonialism

Patriarchy was alien to Zambian society until the British colonisers came and occupied the country

12.9.2019

Patriarchy was alien to Zambia n society until the British colonisers came and occupied the country

The impact of British colonialism and religious interventions have erased the history of women in Zambia . But a new museum is working to fill these historical gaps.

Her great, great-granddaughter Lombe Tessie Lusale, told

Strong female leaders like Mukulu are prevalent in pre-colonial Zambian history, with many playing important roles in nation-building, politics and governance. Yet records of what they did, how they ruled and the impact they had were — up until recently — not readily available.

an online museum that is the first of its kind for the country, has been seeking to address these gaps and tell the female side of the country’s history.

MASS co-founders Samba Yonga (left) and Mulenga Kapwepwe. (Courtesy of: Mulenga Kapwepwe)

Kapwepwe said, “Pre-colonial Zambia was 80 percent matrilineal and matriarchal, but this was changed to patriarchal rule by British colonizers and Christian missionaries. Many women chiefs were either ignored or not recognised by the colonial government, who were now keeping the historical records. The patriarchal biased system continued after the colonial period, and post-colonial historians took up and maintained the male perspective of history. Oral history has kept female history, but little of it made its way to print or schools.”

Their focus has extended beyond the domestic front. Last year, they trained 40 writers to participate in the WikiGap project, a collaboration with Wikimedia and Wikipedia that increased the number of articles about Zambian women on the site.

Pre-colonial Zambia was 80 percent matriarchal. Bemba women from the north of Zambia wore traditional ornaments that were made by them. (The Livingstone Museum)

Amid the positive response nationally and in other parts of the continent, the last three years have been a good start to what the founders see as a long-term project.

Read more: TRT World

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