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  • Writer's pictureChukwuebuka Ilozumba

THOUGHTS FROM ZAMBIA 06 - TFZ06: Museums and History

Updated: Jul 4, 2023


Museums remain a veritable way of feeling the pulse of a nation as it curates and showcases its history, birthing process and growth. To come closer to Zambia's history and possibly have a physical feel of it, two Zambian museums came to the rescue. The choice of items on display also tells you what the country considers its critical path. Having visited the Livingstone Museum (LM) while in Livingstone, the Zambia National Museum (ZNM) in Lusaka was definitely necessary to grasp the full story of Zambia. Are you aware that Zambia is one of the few African countries that have never fought a civil war? Also aware it has never had the Military seize power? Don't say I didn't tell you anything.

Lusaka National Museum
Lusaka National Museum - Front View

While both Museums featured a general section, LM had a section devoted to the life and times of David Livingstone while ZNM had a section devoted to its Father Kenneth Kaunda.

LM told a more vivid story of animals as they had super embalmed animals on display which had all been locally obtained. It had a smaller place to fit in all of these but did it nicely.

Livingstone Museum Zambia
Livingstone Museum Zambia
Livingstone Museum, Zambia
Livingstone Museum, Zambia. Leopard & Honey Badger embalmed.

ZNM stood out in its own way as it had the major items as related to the nation’s history. These were located on the upper floor section. The lower floor is dedicated to exhibitions and as at our visit, the ongoing exhibition was on the life and time of Alexander Grey Zulu, a former freedom fighter and nationalist. The intriguing story of The Mailoni Brothers was also on display.

Lusaka National Museum
Exhibition Space - Alexander Grey Zulu
Lusaka National Museum
Zambian Stories Through Various Lens.
Lusaka National Museum
Entrance View

Coming from Nigeria, I was culture-shocked to learn that President Hakainde Hichilema is the country’s 7th President, in a country that got its independence since 1964. 7 Presidents in 58 years against our 15 Presidents in 62 years. A case of too many cooks spoils the broth? Zambia has had no military rule and boasts of 72 languages (ethnic groups), with 7 of them recognised as regional languages. Bemba and Nyanja are the most widely spoken.

An ongoing campaign in the country is “One Zambia, One Nation”. Having been declared a Christian country, other religions coexist peacefully as Zambians.

Any lessons to learn?

Ever visited any Museum? If not, why?



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