May 13, 2013

Insaka: a place to gather

Yesterday, I moderated the first of what we’re billing as Insaka discussions on Twitter. Insaka is a Bemba word which means “a place to gather.” And in this case Twitter is that place. A few weeks ago Muchemwa Sichone (@WriteRevolt) and I were lamenting the fact that as Zambians on Twitter much of our focus is on politics and the madness that goes in hand. He suggested we do Sunday topics that are of the non-political variety, and that’s how this initiative was born.

Our inaugural topic was “The Preservation of Cultural Heritage.” We posed various questions to people about how we as Zambians (and Africans for that matter) can retain our languages, cultural norms and customs in a constantly changing world.

Many spoke passionately about language, and the need to pass this on to our children. We also touched on traditional ceremonies and practices, African time and the need for interaction beyond our homogenous tribal groupings.

Someone raised an interesting point which unfortunately was not fully fleshed out about harmful cultural practices such as witchcraft and witch hunting. What do we do with such practices when they clearly go against our mainstream sensibilities? This may be a future discussion in and of itself.

For now, here’s a Storify sampling of some of the Tweets that came our way. 


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