"Chinika Sikumbule" And Kanyama - In Lusaka
by Chris Bau
Chinika sikumbule was song taught to our grade seven class by our teacher a Mr Chipeta, part of the lyrics went like this: one would start "chinika sikumbule! then the whole class would answer "La ma Teacher la wesu" whatever it meant, we enjoyed it. Chinika was then known as Chinika L.E.A School (Local Education Authority).
Near the school was a house like clinic, which later was moved to the present Kanyama clinic, also near the clinic but close to the Mumbwa road was a small Catholic church and Anglican church, these two also moved to where they are today in Kanyama.
On the eastern side used to be a small settlement called 'Lime compound" because of the quarrying company that was operating there. There used to a big quarry (dam) like the blue water in Chawama, which was later buried, after the company stopped operations from there and moved to Kafue road. The dam equally claimed alot of lives mainly school children.
Close to the school, were the famous Chileshe flats, Paul Ngozi used to conduct rehearsals from one of the flats, from chibolya compund. Between Chinika school and Kanyama was a bush after the demise of “Makasai Compound" during rain seasons there used to be a lot of elephant grass, and rumours of lions was the order of the day, this made it difficult for school children from Kanyama to attend classes.
The only way was to move in groups, once a rumour was spread that the lion had caught one pupil, the school was invaded by parents, including my parents. The police came and rounded a few parents.
Kanyama was real a haven of many people (tribes) one area in Kanyama was for Somalians (known as Kuma somali) especially the
last road on the southern side of new Kanyama. In old Kanyama the area between Chine Chikayeba and Mwabonwa were the Yaos commonly known as Achawa, between Mwabonwa and Kwati Kwangala grocery were the Congolese known as Akasai, between Kanthu Ni Kako grocery and Kalinso groceries were the Zimbabweans (mostly Ndebeles).
After Mtandabantu grocery and beyond were the Tongas, Luvales further the Manyengos, who were mostly security guards.
Kanyama was full of activities, ranging from political, social and economical.
Politically Kanyama was indeed a Biafra, as alluded to by one writer; I witnessed some of the clashes between UNIP and ANC.
Remember! Some prominent people in kanyama? Mr Moto Moto, Mrs Tembo bottle store? Noah kanin'gana? Mr Tanganda who ran a bible School later the welfare hall, instrumental in many social activities.
There were two great soccer rivals, Santos and City bombers, Paul Chikwanda played with his elder brother for City Bombers, Ignitius Jere a prolific striker. Much later we had teams like Mibenge (mostly congolese), Bwafwano, Trio Rangers. Famous footballers were Paul Severino, (also from chinika school who later played for National Team) John Phiri "Kama left", Kasiano, among others.
Saturdays were hive of activities, boxing at the welfare hall "wayitanda" and soccer, Oh! the grounds are now swallowed up by buildings and houses.
Famous spots and places;
Ituna bar and bootle store
Mrs Tembo Bottle store
Kamutolilo Staff Tarven
Kanthu Ni Kako
Masautso, 5 star
Cine Cikayeba, among others
Oh! 1978 Kanyama floods-national disaster claimed my PTA Chairman at chinika Mr Mwanza, fondly known as "Akapisha" because he used to run us to school so that were no late.
Chinika/ kanyama sikumbule