The Mumuni Library opening celebrations were a great success and included many honored guests. We were thrilled that so many people made the trek down to the Southern Province for the opening of this library that was made possible by the very generous financial support of Comic Relief. The celebrations took place over two days with 1000 children and community members on the first day and 2000 people participating on November 21st for the official opening.
The opening activities included storytelling, story dramatizations, traditional dance performances, and poetry readings and drumming by the men, women and children of Nabukuyu, all in Chitonga. Speakers included Lubuto President Jane Kinney Meyers, MRIDE Chairperson Mark Chona, British Council Country Director of Zambia Wayne Harper and Deputy Minister Hon. Patrick Ngoma (MESVTEE). Letters were also read on behalf of Christine Vilsack, USAID’s Senior Advisor for International Education, and Dr. Peter Lor, Professor of Information Science at the University of Pretoria. The Master of Ceremonies, author and former Livingstone DEBS Maxwell Bbalo, provided translations to and from Chitonga and English throughout.
Finally, with an eye to the future and the next Lubuto Library, to be hosted by the Mthunzi Centre in Lusaka West, the Mthunzi boys and staff traveled to Nabukuyu and performed at the Mumuni celebration. While the Mumuni opening reflected a deep involvement with Tonga culture it also acknowledges that in Zambia's Jubilee year stakeholders are committed to the spread of enlightenment, and connecting the past with the future, that Lubuto libraries will bring to all corners of the country.