In one sense, the Lunda society is a set of relationships between established positions, each of which is, at any moment, filled by a person who was one of the members of possible succesors to it. The same names, accordingly, appear throughout the history.
It is convenient to distinguish between names, titles and offices. Names are personal names or nicknames: titles are inherited names, which become at the same time, offices through inheritance. Offices are not personal names. Take for instance Mwata Kazembe Paul Mpemba Kaniembo. Here, Mwata, which is not a personal name, refers to the office of kingship. Mwata means chief, king or husband of everybody. Kazembe is a title: the personal name which has been inherited by each holder of the kingship, the Mwataship. Paul Mpemba Kaniembo is the personal name which distinguishes him from other holders of the position of Mwata Kazembe. Paul was the name he was given at birth, and Kaniembo was the name of his Father.
'Owners of the land' to which frequent reference is made in the notes are men who, as their ancestors were before them and their heirs are after them, are responsible for the ritual which ensures the fertility of the small pieces of land they control. When the Lunda arrived, Kazembe created the first overall political organisation of the Luapula Valley and surrounding districts.
Paul Mpemba Kaniembo (Mpalumema) was born on the 14th of August 1962 in the Palace, Mwansabombwe, Kazembe. His late father was Paul Lutaba Kaniembo who was Mwata Mushindikeni Uwafwa Taishindika Kaniembo XVII. His mother Violet Chanshi is still alive today.
Paul Mpemba Kaniembo started education at Kazembe Primary School in Mwansabombwe in 1969 but progress was disrupted by an illness. But he returned to school later that same year. In 1970 to 1976, Paul was hardly picked for Form 1 as a result.
However, he finally made it to Mwence Secondary School from 1978 to 1983. When his father died in 1983, Paul was taken to the capital city of Zambia, Lusaka by his sister Idah Kaniembo. While in Lusaka, he joined the Ministry of Health. He did Business Studies and Accounting, but then left to join the Zambia National Commercial Bank Ltd, and persued interest in studies with the Association of Accounting Tecknician. Apart from that, Paul did the Chartered Institute of Bankers Stage 1 in 1990.
What does Mwata Kazembe mean?
This is Paul Mpemba Kaniembo eulogised and revered as:
- I am a squirrel that can reach or climb to the highest point where no other animal dares and only death can bring me down.
- Even if my people cried for me and chose me to be their Mwata, the same people will get tired of me so soon just as people cry for the rains but soon they no longer want it.
- I will not hesitate to deal ruthlessly with those, no matter who shall ever attempt to stand in my way as I preside over my people in the same manner the Leopard does to its prey.
This page was last updated: July 5, 2015
Mwata Kazembe XIX Paul Mpemba Kanyembo
He was chosed to be the next Mwata in 1998, at the age of 36. It wa during the Zambian Agricultural and Commercial Show when the Lunda Traditional Hereditory Councillors namely Kalandala Mwana Mwilombe and Diuru Kabeya were sent by the Lunda establishment to get Prince Kaniembo to succeed the late Mwata Kafumbe Chinianta Munona. The messengers had a very difficult time trying to locate Paul. Then when found, as per the Lunda tradition, the elders knelt down before Prince Mpemba Kaniembo and clapped three times then broke the news that he was chosen to become the new Mwata Kazembe of the great Lunda Kingdom. That very moment marked the end of his private life and was asked to lead them to his residence which he reluctantly did to the amazement of the onlookers.
His late father' clan was Nshimba so he too is Nshimba by clan.
Paul is married to Ema Kapika Kaniembo from Chisenga island in the Democratic Republic of Congo which Mwata appoints its chief and controls. Ema's mothers' side is Muyembe, a known Aristocrat in the Lunda Kingdom and her Father is in Kampampi.
Paul has four children born in the Palace. Two girls and two boys.