Zambia is located in the heart of southern Africa, surrounded by eight neighboring countries—Zimbabwe, Botswana, Angola, Namibia, Congo Drc, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique. It has ten provinces and 73 tribes. The people of Zambia are friendly.
The country is endowed with many natural resources. The mighty Victoria Falls is found in Livingstone, Zambia’s tourist capital . Livingstone has many tourist attractions apart from the falls. Mosi-otunya National Park is home to African elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, wild beasts and many more. The mighty Victoria Falls is 10km away from town and accommodation is available to suit every visitor’s pocket starting from a few metres from the falls up to town dotted along and off the road.
One area of interest that a tourist shouldn’t miss is the curio and craft market. Zambian craft works are found in many hotels and lodge curio shops, but major sales points are Mukuni village, Mukuni park within Livingstone Town, Victoria Falls curio market and Livingstone Art Gallery. Locations for these outlets are easy to find once one crosses the border. Zambia has abundant natural resources and these are seen from the works that dedicated men and women create to showcase to the visitors who buy them to remind themselves that they once visited Zambia.
Crafts and crafters have been around for a long time, designing and making their products. With changing times, the crafts must also be improved and made more attractive and value addition to local materials has been a major focus.
Before writing further and showing you my creative crafts, let me introduce myself. My name is Auditor Chiyonkoma. My home and work place in Livingstone Town, Zambia. I was born on 10th of April 1963, in one of the Zambian towns called Choma, in the southern province of the country. I spent my early childhood with my grandparents who were peasant famers. Living in the village, there were many roles that boys played—herding and milking cattle, ploughing, training oxen for ploughing and many more.
My grandfather was very active and did a lot of things that we later started copying too. His name was Jonas Mwaanga Chidakwa. He was special indeed as he was a hunter. He would carve stools, yokes, axe handles, cooking sticks, chicken cages, spear handles and some blacksmithing. As we were growing up with other boys, we started making cars using sticks, as wire was hard to come by, and the wheels were empty shoe polish containers. But after harvesting crops, the best wheels were dry round small pumpkins that survived being eaten. Later, we graduated from these cars and started making fun looking beds using small branches and then we dug holes in the house to support the legs so that the bed does not fall. This is where the interest for practical work started developing. Out of the eight boys under grandfather’s care, I found myself making village doors, cooking sticks, african stools, yokes, axe handles and sledges. My only tools here an axe and adze. To date I still keep them as part of my workshop tools.
I left the village to go and live with an uncle, one of the sons to my grand father, who was running a carpentry workshop at his home and I learned a lot from him. I continued working with him until I completed school and went for a primary teacher training course. The lecturers recommend that I teach practical subject upon completion of the course. Upon recommendation by lecturers, I taught carpentry at one of the primary school for two years. The subject is now called design and technology. I then went secondary teacher training to teach woodwork and technical drawing.
After some time in Botswana, I returned home in May 2005 to start a new life of self-employment as my heart was not willing to back into a formal job. I set a backyard workshop where I work from to date. I needed more time in the workshop so that I could experiment on assorted works. I make different types of furniture, but I have a passion for craft works. I enjoy experimenting and getting good results. I get satisfaction and joy from the crafts.
As stated earlier, Zambia is blessed with a lot of natural resources. Visiting Zambia and Livingstone is not complete without seeing one of the big five. You shouldn’t miss the elephant, but when leaving you can not carry it with you. With the creative crafts, rest assured you can carry memories of the big animal in your hand luggage. Here are some of the products that will always keep your memories run back to Livingstone and Mosi-otunya national park. If you have not visited the place yet, this will give a glimpse of the beauty of Zambia. Take a look at the stools, sugar bowls and other products of assorted of local materials and designs.
From the beautiful local materials, we make beautiful jewelry, remember that “a thing of beauty, is a joy forever”. We have bangles, ear rings and neck chains depicting our local and natural beauty. Nature is beautiful. Remember your home too, as it also needs the beauty of nature. We have wooden lamp shades and wooden chandeliers to add to your home to improve the appearance of your room.
For any further information pertaining to the products, please don’t hesitate to get in touch using details below. Our motto for Zambia National Tourist Board is “Zambia, let’s explore”. Yes indeed, explore Zambia with creative crafts.
Auditor Chiyonkoma can be contacted on Whatsap +260969793807 and on email [email protected] The physical address is 2898/71 off Lusaka road, Livingstone, Zambia.