Two Tribes

October 28, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

This is just my story about two tribes...

After I got fired from Contact Haulage (Smith & Youngson) I had to find another job. See

So, acting on a tip off, I hitch hiked to a site where I had heard that a Mr Charles Edmunds had a contract in the bush. He had a Kenworth and he obviously wanted to know If I could drive one !

Charlie first demonstrated how a Kenworth should be driven but he only used ten of the gears. He then sat beside me as I took the wheel and after I had demonstrated the use of all fifteen gears, he muttered something like ‘bloody poms’ and gave me a job as a plant mechanic. That’s how my first wife Addie Moorey and I ended up loading all of our furniture, including the chair with three legs and a paint tin, onto the back of a semi-trailer and driving the Kenworth from Ndola to our new home in Kuomboka Drive in Kitwe. (See photograph)

Kitwe in 1968, was a small but close knit mining town on the Copperbelt in Northern Zambia and was blessed with many societies and clubs such as the MOTHS, ANZACS, BUFFS, MASONS and of course The Caledonian Society.

Due to my (ahem) Scottish ancestry, we applied and were accepted into the Caledonians and enjoyed many social events such as the occasional ceilidh and of course Burns Nights when a haggis was flown in from Scotland by British Caledonian Airways. After getting clearance by the veterinary department of Zambia Customs, it was enjoyed by all.

It was during our time in Zambia that the President of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda (known as KK) advocated not only his dream for Humanism in Zambia but also his desire to see more social integration between the European Expatriates and the indigenous peoples of Zambia.

It followed later that a decree was made that all Expat Clubs and Societies must have a proportion of native Zambians in their membership.

To this end, the Caledonian committee members decided to invite some local dignitaries to the next Burns Night celebrations and what a night it turned out to be…

Around the 25th January, a small party consisting of the local chief and village elders, arrived and sat down to enjoy copious amounts of Atholl Brose and gazed in wonderment as a haggis was ceremonially dispatched to the words of Rabbie Burns

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,

Great chieftain o the puddin’-race! etc etc…

Come February, the Chief and his elders were invited back to the Buff Hall to have an indaba (meeting) with the Caledonian committee.

The Chief was asked what they thought of their evening at the Burns Night celebrations.

“Ah! bwana , that night was very, very special and behalf of myself and my village elders, we want to thank you for inviting us.

We enjoyed very much how that lady killed that small animal called haggis and were very surprised how such a small thing could feed so many people. Maybe what she was saying when she killed it was a spell or some Scottish magic.

Then we watched those ladies doing a dance over what looked like hunting spears or assegais , it was very clever.

But most of all we liked those bwanas dressed like Zulu warriors with that small animal hanging in the front and then making a sound like maningee (many) bush pigs being hunted - Ah! It was a very special noise.

Please bwana, what is that strong drink called Atholl Brose ? It is just like our honey beer but instead of the many wings of bees floating inside, it had something inside like the husk of a mealie (sweet corn) !

Now bwana, we would like to return your kindness and invite you to our village where we will arrange something very special for you all.

We will bring some of our best goats and you can select which ones we should use for meat. Once they have been cut up, we will get our wives to show you how we cook meet over a fire, it will be very delicious.

We also have our own speshall beer called chibuku but you may have heard that it is also known as shakey-shaky as you have to keep it moving to stop the bits of maize sitting at the bottom of the old five gallon drum. Don’t worry, we make sure the drum is very clean before we fill it with beer !

All the time you are enjoying our goat meat and chibuku, our drummers will be playing without stopping for the rest of the night and into the early morning.

You will like it very, very much Bwana….. or perhaps not !

I can see by your face Bwana that you are a little unhappy and I understand why.

You see bwana, we have different ways of celebration something special but where your Burns Night was very enlightening I can see you will be uncomfortable coming to our village and seeing how we celebrate.

We can be friends and live alongside each other peacefully .

We are the same people Bwana but we are from two different tribes.



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