Bridgewater professor publishes book on Zambian hunger for culture

A sociology professor at Bridgewater College has published the first  comprehensive book that examines the thirst for culture and knowledge in the African nation of Zambia.

Mwizenge S. Tembo was born in Chipata and grew up near Nkhanga Village in Lundazi, which is in the Eastern Province of Zambia in Southern Africa. He has taught at Bridgewater for more than two decades and spent three years researching and writing Satisfying Zambian Hunger for Culture, which contains a foreword by Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s first president.

The 385-page book, which was published by Xlibris Corp., explores the influence of urbanization on Zambians and how they identify themselves through customs, parenting, kinship, foods, dances, medicine, religion, Christianity – even witchcraft. In the book’s 17 chapters, Tembo also details how Zambia – whose official language is English – developed a multi-party democracy.

“Everyone, not just Zambians, can learn and benefit from the book,” Tembo said. “Of course, it’s possible for the reader to learn something about such things as food, religion, African political history and Christianity, but they may pick up or get strong tips on how to parent or counsel from the examples I give from traditional Zambian culture.”

Tembo said he was inspired to write Satisfying Zambian Hunger for Culture because millions of people, including 13 million Zambians, have experienced “tremendous change as the result of globalization.” As for Zambians themselves, Tembo said they were confused and didn’t know much about their culture.

“There was a hunger, a void, so I wrote the book to fill this void,” he said. “I’ve been lucky enough to have been born and lived in an African village, grown up in the capital city and then lived and taught at Bridgewater College for 22 years. This has given me rare experience and knowledge to share with Zambians and other people.”

Tembo went on to note that he hopes his book will change and strengthen the lives of all the people who will read it.

“The information shared is important not just for Zambians but for all human beings who have problems because of the fast rate of globalization,” he said.

Satisfying Zambian Hunger for Culture is available in bookstores and on the Internet.

Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to approximately 1,750 undergraduate students.

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