District location in Zambia
|Time zone||CAT (UTC+2)|
- "Districts of Zambia". Statoids. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
Nakonde is one of Zambia's major border post towns in the Northern province (second to Chirundu on the Zambia/Zimbabwe border) in terms of being busy) with high traffic of business taking place. It lies on the border with Tanzania. It is about 1000 km north of Lusaka the capital city. At least twenty bus coaches travel from Lusaka and the Copperbelt every day to Nakonde taking traders who go to buy various items from clothes, building materials to ordering cars from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Travellers can also travel by rail using the Tazara trains from Kapiri Mposhi in Central Zambia. The trains go right up to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Nakonde also has tourist attractions with the legendary Ngoni King Zwangedaba buried 35 km away from the town Centre. The major languages spoken in Nakonde are Chinamwanga and Chibemba. Kiswahili is also spoken by the locals due to interaction with neighbouring Tanzania. Nakonde is a growing town with a lot of potential. New infrastructure such as Government offices have been built in recent years as well as new guest houses and lodges and eating places to cater for the many travellers into the town.
Getting to Nakonde
Buses from Lusaka Inter-City Bus Station to Nakonde leave at 16 00 hours and reaches Nakonde at 07 00 hours. There are about eight (8) buses that leave Lusaka for Nakonde daily. The buses pass though the following towns: Kabwe, Kapiri Mposhi, Mukushi, Serenje, Mpika, Chinsali and Isoka.
Nakonde is still a village under Chieftainess Nawaitika except for a small portion of land which is under the council. Hence it is common in Nakonde to see huts within the town centre. If you want to buy land in Nakonde, you go through the chieftainess, who will then allocate you land and give you documents to take to the council for processing.
Life in Nakonde
The town is very active, among Zambia’s busiest border towns. Life in this small town starts at about 04 00 when buses from the Copperbelt, Lusaka, Kenya via Tanzania begin to arrive bringing mostly traders. Nakonde is full of cheap goods such as clothes, shoes, hand-bags, watches, cell-phones, electronics and foodstuffs like potatoes and beans.
History of the Namwanga people of Nakonde
The Namwanga people of Nakonde District are believed to have come from North East Africa together with the Tonga/Ila people of Southern province at about 900 BC. Hence some similarities in names between the Tonga’s and Namwanga’s such as Siame in Namwanga and Sianjunza in Tonga. Their lifestyle was a fugal system or nomadic life, meaning that they had no permanent residence. As they come down, some of the Namwanga’s decided to settle in Tanganyila now called Tanzania while others proceeded to Northern Rhodesia now Zambia. In Tanzania, they spread to places like Mbeya, while those in Zambia settled in Mwenzo area western part of Nakonde District, some parts of Chinsali, Kasama and Mbala. The Tonga’s however proceeded to Southern Zambia.
By this time, there were no borders available meaning that the Namwanga’s in Tannzania and Zambia shared everything including leadership. After the partitioning of boundaries, the headquarters of the Namwanga people remained in Tanganyika or Tanzania under Chief Mukoma. To this very day, the Paramount Chief of the Namwanga people is based in Tanzania and only appoints a chief from there to rule over the Namawanga’s in Zambia.
The first chief appointed was Namulinda as Chief Nawaitwika to rule over the Namwanga’s on the Zambian side, when she died Namaipo was appointed as Chief Nawaitwika. Following her death in 1940, Malia was appointed as the third Nawaitwika from 1941 to 1999. Malia ruled for over 56 years, making her one of the longest serving chiefs in Zambia. After her death, Evelyn, who was born in Zambia and lived in Mufulira with her husband was later appointed as the current Chief Nawaitwika.
While at Mwenzo, a man from Kola visited the place by the name of Mushyani, it is believed that this man was very intelligent as a matter of factor, he even introduced firewood and farming to the Namwanga’s. Before Mushyani’s visit, the Namwanga’s were eating raw food as nomads. Due to his intelligence, Mushyani received a lot of favours from the indigenous people namely the Simwanzas, Sichalwes, Sichizyas and Sinkalas who also gave him a local Namwanga girl to marry. He was also given a chiefdom to become a chief and was given a new name called ChikanaMulilo. He however, deliberately refused to move from that place to the new village he was given. It is from this that the name Mwenzo comes from. When you deliberately refuse something in Namwanga it is called Umwenzonye.
The name Siame in Namwanga means a judge (leader or a person overseeing other is called Siyame). Chikanamulilo came from Kola and not Bemba Land.
Banks and Money Transfer
There are a few commercial banks in Nakonde. ATM services are available too. There are facilities for sending and receiving cash to and from any part of the world.
Clinics and Hospitals
Mwiza Private Clinic Nakonde Rural Health Centre
Places to Stay in Nakonde
• Mwetwa Guest House • Brook Gardens • Fresh Air Gardens • Limusote Inn • Malende Guest House • Delta Lodge • Wannabes Lodge
Places of Interest
• Zwangendaba, the famous king of the Ngoni was buried about 30 kilometres away from the main town centre. • First United Church of Zambia (UCZ) was built in Nakonde around 1914. • Graves of German soldiers that fought during the World War.
Business opportunities in Nakonde
Land in Nakonde is very affordable and available to serious investors. Business opportunities are available in so many sectors like agriculture, tourism, mining, manufacturing and telecommunication.
Internet business in Nakonde has the potential of doing very well. The Post Office is about the only place with reliable Internet in Nakonde. There is scope for a business centre in town providing typing, printing, photocopying telephone services and KIL Photo Studio.
Although the number of lodges and guest houses is on the increase, there is still need for more establishments. Looking at the number of visitors to Nakonde a hotel in the area will be a good idea. A private museum could help store the rich history of the Namwanga people and their artifacts. An information centre in town and at the grave site for Zwangendaba who is buried about 30 kilometres from the town centre.
Nakonde is not very far from Lundazi which is well known for gemstones. Legal mining can help create employment.
Almost everything in Nakonde is imported from neighbouring Tanzania. Zambian and foreign investors will do well to set up a manufacturing plant in the area and export to the neighbouring countries of Tanzania, Malawi and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Right from Mkushi to Nakonde, the land is very fertile and suitable for a number of cash crops. However, Nakonde depends on Tanzania even for fresh maize and tomatoes except for millet. There is need for some research about which crops can do well and encourage local people to invest.
Housing and Office Space
There is need for provision of quality but affordable housing units for the growing population in Nakonde. There are few office blocks in Nakonde. Investors can set up a chain of office blocks to accommodate the ever increasing number of small companies especially government workers and clearing agents.
There is no shopping mall in Nakonde. People there depend on the nearby Tunduma town in Tanzania for serious shopping. A mall in Nakonde would offer the residents and visitors a valuable service and profit for the investors.
<Musanshi, M. (2010) Discover Nakonde -2009/2010. Lusaka: Tourism News.>