Of late, many other ethnic groups have settled in this area due to fertile soil around the village, which has been good for farming, for fishing on the lake, for availability of wood for wood carvings and for attractive camp sites along the shore. The beauty of this area has also attracted white people from Europe to settle here. There are for instance, Dutch and British nationals who have settled on the shores of this area.
Despite living side by side with different ethnic groups, the Tonga of this village have always preserved their cultural values. For instance, they freely and openly perform their traditional dances, such as malipenga, and chilimika. They carry out special initiation ceremonies for girls who attain puberty, and perform attractive traditional dances during wedding ceremonies. From time immemorial, the Tonga have practiced traditional medicines to cure various diseases that cannot be cured by western medicines.
The people of Mazembe Village are mainly agriculturalists and fishermen. Cassava, which is their staple food, is grown on a large scale. From cassava flour, a thick porridge called nsima is cooked. It tastes so delicious with fish, meat, beans, and even lake flies, called khungu, which are blown from the lake by easterly winds. The environment around this area offers much to see, and the inhabitants are so friendly and offer a warm welcome to everybody.
A Brief History of Mazembe Village
The village derives its name from the river called Mazembe. This river forms the boundary between Mwaya Village and Mazembe Village. To the north Mazembe is bordered by a tiny village called Khombe. On the eastern side of the village lies the vast and beautiful Lake Malawi, with its deep blue waters, glittering from afar like marble stones. To the west, the village shares its boundary with a village of rice growing immigrants from the Northern Districts of Karonga and Chitipa.
Village is inhabited by many different ethnic groups. The indigenous
people of this area, however, are the Tonga people whose dialect is
composed of words from several Bantu people who migrated into Malawi
from the D.R. Congo centuries ago. Indeed, the Tonga are the
indigenous ethnic group in the area, because their ancestors did not
find any other group of people here when, during the sixteenth century,
they migrated from the Luba Kingdom of Mwata Yamvwa, a powerful kingdom
in the D.R. Congo.
At Mazembe's tiny museum, Allamson Longwe explains the use of traditional utensils on display. Some are old, some are still used today.
Allamson Longwe, director of Mazembe Village tourism