“The Republic of Zambia has over 70 tribes bringing different cultures and coexisting peacefully. Zambia is an amazing tourist destination and is home of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World--The Victoria Falls or “Mosi-o-Tunya” which means the smoke that thunders. With 20 National Parks spread out throughout the vast country, a safari experience is nothing short of breathtaking.”
This revelation about Zambia came from Mrs. Beatrice E.M. Simuusa, spouse of the ambassador of Zambia in Seoul, at a recent interview with The Korea Post media.
The interview centered around ladies in Zambia and Korea as the other aspects are normally covered at interviews with the ambassadors. Here are questions and answers:
Question: Please introduce the First Lady of your country and the First Family fully for our readers as well as the Korean First Lady who would very much wish to learn more about your First Lady and the First Family?
Answer: The First Lady of The Republic of Zambia is Mrs. Esther Lungu. The first family comprises 6 children.
She is very active in the community championing causes through her foundation the Esther Lungu Foundation. This continues her social works which she has been involved in for over 20 years prior to assuming the position of First Lady. Her focus is on economic empowerment of women living in rural and hard to reach areas. She advocates for the empowerment of women and girls; maternal and child health; and for persons with disabilities. Mrs. Lungu has joined global leaders to press for the elimination of child marriages, discrimination against persons with disabilities; and elimination of gender based violence. Through her Foundation, Mrs. Lungu is co-financing food processing equipment for women in agriculture; low cost boarding houses for girls’ education; drilling of boreholes for clean drinking water and uplifting the lives of children with disabilities. The First Lady is a member of the several organizations and has received numerous awards and recognition for her work and service.
Q: What is your role as the Spouse of the Ambassador of your country in Korea? The Korean people have a time-honored expression, Naejo, which literally means ‘domestic support or assistance.’ How do you help His Excellency to perform his work well?
A: The Zambian and Korean traditional systems share several parallels and as such ‘Naejo’ is easily relatable. Zambian tradition also greatly emphasizes on the role of the spouse to be the provider of support and source of strength for the husband (and the children). It is rooted in the capacity of the wife as home builder and in this way the provider of the environment for the success of the whole family. With modernity the role has evolved but remains true to the core. Women are capable of achieving professionally (or outside the home) but still maintain their role as providers of structure and the environment necessary for the family to succeed outside the home.
In this way, I too strive to maintain our home as an environment where my family can come to recharge and face the world with their best foot forward.
Q: The Korea Post organizes tours for the Ambassadors and Spouses. However, sometimes the Ambassadors are busy with their work and are unable to attend them. Would you attend such schedules of The Korea Post media on behalf of His Excellency and contribute to the promotion of understanding, cooperation and friends between Korea and their countries, especially the events that are good more for the ladies and men?
A: I am indeed committed to furthering the efforts of the Ambassador and the Embassy and am always open to provide my time and service in this regard.
Q: As was briefly introduced afore, the Korean people have a time-honored expression, Naejo, which literally translates "Domestic Support" and which means "Support and assistance given by a wife to her husband." How is this understood among non-Korean ladies?
A: As I touched on earlier this is much the same in our Zambian cultures and in fact can be considered typically African. What is important to note is how the Woman’s success and her ability to provide support are not mutually exclusive. It is now widely agreed that an educated or experienced woman can be of better assistance to her family – even in the traditional sense. Ultimately a person’s view will depend on their specific cultural norms.
The concept may at times clash with certain types of views of equality but with understanding of it, one can appreciate that provision of support does not connote sexual inequality.
Q: Please introduce the traditional food and beverage of your country which may be different from those of Korea.
A: Our staple food is a stiff porridge made from maize meal and water. It is called Nsima, nshima, ubwali amongst the different tribes. This is eaten with different vegetables or meat stews. Also commonly eaten are delicacies such as: kapenta (a small fish), grasshoppers, finkubala (mopane worms).
Maize, barley, sorghum and wheat are all used to form different drinks – some alcoholic. Depending on the region or tribe the drink or ingredient will be different. We for example have munkoyo, chibuku, cibwantu, tobwa, etc.
Our country is blessed with several wild fruits such as masuku, mauyu, intungulu which are enjoyed as is or even used to make beverages.
Q: What are the costumes of your country? Korea has Hanbok and we trust you also have one unique to your country. Please introduce them fully with pictures and/or illustrations if available.
A: The main type of clothing is the chitenge. A colourful wrapper that is worn in different ways. Beyond its use as clothing it has wide utility being used as a sling to carry a baby, bedding ornament etc. The chitenge symbolizes respect and women typically wear it for official functions, when meeting in-laws, etc… The chitenge can be made into different items of clothing such as shirts or trousers worn by men.
The different tribes have their own traditional attire. Most of the older traditions include animal skins and reeds. A standout costume is that of the Lozi people of Western province, the Musisi (women) and Siziba (men). It is an elaborate and colourful outfit which includes a beret, flowy skirt like bottom and vest for the men and a flowy two piece for women with accentuated shoulders.
Q: What are the main festivals and folk rites in your country—like Korea’s Chuseok and Seollal? Please elaborate.
A: There are several festivals and folk rites. Typically each tribe has their own. They range from harvest festivals, initiation, seasonal migration to celebration of historic occasions. They include:
Ukusefya Pa Ngwena
‘Ukusefya Pa Ngwena’ is the traditional festival of the Bemba people of Mungwi district in Northern Province. It renacts the migration of the Bemba tribe from Kola (modern day Angola) to their current village.
The Soli people who are the original inhabitants of Lusaka province commemorate the Chakwela Mukumbi. The name of the festival translates to “pulling the clouds”, which refers to the role of the Chieftainess Nkomeshya II who prays to the ancestors for rains so as to start the farming season.
The Lunda and Luba people of Luapula province celebrate their pre-colonial victories with the Umutomboko or Mutomboko ceremony. The two day ceremony begins with Mwata Kazembe (the Chief) visiting various sacred places within and outside his palace. The day concludes with subjects presenting gifts to the chief who is covered in white powder. During the final day, the chief performs the ‘Umutomboko’, the royal dance.
The N’cwala ceremony is celebrated by the Ngoni of Eastern Zambia at Mtenguleni village in Chipata. The first crops of the season are blessed by the Paramount Chief Mpezeni. A bull is then sacrified and some of its blood is drained and offered to the chief. Dancing follows and mock fights between the impis (warriors) recreate the various battles the Ngoni fought and won during their migration from South Africa to Zambia.
Likumbi Lya Mize
The Likumbi Lya Mize ceremony is celebrated by the Luvale people of North Western Province. Historically, the festival marked the re-entrance of boys who had been in seclusion for ‘Mukanda’ (male circumcision) back into society.
The name Kuomboka translates to “get out of the water” and the traditional festival of the Lozi people of Western Zambia involves the King who is called the ‘Litunga’ and his wife moving from their summer home in Lealui to Limulunga by boat
Resume of Mrs. Beatrice Simuusa (spouse of the ambassador of Zambia in Seoul)
Beatrice Simuusa (ACCA, Cert in church leadership, Certified Mentor and Business coach MBCINT)
Bunge Primary School (Dar-es-salaam)1972-1974
Studied at Northmead Primary School 1975-1978
Roma Girls Secondary School 1979-1983
University of Zambia A Levels 1985-1987
Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation; Diploma Photojournalism 1988-1989
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants UK 2006-2010
Mentors and business coaches international; Internationally accredited Mentor Nov 2016 -April 2018
Beatrice has a long background in business and finance. She has been working in the banking and finance industry for over 30 years.
Beatrice’s experience includes being a co- founder and Director of Operations of Mercari Solutions Limited, a fast-growing financing organisation, and a mentor and business coach and counsellor.
She also runs other business ventures with her husband and other associates.
She has worked for several year alongside other organisations in teaching principles of business, women empowerment; supporting them to become self-reliant and improving their financial intelligence.
Her vision is to impact others for transformation and believes in making things simple and accessible for all to fulfil their life’s goals. Her passion is in seeing people improve their lives for the betterment of the community.
Beatrice Simuusa and Ambassador Wylbur Simuusa were married on 17th August, 1991 in Lusaka Zambia. They have two sons, Mudenda Kaleb Simuusa and Alinani Josiah Simuusa. Their first son graduated at Herriot Watt University with a Master’s degree in Finance and management and works in Edinburgh. Their second son graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering and is currently taking a one-year break after which, he wants to pursue a Masters degree in Sustainable Architecture.
She has supported her husband and gone along with him through his various portfolios from his professional days when he was a Mining Engineer to the time he became a member of parliament from 2007 to 2016 as well as when he was a Minister in the various portfolios he held from Minister of Mines, Lands, Agriculture and Foreign Affairs. Currently she is with him in Korea as he serves the nation as Ambassador of the Republic of Zambia to South Korea.
Her participation here has been mostly through the various platforms that Ambassador Simuusa is involved in as well as the Association of Ambassadors spouses where she is a member.
She comes from a family of 9 children. Her 82-year-old father Justus Alinani Membe, lives in Zambia is a retired mechanical and civil engineer. Her mother Edith Chaze Membe worked in the tourist industry from airport duty right to management. She is also retired.
Mrs Simuusa is the first of 9 children, 4 of them deceased while 5 are involved in various industries in Zambia and is an aunt to 13 nephews and nieces. As first born of a large family with responsibilities, she learnt a lot of leadership skills, management, planning from an early age and developed her interest in empowering and enlarging people’s lives.
The Simuusa family are Christians who have been members of the Assemblies of God church from childhood where they still attend church to date.
Her hobbies include: teaching, enjoying music and singing with ambassador, reading, and crafts.
Resume of the Ambassador of Zambia in Seoul (Spouse of Mrs. Simuusa):
H.E. Wylbur Chisiya SIMUUSA
Date of Birth: Sept. 9, 1962
Marital Status: Married. Has two sons.
Education: MBA, Edinburgh Business School-UK Heriot Watt University (in progress) Master in Science-2004, South Dakota Schools of Mines and Technology (SDSMT)
Bachelor in Mineral Science-1986, University of Zambia (UNZA)
Post & Experience: Ambassador of the Republic of Zambia to the Republic of Korea (20 Dec 2017--current)
Member of Parliament (2015-2016)
Member of Parliament/Minister of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries (2014-2015)
Member of Parliament/Minister of Foreign Affairs (2013-2014)
Member of Parliament/Minister of Lands, Natural Resources & Environment Protection (2012-2013)
Member of Parliament/Minister of Mines, Natural Resources & Environment Protection (2011-2012)
Member of Parliament--Nchanga Constituency (2007-2011)
CEO & Acting Managing Director / MAAMBA COLLIERIES LTD. (2004-2007)
Mining Engineer & Project Manager/ ZCCM INVESTMENT HOLDINGS PLC CONSULTING (2003-2004)
Senior Mining Engineer& Project Manager/ KONKOLA COPPER MINES LTD.(1992-2003)
Mine Planning Engineer, ZAMBIA CONSOLIDATED COPPER MINES LTD. (1986-1990)
Participation & Major Activities:
Founder, Managing Director, Senior Partner / WCS MINING, LTD. Chingola, Zambia
Chairman/ Chingola Community Roads Repair Initiative Residence Development Committee (RDC) – Kabundi Charter & Committee Member -LIONS International Club, Nchanga, Chingola, Zambia Chairman/Transport Association, Chingola, Zambia
Professional Body Membership
Engineering Institute of Zambia(EIZ)
Society of Mining Engineers (SME)
Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry(ZACCI)
Constituency Chairman--Nchanga Constituency (Heritage Party)
Adopted and contested as Parliamentary Candidate for Nchanga Constituency-
2001 on Heritage Party Ticket. Came second (runners up) to ruling party. Have since changed parties and now working with the Patriotic Front (PF).
November 2007 By Election--Elected Member Of Parliament – Nchanga Constituency (PF).
Nominated Member Of the Central Committee (MCC) – Chairman Mines and Mineral Development for Patriotic Front(PF).
Languages: English, Tonga, Bemba, Nyanja
Hobbies: Playing Guitar, Listening to Music, Weight Lifting, Mechanics