Antwerp School of Education

Joseph Mate

The Toka Leya people of southern Zambia: a contemporary narrative of their folklore

Zaterdag 8 Mei 2021 - 10u-11u

Exclusief voor studenten en personeelsleden van de Academische Lerarenopleiding van de UAntwerpen


The narrative of the Toka Leya people of Southern Zambia is important to the ethnicity of the country. The Toka Leya are the Tonga speaking people that form one of the 72 ethnic groupings that make up the Zambian culture and tribal landscape. This lecture looks into their geo-linguistic perspective and folklore. They personal interviews of key informants were done within and outside the location area of the Toka Leya people. It is highly descriptive and narrates the geo-linguistic and folklore of the people. Most publications are in Chitonga as it is the official language in the province, and there is nothing much written in Chitoka and Chileya despite the richness of the language in terms traditions, culture, myths, legends and folklore. Modernisation/westernisation and climatic change have ravaged two major landscapes of the area: westernisation through education, religion, culture and technology has marginalised the myths, legends and folklore; while climatic change has negatively affected natural resources and food production – forcing people to migrate to urban areas and prefer formal education, formal employment and Western religions at the expense of indigenous ones. The folklore of the Toka Leya are important as it hands over their cultural knowledge from one generation to another, much of it has either been lost, on the verge of being lost as it just lies dormant. (221 words)

Key words: Geo-linguistic, folklore, westernisation, climatic change