Zambezi Magic Films Under Review: The Ubuntu Constitution Contradicts Itself


Apart from the power struggle, there is another contention in the Ubuntu chiefdom. They have a guiding policy regarding succession to the highest office, but the same policy contradicts itself. Here is how. They have an article in their constitution that bars a woman from being a ruler of Ubuntu while another article stipulates that the chief’s word is final. So, before he dies, Chief Mukango’s last word is “Thandiwena” which he utters in naming his successor.

In line with article four of their constitution, Thandiwena, the princess, who at one time was a senseless brat in the Chief’s mind, is the new ruler. Meanwhile, for the curtain-raiser, the stage is set and the contenders have drawn their daggers. It’s Thandiwena versus Tachimba. But the main bout matches Mukango’s word against article six of the constitution. Are the villagers respecting the Chief’s abrogation of the law and letting a woman rule them or are they trashing the power vested in the king to choose the next ruler? Apparently, the chief’s word is more powerful and his daughter is taking the mantle. This is where we are in the Ubuntu story.

But for the power struggle, Tachimba is already on the battle field, ready to conquer Thandiwena, who is still tying her shoe laces, not to go to war but back to the city. Is she conceding defeat or what? Meanwhile, she is also fulfilling another constitutional demand that allows only a married person to ascend to the throne. Here is where I avoid guessing. Let’s just wait and see.


It’s hard not to talk about Mpali; especially at this stage when the Nguzu family is breaking apart. Monde, wife number three, is caught flirting with Jairos, the farm manager, and Nguzu severs ties with her. She is threatened with a divorce but, luckily, with a likelihood of continuing to live at the farm. Well, she is not that easily shed. She consults Baba Mukulu (her trusted witch Doctor) for a love portion that works perfectly well on Nguzu who now forgets all other wives, including Nancy. Meaning all the bliss that the master bedroom can offer is Monde’s, at least for now.

Tombi, the fourth wife, also flares up at Nguzu. She is being castigated for her endless animosity towards Nancy when she suddenly charges at him like a wounded buffalo. It’s about to be a battle of the titans but it cools down in a stalemate, thanks to Nguzu’s muscular arm that restrains Tombi’s heavy fist. She holds a record of beating up men and her husband was going to test her unromantic side had he not been just another bull. She now has two hurdles to cross to get back to her husband: an apology for her rude and riotous behavior and the love portion that is so active in Nguzu’s head.

Shupiwe receives a guest, invited by his brother Logic, from the village who turns out to be her covert daughter, Tionenji. It will be too many secrets if Nguzu discovers that his fifth wife has a child whom he is not aware of. For the good of both of them, as long as the girl is at the farm, she is Shupiwe’s younger sister. Agreed? Yes! Thus, another skeleton finds space in Shupiwe’s closet.

Tionenji has little time for advice nor the patience to count from one to ten before she takes the plunge into the amusements of city life. Before long, the slay queen in the making, is dining out with a confirmed purloiner, Moses, the younger brother of Jairos. She is a good actor, only that she speaks Malawian Chewa, which is a bit hard for us who were born and bred in Copperbelt Province.

All in the while, Shupiwe sniffs around and unearths vital info fit to push stubborn Tamara’s back against the wall. Accidentally, she bumps into a woman who turns out to be a sister of the real father of Tamara’s baby whom Nguzu believes is his and takes pride in. The next minute, the woman is pouring out secrets surrounding the baby. But one thing I find hard to swallow is how this sane-looking woman can so cheaply divulge such classified information to a stranger. Before long, she is frequenting Tamara’s residence with the intent to grab the little fellow who was bought at a high price.

All that is nothing compared to mai guru’s alliance with Nguzu’s worst enemy, Chelo’s wife, in a fraudulent scheme to sell the farm. Should the racquet work out as planned, Nguzu and his five other wives (apart from Nancy who has a home, likely with another man somewhere) will find themselves destitute in their homestead. But as usual, there are eyes lurking in the shadows and gazing at the first wife’s most meticulous moves.

As for Jairos, who has been given the boot for having an affair with Monde, he finds solace in mai guru’s dragnet and is initiated into the cartel to bring Nguzu down. The guy is at the end of the tether and a dangle of a huge sum of money sounds too good to ignore. He is in. Well, so far we have no reason to believe his allegiance to Nguzu has completely melted. Is mai guru being too careless? I smell a rat!

What about Nguzu’s love of his life, Mwiza? She seems to be out of all that mess. That is good, her relationship with Nguzu is just on the mend. I hope the author distances her from the husband until he is back to his senses, which, apparently, is soon, otherwise, the story will be messed up.


After a five-year hiatus, the Ngoma Awards are back starting with he most-liked movie, Mpali, producing three winners. Frank Sibbuku, the creator of Mpali, was crowned with the most outstanding television series award. The most outstanding male media artiste’s award was given to Monde Mutale who acts as Nguzu in the same movie while the female version of the same award was scooped by another Mpali actor, Anita Munamonga, acting as Mwiza, wife of Nguzu. Let’s just hope there will be another one next year.

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