´Chitipa means swampy, marshy or muddy stream’


(Continued from last week)

Dear Mohashoi,

You may wonder that why it is that Mwenechitipa is a subject of TA Mwabulambya? Its was the making of the British. They found Kyungu (Chungu in Chitipa) at Karonga who directed them to Chief Nyondo (Mwabulambya) his uncle at Chinunkha but they made Mwabulambya overseer of Chitipa District. Honestly,  a greater portion of Chitipa is under the Mtambos as they settled in the Chitipa valley way before the Lambyas. The Lambyas were confined to Chinunkha, Ifumbo and along the Songwe and Kaseye Rivers North West to Mwamkumbwa.  Why they don’t quarrel, however, is that these two clans are deeply intermarried. You will end up killing your own nephew, niece or cousin. My grandmother was the first born daughter of Jane Nyondo, daughter to Mbobe Mwabulambya. The name James Mbobe Nyondo should ring a bell in you. Mwenechitipa Mkombanyama Mtambo married Jane Nyondo.

The villages at the BOMA that belong to the Mtambos (Mwenechitipa) are Mkombanyama, Bagamoyo, Iyela (Mweniyela), Mwenifuvya, Namuyemba, Mukono, Masyesye, Namasasa, Nakabale (Kawale), Isyalikira and Namandyata. The Mambwes are in-charge of Katutula to the far West of the airport, Chilongola to the East, Lwakwa to the North West, Nachembe, Nachimphu and Namatandala. There are no Tumbuka village headmen here. You find them from Wenya down to Nthalire. The names of Mtambo, Munkhondya, Sikwese, Mushani, Simkonda, Nyondo and others came from Bulambya but are in Wenya and Nthalire as refugees. The remnants of those who didn’t go back after the World wars!

In all fairness, the first settlers in Chitipa were the Namwangas and the Mambwes. They both came from Zambia, Mambwe and Bwinamwanga (Abercorn). They speak very similar dialects and none seems to be dominant over the other. They are a minority. Chitipa BOMA should be a Namwanga and Mambwe speaking area but the Lambya and Tumbuka have completely overshadowed these docile tribes. Chilongola and Katutula are Simfukwes while Lwakwa is under Sichula. You also have Simkomko, Silavwe, Simphokolwe, Simovwe, Sikapite, Sichamba, Simkonda and what Si means …do-have-you?! Kameme is Simkonda also known as Siyame. He is the elder brother to Paramount Chief Kyungu. Ask TA Kameme.

If you visit Katutula village you hear people speaking ChiBemba from Zambia. It is for two reasons. It’s is right on the border with Zambia near the BOMA at the end of the airport. Many pensioners from Zambia mines have settled there so that they can easily cross over to Kanyala then Nakonde to receive their dues. A majority of them are Ndali from Misuku, Kapenda and Southern Tanzanzia. They are those running shops at the BOMA. They have the money from the mines and these guys from Misuku are ‘notorious’ hard workers! The whole Misuku belongs to the Musukwa clan. Yah, some Kayanges. They speak Ndali and Sukwa. You have to be a genius to filter the difference. I speak all the languages of Chitipa, Karonga, Rumphi, Mzimba (save for Chingoni) including your own Tonga! Why not when I am married to a niece of Ada Jungu Mhone of Chijere Village at Luwazi SDA Church? Elsewhere I can confidently speak in Swahili, Chichewa, Yao and Sena. The Chewa, Yao and Swahili are in Chitipa as employees or market vendors. They are part of the society, married there and are there for good.

As you come from Karonga and you reach Kapoka, to your right you have the road to Misuku and to your left, I mean as you face Chitipa Boma, you see the Chisenga/Nthalire road. The Bandya occupy this lengthy patch on both sides as you move from Kapoka, Zambwe (West), Ibanda up to Lufita. They speak Chibandya. A blending of several dialects, they are trapped in all directions by Tumbukas, Ndali, Lambya and Nyika. Mwenezambwe, Mwenelufita and Mwenebanda are Ng’ambis. A male Ng’ambi is Ng’ambi while a female is called Namwayi. E.g. Namwayi Rose Ng’ambi. The road to Chinunkha,  Mwabulambya’s headquarters starts off at Lufita to Kaseye and Ifumbo. After Lufita, soon you cross Yamba River, you are in Mwenechitipa’s territory. You are first welcomed by Namasasa village as you enter Batambo land. Namasasa to mean temporally shelters. Isaac Mtambo was posted here to deter the Bandya from crossing Yamba into the Mtambo area. The Anthony Mukumbwa you mention, Hon Clement Mukumbwa (brothers) and the late Dr Pickford Sibale come from Ibanda and speak Chibandya. Mangoline is a nickname given due to the mango trees in Bagamoyo village where you can “relax!”  Chitipa means swampy, marshy or muddy stream. It was named by Adamson Mkombanyama Mtambo.

Have a nice tour of Chitipa and the Northern Region.

Yours sincerely,

Mwangi Robert Mwamkenenge Msukwa.

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