Objectives and Plan


The objective of the Zambia Knowledge Bank (ZANOBA) is to encourage all Zambians in the Southern African country to document, preserve, and enjoy their traditional and modern Zambian culture and technology among people who live in the rural villages and Provinces to the towns and cities of the African country. The organization was founded in 1995.

The broad and comprehensive objectives and the specific plan of activities are based on the principles and rationale on which the ZANOBA Organization was founded. The detailed original document that has the principles and rationale was in form of a correspondence from Dr. Mwizenge S. Tembo to Dr. Frank Chisela both of whom are co-founders of the organization. This document is available upon request. Its title is: “BIRTH OF “Zambia Knowledge Bank (ZANOBA)”.

Plan of Activities

ZANOBA membership application forms should be sent to all potential members, filled and then returned to the Coordinator in Zambia or in Europe or North America. The organization will be able to have a data bank about all its members.

A date should be set when members can meet to elect ZANOBA office bearers; President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity Secretary, and two Committee members. A membership fee and the amount will be decided. There will be a need to appoint members of the Board of Directors for ZANOBA.The Constitution for ZANOBA has been drafted with the assistance of some members and legal advisors in Zambia and Overseas. The constitution is ready for ratification by the members by a two thirds majority during the first general meeting. It could be very good if ZANOBA members from both Zambia and abroad were able to attend. The only criteria for membership in ZANOBA is that the man and woman should have genuine interest in Documenting and Validating an aspect(s) of Zambia culture and technology. The emphasis and qualification of GENUINE is to high light that ZANOBA should not be just another coffee club that holds seminars where members merely pontificate, make theoretical resolutions and later go their separate ways. ZANOBA should be a prestigious organization known for its research, practical activities, and solid achievements and its members deriving a lot of pleasure and pride as they perform their various tasks. ZANOBA has published for its members four Newsletters. The first edition was in May 1996. Send your suggestion about improvement of the newsletter by post or E-mail. The newsletter will have a wide variety of subjects including:

* Editorial
* Brief profiles about individual members, where they are, their address, what they are doing, spouse and family, and what issues members are working on in relation to research in Zambian culture and technology.
* Life in Zambia
* Adventure by Zambians both in Zambia, abroad and overseas; anecdotes
* Zambian humor
* Crucial issues in Zambian Culture, technology, and innovation
* Health, Nutrition and Illness in Zambia
* A list of New books on Zambia and Reviews
* Children in Zambia

Please, suggest any other topics that may be of interest to the members and other readers.

Since the cost of mailing the newsletter has come from subscriptions from members, it is important that you return your application forms promptly so that we will have the right postal address and other details. Members are strongly urged to write brief articles for these columns for the newsletter.

  1. Where ever they are or intend to eventually conduct research in Zambia, members are urged to begin to organize a ZANOBA library and operations center. There are members in Zambia and Overseas waiting to donate books and magazines to such a center. If it is a rural district, make sure you involve schools, churches, teachers, headmen, members of ALL political parties (always explain and remember that ZANOBA is non-partisan and non-profit), school leavers and others. This should be a pragmatic community enterprise or project. There are ZANOBA members who are library experts who will assist in giving technical advice.
    2. Next to the library, establish museum that will house important cultural artifacts and other forms of art from the district villages.
    3. Publicity about ZANOBA will be done as much as possible by the members. Remember that there is no better publicity than members setting good examples themselves. Explain to potential members and newcomers what the organization’s objective is: to “Document and Validate” or “Write, Record, and put into practice Zambian culture and technology.” Translate these into Zambian languages. Please, emphasize and make it clear that this is NOT a political party, or some international organization out to give money and AID. (This is not to down play the role of NGOs and other AID organizations but this is a different organization). Infact all Zambians from all political parties are welcome to join. ZANOBA will be built by Zambians, for Zambians interests, with Zambian hands and sweat. Assistance from friends should be accepted but should not overwhelm the personal contributions of members. Explain that Zambians need to record and feel proud, and practice some of their culture and technology.
    4. An emblem needs to be designed to appear on letter heads, brochures, and T-Shirts of ZANOBA. If you know of any computer programs that have African clip art please notify any of the Co-ordinators immediately.
    5. A guide to conducting research and performing practical activities should be written and available to all members. Each activity should have a step by step description of how to perform these activities and the possible technical experts among the members who can provide concrete advice. Eventually, we should compile a list of members and their areas of expertise right from members with degrees, secondary school graduates, Grade school leavers, retired teachers, bureaucrats, political leaders, preachers, hunters, traditional healers, dancers, curvers, clay pot makers, up to both young and old men and women in the village.

Examples of Activities

  1. How to collect and record knowledge about aspects of Zambian village customs.
  2. Medicinal plants and Zambian traditional healing.
  3. Zambian history from pre-history to 1996
  4. Status of Zambian urban and rural women
  5. The experiences of Zambian children in the process of socialization and growing up in urban and rural Zambia
  6. All types of technology both modern and traditional
  7. How to start a library for a local community
  8. How to make Zambian traditional drums
  9. How to form a Zambian traditional dance club
  10. How to raise funds for ZANOBA activities and running of the organization.
  11. Begin to collect pencils, pens, paper, typewriters, tape recorders and other equipment needed for conducting research both in rural and urban Zambia.

General Objectives

These general objectives are from the original ZANOBA document and are not in any systematic order.


  1. The Zambia Organization for Documentation and Validation of Culture and Technology (ZANOBA) could eventually be the major excellent source and provider of research material in text books that are used in all schools in Zambia.
  2. The Organization could be a reliable and prestigious source for all materials about Zambian culture for colleges, research universities, and many others in Zambia and abroad.
  3. During all district agricultural shows in Zambia, ZANOBA could sponsor a stand, traditional dance competitions, plays and theaters during the nights of the agricultural show. Residents of surrounding villages and schools could stage the plays.
  4. ZANOBA could eventually sponsor busloads of rural pupils to travel to game parks, commercial farms, and urban landmarks and factories. Rural residents, especially children will be the custodians of land and wild life. But many of them have never seen a game park. Rural young people in Africa are some of the most alienated to day.
  5. The organization members in Zambia could organize trips once every few years during which we would meet in one district in Zambia as guests of the local district ZANOBA. During the periods participating members could travel in groups of two or three to collect data in outlying rural areas for purposes of documenting and validating Zambian culture and technology.
  6. The organization could eventually sponsor or atleast be responsible for writing reports about Zambians who have made significant national and international achievements.
  7. ZANOBA could sponsor Zambians on expeditions may be to the source of the Nile or reaching the North or South Pole, or the first Zambian to reach Siberia.
  8. The organization could eventually publish a big dictionary of Zambian traditional names. One of the members has already done some research in the Eastern and Southern Provinces of Zambia. This dictionary could be available at maternity wards in all hospitals in Zambia for Zambians to use to choose a Zambian name for their baby if they so wish.
  9. The organization could eventually form or sponsor traditional Zambian dance groups that could periodically perform at the district office. There could be sister clubs in Zambia and abroad where ever members live.
  10. The Organization should conduct hands on research or fieldwork and write a comprehensive manual about all the traditional and modern technology that is in use in rural Zambia ranging from how to build houses up to hunting techniques and traps.
  11. ZANOBA should conduct hands on research or field work and write a comprehensive manual with pictorial illustrations of all traditional Zambia foods: how they are collected, stored, processed, cooked, and eaten.
  12. Lastly, the aim of the organization in to eventually have a brach in every district in Zambia to document and validate Zambian traditional culture and technology. It may strategically be a very good idea even now to find someone who could have a branch in Gwembe Valley, Sesheke in the Western Province, Zambezi in North-Western Province.


To all potential ZANOBA members, if you have been looking for something that you can devote some of your energies to and fulfil some of your dreams, this may be what you have been waiting for.

____________________ July 29, 1997

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D
Associate professor of Sociology
Co-Founder and Coordinator

_______________ July 29, 1997

Frank Chisela, Ph. D.
Co-Founder and Coordinator