The Nc’wala

On February 24 there is a festival to celebrate the first fruit, at Mutenguleni village, near Chipata. This large celebration was recently revived, after 80 years of not being practised. It consists of two parts. Firstly the chief tastes the first fruit of the land – usually sugarcane, maize and pumpkins. Secondly there is the ritual rebirth of the king (involving the king being locked up in his house) and the blessing of the fruit – which consists of a fairly gory spearing of a black bull whose blood the king has to drink. It’s all accompanied by traditional dancing and beer-drinking.