Joseph Siatulwa

Joseph Siatulwa

The Mukuyu Family Tree of the Leya

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Joseph says he got into this trade through his uncle at the age of 15 years and he has worked as a sculptor for more than 35 years. He has specialised in wood and prefers working in Ironwood because it is a strong wood. Joseph sells his work at Chiyema Mukuni market in the Mukuni village and up until recently he was able to look after his wife and 5 children. Now he faces a challenge to get the wood because most of the trees have been cut down because of farming that is taking place at his village. He often walks up to 20km just for him to find the good wood. He used to take his work to Lusaka but unfortunately the business is also slow due to the new pandemic coronavirus. “This makes it difficult now for me to look after my family’s needs and also my late siblings’ children. But this big work will help me to continue taking my children to school and also to buy cows for farming since I am also a farmer.” He feels happy and honoured that his work has been erected at the Civic Centre because his work also will be exposed to many people. “I selected the theme called Mukuyu family tree of the Leya people because it is important to know where the Leya people came from. I feel it is important for the next generation to never forget where they came from”.  The Mukuyu tree is very significant such that it is found where there is water nearby. Where there is water, there is life, where there is life, there is victory, this was their motto. The Leya people embarked on a journey from Kora Congo and came down to the northern part of Zambia and conquered all the tribes. They travelled further to the central area of Zambia where they settled for a while.

When they were about to start a journey, the Chief appointed one of his sons to become ruler of that area. They stated their journey to southern region of Zambia, and they overpowered the tribes found there and appointed rulers in those areas.

They came to camp at the edge of the Victoria Falls and proceeded to the east 10km from the Victoria Falls. Today their leader is called “His Majesty Munokalyaya Mukuni, the King of the Victoria Falls.

“I am so grateful for my work to be selected at the Civic Centre, my life and my family life will never be the same again because my art work will be exposed to many people”



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