Faith and Encounter Centre Zambia

A Catholic Resource Centre
for Faiths and Cultures in Zambia


Zambia has long and rich traditions of initiation rites that transform a girl into a woman, a boy into a man.

Many traditional rites have been marginalised by mainstream Christianity, though they can offer rich symbolic worlds, which can help married couples also in modern Zambia to look at their identities and relationships in a way that is rooted in culture.

The 'Ifimbusa' is a research group on initiation rites, working with FENZA. The members are practising banacimbusa and bashicimbusa, who initiate young couples into married life according to the Bemba traditions. They practise the rites in a reflective manner: explaining the rites as they knew them in the past, but adapting them also to modern life, drawing out the values that tradition and Christian life hold in common.

The group started with Bemba rites, but is open to the many other cultural traditions of Zambia.

Members of the group love the rites and wish to pass on the cultural wisdom. They can be called also by poorer families who may not be able to pay for high fees which are charged by commercial groups.

The group is also available for workshops at Parish level, as well as in schools (for the parts of the rites that are not restricted to marriage).

Contact persons: Mr Chanda (0976154800). You may also write to director@fenza.org