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ISSN: 1570-0178

Volume 3, Issue 5 (9 July 2001)

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Le pouvoir se mange entier
Power is eaten whole
A play by the "Troupe Théâtrale Mufwankolo" of Lubumbashi
(Scene 4 - The hunter's visit)



Members of the Troupe Théâtrale Mufwankolo

Cast of Le pouvoir se mange entier

Scene 1 - The law of the land

Scene 2 - Trouble brewing

Scene 3 - The case of the thief

Scene 4 - The hunter's visit


Scene 5 - The case of adultery

Scene 6 - Revolt in the fields

Scene 7 - The chief takes control - Order reestablished



Scene 4 - The hunter's visit

In Scene Four the hunter, played by Kalwasha, visits the chief's court. In the filmed performance Kalwasha arrives, greets the chief and offers him game. He delivers a short speech. He recounts the hunt and cites the chief's order to "look at the belly, not at the face" of visitors. Mufwankolo accepts the tribute and orders his guard to cut the meat into pieces. While this is done there is some animated conversation, the hunter's exploits are recalled and praised. Then the chief distributes portions of the game among his notables and, with much ceremonial hand-clapping and greeting, the hunter leaves.
It has been difficult to make a complete and viable transcription of this scene from the sound recording of the filmed performance. In addition to the many problems already noted, Kalwasha, who plays the hunter, chose a "folksy" register of Shaba Swahili (with a recognizable accent and some lexical admixture from one of the regional languages). During rehearsal, conditions for taping a transcribable version were much better. There was none of the general background noise from the people of Kawama village who, in the final performance, responded with great enthusiasm to this scene and all but covered the dialog. On the other hand, already in rehearsal Kalwasha had assumed the "old age" register of speech and his example was followed by Mufwankolo. Both of them "swing" through the dialog; delivery is at times very rapid and the use of language is often elliptic when prosody and gestures seem to take over. Also, this scene had an even more tentative character in rehearsal than some of the others. Several actors contributed their opinion about its dramatic construction. As in the rehearsal version of the case of the thief, this lead to back-tracking and numerous interruptions. For all these reasons, the texts and translations that follow are even more tentative than some of the others.


The Hunter's Visit. Rehearsal Version.

1. Kalwasha: [bowing to the chief and clapping hands throughout this exchange of greetings] kalombo/
Mufwankolo: wafwako1/
Kalwasha: kalombo/
Mufwankolo: wafwako/
Kalwasha: kalombo/
Mufwankolo: wafwako/
Kalwasha: nalikwenda mu pori chefu/
Mufwankolo: eheh!
Kalwasha: angaria angaria minasema: nitakulya mi moya? hoho/ acha nifanye kwanza mayele: nipelekea hata sultani nayee awekele kwanza kiloko mu ntumbo/
Mufwankolo: [laughing] wafwako: wafwako/
Kalwasha: kalombo/
Mufwankolo: wafwako/
Kalwasha: kalombo mfumu2/
Mufwankolo: nakwimuna3/
Kalwasha: kalombo/
Mufwankolo: wafwako/
Kalwasha: kalombo/
Mufwankolo: nakwimuna/
Kalwasha: kalombo/
Mufwankolo: nakwimuna/
Kalwasha: eyo/
1. Kalwasha: [bowing to the chief and clapping hands throughout the exchange of greetings] Chief!
Mufwankolo: Thank you.
Kalwasha: Chief!
Mufwankolo: Thank you.
Kalwasha: Chief!
Mufwankolo: Thank you.
Kalwasha: I went into the bush, chief.
Mufwankolo: You did?
Kalwasha: Look here, I said, am I alone going to eat? No way. No, I am going to see to it so that I can bring something along for the chief to put in his belly.
Mufwankolo: [laughing] Thank you, thank you.
Kalwasha: [clapping] Chief!
Mufwankolo: Thank you.
Kalwasha: Greetings, chief!
Mufwankolo: I greet you.
Kalwasha: Chief!
Mufwankolo: Thank you.
Kalwasha: Chief!
Mufwankolo: I greet you.
Kalwasha: Chief!
Mufwankolo: Thank you.
Kalwasha: Yes.

2. Mufwankolo: mm: hii nyama yote: iko inaonekana ya mingi kabisa?
Kalwasha: eeeh/
Mufwankolo: eeh/
Kalwasha: njo nilikwenda mule mu mihulu ile ya kule ya samani ile ya bankambo: njo kule nalipata huyu lupenge4/
Mufwankolo: eh eh/
Kalwasha: eyo/
Mufwankolo: banaikala kama ya mingi sana?
Kalwasha: eeh: wa mingi/

2. Mufwankolo: All this game, it looks like there is a lot of it.
Kalwasha: Oh yes.
Mufwankolo: Ah.
Kalwasha: So I went to the forests along the river, those of old where the ancestors used to live, that is where I caught this big warthog.
Mufwankolo: Well, well.
Kalwasha: Yes.
Mufwankolo: Are there lots of them?
Kalwasha: Yes, many.

3. Mufwankolo: wee mukwetu mu fu: wee: buchasseur bwako mule mu fundi bwako hautabwachaka hapana/
Kalwasha: eeh/
Mufwankolo: unazekela nazekea paka kule?
Kalwasha: eeh/
Bwana Cheko: anakawiya nayo kabisa/
Mufwankolo: eeh/ anakawiya nayo/
Bwana Cheko: mm: mwanaume wa kweli/
Masimango: ...anenda pale mu ile matongo ile/
Bwana Cheko: eheeeh/
3. Mufwankolo: You, my friend, so you are not going to give up your profession as a hunter.
Kalwasha: No.
Mufwankolo: You just grow old with it.
Kalwasha: That's it.
Bwana Cheko: He really stays with it.
Mufwankolo: Yes, he stays with it.
Bwana Cheko: Yes, he is truly a man.
Masimango: And then he goes to those places where there used to be villages.9
Bwana Cheko: Yes, indeed.
4. Mufwankolo: angali/ na batoto yake banamufwata/ ule mutoto mwenyewe ule aliuaka tembo: eko wapi mutoto yako?
Kalwasha: huyu mutoto?
Mufwankolo: eh/
Kalwasha: sijue mwenyewe nayee anaikala kamukini ka: ka: kufwatana na hii mukini yetu: anakuwa: anayengala pale pa kiwanza: pale pa masanga njila5/
Mufwankolo: nitamupa bunotable/ mutoto wa kweli/
Masimango: yeye?
Mufwankolo: nitamupa bunotable/
Masimango: ule mutoto nayee iko na akili kabisa/
Mufwankolo: mutoto wa kweli/
Bwana Cheko: muko naikala na ule mutoto mu mukini: hamuna wa kulala njala/
Mufwankolo: mm/
Masimango: tena nayee: iko na mashauri muzuri/
Mufwankolo: unazala bantu wa kweli/
Bwana Cheko: oh! kweli/
4. Mufwankolo: He is still [strong]. And his children follow in his steps. Your son, the one who is a killer of elephants, where is he?
Kalwasha: This son?
Mufwankolo: Yes.
Kalwasha: I don't know, he lives in the little village behind this one. This is where he built [his house] near the open place there by the crossroads.
Mufwankolo: I am going to make him a notable. He really is someone.
Masimango: That one?
Mufwankolo: I am going to make him a notable.
Masimango: That young man is very clever.
Mufwankolo: He really is someone.
Bwana Cheko: If you live with that young man in a village there will be no one who goes to sleep hungry.
Mufwankolo: No way.
Mufwankolo: Also, he has good advice.
Mufwankolo: You have fathered children of value.
Bwana Cheko: Yes, indeed.

5. Mufwankolo: eh eh eh/ eeeeh: Shebele/
Shebele: [kicks his heels saluting] chef/
Mufwankolo: kuya huku/
[Shebele the guard is given directions]
piga magoti/ [pretending to whisper instructions in Shebele's ear] waziwaziwazi...[then turns to the others] huyu notable Tala Ngai: iko hapa? unafanya paka vile unafanya? banotables beko tatu/ kila muntu unamupatiako ya kale ka kuenea/

5. Mufwankolo: Yes, yes, yes. [hesitating] Eh, Shebele.
Shebele: [kicks his heels saluting] Chief.
Mufwankolo: Come here.[Shebele approaches, is given directions] Kneel down. [Mufwankolo pretends to whisper instructions in Shebele's ear] pspspspsps... [then turns to the notables] Notable Tala Ngai, is he here? You just do [the distribution] the way you [always] do it.10 There are three notables. Give each a small piece that will be sufficient.

6. [Shebele misunderstands his orders and Mufwankolo gives directions]
Mufwankolo: hapana/ ni ile banaleta kule nyama: una: unakuya na bifulusi tatu/ pale minakuambia ni ile/ unakuwa na bifulusi tatu: kimoya unaumpatia: unamuwekea hapa directement: ule...
Tala Ngai: Je pense que c'est bien vile: nani: vile mukubwa aliingia...
Mufwankolo: c'est ça/
Tala Ngai: njo kusema nyama baliipokelea: banaisha na kubeba kule/ [to Mufwankolo] unasema vile: unamutuma Shebele kwabo/ ...?... anakwenda: anatuletea nyama/
Mufwankolo: eeh/
Tala Ngai: bifulusi binakuwa ya kuaachana/ kya notable moya kinakuwa sawa kinene: kya mwengine: kengine/
Bwana Cheko: ya kaloko/
Tala Ngai: kiisha kuleta bile: shiye tutafanya nini: tunazambalana/
Mufwankolo: eeh/

6. [Shebele misunderstands his order, Mufwankolo gives directions] No [not that way]. This is the game they brought. You will have three parcels, that's what I am telling you. You will have three parcels, you give one of them directly to him, the other...
Tala Ngai: I think this is good that way. The way our elder [Mufwankolo] began to explain it ...
Mufwankolo: That's it.
Tala Ngai: That is to say, the game was received, it was already carried over there [to the chief's place]. [To Mufwankolo] Then you give instructions and send Shebele to them ...?... he goes and brings us [the notables] the meat.
Mufwankolo: Right.
Tala Ngai: The parcels are of different size. For one notable it is big, for another one it is different.
Bwana Cheko: Small.
Tala Ngai: After it is distributed we each go our way.
Mufwankolo: Yes.
7. Tala Ngai: bon/ c'est qui fait que: juu ya: nirudie sasa: parce que minaanza kuona sawa kazi inataka kuwa butamu hapa/ njo kusema: hapa tunasambisha huyu mutoto hapa/ minamiuliza mbele mwee mwenye kuyua ku mukini muzuri/ est-ce que bibi ya chefu anapashwa kuwa pale?
Masimango and Bwana Cheko: normalement: non/
Tala Ngai: normalement non/ parce muko conseil des sages/
Bwana Cheko: ndiyo/
Tala Ngai: bibi hanako/
Bwana Cheko: eeh/
Tala Ngai: bon/ pale si tutabakia tena kufanya conseil des sages: bibi hanako/
Mufwankolo: eeh/
7. Tala Ngai: Alright. That makes that, regarding the -- but let me back up now because I begin to see that we are getting onto something good here -- what I am saying is this: We try the young man here [the case of the thief]. What I want to ask first from you people who know the ways of the village well: Must the chief's wife be present?
Masimango and Bwana Cheko: Normally, no.
Tala Ngai: Normally not, because you are the council of the wise men.11
Bwana Cheko: Right.
Tala Ngai: So the wife isn't there.
Bwana Cheko: Right.
Tala Ngai: Fine, when we stay and gather in the council of the wise men, the wife is not present.
Mufwankolo: Right.
8. Tala Ngai: pale bataleta milambo: bibi ataiona kule bataenda kuipeleka: parce que ni: ah: inapitia kule/
Mufwankolo: c'est ça/ inapitia kule/
Tala Ngai: pale batakuwa kuleta: pale utakuwa kuleta manyama ile: bibi nayee anaingia mule ndani mule tu/ inatupermettre kila muntu anabebe kifulushi yake: tunazambala/ vous comprenez?
Bwana Cheko: donc: munabakia na mbili...
Tala Ngai: weye unabakia kwako ku nyumba: na:...
Bwana Cheko: na Shebele: na inamfumu...
Tala Ngai: bale babwana bale batakuya na ule bwana wa makozi: bakuye bakukutanishe wee ku lupango yako na polushi wako/ utume police sasa kwa: tuite sasa conseil ingine...
Bwana Cheko: na inamfumu/
Mufwankolo: c'est ça: oui oui/
Tala Ngai: njo conseil ingine kule/ okay?
8. Tala Ngai: When the tribute is brought, the wife will see where they carry it, because it passes there [at her place].
Mufwankolo: That's it, it passes there.Tala Ngai: When they carry -- when you bring those pieces of meat, that is when the wife gets involved too. That will make it possible for us to have each person carry his parcel and then go his way. You understand?
Bwana Cheko: So you are left with the two of them.12
Tala Ngai: [to Mufwankolo] You stay in your house together with...
Bwana Cheko: ...with Shebele and inamfumu [the chief's first wife]
Tala Ngai: Then those men are going to arrive together with the adulterer. They should come and meet you here in your court together with your policeman. Then you should send the police to call together another council meeting...
Bwana Cheko:...with inamfumu.
Mufwankolo: That's it, yes, yes.
Tala Ngai: So there is then another meeting, ok?

9. Mufwankolo: bon/ nani aweza kutaniapo?
Actor: nani?
Bwana Cheko: inamfumu/
Mufwankolo: na: nani sultani: eh: chasseur/
Bwana Cheko: inamfumu/
Mufwankolo: chasseur: kiisha kumuambia tu vile na nani: nayee chasseur anakwenda/
Others: eeh/
[There is a passage which is incomprehensible because several talk at once]
Tala Ngai: ...anakwenda: alors: eeh: banatumatuma eeh...
Bwana Cheko: Shebele...
Tala Ngai: Shebele/ anakwenda kuletakaletaka: sasa: tuko nasumbulia shee benyewe pale mambo yetu moya mbili tatu/
Mufwankolo: aah/ c'est ça/

9. Mufwankolo: Alright, who should be there?
Actor: Who?
Bwana Cheko: Inamfumu.
Mufwankolo: The chief, eh [correcting himself], the hunter.
Bwana Cheko: Inamfumu.
Mufwankolo: So after we have talked to the hunter he leaves?
Others: Yes.13

[There follows a passage which is incomprehensible because several talk at once].
Tala Ngai: He leaves and then they send around [hesitates]...
Bwana Cheko: ...Shebele.
Tala Ngai: Shebele. He goes around to bring [the presents]. Meanwhile we [the notables] talk about our business, point by point.
Mufwankolo: Yes, that's it.

10. [Now the scene resumes where it was left off: the notables' shares of game are distributed]
Bwana Cheko: kalombo/ eyo vidye/
Mufwankolo: eh/ Bwana Cheko/
Bwana Cheko: eyo vidye chefu/
Mufwankolo: na wee kwanza ukaangarieko muzuri/ Masimango/
Bwana Cheko: eyo vidye chef/
Mufwankolo: na wee kwanza ukaangarie muzuri/
Masimango: ...kalombo/
Mufwankolo: Tala Ngai/
Tala Ngai: kalombo/
Mufwankolo: na wee kwanza ukuangaria muzuri na bamama na batoto/
Notables: eyo: aksanti sana/
Masimango: wafwako: wafwako/
Mufwankolo: eyo/

10. [Now the scene resumes where it was left off: the notables' share of game are distributed, the chief talks to his first notable]
Bwana Cheko: Chief. Yes, chief.
Mufwankolo: Eh, Bwana Cheko.
Bwana Cheko: Yes, chief.

Mufwankolo: You will first have a good look [at the case]. Masimango.
Bwana Cheko: Thank you, chief.
Mufwankolo: [to Masimango] You too, take a good look.
Masimango: [Yes] chief.
Mufwankolo: Tala Ngai.
Tala Ngai: Chief.
Mufwankolo: You too go and see how your wives and the children are.14
Notables: Thank, thank you very much.
Masimango: Thank you, thank you.
Mufwankolo: Thank you.

11. Bwana Cheko: chefu/ tunakupikia aksanti mukubwa sana/
Mufwankolo: aah: namna gani?
Masimango: [insisting] chefu: baba...
Bwana Cheko: nabeba kwanza kakifulushi ya kanene nikafikishe ku nyumba: nikafikishe ku nyumba...
Mufwankolo: eeeh/
Masimango: sultani wee...
Mufwankolo: sawa ni authenticité ya kuweka na mama akaweke mu moto/
Bwana Cheko: eeh basi: basi shee bantu wa mambo/
Mufwankolo: eeeeh/ bale bakwetu bale: ba kuendesha mukini: kwanza bakabuleko buningi6/
Bwana Cheko: eyo chefu/
Mufwankolo: eyo: umusalimie kwanza bakwetu ku mulango/
Notables: eyo wafwako/ wafwako mulopwe7/
Mufwankolo: Tala Ngai umusalimie kwanza bakwetu ku mulango/

11. Bwana Cheko: Chief, we are really grateful to you.
Mufwankolo: [being modest] Ah, don't mention.
Masimango: [insisting] Chief, baba ...
Bwana Cheko: So I am going to take the big parcel and have it brought to the house.
Mufwankolo: Right.
Masimango: [admiring] Really, chief...
Mufwankolo: As it is our custom, [the meat] is to be given to your wife to put it on the fire.
Bwana Cheko: [laughing] Yes, well, we are people who must keep a lot in mind.
Mufwankolo: Yes. [Now] the people who run our village should take greetings to everyone.
Bwana Cheko: Yes, chief.
Mufwankolo: Right, so give my greetings to the people at home.
Notables: Thank you, thank you chief.
Mufwankolo: Tala Ngai, greetings to the people at home.

12. Tala Ngai: [interrupting the scene] j'ajoute encore/
Bwana Cheko: oui/
Tala Ngai: miye nitatokea na ngambo yangu: mwee mbili mutaenda: mwee benyewe/
Bwana Cheko: eeh/
Tala Ngai: kule mutaenda sasa munishimange: munasema: unaona Tala Ngai kwa kusemasema mingi: yee njo iko naharibisha mukini: ni yee mulipatia kifulushi munene/
Bwana Cheko: eeh: njo vile itakuwa vile...
Tala Ngai: chefu...kifulushi munene: bo basiyue asema: Tala Ngai njo anaharibisha mukini: angaria sultani/ bintu ya kutupatia shiye bakubwa: eeh/
Bwana Cheko: uliona kifulushi yake vile kiko?
Tala Ngai: ni bakutengeneza: yeye: anamupatia yeye: iko anaharibisha mugini/ mutafanya ile commentaire/ bo banapashwa kuonekana mafanya ile commentaire: ku ile fasi bo nakwenda kule/
Bwana Cheko: mm/
Tala Ngai: kiisha njo barudishe caméra: ongoya pale beko nakuya na ule: muntu/

12. Tala Ngai: [interrupting the scene] I am going to add something.
Bwana Cheko: Yes?
Tala Ngai: At the place where you go you are going to taunt me. You say: Do you see Tala Ngai, the one who brings discord to the village with all his talking. But the big parcel was given to him.
Bwana Cheko: Yes, that is how it is going to be. The chief...
Tala Ngai: ...[gave] the big parcel [to him]. [This is done] so that they should not know it is Tala Ngai who ruins the village. See what the chief does now. [He gives to him] what he should have given to us who are [Tala Ngai's] seniors.
Bwana Cheko: Did you see how [big] his parcel was?
Tala Ngai: [speaking for Bwana Cheko and Masimango] There are people who see to it that there is order, but he bestows his favors on the one who ruins the village. [Addressing the two] This will be your commentary. [Now addressing the group] They must be seen making [critical] comments in the place where they go to.15
Bwana Cheko: Yes.
Tala Ngai: After that they are going to turn the camera back [to the scene and] wait for them to come with this person [who is accused of adultery]
Mufwankolo: That's it.

13. [Without transition, the scene resumes]
Bwana Cheko: c'est ça/ dis: Masimango/ Masimango/
Masimango: mukubwa/
Bwana Cheko: unaona kwanza hii mambo hii?
Masimango: eeh/ si: si ile bitu ya kushangaa?
Bwana Cheko: Tala Ngai: siyue kama atapelekesha hii mukini fasi gani/
Masimango: haukuona kwanza kifulushi ile yee anabebaka: iko sawa na yako?
Bwana Cheko: [laughs] chefu huyu/
Masimango: alafu: sultani ni nini kwanza hivi yee anafanya?
Bwana Cheko: [laughing] sijue/
Masimango: na muntu njo mwenye kuharibisha: mwenye kuleta potopoto mu mukini...
Bwana Cheko: fujard8 mwenyewe wa kwelikweli: minakuambia bantu humu siku ingine batauanaka tu/ batauanaka/
Masimango: mu hii mukini si: mukini: si mutasambala tu/
Bwana Cheko: sultani eko nasema bitu bingine: yee eko anafanya bintu ingine: na bantu kufanya bintu ingine...
Masimango: hii potopoto: si iko inaingia mu mukini: si Tala Ngai huyu?
Bwana Cheko: ni nani mwenye kwanza: paka yee moya tena alimuchagulaka/
Masimango: alafu sultani: mi siyue ile mambo ya sultani...
Bwana Cheko: twende [they walk away]

13. [Without transition the scene resumes]
Bwana Cheko: That's it. Say, Masimango. Masimango.
Masimango: Elder [Bwana Cheko].
Bwana Cheko: Do you see what is happening?
Masimango: Yes. Is it not something to be surprised at?
Bwana Cheko: I don't know where Tala Ngai will get this village.
Masimango: Didn't you see the parcel he carried away, was it as big as your's?
Bwana Cheko: [laughing] Ah, this chief.

Masimango: But what did the chief have in mind when he did this?
Bwana Cheko: [laughing] I don't know.
Masimango: He [Tala Ngai] is a person who destroys things, someone who brings confusion to the village...
Bwana Cheko: He really is a troublemaker, I tell you, one day the people here in the village will be killing each other. They will be killing each other.
Masimango: In this a village, everyone will go into a different direction.
Bwana Cheko: The chief says one thing, he does another, and so do the people...
Masimango: If all this confusion now enters the village, is it not because of this Tala Ngai?
Bwana Cheko: And who started [this]? [The chief] himself chose Tala Ngai.
Masimango: But --I don't understand the chief....
Bwana Cheko: Let's go. [they walk away]

The Hunter's Visit. Final Version.

This transcript is based on the soundtrack of the video recording which, on the whole, is of a very bad quality. Quite accidentally, speakers were in a better position with regard to the microphone than in other scenes. In my own recording of the filmed performance, made from my place among the audience, this scene is all but covered by noise and the spectators' comments.

1. Kalwasha: kalombo mfumu/ kalombo/
[Mufwankolo's response is not audible. A pause follows before Kalwasha continues] sultani wangu: nalikwendela kule: ku kamuhulu kule/ minasema niangarie tu hivi: lupenge kabisa/
Mufwankolo: eh/
Kalwasha: minasema eeh/ leo paka hapa niliona: nalikamata pale nalisimamaka buyana pale/
Mufwankolo: eheh/
Kalwasha: namuntenteka/ njo minasema hapana: habakulyake: unasahabu sultani siku yote banasema unaangaria pa ntumbo?
Mufwankolo: [laughs]
Kalwasha: hapana kuangaria pa nsula/
Mufwankolo: mukwetu mwanamulume/16
Kalwasha: eeh/ njo vile nilisemaka acha kwanza nikamupelekee nayee sultani: kiloko hata kalupenge/ nayee asikie muzuri/
Mufwankolo: wafwako pale/ wafwako/
Kalwasha: eyoo/
1. Kalwasha: Greetings chief, greetings.
[Mufwankolo's response is not audible. A pause follows before Kalwasha continues] My chief! I went to this little forest over there. I told myself, let's just look around [and what do I see?] Some real big warthog.
Mufwankolo: Really.
Kalwasha: So I say, today, when I was looking around, I caught [some warthog] at a place where I used to stop when I was still young.
Mufwankolo: That's so.
Kalwasha: And I hit it right. Then I said to myself, no, one should not eat [alone]; are you forgetting that the chief always says: Look at the belly?
Mufwankolo: [laughs]
Kalwasha: Don't look at the face.
Mufwankolo: You, our friend, are a man.
Kalwasha: Yes, well, this is why I said [to myself] let me first bring a little of the warthog to the chief, so that he may feel well.
Mufwankolo: Thank you for that, thank you.
Kalwasha: Thank you.
2. Mufwankolo: Shebele/
Shebele: kalombo/
Mufwankolo: utakatakata utakatakata bipande bipande: uta: utajuako na banotables/ dis: ingisha mu nyumba/
2. Mufwankolo: Shebele!
Shebele: Chief!
Mufwankolo: Get busy cutting [the meat] into pieces [so that it can be distributed among] the notables, you know [how].18 Say, get it into the house.

3. [to Kalwasha] wee mukwetu bulumba bwako bule haiyasahabu na sasa?
Kalwasha: eeh/
Mufwankolo: ukingaliki nalumbata/
Bwana Cheko: ni mwanaume wa kweli huyu/
Mufwankolo: alafu ule garçon wako ule? we hamuna na garçon?
Bwana Cheko: kale katoto kanaume kako ka mbele kale/
Mufwankolo: ni kale kale kale/ njo mwenyewe/ namuna kake keko kalumbatayi/
Kalwasha: hapa tuko tunasema eko na mwenzake mu masimbiliki/
Mufwankolo: eh/ anapenda paka kulumbata pa ...?... ya baba yake/
Bwana Cheko: ...?... wa baba yake/
Masimango: paka mukulukulu ya baba yake: na mutoto anafwatako/
Bwana Cheko: eh/ eheh/

3. [Then to Kalwasha] So, my friend, you haven't forgotten how to hunt, up to this day?
Kalwasha: Right.
Mufwankolo: You go on hunting.
Bwana Cheko: He is a real man, this one.
Mufwankolo: But what about that boy of your's? Don't you have a boy?
Bwana Cheko: That little one, the boy who came first.
Mufwankolo: That's the one, that little one, that's the one. He is some little hunter.
Kalwasha: That is to say he is with his friends after bamboo rats.
Mufwankolo: [parts of the following exchange incomprehensible] So, he likes to go hunting ...?... [just like] his father.
Bwana Cheko: ...?... like his father.
Masimango: He is a chip of the old block19, that child just follows [his father].
Bwana Cheko: Yes, yes indeed.
4. Shebele: hamufu mwana17/ njo kusema: hapa sasa tungaliki na ma: na makazi mingi: nitabeba ma: manyama kiloko kiloko ile nitapeleka ku banotables/
Mufwankolo: eeh/ Bwana Cheko/
Bwana Cheko: vidyee/
Mufwankolo: eh: batakupelekea kwanza mbele/
Bwana Cheko: aksanti chefu: aksanti: sultani wetu aksanti/
Mufwankolo: Tala Ngai/
Tala Ngai: eeh baba/
Mufwankolo: batakupelekea/
Tala Ngai: aksanti baba [clapping his hands]/
Mufwankolo: Masimango/
Masimango: mfumwa/
Mufwankolo: ku nyumba kule/
Masimango: wafwako [clapping his hands]/
Mufwankolo: batakupelekea/
Masimango: wafwako/
Mufwankolo: utasikia kwanza muzuri mbele/
4. Shebele: Chief! That is to say, we still have a lot of work to do now, so I am going to carry the little pieces of meat to the notables[' houses].
Mufwankolo: Right. Bwana Cheko!
Bwana Cheko: Chief!
Mufwankolo: The will bring it to your place first.
Bwana Cheko: Thank you chief, thank you, thank you, our chief.
Mufwankolo: Tala Ngai!
Tala Ngai: Yes, baba.
Mufwankolo: They'll bring you [some].
Tala Ngai: Thank you, baba. [clapping his hands]
Mufwankolo: Masimango!
Masimango: My chief.
Mufwankolo: [You will get it brought] to your house over there.
Masimango: Thank you.
Mufwankolo: Above all, you will feel well [after eating].
5. Kalwasha: eeeh/ wafwako/
Mufwankolo: eyo/
Kalwasha: kalombo/
Mufwankolo: aah/
Kalwasha: kalombo/
Mufwankolo: mukwetu/ wafwako mukwetu/ endelea paka vile na kazi/
Kalwasha: eyoo/
Mufwankolo: eeh/ salimia mama/
Kalwasha: eyoo/ [walks away with his bow and arrows]
5. Kalwasha: [taking leave] Thank you.
Mufwankolo: Thank you.
Kalwasha: [I greet you] chief!
Mufwankolo: Greetings.
Kalwasha: Chief!
Mufwankolo: My friend, thank you, my friend. Just go on with your work.
Kalwasha: I will.
Mufwankolo: Yes, and greetings to your wife.
Kalwasha: Thank you. [walks away with his bow and arrows]
6. Bwana Cheko: sikie: si ni mwanaume ya kweli huyu....
Tala Ngai: sultani/ nakuacha kwanza/
Mufwankolo: eeh/ wende kwanza ukumulamukie mama kwanza...
Tala Ngai: kalombo...
Mufwankolo:...akuwekee mu chungu mule/
Tala Ngai: kalombo/
Mufwankolo: eeh/ salimia bakwetu bale/
Bwana Cheko: sultani/
Mufwankolo: eh/
Bwana Cheko: nawaza na mi tunatangulia kwanza kiloko tukapumuzike/
Mufwankolo: eeh/
Bwana Cheko: tukapate nguvu/
Mufwankolo: muzuri/ vidyee/
Bwana Cheko: kalombo/
Mufwankolo: nakwimuna/
Bwana Cheko: vidyee/
Mufwankolo: nakwimuna na mi/
6. Bwana Cheko: Listen, isn't he a true man...
Tala Ngai: Chief, I am leaving you now.
Mufwankolo: Right, just go and greet you wife...
Tala Ngai: Chief!
Mufwankolo:... she should put [the meat] in the pot.
Tala Ngai: Chief!
Mufwankolo: Right, greetings to our friends.
Bwana Cheko: Chief!
Mufwankolo: Yes.
Bwana Cheko: I think we'll take a while to rest a little.
Mufwankolo: Right.
Bwana Cheko: So that we get [our] strength [back]
Mufwankolo: That's good. Greetings.
Bwana Cheko: Chief!
Mufwankolo: I great you.
Bwana Cheko: Chief!
Mufwankolo: I, too, greet you.

The notables leave the chief and this is where the scene ends in the filmed performance. The part where, in the rehearsal version, Bwana Cheko and Masimango complain about the chief favoring Tala Ngai is left out. Instead, the play continues with the second court case.


1 Of the greeting formulae with which this texts begins (and is liberally interspersed) neither kalombo nor wafwako are part of the Swahili lexicon. Both are, however, in the repertory if every speaker of Shaba/Katanga Swahili. The terms are of Luba origin. Kalombo, a shorter form of vidye kalombo, (originally used in addressing the deity) is the proper way to acknowledge a chief (see Van Avermaet and Mbuya 1954: 362). Wafwako is derived from the Luba verb -fwa, "to die"; literally it means "I die for you" and is used either as a greeting or an expression of gratitude (Van Avermaet and Mbuya explain that derivation, loc. cit. 152).
2 Kalwasha now changes the formula. Strictly speaking, kalombo mfumu is a pleonasm (mfumu means "chief"). Perhaps it is explained by the fact that kalombo has lost a specific reference to "chief" and can therefore occur, as a kind of epithet, together with mfumu.
3 Possibly as a response to Kalwasha's changed greeting, Mufwankolo now switches the code: nakwimuna, in Kiluba (and probably in related Luba languages), from the verb -imuna, "to greet" (see Van Avermaet and Mbuya 1954: 192f).
4 Mpenge is a Luba term for warthog (phacochère in French); the lu- prefix indicates something big (see Van Avermaet and Mbuya 1954: 512).
5 The corresponding ECS term is njia panda, for "crossroads" or a "fork in the road". Masanga probably comes from the Luba verb -sanga, "to meet" (Van Avermaet and Mbuya 1954: 572). It is possible that Kalwasha mentions the crossroad to allude to a place that was traditionally of great significance in the hunters' society called buyanga.
6 Literally: They should distribute buningi. But what is buningi? The best guess, after consultation with Kalundi Mango, is that it is an obsolete expression derived from English "[good] morning". I translate it as "greeting."
7 Mulopwe is a Luba term, yet another synonym for "chief" (others being, so far: chef(u), sultani, mfumu, vidye, kalombo).
8 Fujard is, as it were, a remigrant loan word. From Swahili fujo, "disorder, trouble", a French calque is formed (on the model of vantard, soulard, etc.) to mean "a trouble maker." 
9 By mentioning the "forests along the rivers" (the geographer's "gallery forests") Kalwasha evokes an important topos of hunting lore. Masimango now follows him when he comes up with matongo, places where there used to be villages. By their vegetation (shade and fruit trees, sometimes bananas) these stand out against the surrounding savanna.
10 There is a sousentendu here: When meat is distributed it is determined beforehand who receives a bigger or a smaller share.
11 This is a literal translation of the French term used in the Swahili text. Referred to is the council of village elders, of which the chief's wife, although she may be called a notable, is normally not a member.
12 Sense not clear. Probably he means that the chief and his wife stay behind once the notables have each gone to his home.
13 Here is an example of an exchange whose meaning cannot be reconstructed from the recording except that it is about the transition from one scene to another.
14 There is a change of reference in the chief's injunction "to go an look" that might be confusing. Masimango and Bwana Cheko are told to look into the matter put before them; Tala Ngai is told to see how his family is.
15 The necessity to intersperse this passage with remarks specifying who is being addressed illustrates one of the most difficult problems with translations of this kind: the indexical function of pronouns which cannot be grasped from lexical or syntactic information alone. During the event itself the ethnographer can observe clues such as direction of gaze, body posture, etc. The sound recording may preserve some of these clues (as changes in volume or tone) but essentially the translator must rely on memory and imagination in reconstructing the event.
16 Here Mufwankolo switches to Luba.
17 I am told that this is an expression in Luba corresponding to Shaba Swahili mutoto wa mama, literally "child of a mother." It expresses appreciation and respect.
18 This is another difficult passage. It is elliptic and needs knowledge of the context to be reconstructed with some accuracy (knowledge, e.g., of the fact that the chief intends to divide the portions unevenly and that he wants this done out of sight).
19 The original has the term mukulukulu (see Lenselaer 1983: 310) and says something like: "He is the same kind of bastard as his father"; "bastard" being used in a joking fashion, in this case even to express admiration.


Van Avermaet, E. and B. Mbuya. (1954). Dictionnaire kiluba - français. Tervuren: Musée Royale de l'Afrique Centrale.



[Scene 1 -The law of the land]

[Scene 2 - Trouble brewing]

[Scene 3 - The case of the thief]

[Scene 5 - The case of adultery]

[Scene 6 - Revolt in the fields]

[Scene 7 - The chief takes control - Order reestablished]

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Copyright notice:
These texts from Power and performance were made available online courtesy of The University of Wisconsin Press
1990, renewed 2001 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
Deposited at APS: 9 July 2001
Revisions: 24 August 2001 (APS Volume number added), 31 October 2001 (ISSN added)