PETER SICHALI writes
Ancestral spirits of departed Chiefs appear to protect me in form of Lions whenever am in danger, says Chief Katyetye of the Tambo people of Isoka District.
The chief told the Sun in an exclusive interview in Isoka that he has survived many assassination attempts because of the protection from the ancestral spirits of the dead chiefs.
But is it possible for the dead to appear in form of a spirit to protect their living relatives from harm? Should people pay homage to the dead for whatever reason?
This may seem like an old wives tale, but is actually held true by many Zambians, and not just those in the rural areas but the urbanites also.
This is reflected in the number of people patronising witchdoctors in search of wealth, restoration of lost property or money.
Perhaps Chief Katyetye’s revelations can help shed more light on this subject and why Zambians believe in witch craft despite the country being a Christian nation.
According to Chief Katyetye, traditional rulers need ancestral protection in order to hold onto the throne. Family feuds over the throne is one of the reasons that a reigning chief seeks ` ancestral spiritual protection because a brother can rise against his own brother.
Chief Katyetye feels so strongly about this protection that he wears an iron bracelet to ensure that the spirits can find him when need be. He says the bracelet also helps to illuminate any danger in case of an ambush.
Chief Katyetye said has survived assassinations, witchcraft and other forms of attacks since ascending to the throne as a Chief Katyetye because ancestral spiritual lions are always there to protect him.
He said when a Tambo chief dies he comes back in spirit in form of a lion and watches over the current chief.
Chief Katyetye said from time inmemorial Tambo Chieftaincy throne has always been protected by the spirits of the departed Chiefs.
He said he has escaped assassination attempts and accidents after being warned by ancestral spirits which appear in form of lions.
‘‘The same lions would sometimes appear and roar as they wonder about the chiefdom as a warning to indicate that the spirits are not happy with certain things in the Chiefdom.
When a Tambo chief dies the spirit germinates into a small lion which would grow eventually and join other ancestors in protecting him from all forms of danger,’’Chief Katyetye said
The spiritual lions, he said, are different from the normal lions because they have a white bangle which symbolise Tambo Chieftaincy.
‘‘Even when I survived a very critical road incident I saw a sign of danger in front in form of a torch light and lions came and protected me.
The vehicle I was in was damaged beyond recognition but I came out with only a few bruises here and ther,’’Chief Katyetye explained
Chief Katyetye said the ancestral lions protect the reigning chiefs from all forms of danger including wild animals.
‘‘So with these spirits, Tambo Chiefs are protected from all forms of danger that include witchcraft, even wild animals for instance a stray lion or leopard cannot harm me because I am protected by ancestral spirits that protects Tambo rulers,” he added.
He said he was glad that he has never received any complaint from the ancestors since ascending to the throne.