Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Afzelia Quanzensis
(Ndola, Zambia)

by Les Merton

The Afzelia Quanzensis in Ndola
is a tourist attraction; protected
by an iron fence with a locked gate.

Overhead branches spread past
security and the large leaves
create an umbrella of shade... .

Shade was always essential
for the men, women and children
from many different tribes
who came together here.

between tribes was limited:
each had its own language
even down to the very name
of the tree they sheltered under.

The Kaonde people named it,
Musambamfwa Nkulakazhi,
the Lamba called it Mupapa,
the Lunda word was Mwande.

The English later dubbed it
Pod Mahogany or Lucky Bean Tree.
Today the desolate aura of the trade
conducted here is epitomised
with the vernacular name:

The Slave Tree.

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