About Zambia

Zambia sits on a high plateau in south-central Africa. Its neighbours are the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United Republic of Tanzania, to the north and north-east, Malawi and Mozambique, to the east and south-east, Zimbabwe and Botswana, to the south, and Namibia and Angola, to the west. Zambia is a fertile country with many mineral reserves.

Find out more about Zambia





English is the official language, although there are over 70 languages spoken


18.38m (2022)


752,614 sq. km

High Commissioner

Her Excellency Ms. Macenje Mazoka



Joined Commonwealth

1964 following independence from Britain

Episode guests

Vanessa Chisakula

Vanessa Chisakula

Artist, Speaker and Creative Activist

Vanessa Chisakula is a multifaceted artist, an accomplished speaker, and a dedicated creative activist who harnesses the power of art as a compelling medium for advocacy. She perceives creativity as the pivotal thread that intricately weaves together the realms of art and social justice. Her written works resonate with a dual purpose: to mend societal wounds and to courageously articulate truths that challenge the status quo.

She is the 2023 Africa’s podcasts and voice (Rising talent in the poetry category) Award recipient and has been featured on various platforms, including the Guardian, BBC Focus on Africa, Afro women poetry. The CSW66 and the UN High-Level Global Conference, the Southern Human Rights Defenders Summit, the International Fundraisers Congress (IFC), the Africa Health Agenda International Conference (AHAIC) and the WHO-Afros 75th Anniversary Commemoration and the conference on public health in Africa (CPHIA).

She’s a Milead fellow, Civicus youth action team member, a youth leader for nutrition under the civil society network/scaling up nutrition and co-founder of Word Smash Poetry, a movement promoting youth in governance through art. Her celebration of Africa is in her 2020 poetry chapbook ‘Africana’ she has further been published in the women scream anthology 20’, on PePeta Africa’s “our voices’ digital booklet and she is writer and performer of the multi-award-winning poem ‘Her Place’, which advocates for women’s rights.

Her Place

by Vanessa Chisakula

Her place was in a four walled room called kitchen
Broken dishes were the order of the day
She had mastered the scents of the various nail breaking dish washing liquids she struggled with every time she tried to scrub the dirt away

In this kitchen
She was brought down to the level of a dishwasher
Her competition being dishwashing liquids, sponges, water levels and sometimes she had to unblock mini drainages
In this kitchen she was just a chef
A master of recipes
Knowledgeable spice expert
Doctor of greasy areas
Floor scrubber
It was a full time job she could barely stay sober

Her opinions landed on kitchen counters
Her musical performances on pots and pans
Her creativity lowered to only determining the amount of salt and spices
Because in this kitchen her position was belittled
Value depreciated
Under rated
Future denigrated
Whoever gave her the deeds
To this place needs
To wake up to reality and realise that this was not her place

Somebody needed to see to it that this issue was addressed
Although a shallow minded man went ahead and named the kitchen her place
With pleasure she struggled to maintain sanity
In the place since she valued her priceless contribution
They could not see beyond the chores
Because this place meant magical happy meals to not only satiate hunger but to raise even a generation

You see her intentions were miscalculated
Her abilities even worse no-one put her into consideration
Still they, they thought she belonged not in a boardroom
Her specialty was cookery who said documentation lived in the same room?

You see her place was not at home
Battling crumps
Nursing period flows and wiping blood off floors
Her place was not a home practicing selective hearing
Or being the Chief In administering first aid passing a band aid
to who needed it first
It was always a crusade
Her place was not to co-parent an adult whose parents
Had failed to teach real life lessons or beneficial mannerisms on how to co-exist
This one they handed to her and called him husband
Her place was not to seduce
Or in any way arouse or satisfy the sexual appetite of another human
To stay enslaved and answer morning glory calls or stand accused of the outcomes or reactions of the penis
Her place was not in a fellowship of women who taught her traditional scripture
Behaviourism or home management systems
Which were never approved in universities because they were just common myths and beliefs
Her place was not as a sex symbol
Bed warmer
Stress reliever or a horny man’s entertainer

Her body was not a museum of attractive statues for show
Because she carried inter connected parts
And at the end of the day their they lived a heart
So yes sometimes she fought the wrong battles
Fought to keep her presence subtle
So they pretended not to understand
It was the best they could do as they could not stand
Her power
Her finesse
Her authority or her grace
Her ability to keep calm when it was raining rocks
Her ability to think through and foresee situations which was no joke
Her ability to multitask
Handle Child birth and come back fast
They feared bringing her into the boardroom as they couldn’t understand someone who could overthink
Someone who could battle a ship right at the verge of a sink
And her biggest mistake was to fight for equality
It defined stupidity
As women had already attained an unbeatable level of a superiority
Her place?
Her place was on pedestal
A million feet up on a throne of stone
So without feeling like an object pardon her as she gracefully reigns in an era

Where women aren’t tools but are people too
She is just unstoppable
She unbeatable
And oh as unadmittable as it seems
She is queen
And her place
Her place is on top.

Gun Sentence

by Vanessa Chisakula

They took from the streets rifles
Ak47’s, Russian roulettes, and all manner of pistol
Still there it was
A smoking gun

This is more than sulfur
This is more than potassium nitrate
This is more than charcoal
This is life

A gunshot that wore a face irrespective of gender
Dragged us to a fistfight with our hands tied
The stench of dead bodies awoke us
Our mothers wailing for our un-waking brothers killed us
Our sister’s rape cases by our fathers beat us
And the poor biased judgment from a society built us

If there is no clear message
Then gibberish implies that
Let the system which perpetuates this violence thrive
In what way?
By unlocking our doors
Loosening the latches
And trivializing something so gigantic

We would have loved to run if the shackles weren’t a part of our feet
The enemy is within
He eats at our table
She sleeps in our bed

He is the very familiar uncle we call for school runs
Or the one who felt worthy
Of representing the elders to check which girl child hips or breasts weren’t up to speed
The very brother who helped us perfect our potty skills before we could say nudity
And knew what it meant to label other parts of our bodies private

A small act of violence when avoided is natured to grow in a dragon
Spits fire burning my mother in the process and calls it endurance
A few kicks here and there
Calls it an act of love by an uncommon assurance

Half the time women play referee
To the very issues
We wish we would not see
On a daily
If we heard of 13 missing girls
They must be 13 thousand more we don’t know of

There is a burning issue on my tongue needing relief
If avoided the leaking roof might flood
This is a call to women
To be not victims but victors
Stay woke as often time gender mainstreaming
Streams women into invisibility
To know where to draw the line between tradition, your family secrets and criminal acts
To not allow the abnormal become normal and most importantly
To not allow violence be the breast milk we feed our girls


by Vanessa Chisakula

I am African, but, I am not a monkey, a gorilla or a chimpanzee
We are custodians of the best wildlife
We house the best creatures to ever exist in this life-
The black elephant
The lion whose tribe is Judah
The cheetah
Have you looked at an okapi?
Or at the beauty of a mantled Guereza?

We do not bite; we are depictions of congeniality-
You should go back to learn your a’s and b’s;
Not these stories that they tell you about us
We are all about family trees,
With roots as strong as the Mukula
We only get stronger and better
Tuleya telekula (we keep growing)
We are all about cultural diversity
We believe in unity
The spirit of Ubuntu (I am because you are)
Fwebaishibo utuntu (we are the wise)

We hail from the land of the sun
We are natural bred warriors
We are children of the deserts, savannahs, the plateaus,
The mountains and the valleys
The keepers of our grandparent’s stories
If Wakanda is something new to you,
We have lived our entire lives with the spirit of a black panther
This blood, this is the blood of Shaka
This soil, this is the soil that birthed greats like Utata Madiba
We cannot run away from the great musicianship or the unique artistry of late legends lucky Dube, Oliver Mtukudzi, Paul Ngozi-
We are Africans!

We house the best minerals,
From the diamonds, the gold, the platinum, aluminium,
We have the oils and the gases
From the copperbelt to the city of gold,
We are a world that exists within a world-
Why do you think they scrambled for Africa?

We do not believe in Banting
We believe in wanting to eat what we want to eat
And you are not a welcomed guest in our house if we don’t ask you to eat
We love our shisa nyama , kapenta with sadza, tuute nembalala down south
Our joolof rice and egusi soup in the west
Our posho in the east
And we go all the way up to taste koshari in Egypt

We are professionals of cultural coloured cuisines-
As colourful as our clothes as we cover ourselves in our dashikis,
Our kente, ankara, or colourful chitenges
We do not forget to wrap ourselves in our beautiful head ties
As we carry our pride with us-
After all we are the birthplace of civilization,

We are not the fossils of a sunken city
You called us a dark continent
We are not a dark continent
We are not made of darkness
We do not climax on a dark night
We are but the but man

We are not poor
Maybe we just got in bed with you too early
Which led to the launch of your global poverty prevention project
The birth of your philanthropies
Living us with nothing but aid
Or is it aids?
Who needs chains
For the 21st century slave?

Benevolent slavery is a mind game
Which makes you believe that emancipation
Is just an ocean of imagination-
You can walk in but never get wet-
I can still hear them bidding-stop bidding!
-Africa is not for sale-