Definition of Bemba in English:


Pronunciation /ˈbembə/ /ˈbɛmbə/


  • 1A member of an indigenous people of Zambia.

    ‘The main tribes in Zambia are Bemba, Nagoni, Lozi, Chewa, Chokwe, Lunda, Luvale, Tonga, and Tumbuka.’
    • ‘The largest was the kingdom of Mwata Yamvo; others were the Bemba in north-eastern Zambia, Kazembe in the Luapula valley, and Kasanje in central Angola.’
    • ‘In the European era white cloth was also used by the Bemba for wrapping the King's corpse.’
    • ‘Woodcarving is less developed among the Bemba compared with other peoples in the region, and weaving is unknown among the Bemba.’
    • ‘In her study of the chisungu rites among the matrilineal Bemba of Zambia, she directly addressed the question of what is taught during this girls' initiation ceremony.’
    • ‘Four cultural/linguistic groups have dominated its history: the Bemba, the Tonga, the Ngoni, and the Lozi.’
    • ‘Chief Luchembe of the Bemba said this during a district profile dissemination workshop organised by the Environmental Support Programme held in Mpika.’
    • ‘Most of the people are of Bantu origin (including the Bemba, Tonga, Malawi, Lozi, and Lunda).’
  • 2The Bantu language of the Bemba.

    ‘It contains many words that are similar to those in other Bantu languages such as Bemba, Chichewa, and Luyana.’
    • ‘Using the fingers on my left hand, I started counting, ‘French, Lingala, Kiswahili, English and Bemba in DRC?’’
    • ‘She said she was proud to speak, read and write English and Bemba because even her husband now feels proud of her, unlike in the past.’
    • ‘Laced with mostly traditional songs from Northern, Eastern and Western Provinces, the album is in four languages, which include Lozi, Bemba, Nyanja and Bisa.’
    • ‘One of those who auditioned included a white woman who seemed not to know any single word in Bemba.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, Chief Luchembe has confirmed receiving the copies of the draft Constitution translated in Bemba and others in English and that people were studying the document carefully.’
    • ‘He often sings in traditional Zambian languages such as Nyanja and Bemba.’
    • ‘The soloist also recorded a song in Bemba, Swahili and English that features the Necessary Noize twosome to be added on the Sling Family Volume One compilation.’
    • ‘The 300 copies in Bemba, she said, would be distributed to the residents free of charge starting with public offices where other people could easily access them.’
    • ‘Cowpeas, known in Bemba as ilanda, were used for the embalmment.’
    • ‘Bemba is spoken in the Copperbelt, where most of the labor force is Bemba.’
    • ‘So Chalo became a reality this year and the school has a global view and approach just as its name implies in Bemba.’
    • ‘It broadcasts in English, Bemba and Lamba and its signal covers the entire Copperbelt Province and some parts of the neighbouring provinces.’
    • ‘The album kicks off with Nalete Ichila, a joyful song in Bemba inviting people to dance the Zambian way till the early hours of the morning.’
    • ‘His combination of Lamba and Bemba and the clever way in which he arranges his music is what makes this a really good album.’
    • ‘The radio station, located in Dallas at SDA's Central Zambia Conference offices, would broadcast in English, Bemba and Lenje.’
    • ‘Interviews were open-ended and followed a question guide, which was tested in the field, translated into Bemba and back-translated into English.’


  • Relating to the Bemba or their language.

    ‘Kondowe who ascended to acting fame through the Bemba radio drama Ifyabukaya as ‘Dangerous Jo'burg ’, said the return of local comedy to the Play House follows the high demand from fans.’
    • ‘I come from the Bemba tribe and one of our customs when someone dies is ‘Isambo lya nfwa’ or the narration of what led to death.’
    • ‘Tazaonana is followed by Intambi, a Bemba song penned down by folk singer Pontiano Kaiche.’
    • ‘Ms Chileshe said, so far, the response among the public was overwhelming and confirmed that apart from the 400 copies the district had also been allocated 300 others in Bemba version.’
    • ‘There is no initiation ceremony for Bemba boys.’
    • ‘These were members of the royal family whose dynasties became hereditary while their traditional districts were clearly defined by boundaries and Bemba names.’
    • ‘We should understand this as not about teaching knowledge but rather of teaching attitudes as Bemba women ‘regrow’ their girls.’
    • ‘According to Bemba beliefs and practice, the burial of the paramount chief awaits the harvest of the sorghum crop.’
    • ‘She is coming to us by the river,’ a Bemba tribesman, whispered.’
    • ‘A Bemba adage says (Umwana ashenda atasha nyina ukunaya) simply translated ‘a child who never visits will live to believe the mother as the best cook ever’.’
    • ‘One of the Bemba proverbs says: ‘Sunga umukoshi, ubulungu tabwayafya’ (Preserve the neck, beads are easily acquired).’
    • ‘The rich traditional ceremony of the Bemba people (Ukusefya Pa ngwena) remains one of the biggest events which attracts scores of tourists every year.’
    • ‘Maybe he believes in the Bemba saying that ‘Inama ya mwaice tainona (which means a child is most likely to spoil everything that is good)’.’
    • ‘It was the forefathers of the Bemba people who coined the adage, ‘Imiti ikula e mpanga’, meaning today's youths are tomorrow's leaders.’
    • ‘A Bemba tradition is that if a paramount chief dies, his body will not be buried for a week but is protected because a clipping of his hair or a fingernail could be a very powerful item in traditional religions.’
    • ‘The Bemba saying Imiti Ikula empanga (seedlings of today will become a forest tomorrow) makes a lot of sense as regards to the role of the youth in society.’
    • ‘Recently a traditional Bemba leader was jailed for two and half years with hard labour for instructing his subjects to attack another chief.’
    • ‘Mubanga is a common Bemba name, but also the name of a tree.’
    • ‘Kapoka, who is also Zambia Golf Union president, said the Bemba team had adequately prepared for the tournament and that they would ensure the ground rules were followed.’
    • ‘She examines, in the Zambian context of Bemba speakers, linguistic expressions that refer to modernity and language used when performing as a modern person.’