Mukuyu Slave Tree
The Mukuyu Slave Tree in Ndola is proof of the slave-trading that happened in Zambia and many parts of Africa. Slave trading has a long history in Zambia. From the 18th century through the 19th century slaving was a very common activity in the country. The Arabs, Portuguese, Swahili, the Chikunda, the Bemba, the Lunda, the Mbunda, the Mambari, and the Luvale were most active in slave trading in Zambia. The war between the tribes and raids on the villages was conducted to procure slaves.
The slave traders have known to instigate the triable chiefs to enter into war purportedly for the purpose of succession, but the main aim was to get slaves. When strong chiefs subdued the weaker tribes, they were taken as slaves. It is believed that close to 19,000 slaves from Zambia and Malawi were sent abroad through the custom-house at Zanzibar. The Northern, Copperbelt, Northwest, Luapula, Eastern and Central provinces were most affected by the trade.
The Significance Of Mukuyu Slave Tree
Ndola is the biggest town in the Copperbelt province. It is a busy commercial hub with many modern shopping malls and hotels. It is the third-largest city in Zambia. But Ndola is also the place where active slave trade was occurring during the end of the 19th century. Though there is not much talk of the slave trade today to maintain the harmony between different tribes, a memorial does exist in the town to remind you of the trade that destroyed the lives of many.
The Mukuyu Slave Tree on Makoli Avenue is a national monument that serves as a grim reminder of the trade. It is a place where slaves used to be chained before being sold to the new masters. The original tree reportedly fell due to termite attack. There is a fig tree in its place which is fenced around and maintained by the Makuba Hotel. There is a plaque on the tree talks about the Swahili traders who kept the slaves and traded them.
What Can You Do At The Mukuyu Slave Tree?
You can visit the tree at Makoli Avenue where the slaves were traded. Nothing much about the history of the trade is mentioned anywhere near the memorial. But many in Ndola may tell you a lot about the slave trade that happened through this town. But apart from this, there are many things that you can do in Ndola. The Copperbelt Museum is something you don’t want to miss for it shows a lot of artifacts that are associated with the history of Zambia.
The Dag Hammarskjold Memorial is the place where the plane that the UN General Secretary crashed. He was on a peace mission to the Democratic Republic Of Congo. There is still a debate about whether it was shot down or there was a mechanical problem that brought it down.
Reaching The Mukuyu Slave Tree
The Mukuyu Slave Tree is on Makoli Avenue in Ndola. You can reach Ndola by road from Lusaka. It will take around 5 1/2 hours to reach your destination.
When Should You Visit The Mukuyu Slave Tree
Ndola has almost the same temperature around the year. However, the best time to visit will be between April and September when the temperatures are not too high.