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Leadership practices among the Lamba people of Zambia: some implications for school leadership

Rosemary C Kalenga
Vitallis Chikoko
Fumare Khanare


In this article we discuss indigenous African leadership practices of the Lamba nation of the Zambian Copper belt region and how such leadership can inform school leadership today. This article is part of a bigger study which was informed by three factors: (1) that once upon-a-time Africa had prolific leadership as evidenced by achievements by its many kingdoms, (2) a question as to whether all that leadership has completely died for good, and (3) if not, how can it be characterized and how can it inform school leadership today? In this article we report findings on these same questions about the Lambas. We adopted a qualitative approach in which we interviewed selected family members, village elders, councilors, and two chiefs. Findings show that the Lambanistic leadership practices are strongly value-driven and emphasise servant leadership. Such values include a community spirit, a sense of responsibility for all, a strong sense of identity, and personalised teaching. We argue that such indigenous leadership practices are pregnant with meaning regarding school leadership today.

Keywords: African Indigenous Knowledge Systems, african indigenous leadership, Lamba people (Lambas/Aba Lamba), lambanistic leadership practices, servant leadership.

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eISSN: 1683-0296