Lusaka, Zambia

(Notes from a journey to Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia, Sep/Oct 2015.)

Lusaka's main thoroughfare is Cairo Road, named after the ambitious but never-finished road that Cecil Rhodes wanted to build across British occupied territories from the Cape to Cairo. Between a mall and the Lusaka City Market, we loaded up on music from Zambia and neighboring countries, from artists like Angela Nyirenda, Lucius Banda, Mumba Yachi, Billy Kaunda, and a compilation of Kalindula music. Lusaka even has a South Asian quarter with a Radha-Krishna temple (which lists upcoming events in Gujarati), a mosque, streets named after Delhi, Bombay, Karachi, Sind, and Gandhi, and retail stores with Indian origin traders who’ve been around for generations.

As with Malawians and Mozambicans, what impressed me is how polite Zambians tend to be in their everyday interactions with each other; they nearly always start with a greeting—nothing like the directness common in Delhi. In so many ways, women too seem better off than in north India. Just as often as men they loiter in Lusaka's public spaces, drive cars, and run restaurants and shops; they dress in all manner of comfortable and varied attire, with much fewer hangups and social pressures about covering up their bodies. Lusaka is in fact a modern bustling city of 1.7 million with malls to nearly rival those in Gurgaon, a decent live music scene (we attended two concerts), busy street markets, and three universities (Zambia has come a long way from having only 9 university graduates in 1964, when it won independence from Britain). The campus of the University of Zambia reminded me strongly of my own alma mater in India. [—Namit Arora, October 2015]


Cairo Road

Part of the unfinished Cape to Cairo Road

Lusaka's Business district

View from Independence Ave

Businesses on Cairo Road

Coffee and cakes

Levy shopping mall

A coffee, cake, salad and sandwich shop

Lusaka public library

House band, Misty Jazz Restaurant & Cafe

The Web, a concert venue

Band called Nexus performing at the Web

An example of cognitive dissonance

Lusaka City Market

A music shop inside Lusaka City Market

Periodicals at Lusaka City Market

Outside Lusaka City Market

Corner of Lumumba and Los Angeles Rd

Corner of Lumumba and Los Angeles Rd

Lumumba Road

Anglican Cathedral of Lusaka (more)

Built in the early 60s

A mosque

Another mosque

A Hindu temple (more)

Radha-Krishna inside

A mechanized drum

Lusaka Hindu Hall

In the Kamwala shopping district



Delhi Road

Momument dedicated to freedom fighters

Breaking free of colonial rule

Lots of "Inns"

Lusaka inter-city bus terminal

Lusaka National Museum

An exhibit inside

An exhibit inside

An exhibit inside

Types of witchcraft

From the annals of magical beliefs

From the annals of magical beliefs

From the annals of magical beliefs

University of Zambia Main Library

Department of Engineering (more)

Department of Biological Sciences

School of Mines

Confucuis Institute

Flame trees on campus

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Student dorms


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