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them out. We must encourage girls to take power and responsibility - be it chief, minister or even president. The world belongs to women." An optimistic claim, perhaps: in Zambia, women bosses remain a rare species indeed. But female liberation has its supporters - and cases of sexual discrimination now routinely make newspaper headlines. Politicians, meanwhile, realise that they need to keep the female electorate onside. Late president Levy Mwanawasa pledged that women would soon make up no less than 30% of government - a promise that is enshrined in law. Far from the capital, this news delights Chief Chanda Weyaya, who presides over ten forgotten villages at the end of a dusty track. At 83 years old, she has neither water nor electricity, but holds some invigorating opinions about the role of women. " Our traditions teach us that man is above us and that he must rule," she asserts. " But it is clear that we women are as wise as our husbands - and sometimes more so, once we get the opportunity to learn." A handkerchief of the Women's Movement is knotted on her head. " I never went to school," she adds, " but I know that it is through education that women will free themselves." When this grandmother arrived on the throne, the village school was on the verge of closing. Her Highness ensured not only that it survived, but also that girls were integrated into the classes. Just as with the Zambezi itself, it seems, many streams eventually make a river. Be Diango ( Aged 41 years old; chief of 110 villages in Leya region since 2000) " To be chief is to become the people's mother. Besides my three children, I have sheltered fi ve orphans. I have also founded an association that supports children, widows and single mothers." Chanda Weyaya ( Aged 85; chief of ten villages in Mungwi district since 1993) " Zambian society now allows more room to women, and I am glad of that. If, as chief, I can be an example for the young girls, so much the better." Nkomeshya Mukamambo II ( Chief of Soli people in Chongwe district since 1971) " When you educate a man, an individual is educated. When you educate a woman, you educate her children - and thus the nation." Chiawa ( Aged 59, Chief of the Gova people in Chiawa District since 1987) " I, who became chief very young, have known the anguish of having everything to learn: to negotiate, to convince, to uphold my rank, to avoid rash decisions and not to allow myself to be unsteadied." Waitwika ( Aged 69, Chief of the Namwanga people since 1999) " I must allow my subjects to be proud and live in peace. For them I have built this palace, which will last for generations. My countrymen have made the bricks and the government has given us money." WOMAN CHIEFS: IN THEIR OWN WORDS Heritage Opposite page from top: Nkomeshya Mukamambo II; Chieftainess Chiawa; Be Diango This page from top: Chanda Weyaya; Chief Waitwika addresses the next generation; Women perform the bulk of agricultural labour in rural Zambia November 2009 Travel Zambia 31

32 Travel Zambia November 2009 CHILD'S PLAY Is a big- game park really any place for a family holiday? Sceptics will give you plenty of good reasons to leave the kids at home - but teacher Alrik Green took his wife and two young children to South Luangwa to fi nd out for himself. With the help of a tree house, a walkie- talkie and a stolen pair of trousers, it turned out to be a holiday to remember. Photos by Alrik Green sshh!" I whispered, " let's see how close it gets." My son Jake and I waited patiently as the big white bird approached. Closer and closer it came until, just three metres away, it took fright and fl apped off into the afternoon sky. Okay, I'll come clean: this wasn't a great white egret in the African bush but a seagull in an English supermarket car park. But it was still a signifi cant moment: I was about to head out on safari to South Luangwa National Park with my wife Jane, my daughter Cerys ( aged nine) and son Jake ( aged fi ve). In planning our trip, we had struggled to fi nd a place suitable for a family safari. Many camps, after all, do not take young children. We eventually chose Flatdogs Camp, not only because of its great location on the Luangwa river right beside the park entrance, but also because it seemed to offer a relaxed and family-friendly set- up. Furthermore we were intrigued by staying in the Jackalberry Tree House - and all of us liked the idea that a ' fl atdog' is, in fact, a crocodile. We couldn't wait to get going. Any anxieties about taking the children on such an adventure evaporated immediately we arrived. At Mfuwe Airport a smiling Robbie Chazangwe introduced himself as our guide and drove us the short distance to camp, where Adrian and Jess, the owners, gave us a warm welcome. Already we felt at home. The tree house turned out to be a minute's drive from reception and the restaurant. Upon arrival we received strict instructions never Safari Focus Lego is as absorbing in the bush as anywhere else - especially when you can build a safari truck