Lazarus Tembo

Born in eastern Zambia, blind, he rose to become junior Minister of Culture, and arguably the country’s most popular folk singer. A Zambian folk music award was named after him. He also supported the work of the Lusaka Nutrition Group, an organisation which was a precursor to the work of Makeni Centre, before 1971. He once sang at Carols By Candlelight, a fund-raising event for the LNG (before 1971) and later for MEC.

The educational recording below was distributed as a single on plastic (the original floppy disk!) with the Dzithandizeni (“good health”) symbol in red on a white label, for the National Food and Nutrition Commission of Zambia.

Baby feeding song LYN 2433, 1971 (433K)

Ulwimbo mwana LYN 2434, 1971 (693K)

The lyrics talk about how to feed your baby well.

Here’s another one I’ve uncovered, one side of which is a version of Ulwimbo Lwkaulisho Mwana in another local language. The other side is another charming little song about taking your baby to the clinic.

Nyimbo Ya Podwetsa Mwana LYN 2435, 1971 (688K)
Clinic Song (Lazarus Tembo) LYN 2436, 1971 (731K)

Edwin Nyirenda has kindly provided us with a translation of these Nyanja songs!

Clinic Song

Sister at the clinic weighs my baby on the scales
When my baby sits on the scale, Sister can tell whether it’s growing strong.

The Sister at the clinic does three things to my child
I take my baby every month to the clinic

The Sister at the clinic gives my baby medicine in the arm
When my baby takes this medicine it will grow very strong

Sister at the clinic teaches me food to give to my child
When my baby takes this food it will grow very strong

One day I will grow old, I will have a very strong baby
I will be happy because this baby will take care of its old mother

Baby Feeding Song

My baby’s growing strong, he’s growing very strong
And it’s because I feed it well
I add strong food to its porridge for seven days:

On Monday I give my baby a spoonful of powdered milk…
On Tuesday I give my baby some groundnuts…
On Wednesday I give my baby a spoonful of mashed beans…
On Thursday I give my baby a spoonful of powdered kapenta
On Friday I give my baby some boiled fish
On Saturday I give my baby some cooked meat
Sunday I give him a boiled egg

All these nutritious foods when mixed to his porridge will make him grow very strong; and this is why this is my song…

My baby’s growing strong…

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