Children's Fiction

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Wandera, Lorna, and Clive Brasnet

Balufya Utuputula

Long Shorts

Oxford Lower Basic Readers. Lusaka, Zambia: Oxford University Press, 2000. 16 p. ISBN 9982-27- 0141. Ages 4-8.

Language: Cibemba

Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)

Chola and Kabwe are brothers who have the job of looking after their family’s cattle during the weekend. Although they have been taught that the cattle should never be left unattended, they give in to the temptation of taking a dip in the river. In the customary manner of boys in the countryside, before jumping into the water, they take off their clothes and leave them in a neat pile behind a tree. While they are busy swimming, their father happens to pass by. Instead of berating them, he sneaks up on them and takes away their clothes and sends the cattle home. When the boys return home, wearing skirts made out of leaves, their father confronts them with a switch – but he does not use it. Instead, they are grounded from going to a soccer match that they had been looking forward to the next day.

This hilarious story teaches both children and adults the value of maintaining a sense of humour in parenting, and that gentle discipline is preferable to harsh punishment. As for Chola and Kabwe, this is a lesson they will not forget in a hurry!
Other titles in the series are Icipe Icalubile (Lost Property), Mutale, Kalaba na Imbushi (Mutale, Kalaba and the Goat), Kantai na I?ombe (Kantai and the Cow), Maliketi Yesu (Our Market), and Kalaba na Ifyuni (Kalaba and the Birds). These books make good readers and can be used effectively by teachers of Cibemba in the classroom. They can also be used as take-home assignments in order to offer opportunities for parent-child reading time. The questions at the end of each story are designed to give readers a chance to review the story, thus providing a guide to reading comprehension.


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