Choma Chat

Written By: The Lowdown - Nov• 30•00

cover2000-11Choma Museum and Crafts Centre

The Choma Museum and Crafts Centre (CMCC) is strategically located along the Livingstone- Lusaka road. Founded in 1988, it is housed in the former Beit Hostel and School for Girls, one of the oldest preserved buildings in Zambia, which dates back to 1926. From very modest beginnings, the Museum has expanded dramatically as far as collections and exhibition space is concerned and is surely the first with regard to standards and benefit to the community.

It is not that often that you visit a place which leaves a lasting impression especially in Choma, but CMCC has that effect on all who stop off there and take a look around. The number of visitors it plays host to every year as well as the comments received in the visitors book testifies to the appreciation of local residents and tourists. The facilities are impressive by any standards and if you have a natural curiosity and a love for beauty you will find a visit to the museum a rich and memorable experience.

In the gardens of the Museum one can see the eight-foot steel balls that were used to clear the planned harbour sites and fishing areas of Lake Kariba during construction of the dam wall. These steel balls were connected to bulldozers by battleship anchor chains and dragged through the bush, smashing everything in their path. Each ball cost £2,500 and each chain, £ 6,000. Using these balls, it was possible to clear 50 acres per hour.


Steel balls used for clearing bush at Kariba


For art lovers, their Gallery of Fine Art has prints and paintings by Zambian artists of international repute. Included in its collection are works by Stephen Kappata, Henry Tayali, Cynthia Zukas and Godfrey Setti. The Choma Gallery of Fine Art promotes and markets selected fine art, which contributes to the income of artists as well as funding the gallery.

CMCC is trying to ensure that it generates its own funding and makes use of its garden facilities for outdoor receptions such as weddings, braais and corporate functions. It also has a Donations Drum through which visitors contribute to the running of the Museum.

Inside the museum complex is a craft shop. Every purchase from this shop means a better life for the Tonga female rural peasant farmers, who are now very much into craft production, which supplements their income. A stable source of income allows them to become more independent and self-supporting. With Christmas just around the corner, this may be the perfect place to shop for gifts for your family and friends.

Admission to the Museum is free and it is a perfect place to stop on the way to for from Livingstone with its secure parking, clean ablution facilities and pleasant grounds in which you can refresh yourself before continuing your journey. For more information contact Choma Museum and Crafts Centre, Tel (032) 20-103, Fax (032) 203-94 or Email


Choma Museum Colour 003

Choma Museum 004

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