Mojack Ndungu speaking Ila

Published October 7, 2020

Mojack recites two poems in the Ila language of Zambia. Ila, also known as Chiila, is a Bantu Southern African language in the Niger-Congo family. It is closely related to Sala, another Bantu language. This video of Mojack speaking Ila was recorded by Kristen Tcherneshoff and Daniel Bögre Udell in Lusaka, Zambia. Ila, also known as Chiila, is a Bantu language indigenous to Zambia. The language is comprised of two distinct varieties: Lundwe and Lumba. Sala, another closely related language, is considered linguistically separate, but there are nonetheless similarities in both phonology and vocabulary between all three. Ila is spoken by 82,900 people as of 2010. Ila’s primary location of usage are the Central and Southern Provinces of Zambia. It uses a Latin alphabet and is used in the home and community setting, as well as during traditional ceremonies. The exact classification of Ila and it’s varieties and related languages is yet undetermined. Lundwe and Lumba have some very different sounds in their varieties. Lundwe has double-articulated consonants: sounds which have two primary places of articulation. Lundwe has both labio-glottal and palato-glottal fricatives, which Lumba seems to lack. This, along with other differences, is leading linguists to separate them. All varieties of Ila share rich onomatopoeia, where ideophones are commonly used in the language. This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license. To download a copy, please contact

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