The current Mwata Kazembe HRH (His Royal Highness) Paul Mpemba Kanyembo was born on the 14th of August 1962 in the Palace of Mwansabombwe in the present Kazembe District.
He was the first-born son of HRH Mwata Paul Lutaba Kanyembo who was popularly known as Mwata Mushindikeni Kanyembo XVII and reigned from 1961 to 1983. His mother is Violet Chanshi.
Prince Paul Mpemba Kanyembo started his early education at Kazembe Primary School in Mwansabombwe in 1969 but his education was slightly disrupted by illness. He however returned to school in 1970 through to 1976.
Prince Paul Mpemba Kanyembo then made it to Mwense Secondary School where he was from 1978 through to 1983, the year in which his father, HRH Mwata Mushindikeni died.
Prince Paul had to leave Mwansabombwe to go and live with the elder sister, Idah Kanyembo in Lusaka.
While in Lusaka, he did some internship at the Ministry of Health. He then later pursued training in Business Studies and Accounting and on completion later left the Ministry of Health to join the Zambia National Commercial Bank as a Banker.
Prince Paul was keen on advancing his studies and undertook further study with the Association of Accounting Technicians. After this, he undertook the Chartered Institute of Bankers Stage 1 training in 1990.
Prince Paul worked in the ZANACO bank for a while then decided to quit and start his own business. He established a printing company that flourished in just the few years of its operation. This was in Lusaka.
The company not only served clientele countrywide but played a significant role in printing material for the use prior and during the Mutomboko Ceremony.
Furthermore, the company premises was such a popular venue that also served as meeting point for citizens from the kingdom who were travelling to Lusaka on business.
It was a vital centre for networking and I remember on Friday evenings we would meet up there after a busy week and go and relax at a favourite private drinking spot Prince Paul lived in Rhodespark.
It was at the time he was running his lucrative business that the Luunda traditional hereditary Councillors decided on who was to succeed HRH the late Mwata Munona Chinyanta who passed on in 1998.
It was around the month of August during the time of the Lusaka Agricultural and Commercial Show when Councillors, Kalandala Mwana Mwilombe and Dyuru Kabeya were sent by the Luunda Royal Establishment to get Prince Paul Kanyembo to go and succeed the throne as Mwata Kazembe XIX.
The Councillors had a very difficult time locating Prince Paul. After extensive soul searching, they finally found him, and the two elders (as per custom) knelt down before him and clapped three times then broke the news that he was the one to become the new Mwata Kazembe of the Great Luunda Kingdom.
That very moment marked the end of his private life and he was asked to lead them to his residence, for the last time, which he reluctantly did. He was then discreetly taken into secluded custody (even he did not know where it was) with no contact whatsoever with the outside world.
While there, as part of instruction, he was informed his past life and everything he personally owned ended at that moment. A new life awaited him. He was only aged 36 at the time.
The Mwata’s father belonged to the Nshimba clan and so does the Mwata. The Mwata is married to Ema Kapika Kaniembo from Chisenga Island in the Democratic Republic of Congo which Mwata appoints its chief and controls.
Ema’s mothers’ side is Muyembe, a known Aristocrat in the Lunda Kingdom and her Father is in Kampampi.
The Mwata has four children born in the Palace. Two girls and two boys.