Monday, 16 January 2012

My Issue with Zambians (Part 1)

Before I write what I want to say let me begin with a disclaimer. I am a proud Zambian and I love my country dearly. There is no other place that I would rather stay. I was born in this country and I want to be buried in this country. When I refer to Zambians I mean it in general terms and not in its entirety. It is enough of the patriotism so you may allow me to speak my mind, which is my issue with Zambians.

We as Zambians are excellent dreamers and talkers. Sit down with a Zambian and it would not be hard not to notice that there are many things that frustrate them. They are also not afraid to share with you everything that is going wrong around them. If it is not corruption then it is the garbage in the streets. If it is not the Zambian football team losing then it is the lack of unemployment. It would not be long before you discover that there is a big pity party going around this nation. We all know what is wrong with our families, our communities and the nation. We can explain the story so well that it would definitely make a good script for a Hollywood movie. Despite all this knowledge however, no one is willing to take the stance and make the change.

They say that there is corruption in government and we need a new breed of leaders. We want leaders who are selfless and will be there to develop this nation and not fatten their pockets. We are always looking for this leader to come along like the messiah to save us from our misery. I am afraid Zambians will have to wait for a long time for a leader with such a caliber. The reason is we are always searching for someone to do things for us and do not want to do it on our own. Instead we come up with pathetic excuses that politics is a dirty game or we are not as charismatic. If politics is a dirty game why don’t we go and clean up the mess of a dirty game instead of complaining all the time and pointing an accusing finger.

Then there are those Zambians, who are always good at pointing the accusing finger but refuse to see the log in their own eye. They talk about all the corruption that is crippling the nation and how corruption is the cause for the underdevelopment of this beautiful nation. Sadly, in as much as we do talk about corruption, we go ahead and convince ourselves that we have to be corrupt in this nation if we want to get things done. We are so quick to ask for the lynching of the leaders who are corrupt and almost thirsting for their blood. What about you who bribes the police officer to let you off the hook for over speeding? You who slots the cashier at the passport officer a buck so your passport can come out quick? You who greases the official so you can pass your driver’s test? Do not go very far, simply look at the man in the mirror and you will see where the problem begins. My former boss once told me,
“Pay the fine and learn the lesson.”  Indeed there is a reason why fines are there.
If you part away with your hard earned cash because you were over speeding, next time do you think you are going to do a Formula 1 on the same road? I do not think so.

We sing the same chorus every year that roads are flooded and our homes are becoming islands. Every year it is déjà vu, and there is nothing different. Constantly saying that the drainage systems need to be unblocked and the garbage needs to be collected. We are the very same people who are blocking them in the first place and I think it is now bordering on insanity. We are the same people who are throwing drink bottles out the window, carelessly wrapping everything in plastic even for one single mango, forgetting the use of a rubbish bin. Still we wonder why the drainages are blocked. Absolute madness.

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