Written by Alinani Mugala
The last few days I've received lots of queries as to what this 'I'm The Next 50 yrs' is about. It's not a campaign, it's not a movement, it's not even a Straight Up agenda (assuming you know what Straight Up is. Lol) So a few weeks ago, Pastor Walker Schurz announced to the congregation that on the 26th of October, the Sunday service gig will be dedicated to celebrating Zambia's 50 years of Independence. He went on to encourage the church to come dressed all 'Zed out' as possible. I knew that a Chipolopolo jersey replica would be the easiest rig to wear (Thanks to Afcon 2012. Lol). Sadly I don't own a Chipolopolo replica (BUT I do own a Power Dynamos one though, hahaha). I sat through the service thinking to myself what would be the most meaningful thing to wear on that day. I just didn't want to wear Zambian colours or anything written Zambia on it for the sake of it. I wanted to communicate something to my country. Not just a cool statement. I wanted to make a pledge to this place.
My mind then took me four weeks back. The Straight Up team has been putting up a lil' sumn' sumn' for this year's Independence Day. We've had to do research into activities that have taken place since 1964. We went through the National Achieves, museum, ZANIS library, Times of Zambia library, University of Zambia library, history books etc. This made me realise how young Zambia is. Fifty years seems like yesterday (am sure Kaunda would say that). Though it feels like yesterday, so much has happened in this country. I got to read newspapers from as far back as the '70s and I can report that it felt like reading a recent paper of 2014, sadly so. I kid you not 1st December, 1997 the Times of Zambia for example had a headline 'Wage Freeze Stays'.... If you have been reading the news of late, you know what's hot right now.lol.
Anyway, my going through the last 50 years has shown me that we are what we are as a country today because of the decisions people made. People made good and bad decisions which have shaped us as a people. My mind then took me to the next 50 years and I imagined a ka young Alinani reading about Zambia's 100 years history. What will he read? What will he say about the people of 2014-20164? What future would he have inherited? Things he'll write about me would be that I talked too much and did little. I criticised government didn't offer solutions. I told social media how government should be run and yet I never offered myself up for leadership. I told people how to play the game yet I never got onto the field. I laughed and made fun of people that tried and failed. I never gave back to my community. I got my UNZA degree just for me. I didn't know who my neighbours were. I cheated in my business. I gave in to corruption because I wanted to be like the next guy. I lost objectivity in my debates because I knew it all. I was so gullible that everything I'd read was gospel truth. I didn't take correction. I forgot about the place I came from. I participated in a 21st century type of 'Berlin Conference' and sold my country's economy to the highest bidder. Dag the list is long!!! Is this what I want Alinani of 2064 to read about me? To be honest? NO.
How will I make sure that young Alinani of 2064 is inspired by my life, I'll make a personal challenge to be a better person and contribute to the well being of my neighbour and the country as a whole. I'm not going to be perfect. I'll make mistakes, I'll fail and fall but that should be because I tried and aimed to make the life of my fellow citizen and country better. I'll do my part through something am passionate about, and that's my hustle. Olo entrepreneurship as it's popularly called. It's probably one of the toughest roads to roll on but probably the most rewarding to a nation.
So am not going to imagine what Zambia would have been had Nkumbula or Kapwepwe instead of Kaunda or Arthur Wina instead of Chiluba or Mazoka instead of Mwanawasa or Sata instead of RB (in 2008) been President. Instead, I'll imagine what Zambia will be in 2064 if I become a responsible citizen and intentionally do MY part (in private or in public, famous or unknown, paid or pro bono). So that's the story behind the 'I'm The Next 50yrs' chitechi and the T-shirts. It's a personal challenge. But if you feeling it, feel free to run with it palobe
I am Alinani Mugala and I'm The Next 50 yrs.