Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Shall We Talk About This List

There has been a list that has been making its round on social media lately. This list has been compiled by ummm.... ummm. I do not know who but that is besides the point. It is a list nonetheless. It has been called Zambia's Top 20 Under 35 Young Rich and Influential 2015. Now the issue is not so much the list but who appears on the list.

I am sure some are familiar with other lists around the world such as Time Magazine's 100 Influential People list, or Forbes Rich list, I am assuming this was supposed to be such a type of list. I must state a disclaimer right away, I personally know some of the people who appear on the list. Some of the people on the list are doing some pretty amazing stuff. They are taking Zambia forward and making differences in their communities and sectors. Despite this the question that a list of this kind raises is what was the criteria used in the selection of the people who made the list and were they worthy to be on it.

The reason the selection criteria has been brought into question is that there are certain people who are not on the list who many feel should have been on it. A friend mentioned that Pastor Choolwe of Gospel Envoys Church should have been on it or B-Flow who has been influential towards his fight for women's rights. There will always be someone who people would prefer to be on the list. This brings the debate, what criteria did they use to come up with the list? How did they determine that the individuals are rich or influential? Was there some kind of score sheet that they used? How did they define being rich and influential? How far spread is their influence? Did they take a poll?

If this was a list of young Zambians doing some pretty amazing stuff, I doubt few would have argued but the moment they placed it under the banner of Top 20 Rich and Influential it introduced a different ball game. I do, however, acknowledge that many people will have their own ideas of who can be considered rich and influential because these are relative terms. Hence, it would have helped if the people who came up with this list shared with us what they meant when they use the term. I think though that they liked how it sounded hence they decided to go with it, someone has been watching too much E! or reading Forbes magazine.

I will applaud them for one thing, they came up with a list, however, flawed it was. It also let me know some individuals who I had not previously known about. This was not the first and neither will it be last list that we shall see, I hope that the next one that surfaces will be an improved version. Firstly, it would be nice to know who actually made the list and also what criteria was used to choose the individuals on that list.  It will help make the process more transparent and few can argue with it.

P.S. Whoever is cooking up the next list add Frustrated Brotha on it, even at number 20.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The World Expects Tragedy Everywhere Else But Europe

Last week Thursday there were terrorists attacks in Beirut, Lebanon. On Friday there were also terrorist attacks in Paris, France. Both these incidences killed scores of people, at least 40 in Lebanon and 128 in France. However, much of the world attention has been on France. Even in Zambia, most people are more aware of the French incidence than the Lebanese one. Both the terror attacks were horrible but why is it that the world is more fixated by the Paris attack. It could a reason of expectation.

Allow me to use an analogy, if you come from a family where every one of your siblings graduated from university when you do graduate too it is nothing spectacular because it has been done before. However, if you come from a family where you become the first to graduate from university, the jubilation and celebration will go on for days, because it does not happen in your family. In the same vein, I think the French attacks have received so much attention because no one expects it to happen there. It is supposed to be a safe country, with peace loving people where attacks do not just happen on the boulevards. Meanwhile, for countries like Lebanon, such attacks may be regarded as the norm. A bomb blast happens at a market,  mosque, or hospital then it is expected rather than the exception. Lebanon falls into other countries that are experiencing terror attacks such as Syria, Yemen, Kenya, Nigeria, Afghanistan and many others. The world may expect attacks from any other place but in Europe and America.

Could it be that there is a numbing of the emotional sensitivity when attacks happen in developing countries. The media is constantly bombarding us with dead bodies littered with bullets, the carnage of a suicide bomber, or the beheadings of an expatriate all happening in terrorist strewn developing countries. This is on every international news outlet that rather than begin to be shocked by it, we are more likely to expect it. The world may be developing a fatigue for Syria, Lebanon, Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan and the other countries where terrorism is wrecking havoc. It may be the reason why Facebook has not previously bothered to set flags for those countries.

 When terror attacks happen in Europe as it did in France, it is unexpected, out of the ordinary, breaking the script and is considered a mass tragedy. President Obama has even called it an attack on all of humanity, I would like to know what the other attacks were on. This sad attack on Paris has received widespread condemnation and solidarity from people across the world. Major architectural buildings such as the Sydney Opera House, Empire State Building, and  London Bridge Tower had the French flag beamed onto them. On Facebook, people's profiles had the French flag on them. I would be right to say that it was trending. This generosity of support that France has got, however, has not gone well with some sections of society. There have been questions as to why the other countries that have previously been attacked did not have their flags on Facebook. The people who have put the French flag on their profiles have had their moral compasses questioned. It has brought back the discussion of whether European lives are more important than those of other people around the world more especially in developing countries.

As we debate whether European lives are seen as more important than others, we must also not forget to look at it from another perspective. Terrorist attacks do not happen everyday in France or Europe, therefore when they do happen it can only be expected that it will receive more attention than other countries have are daily suffering from attacks. Then challenge then is how do we prevent ourselves from growing fatigued by the others whose citizens live in fear and a dying out of these attacks. How do we make sure that their voices are heard and something is done about their situation. It should not have to take an attack on France or any European country before the world realises that something serious needs to be done.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

To The Lady Behind The Wheel

Dear Lady,

I think it is high time we have this conversation. I have held what I have to tell you for too long and now it is time I let it out. My psychiatrist tells me that I should let my emotions out, verbalise more, talk more and let people know what I am feeling. She tells me that it will make me feel better. So here goes, "What on earth is wrong with you?"

I am a generous driver on the road, each time you ask me to give you a chance to join the road I gladly give it to you. Even if I am late for a meeting, I still let you join and go ahead of me. I have been patient with you, because I am a courteous driver. I do not even mind when you do not acknowledge my generosity on the road. When you do not flick your tail lights after I have let you through or when you do not wave at me in appreciation. None of that really bothers me.

Manje iwe, when it is my turn to ask for the same kindness to be bestowed upon me awe I get the shock of my life. Each time I ask to join the road that is when you even turn your ka head the other direction, like you haven't seen me. When I try to nudge my car ahead to test and see if you will allow me through, then you even press on the accelerator. Ala. All attempts to flash my lights to you as a signal have been ignored. Many times I put my hands together begging you that, "Dear Lady please give me a chance," you then hoot at me and tell me to fuseke. What surprises me the most you even do these things in a traffic jam when clearly there is nowhere you are going. I am speechless lady behind the wheel. I have to wait for my fellow gentleman to give me a chance to join the road.   

My psychiatrist says that vengeance is not mine and I should not mind what you do to me, but wapya. They say, 'Revenge is dish best served cold' I will serve mine with a Toyota Carina. Do not dare ask me for a chance to join the road, the way I will give you the evil eye it will rain in this drought. Even if you smile at me, your car shall not go before me. Hell hath no fury like a Carina driver scorned. Whether you drive a Vitz, Navara or Mercedes you are NOT joining. If you dare me, I hope you have insurance because we shall just bump into each other. Find other drivers to give you chance on the road, because my kindness towards you has expired. So next time you ask me to let you through my response will be a loud, GIGO.

Yours faithfully,

Frustrated Brotha

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Who Are The Satanists?

Did you know that we have special people roaming among us? I really do not know what they look like, so I cannot point at one for you. Still that does not mean that they do not exist. They seem to have some super powers these special people. Yet again I cannot really tell you what these super powers are. These special people scare a lot of people. Even the Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenge is afraid of these special people. The one thing that I do know for sure is that these special people have a name. They are called Satanists.

The question that people are asking is who exactly are these Satanists? What planet did they come from? Is it Mars, Jupiter or Pluto? Just how did they come to find themselves possessing so much power that even a minister can be afraid of them. There must be something peculiar about them because they have the ability to shake this Christian Nation to the core. If this was a Nigerian movie this is the scene where I say, "Igwe must know about this."

Even though we do not know exactly what these Satanists look like the Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenge has been gracious enough to give us a clue of what we should look for. When someone or a group of people want to set up a mortuary project especially in an area like Nkana West, just know they could be Satanists. After all which sensible human being thinks of putting up a mortuary when hospitals and clinics are overwhelmed with dead bodies. And to top it off Nkana West is an already developed area it does need any more mortuaries than it already has no matter how insufficient. The minister has given us a blue print of what to look for, so funeral parlour owners and coffin makers we are watching you.

It is not only the minister who has an idea of what these Satanists look like. Ordinary people too seem to have an idea of the characteristics of the Satanists. If someone is becoming rich and successful, right there the light bulbs should be going on. No one can have money, build houses, and go on vacations out of hard work and dedication. Such things do not happen in Zambia. Even though we do not see the sweat and tears that they have to endure, we do not care. Our neighbours do not deserve to have a good life, we are supposed to suffer together after all. We must do everything in our power to make sure we stick together. Look carefully if they have grey hair they have sacrificed some years, these Satanists can be dangerous.

So since I still do not have an idea what these Satanists look like. I will be looking at every person very carefully. Maybe I can smell them, detect something fishy from them. The super powers they have need to be dealt with. Perhaps we should hire some bounty hunters to capture them on our behalf, we definitely cannot have Satanists roaming around carelessly.