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.