Magazine nr. 1
|KAMBISA!Volume 1 – April 2003
note: this is a reduced text version of Kambisa!BeHeard.The full printed version of the magazine is for sale around Lusaka @ 3000 kwachaVisit one of the newspapersellers in towncenter or Bookworld Mandahill
– Iraq – Mathew Tembo – father bites sons ear – appeal on Mr. Kofi Annan – bleaching – Stary Mwaba – ‘terrorism against terrorism is terrorism’ – Three Handsome Brothers – never say die – Runell –
– Robert Mtonga – Charles Mubango – Mac Charles Kazumba – Sunday Zimba – Ndonji – Michael L. Ahlee – Herbert N. Mwilba Jr. – Masauso H. Sakala – Klaartje Jaspers – Wilson Tembo – Alex Mukuka –
Root causes of terrorism – by Robert Mtonga
FAIR & LOVELY?
Mathew Tembo, musician
C I L U M B A
I walked through Evelyn Hone College and saw a poster. ‘Terrorism against terrorism is terrorism’. Author unknown. Sometime late February .
Meanwhile the poster gained a new context. Whilst I’m writing this, Baghdad is being bombed in what seems to be the recolonisation of what used to be the great Mesopotamian empire. But I hear people on the radio talking about the Iraqi people as if they are but the powerless victims of their evil leaders, a regime like cockroaches to be destroyed. The propaganda-war has reached another one of its heights, the news we get is fragmented and politicised. The death of dialogue threatens to silence our minds, stop us from composing our own views, keep us from empathising with the far-away other. This is what we do not need.
‘Kambisa! Be heard.’ is a magazine intended to encourage you to do just what it says: speak up, be heard. Dont’t say your just a servant; a servants lifes and thoughts are no less than that of the president and he needs to hear you in order to allow for what you want. Don’t say your not well-informed enough; none of us holds The Truth. Don’t say you don’t speak English or don’t know how to write; find a friend who can help you or contact Kambisa!. And don’t say you fear the consequences; we can publish your story anonymously. However, you remain responsible for your own contributions. For Kambisa! to remain an open forum, a place to stimulate the mind, we need different views and contrasting opinions. It is up to you to decide where you stand. Kambisa! is not offering the One & Only Truth, it’s simply offering a place for you to x-press yourself. You are Nr. 1. Come and claim your status.
The first issue was meant to be dealing with issues of pride. The pride to be what you are. The strength to walk head up. Too many have been frustrated by complaining, by focussing on the ‘have- not’s rather then the ‘have’s. Too many have been keeping their treasuries inside. I met a Tanzanian rapper, GK (> www.thinono.org – sounds). He was mourning , seeing an army of girls trying to change what (he thought) they are. In fashionable clothes they paraded through the streets of Dar es Salaam, their faces a pale caramel-brown. It was hard to tell whether they were black or white. Why?, he wondered, had they not been beautiful before spending their money on bleaching creams? In this issue you will read what his Zambian colleague Mathew Tembo has to say about it. Kambisa! went round and asked a doc and a salesperson about the pro’s and the contra’s.
The first issue was meant to be dealing with issues of pride. However, whilst Nr. 1 was being composed, a new and urgent matter came up. A matter which immediately draws our attention the what seems to be the other side of the coin: arrogance. The US-led invasion of Iraq, according to some a clear display off the dangers of a misplaced sense of superiority by what has become to be regarded as the worlds sole superpower. But even a master needs a slave to be a master. How can entire nations sit back in apathy while their hearts are crying in defeat? There is an obvious answer lurking in the corner. Money. Initiated as a means to ease trade. But it seems the means have become the goal. By allowing money to gain a God-like status, by allowing it to determine the fates of our lives, we are putting the poor down and we are giving the wealthy their power – America its superpower. Arguing like that, we slaves remain with little more then to fight them masters with their own weapons and boycott their products. Another undesirable ‘us’ versus ‘them’. What about ethics, justice, empathy, humanity? Are these not the issues that filled Lusaka with confusion and disgust upon hearing the messages the BBC and ZNBC are sending us? Kambisa! collected some reactions and questions and asked the American Ambassador to reply.
We need dialogue. Kambisa! Be heard.
ROOT CAUSES OF TERRORISM by Dr. Robert E. Mtonga, IPPNW-Zambia
Many will no doubt agree that socio-economical injustices in all their hues are at the heart of many problems dogging humankind today, least of all the root causes of terrorism.This is not to say that terrorism is just a socio-economic problem. Religion and more specifically, religious fundamentalism weighs-in as much as socio-economic factors.
The poor see disparities between themselves and the rich entrenched in globalisation and Structural Adjustment Programme’s; they see outright exploitation…
Many people from poor and chronically depraved socio-economic settings perceive life very differently from those that have more than they need. They see disparities between the rich and the poor entrenched in concepts and practices such as globalisation and structural adjustment programmes. They see outright exploitation of the poor by the rich and mighty in the form of global alliances such as economic and industrial-military groupings. They draw conclusions that their lot is doomed.
Perceptions of injustice versus rationality This perception of injustice makes many in the third world very very angry because poverty and more specifically hunger drives them to make conclusions that are traditionally not considered rational.
A hungry and angry man may not exercise much rational thinking, but is he unreasonable?
A hungry, and more certainly an angry man who assumes that his or her suffering is the making of other people or systems may not exercise much rational thinking.This is more so when history is in a hurry to forget issues such as slavery, colonialism/imperialism, current International Monetary Fund and World Bank policies that promote heartless capitalism at the expense of social responsibility and- yes, even humanity. The poverty stricken see the fat and extravagant turn them away at the gate and feel dehumanised. They try to seek reparations and get nonchalant responses, they organised themselves and get rebuffs for promoting ‘interests’ foreign to the rich and comfortable. They see double standards in dealing will perceived evils such as the Isreali-Palestinian question, they ask for debt cancellation and in turn receive loans with conditionalities and prescriptions, they see the West subsidising their farmers whilst they are strictly forbidden to do the same….oh, they fell very hungry… and, oops!, angry indeed.
What terrorism is
The poor in the third world category have many answers as to the meaning of terrorism but who would listen to them? They ask many questions in the hope that someone out there would listen and provide them with solutions.
Is it not terrorism they ask:
When 80-95% of populations live in abject poverty?
When HIV/AIDS is ravaging entire productive workforces in spite of treatment being available (but inaccessible because of fancy concepts such as World Trade Organisation (WTO) Treaty on the Right of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) ?
Is it not terrorism when the debt overhang chokes every little gain the poor nations make?
Is it not terrorism when copper which is mined in Zambia is sold at the London Metal Exchange at a price determined by the cartel of buyers when oil and petroleum cartels fix their own prices?
Yes, the poor have very tough questions. They demand to know the fairness of fact that the world’s rich 20% consume 80% of the world’s resources. The third world inhabitants what to know why land mines, produced by the rich, where supplied to the poor and why the rich are asking for payments to remove the same devices.
Why is it not terrorism for a rich nation through corporation and brokers supply small arms and light weapons to promote and prolong armed conflicts in Africa?
Is it not terrorism when the ill-gotten money by African dictators is deposited in Swiss Banks without anyone raising eyebrows?
Is it not terrorism when many in Africa still drink dirty water and have no idea about environmental sanitation as the rich are allowed to damp waste on their land?
…the world’s rich 20% consume 80% of the world’s resources
The poor are very angry indeed. Is it any wonder that they engage in dastard acts such as 9/11 ? The angry are not rational, but are they unreasonable? Is terrorism without root causes? Are terrorists irrational beings? Do the oppressed have anything to lose or indeed gain by causing terror? Is it not in the interest of civilisation to look at socio-injustices and other expressions of global injustices as a way towards dealing with the phenomenon of terrorism?
Many reading this paper will agree that the phenomenon of terrorism is a product of many things. The list is likely to include some of the issues raised above. Answers to the above questions many be delayed but solutions to the phenomenon of terrorism must be sought with haste as international security is at stake. Our shared and common humanity demands that we create a world full of peace and security. We need to find space to address the root causes of terrorism.
> IPPNW-Zambia is the Zambian branch of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, more information on this organisation can be found at the website www.ippnw.org
IRAQ According to www.bbcnews.com
President: Saddam Hussein
Ruling Party: Ba’th (renaissance) Party
Population: 22 million
Major languages: Arabic, Kurdish
Major religion: Islam
Life expectancy: men 66, woman 68 yrs.
Av. income/yr: US$ 593 (3 million ZMK)
> www.indymedia.com (international; independent) http://english.aljazeera.net (‘the independent Arab’; Qatar) www.bbnews.com (UK) www.jordantimes.com (Jordan) www.arabnews.com (Saudi-Arabia) www.dailystar.com.lb (Lebanon)www.arabia.com/english (UAE) www.cnn.com (USA)
OFFENDED – interview with a painter who wishes to remain anonymous – by Klaartje Jaspers
‘If everybody would feel about the war like I do, the American embassy would be bombed by now. They are the biggest threat in the world today. To world peace. They’re arrogant, they believe whatever they prescribe should be taken, meanwhile they are not the doctor. It’s just like I tell you I have a fever, then you tell me to take chloroquine.’ ‘Bush is worried about his industries. Maybe he is running out of oil. So he feels the need to control all resources in the Middle East. In 1991 Iraq invaded Kuwait – Bush’ father stepped in and rescued Kuwait. They put in place a leader of their favour. After September 11: Afghanistan. They forced a leader they liked upon the Afghani people. Now they want to do the same with Saddam Hussein: replace him with somebody of their choice. They want control of the whole region.’ ‘As a Muslim, I would say this is a war against the Islam. I feel personally offended. I never used to practise religion, but over the last two years I’ve found myself to develop a strong binding with Islam. Bush is only contributing to that.’
APPEAL TO MR. KOFI ANNAN by Chanda Mubanga
To so many America symbolised the promise of democracy. Today it is obvious that it has defaulted this promissory note in so far as its citizens are concerned. Simple as it is, democracy – meaning voice of the people – can not be interpreted and understood by he that calls himself a democrat: George W. Bush, President of the United States of America. Sad.
democracy can not be understood by he that calls himself a democrat: George W. Bush
I confess that Bush heads intellectuals. What a prestigious position of authority he holds! In any case, he is supposed to take advantage of his adorable position to initiate conductive and developmental strategies for the growth of America and the world at large. He has such a sophisticated and hypothetical and yet destructive state of mind.
George Bush is such a wicked man sending people to Iraq knowing that they are going to die, he comes on TV – live – to make sophistry-filled speeches. He even has the guts to identify how many people/soldiers dies. President Bush wants to win victory at the expense of innocent civilians and soldiers. They are dying at the hands of one selfish man. Has war become a tournament to Bush, that it can even be broadcasted live and with commentary like always? We are not envious Satanists to be shown people’s fresh blood, live on television, clips of dead soldiers and civilians swimming in the pools of their own blood. I am beginning to think this whole confusion is inherent in the Bush-family. If that is so, shame.
I do not wish to see America face a series of terrorist attacks but one man’s stubbornness and arrogance will be persecuted. Let Bush keep sending people to die – but he must remember that all days are numbered. He that kills by the sword, so shall he die by the sword. Who says the United Nations will remain limping if America pulls out? Wrong. It is not good if America is the capital country of the world. Thanks to America for its generosity of being a subscriber to the UN. But no thanks if it is doing so in order to exploit. No matter how much America subscribes, it shall not be allowed to claim superiority over the United Nations to undermine and indeed frustrate the resolutions and decisions of the UN. We refuse to see Iraqi people becoming exiles in their own land.
Now is the time to rise from the husk and desolate valley of war to the sunlit path of political justice.
Please, Mr. Annan, rescue us from Bush’s superficious, supercilious and unscrupulous treatment because I refuse to accept that the bank of justice is bankrupt. Now is the time to rise from the husk and desolate valley of war to the sunlit path of political justice.
QUESTIONS TO MR. MARTIN BRENNAN – AMBASSADOR OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The Honourable Martin Brennan, You must have noticed many are very upset and confused over the recent developments in the relation between the United States, the United Nations and Iraq. In astonishment and disbelief people are receiving reports about the war in Iraq. On behalf of the audience of a new Zambian magazine that aims to address issues that are of concern to the people, I would like to publish your response to some of the questions people have been asking me;
Mr. J. Greene, the Embassy’s public affairs officer, answered on Mr. Brennan’s behalf. His answers are printed following the questions below.
1 – What is this war about?
The war is the last recourse left to remove Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) from the hands of an unpredictable dictator. I say last recourse because Saddam has for 12 years ignored UN resolutions telling him to disarm.
2 – Do the United States themselves have the mass destruction weapons it says Iraq has? If so, why is Iraq not allowed to have them while the States are?
To compare the United States and Iraq is comparing apples and oranges. There are no UN resolutions calling for USA to disarm. USA is a stable country that has no history of using WMD for irrational or territorial aggrandizement purposes. Saddam Hussein has gassed his own people, and attacked another country (Kuwait) and refused to leave when the UN called for that.
3 – What gives the United States the right to invade a foreign country?
Because we feel our national security (and that of the world) is at risk due to Saddam’s intransigence.
4 – Is Zambia at risk of being invaded as well?
If you are referring to invasion by the USA, that’s a silly question. Zambia is a peaceful country, with no WMD, and no threat to the United States. To the contrary, we have excellent relations with Zambia and give them much aid.
5 – Several representatives of the attacking coalition, including president Bush himself, have stressed they would do anything to avoid the civilian population getting hurt. Yet a densely populated area like Baghdad is presently being bombed. How should one understand this?
This takes a lot of detail to explain, but if for no other reason then the PR value to Saddam if a bomb goes astray, we do everything possible to avoid human casualties. Millions of dollars are spent on precision weapons. Highest officials choose individual targets. If these precautions weren’t observed, the war would have been quickly over.
‘Our moral posture puts us at risk all the time.’
6 – How do the American forces determine whether a (potential) target is civilian or military, especially when considering many Iraqi soldiers have allegedly been forced to join the Iraqi army?
This is difficult to answer, but the US concern about civilian casualties is clear. Saddam makes it very difficult when he puts anti-aircraft weapons on top of hospitals. In such cases, we would pass up such a target even though that means putting our pilots at risk. Our soldiers died when an Iraqi soldier in civilian clothes detonated a car bomb. Our moral posture puts us at risk all the time.
7 – If the moral of the Iraqi soldiers is as low as some media companies want us to believe, does the American policy have a strategy to give Iraqi soldiers a chance to escape their situation without engaging in battle? What would be their fate and how are they to know what awaits them after surrendering?
There has been a tremendous propaganda campaign to let Iraqi soldiers know they can surrender without harm. You have seen on TV thousands do so. We firmly believe many others would follow suit, and are not hesitating because of fear of the USA, but from a very logical fear of Saddam.
8 – How can one be sure the United States are not trying to force president Hussein to use his allegedly biochemical weapons so he will lose the public sympathy and the U.S.-led invasion will seem somehow justified?
There is a very real risk Saddam might use his WMD, but we hope, perhaps out of fear of reprisal, he would not put our soldiers, or Iraqi civilians at such risk.
I would appreciate it if I would receive your answers as soon as possible, as to include them in the upcoming – first – issue. I would be happy to send you a copy.
Klaartje Jaspers, journalist
WHAT FREEDOM? by Herbert Nthasu Mwilba Jr.
Sharp iron spears and deadly guns man use to acquire freedom. Contemporary man triumph by killing. Yes! Like a cruel saying goes… ‘if you want peace, prepare for war.’ But really, what a way to peace! For peace we fight to have it in the name of Freedom. Meaningless like a passing cloud shadow across Sahara is Freedom without real lasting peace and harmony. Freedom is found where love is the base of everything, i.e. in political, social, economical and above all spiritual matters.
What freedom does independence serve, if hate and injustice substitute love and happiness?
Personally, till date, I keep wondering what real freedom independence serves, if hate and injustice substitute love and happiness. I mean independence where Justice, Love, Peace etc. anticipated, can’t dwell. Country independence isn’t my concern in anyway. Personal human freedom from sin is my purpose of writing, because this is the root to national freedom. If there be things man ever have to fight for in terms of peace, Freedom in Jesus is what every individual should strive to have, to experience real independence of life. Otherwise, its all free-doom to be independent yet not at peace with yourself and neighbour.
LIVING IN THIS WORLD by Three Handsome Brothers
Living in this world
we got to be careful
some people are poor
some people are rich
some people are proud
some people are humble
I say “give me some food”
You say you don’t have
I say “give me some clothes”
You say you don’t have
I say “give me some money”
You say you don’t have
I say “give me anything”
…. you say you don’t have
Three Handsome Brothers, formerly known as the ‘Revelation Brothers’, is a music group from Ngombe-compound. Its core is formed by the vocalist brothers Christoph and Ronald Mwanza, assisted by friend like Kesan Mukwira, Aaron Phiri and John on the guitar. As their former name ‘Revelation Brothers’ reveals, they started as gospel singers in a choir in Mtendere-compound. Though they still use this background, their focus has shifted to RaggaReggea on various themes like poverty, HIV, love, jealousy and street kids. (description by KJ)
STARY MWABA By Klaartje Jaspers
At the latest Alliance Francaise visual arts competition, there was a painting of four man having a afternoon discussion session in the village. Bush, Mugabe and Blair are the centre of the discussion, Kofi Annan stands at the back, looking uncomfortably away. The men are accompanied by an unknown fifth, a man reading a newspaper – apparently uninterested in whatever they’re debating upon.
It is the latest in a series of politically motivated paintings Mwaba has been making for the Alliance Francais competitions. Last year he entered the competition with a paintings of a white woman at Soweto market and a sleeping young man in a wheelbarrow.
‘Every year the competition has a theme’, Stary explains, ‘last year it was globalisation. I made Soweto, a white woman on the market – to me she seems to be a bit out of place.’
‘The boy in the wheelbarrow is about unemployment. Whilst everybody is cheering about the benefits of global co-operation, the youth here still have little prospect: no jobs, no training. Whatever great processes might be going on, they are not affecting him.’
‘Whilst everybody is cheering about the benefits of global co-operation, the youth here still have little prospect: no jobs, no training’
The guy seems to have little option left, except to sleep in his wheelbarrow – an object symbolising the selfemployment industry. A vehicle for the independent, the common means of transport for the markets businessman- and woman. Pushing them around a welcome source of income for those who can’t afford to trade any goods themselves.
When giving Mwaba’s paintings a closer look, you will find a collection of recycled papers covered under a fast layer of paint. Newspapers. Meant to read. The unknown man in the village holds a cartoon representing Mugabe as a monkey, the man in the front at ‘Soweto’ is almost stepping on the Algerian – French relationships. Obansanjo, the United Nations, dictators and hero’s.
‘I hate politics’, Mwaba declares. The fight for power, the sneaky ways of going, the hypocrisy. Mwaba sticks to painting.
POETS, ARTISTS, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKERS….HOW POSSIBLE? by Wilson Tembo
Never a day that passes without putting the inner God-given talent to use. Fuelled by their hearts as well as minds, they do tremendous creative works of their hands. Poets, poetry! These words are so simple to spell or pronounce yet so difficult to get insight. It is like mental inspiration coming from their hands instead. They talk their minds, thoughts, emotions in visible expression. Poetry is a broad word stretching from modern artists to musicians to motivational speakers and so much more. It is the use of words that has a live impact when understood properly. Is it by chance that one can write like this?
Inspiration is a fleeting thing; any writer knows that. To make sure that “perfect” feeling, idea or word doesn’t get lost forever, we often just grab the nearest piece of paper and scribble our thought down. Yes, at the moment, we have written poetry. But we have not written the best poetry. Its tempting to say, “Well, this what I was feeling, you know.” Of course, feelings are not revisable, but the words with which we choose to express those emotions are. When the inspiration hits you, you scramble for the nearest piece of paper, but you scrambled for the easiest words possible, the ones that come to your mind most quickly. It may be destructive to think your initial scrawlings are sacred, for often they are not precise or may not convey the fullest possible meaning you intended the moment the inspiration hit you. Afterwards careful revision of words written at the moment of inspiration may be required in order to give your work polish, depth and more professional sound. Yes poetry, good poetry is done.
How does one become?
In some people it is an inborn God given talent that will never fade away despite being not practiced. In this case, certainly and truly, such should thank God for their minds. This group of people is noted to be the founders as poetry, though in the past. Does talent show on its own or comes as result of influence? Most of the biographies of these people have shown the latter; influence. For instance a multi-talented, musician, writer, instrumentist, guitarist, Tony Rich, as a child was influenced by his musical father into realizing his talent. And not long after that, he started writing his own songs. Started working with big artists like Babyface. The more artists he worked with, the more fruitful his talent became. This talent is like a seed in the ground – it needs the same procedures of taking care as a general seed.
some poets who were blessed with God-given-talent, get crushed by it
Unfortunately, however, some poets who were blessed with this God-given-talent, get crushed by it. It is too much for them to control. It leads them to destruction. They put it to unconstructive use. Sailing in the desires of the world, they end up dying from diseases like AIDS.
Some develop their talent along the way through experience. Best poets are the ones, who have been caught up in some of the difficult circumstances life can offer. A church magazine once mentioned that poetry is rarely the work of a shallow mind. Their works are like a blend that can take someone away like a glass of cold water in summer. Feeling nothing but only the impact of words flowing like a brook down a beautiful serene sight of nature. Poets in this class one time faced life’s challenges: being in a dark tunnel without seeing light, nothing to attract their eye, ruled by depression, next the thought of suicide. But thank God, now they’ve seen the light, learned from the past and are now guides to motivation. Their experiences have made them great figures in society that everyone would look forward to.
Best poets are the ones, who have been caught up in some of the difficult circumstances life can offer
Are their hearts like of others…. Creativity, understanding, consistency, patience, endurance, wisdom, are a few of the contents of a poet’s heart. Their heart is like a deep treasure where one keeps precious stones. In addition, our Father, God, is creative and in the Bible, it is written that we were created in His image. God is a genuine artist, poet, motivational speaker, the artist of the skies, the seas, the earth, the beautiful vegetation around, just everything in this universe. If in His image, why shouldn’t poets be as creative?
Beautiful artwork, yes beautiful artwork. Sitted by the countryside watching the river flow down the sunset horizon, all by himself. Just paint and a sheet of paper in front of him, he paints nature. Has he given up the world to live alone? Certainly not! But the passion within him has brought him out here to put his talent to use. The desire driven by the talent is an important tool. But it never leads good poets to destruction.
FATHER BITES SONS EAR by Michael. L. Ahlee
A Lusaka man bit off part off his son’s ear when the boy tried to stop a fight between his father and his brother.
The man, Lewis X., was involved in a scuffle with his other son who was angered by his father’s alleged negligence and his decision to marry another woman.
The victim, Frank X., told the police-officers that when his father was retrenched, he sent his wife and children to the village whilst awaiting payments of his benefits. He said his father had promised to send food and money to the village every now and again but never fulfilled his promise. Instead he decided to marry another woman in Lusaka. Frank explained that his father’s activities angered his brother and in the process of questioning him over his deeds a quarrel ensued which later broke into a physical fight with his father.
He said upon seeing what was happening, Frank decided to stop the fight but his father bit off part off his ear. He said he was planning to sue his father for biting off part of his ear and neglectence.
Note from the author: This story is real. The incidence took place in Lusaka, Matero compound last year 2002.
> Michael Lipepo Ahlee was born in Senanga, 25 August 1981, from a Zambian mother and a Tswana father. He never finished grade 9 but writes English fluently and is very well informed in matters of law. ‘We are a wise, intellectual family’, Michael indicates,’I guess it’s God-given.’ Being a former school soldier, he’s got a vivid interest in police-cases. The upcoming issues will contain more of his stories.
Many a time when hope deserts me… by Matongo
Many a time
When hope deserts me
And leaves a void in my heart
I look around
Hoping I would see it nearby
All I see are faces of sorrow
Faces that inspire ill-fortune
I spread my hands about
Hoping to grab at hope
In the midst of misfortune
Or merely a touch at a strand of hope
With the little strength I’m left with
I can hold on to this strand of hope
And climb up a mountain
Whose peak glitters with hope
But all that answers to my helpless hands
Is a thin cluster of lifeless air
I close my eyes
Hoping to catch a glimpse of hope
Behind my eye lid I see nothing
A face appears
A familiar face
A caring face
A face of an angel
A face darted with eyes that swine with hope
In these eyes
I see crystals of hope
Dangling like chimes
In a path of an early-evening sunlight
And the void in my heart
Is filled with hope
MATHEW TEMBO by Klaartje Jaspers
At his latest cd ‘Unkhalo’ (‘Life’), Mathew tells the story of son who’s asking his father to send him to university. The father refuses, lies that the university is closed, because he can’t afford to pay the fees. However, anybody knowing the reality of Zambia these days, understands the father isn’t lying – university does close down all the time.
Leaders refuse to step down, afraid to lose their privileges
Meanwhile workers work day and night and hardly get paid
‘I don’t know why, but it seems most African leaders have not got a vision on how to improve the country’, Mathew says, ‘Maybe they have been corrupted by money. Look for instance at Muluzi (the president of Malawi) and Chiluba (the former president of Zambia), refusing to step down when their time has come. Meanwhile the workers work day and night and hardly get paid.’
Tembo is a self-made man. Not only he writes and performs his own music (bilingual: English and Nyanja): he produces his own sound, his own videos and wants to start his own label ‘Matsound’ as soon as possible. ‘The existing Zambian labels don’t do enough, especially not when it comes to reggae or traditional music. Their aim is limited to serving the Lusaka-market only, even the biggest stars like JK are lucky if they sell 10.000 copies. When I’m out of the country, I hear music from Zimbabwe or South Africa – but Zambia: no.’
According to Tembo, the Zambian music industry is facing a serious depression. ‘Ten or fifteen years ago we were a lot better off. OK, some musicians have indeed created their own sound, but the lyrics are usually dull. However, I don’t blame the individuals; I think this is the result of a culture we have created.’
What was wrong is now right, and what was right is now wrong
In ‘Kumalya Ndimu’ Mathew describes how moral values have changed. ‘”Kumalya Ndimu” is the name of a game we used to play: you sit in a group, people pass jokes but you’re not supposed to laugh. Once you do you have to close your eyes and you’ll get hit on the head. If you guess who hit you, they are supposed to stop. But is they don’t like you, they’ll just tell you your guess was wrong and keep on hitting you until you cry. Our life has become like that: whether wrong or right: you’ll be hit… what was good a few years ago is now out of fashion: what was wrong is now right, and what was right is now wrong.’
Mama and sister
Listen to me
You live in vanity
Trying to please this humanity
I wonder if you have your integrity
Can’t you see you’ve lost all your dignity ?
You’re drowning in iniquity
Wake up and find your sanity
Where is your generosity?
It hurts coz you are the majority
Look my sisters
Where is your culture?
O my mama
Where is your consciousness?
O my mama
What did you teach your children?
The erosion of values is a repeating theme in Tembo’s work. In ‘The now Zambian girls’ (‘Save my soul’, 2000) he comments on how the now Zambian girls seem to have lost their pride and respect for their descent.
I keep on telling everybody
Till you drop
The now Zambian girls
Have lost some human direction
You were so beautiful
Those cosmetics have chased your beauty away
Look how you’re looking
One would run away
– Mathew Tembo ‘The Now Zambian Girls’ from ‘Save My Soul’ 2000
‘Whatever they are: they should be happy to be made as they are – God made them in his image. These bleaching products do more harm than good.’ According to Tembo, their behaviour is the result of a low self-esteem. Though it affects the women more then the men, it is the low self-esteem of Africans.
Bleaching is a result of low self-esteem
‘Colonialism contributed by suggesting African cultures were barbaric. As we learnt how to speak English, we assimilated to the culture that goes with the language. We came to think everything European was good and everything African is bad. This thinking was passed on from generation to generation. Nowadays there’s only a small group that still values the African traditions.’
> based on an article from the website www.thinono.org (does not exist anymore), click on ‘sounds’, then scroll down
QUESTIONING JOSHUA MWELWA – pharmacist @ Supreme Care Pharmacy – by Klaartje Jaspers
Joshua Mwelwa sells bleaching creams: Diproson, Amira-C… ‘Different names but they’re all steriod- containing creams’, he explains. ‘Steriods alter the melamine in the skin.’ Melamine is the major determent of the colour of one’s skin. Whites have little, blacks have plenty. Reason why whites get so easily sunburnt, whereas blacks do not: melamine protects your skin from the damaging effects of external forces like the sun. ‘Indeed’, Joshua admits, ‘using these creams will make you more vulnerable to the sun – you’ll be more likely to get sunburns or even skin cancer.’
Sunburns, skin cancer, acne & spots
‘We care for your health’, a sign at the entrance of the pharmacy reads. ‘We are trying to educate people about the side-effects of these creams’, Mwelwa says, ‘besides the increased sensitivity to sunlight, some people get after-effects or become prone to minor skin infections like acne. And its addictive: if you stop using the creams, you will first look shabby, some spots will become dark, others remain light; it will takes 4 to 7 weeks for your skin to become evenly black again. We tell them about these dangers. But most don’t really care.They just buy it anyway. There is a notion in our colour that the lighter ones are the more beautiful ones. They don’t want to be whites like real whites, just light.’
beauty for sale @ 2500 kwacha
‘We sell at least 15 tubes a day. A tube costs 2500 Kwacha. Most of the customers are between 15 and 35 years old. Mostly street women – prostitutes’, Joshua says, ‘you can tell by they way they walk, dress, by their language, their skin, their hair and above all – their eyes! They’re very confident. They just buy it for their living. Poverty in short. Then there’s a group of school drop-outs and there are a few married woman. I suppose they want to please their men.’
Street women, drop-outs, married women and Congolese men
‘It hardly sell to men. And if- it is to Congolese men. I never sold anything to a Zambian man. I guess it’s not in our culture.’
WHO IS RUNELL? by Alex Mukuka
Tarcissius Chikopela, popularly known as Runell, is one of the most upcoming artists on the Zambian music scene. Runell’s latest album Osadambwa is receiving massive airplay in Zambia as well as some of its neighbouring countries.
…thrown away our culture to take up the Western
Osadambwa is an album with a touch of everything. It has an educative message to the rebellious youths and adults who have thrown away our culture to take up Western culture. The song also talks about the current economical crises we are going through, forcing young men and women to do abominable things as a way of survival. Listening to the voice, the message and the rhythm of the drums, you might think the person behind all this is not a youth. But who is the man behind Osadambwa ni masiku yano?
Tarcissius Runell Chikopela is a Mambwe by tribe; from the Northern part of Zambia. He was born on the 20th of February (year not disclosed) in Isoka district. Raised in a family of eleven; six girls and five boys. He is the ninth born. He did his primary school education at Buteko Primary on the Copperbelt, in Luanshya, went to Mbala Secondary School for his junior secondary level and later at Mungwi Technical High School for his senior secondary education were he successfully completed his grade twelve. He has been raised in a home of artists. His father used to play for the famous Kalambo Hit Parade, a well known Zambian Band which is still existing. Runells elder late brother Mathews Chikopela was a teacher and musician.
Runell started singing at a very tender age, whilst doing grade six in the Copperbelt. Throughout his childhood, all he liked was music. During his secondary education he was always in front organising school entertainment functions in the weekends. He took up the music career full-time immediately after completing his secondary school education. He personally composed the songs in the Odambwa- album. Jerry, another upcoming artist, helped him in the production of the album. Producers who were so helpful to the young star are; Leo Bweupe (Black Munthu), Bushman, Jerry Fingers, Inferno and Mr. Davie. ‘Runell’ came into existence when he first sang in the compilation album by the record label Cypher Studios. The hit single Bamuna Banga received airplay, gaining him recognition and giving him a chance to sign up with Cypher Studios.
‘With education, the sky is the limit’
Tough Runell has taken up music as a career, he also has other areas of interest, like establishing his own business. ‘With education’, he says, ‘the sky is the limit.’ He wants to go into college, but couldn’t disclose what course he would like to pursue. His source of inspiration are people who do positive things in life and have positive goals to settle.
Inspiration from people who do positive things in life
Runell’s main goal is to earn and gain respect for the Zambian musicians. He has noticed that most of Zambian veteran musicians have been neglected by both the government and the community. As a result they are forgotten and unrespected, despite their contribution to this country. He wants to be remembered by his contribution to music today and tomorrow.
AIM: gain respect for Zambian musicians
It hasn’t been so easy to release an album, there have been ups and downs. It has been tough but all it takes is courage and a will to do it. It is the beginning of a long journey, says Runell. You meet a lot of different people, with different backgrounds, cultures, customs and characters. You go to a lot of places, you are known to everyone. You chance a lot of opportunities, learn more and even come to appreciate your own culture. That’s what is good with music. But there is also a lot of challenges. You don’t move a metre unnoticed, whatever you do – you’re watched. There is no privacy. Therefore you tend to worry over unnecessary things.
‘It has been tough but all it takes is courage and a will to do it.’
Commenting on how the music industry in Zambia today has been received by the government, Runell says, ‘It’s a pity our leaders are not all that supportive. If we can receive equal support like any other sport, music will be so beneficial to both musicians and the nation. Piracy is another disadvantage which needs to be looked into seriously.’
Runell has signed up a two-year contract with Cypher Recording Studios. He has also released a new album called ‘Shibukombe na pulani’.
> more on Runell can be found on www.thinono.org in the section ‘sounds’
MY AFRICAN QUEEN by Masauso H. Sakala
From across the stream I heard sounds of drums
African drums carried a message of your arrival
The day of my gladness and joy had come
My African queen
My heart was filled with peace and love, burbling with joy
The sounds drew nearer and nearer
My heart was almost exploding
Yes! It was the arrival of my African queen
So natural you were
Your skin nicely tanned by the sun above the African skies
Never did I look down upon you because of your colour
Your eyes shone with love
Your breasts hung so innocently
Untouched, undefiled you were my African queen
Where are you?
You found contentment in me
Never did you desire to see the other side of the mountains
Streams of flowing waters were our pleasure resort
So romantic it was.
Your love was so sure and so strong
You remained home as I laboured for you
Fearlessly, I risked my life for food
Knowing well indeed, you were there for me
So caring you were my African queen
Where are you?
Let’s restore our culture
Our identity, our dignity
My African queen.
Is there no limit to your civilisation?
AIDS by Herbert Nthasu Mwilba Jr.
If I could face you I would shoot you dead…
Like smoke fills a closed room, so you spread…
You have become so common a disease leaving many afraid…
You remain in the background as though innocent
But to eliminate you, I know we need to spend no cent
Single sex, abstinence and faithful couples can kick you out 100%
After all, to vanish you are meant.
THE RETURN OF KAZU-KAZU – NEVER SAY DIE by Mac Charles Kazumba
In sport you don’t say die, no matter how hard things become. No matter how long it takes for you to be who you really want to be in sport, don’t give up.
Don’t give up
I, Mac Charles Kazumba, have been out of action for a year due to the knee injury but I have never given up soccer as my first career. Late last year and early this year, I was in South Africa (Jo’burg) where I was invited for an annual Christmas and New Year football tournament organised by a Congolese soccer agent, Iza Zamulamba – well known for his speed in the wings as well as his dazzling skills. As part of my football trials, I am waiting for a USA trip this year. This same year, I have also participated in the Francophone football tournament, for the Congolese embassy. I’ve enjoyed my top form throughout the tournament, which was won by the Congolese.
Teams played for: – Mufulira Wanderers under 17 & 20 – United Machine Works F.C. (first division) – Chikola Wanderers F.C. (second division) – Telesport F.C. (second division)
Age: 19 years old Born on: 25-12-1983 (Christmas day)
Favourite player: Great Kalu & Ronaldo Favourite team: Arsenal
Aim in life: making it
Hobbies: – playing & watching football – going to church – helping the needy – fighting against child abuse and HIV/AIDS
SUNDAY’S STORY by Sunday Zimba
translation from Nyanja by Evans Mboloma, Michael L. Ahlee & Reuben Katebe, notation & photo by Klaartje Jaspers
My young brother is going to work. He is saying goodbye, ‘bye bye father’.
The owner of the house is using witchcraft.
A snake came. The snake went into the bag of charcoal. My mother called some neighbours, ‘the snake has entered the house’. People were lifting the bag, taking it outside the house. They took the charcoal out of the sack and killed the snake.
Then they found my young brother was dead.
The witch used to come at night and switch on a blue light. When we were dreaming, we dreamt of three persons who came at night.
After some days a young brother was born again. He was fat. The witch said ‘you can’t give birth to a beautiful baby’.
It was night. We were staying in the middle of witches. The witch planted flowers at the door. When he touched the flowers he changed into a dog. Then he would witch until he touches the flowers again and turns back into a person.
Early in the morning and at night, the witch used to bath the door in medicine. My mother called my father to come and see. They were not scared, they were just looking.
In the morning the young brother was found dead. When the doctor asked my mother ‘what do you want me to do with the witch?’, she told him to just let him be.
My father went to work. When he came back he was a bit drunk. He was given 20 kwacha to go and buy 4 buns at 5 kwacha each. The person from whom he bought the buns, said he had not paid. They made a lot of noise. The husband to the one selling the buns came. They started fighting. The husband got defeated by my father, he had torn the t-shirt of the husband. Three man failed to catch him. Two others came, there were five now.
My father bit a tree.
The five man caught my father, took him into the house and tied him up.
After one month the tree fell down.
My mother had started fighting at 12 hours, but it wasn’t until 24 when she relaxed and entered the house.
In the morning my father went to work again. When he came back, we shifted from the bewitched house to Ngombe-compound.
The family of my mother came to get me, but my father refused. He got an axe and told the family he would kill all of them. He was drunk. ‘If you have power, get into the house and take Sunday’, he screamed. Then they went home.
My father went to work. At 12 hrs he came back and went to his cousin. He started drinking beer with many people. Father got drunk. He told his friends ‘I’ll go to the toilet, I’ll come’. When he entered he hid in the small corner. The people he was drinking with were putting medicine in his beer. He got out from the toilet. The friends told him to finish the beer since they had put medicine in it. ‘No’, father said, ‘no, I’m okay’. The friends then knew – this man is clever. After he went, they threw the beer. >
He stopped drinking with many people, instead he used to take his cousin to drink with him. The cousin of my father got so drunk my father had to carry him on his back like a baby. The wife of my fathers cousin was telling the cousin he didn’t produce any babies. They had sent witchcraft from the village. The witchcraft was staying at a very dry place where you couldn’t suspect a witch to stay.
At night the witch went to get blood from the cousins son. He just used to see that the baby was getting slimmer and slimmer. The witch used to go everyday to go and get blood.
Sunday Zimba (right) with his friend & translator Evans Mboloma (left) whose story will appear in the next issue…
The doctor of my father came. He stayed one day. In the morning he checked the whole house.
The doctor called my father and other relatives around 10 hrs and told them to get a spade. All of them had to wash their hands in medicine, the doctor said ‘wash your head, and legs’, and then told them ‘dig here.’
But those who were told to dig asked ‘what is he telling us to dig?’ The doctor told them ‘just dig, you’re going to see’. The people refused, they said ‘this place is very dry, there is nothing here’, but the doctor insisted – ‘just dig here!’
They started finding some avocado’s. Then they heard something crying down where they were digging. My father was standing nearby, the witch passed between his legs. They quickly threw medicine on the witch and put the witch in a tub with medicine. It became very small. When its power finished, they found a needle, a razor, a knife and beads in the tub. The spirit came out and the doctor started dancing. The witch was put in the cousins house. They said ‘tomorrow we going to burn it in the bush’.
In the morning they went to burn. Then they shifted from where they were staying to another place.
I was looking after the goats, taking them to the bush to eat. In the evening I got 150 kwacha. I went home to sleep.
The next day, after herding the goats again, I went to play with my friends at someone’s fence. The fence fell down. Initially the owner of the fence didn’t know who did it, but at night he was told. He told us we should prepare money to replace the fence. My father paid 4000 kwacha.
After that I was beaten at home.
My young brother who was born, died.
My father married another woman – now there were two in the house. Father bought both a television, a sofa and a bicycle.
One morning as I was going with my grandmother to dig the fields, we found somebody putting medicine there. The medicine was planted against grandmother. Grandma didn’t talk to them, we just passed.
In the evenings we came back home. Around 17 hrs someone brought a sick relative from the village to our home. He had evil spirits in him.
We took him to the cousins place to dance the spirit out. When he started dancing, the spirits didn’t want any children nearby. I rudely refused to leave the place. The man with the spirits grabbed me. The relatives had to put money on a plate for me to be released. Then the spirit left the man and the man was taken home.
I went home.
In the evening my father came with a crate of coca-cola. That was on the 30th. Father took the soft drinks and the mealiemeal to my cousin’s place where the people were. The relatives were given some soft drinks and a bag of mealiemeal because they had complained they had no food.
After that my father came back. He went to sleep.
In the morning my father left for work. I went to my father’ s cousin’s place. We chatted with his son for some time. Around 12 hrs they started cooking nsima.
At 18 hrs father came to collect me with the bicycle. I went home. Upon arrival father had an argument with mother. My mother left to stay at the relatives’ place.
After some time I started troubling my father about my mum. One day he bought a tray of eggs and cooked them nicely just to appease me. He gave me 2 eggs because I was crying for my mother. After that he promised we’ld go together and collect mother.
We went and reached where she was. After some discussions she came with us.
Upon reaching home I went to play at my father’s cousin’s place and left my parents at home.
When I came back home, I discovered my dad had bought me a remote controlled car. I played with the vehicle until around 19 hrs, then I went to sleep.
I woke up early in the morning and started playing with the car again. A friend of mine asked for it and I gave him. After having played with it for a long time he got fed up with it.
When I reached home they started asking where I took the car. I told them I didn’t know who got it. The same day my father bought me another car.
At the month end we left the house where we were staying. My father bought me 5 pairs of suits. ***
After two weeks the mealiemeal got finished. Then some of my mother’s relatives came to visit. There were two of them. They started telling me and my mom we were not staying well.
They started waiting for my father who was at my stepmother’s (2nd wife) place. They waited for him up till around 17 hrs. The distance between the second wife’s place and ours was quit far. They decided since he was not coming and they would take the two children: Sunday –me- and Suzyo.
We started off going, to Chazanga where they lived. Around 20 hrs, we reached Roma. I was concentrating on the route we used. As we were moving, we met a vehicle. The driver asked us where we were going. We told him we were going to Chazanga- compound. He told us he could take us up to Chipata- compound. I kept on memorising the route. As we were moving I noticed a broken gate and a dust road. We moved on and arrived at Chipata- compound, there the driver dropped us at the station. We continued walking, passed through Chipata-grounds and then we reached Chazanga.
We were welcomed nicely. The young sister to my grandma lifted me and put me on her laps, then they told us to go and sleep.
The following morning we went back to my mother’s place where we used to stay. Upon arrival they started collecting everything in the house. Among the things collected, there was a radiogram and all the records, the sofa’s and a bicycle. Together with my mum we went back to Chazanga. We failed to get the four seated sofa which we left outside the house.
On the 15th my father came to check on my mum. Upon arrival at my mothers place he saw the sofa and asked the neighbours what was happening. They told him the relatives of my mother had collected everything.
My father went and called his mother, he told her to keep the 4-seated sofa. Two of my fathers young brothers came, lifted it up and took it to my grandmothers place.
My father told my uncles he was going back to his other wife’s place. He went and told my stepmother about the situation. He complained bitterly because me and my brother were still very young.
Me and my brother went to catch grasshoppers and pick left over cobs of maize in the fields. From the fields we went back home. Upon reaching home we lit a fire and started frying the maize we had collected.
The following day, they made a plan. They made us – me, my two brothers, my sister and a baby- wear thorn shorts and t-shirts to go my fathers work and show that we were very poor so that hiss boss would increase his salary.
But the aim of getting more money was not to support the children but just to eat it on their own.
My father’s boss agreed to increase his salary. He told us to come every month end to collect the money, my mother would be taking the money on behalf of the children. Then we went back home.
The next day there was some confusion between me and my brother. I left home and went to my grandparents in Ngombe.
On my way I got lost, I was moving without knowing where I was going. Then I saw a gravel road that I recognised. As I was going on this road I missed a turn we used take, so I used another way. After a few hrs I saw a wall fence which was down. When I reached a railway, the whole picture came and knew where I was going. Finally, I arrived at my grandparents home.
They welcomed me nicely.
They started questioning me. As they were questioning me, I answered according to what happened.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO SUNDAY, HIS LITTLE BROTHER SUZYO, HIS FATHER AND HIS MOTHER? WHAT WILL HER FAMILY DO WITH THE MONEY THEY JUST LAID THEIR HANDS UPON? AND HOW DO THE WITCHES BLEND IN ALL THIS?
FIND OUT IN OUR NEXT ISSUE, IN WHICH Kambisa!BeHeard. WILL PUBLISH PART 2 OF SUNDAY’S STORY.
BOTTLE OF COCA-COLA BECOMES TORTURE INSTRUMENT by Michael L. Ahlee
Police officers battered a suspect using a bottle of Coca-Cola. The police used the bottle to brutalise the suspect. His knees and waist were beaten whilst he was laying on a bench. The suspect said he was summoned to the police station where, on arrival, police accused him of having stolen iron sheets and maize. The suspect denied the charges but was ordered to remove his shoes and belt without further inquiry. He was promptly sent to custody where he was detained. The arresting officer Constable Rambo- Hussein and the other officers battered him for three days.
According to the medical report he obtained from University Teaching Hospital (UTH), he sustained backache, pain in both knees and the right ear.
The law of Zambia does not allow police officers to receive money when releasing a suspect, as police bond is free.
The suspect was released after four days and he paid a certain amount of money. It was not clear why he paid that money. The law of Zambia does not allow police officers to receive money when releasing a suspect, as police bond is free.
As the suspect further inquired for help, he approached Lusaka Central Police for prosecuting the officer. His lawyer described the incident as a mortifying display of sadistic innovations of police officers.
Addition from the author: Mind you we are in a New Deal Government where corruption is not tolerated. The Mwanawasa- government is working hard against corruption. Let’s work within our limits.
Kambisa! Be heard. is looking for your creative contributions. Photos, puzzles, cartoons, drawings, short stories, interviews, poems, articles…: anything printable.
Anyone who has something to say or show about his/her life in Zambia, the current state of world affairs or human kind in general, is invited to send his/her contributions to:
Klaartje Jaspers, p.o. box 37657, Lusaka or: firstname.lastname@example.org
the size has to be less than 2000 words or max. 2 A5-pages (black & white), language should be English or any Zambian language if a translation is included, responsibility and copyright remain yours, don’t forget to include a contact-address & indicate if you want this to be published or not
and please…. keep it simple: Kambisa! Be heard is meant to serve a wide audience, don’t strangle the readers by using unnecessary complicated sentences or words nobody has ever heard off. Intellect is in the meaning, not just in the words.
please note: the editor holds the right to reject or edit all incoming materials, please state it clearly if you don’t want any alterations printed without your prior consent.
The next issue of Kambisa! Be heard should appear in July 2003. It will deal with the relations between the sexes, alcohol, love, politics, sports and many more. There will be more short stories and a column by Michael. L. Ahlee, an analysis of our behaviour when it comes to HIV by Chanda Mubanga, an essay on confirmative action by Herbert Nthasu Mwiba, an A-bar love essay by Alice Mapulanga, real life stories from around Zambia, features of Zambian musicians and visual artists….What is going to be in it, is basically up to you. Keep on writing!
A theme for the forthcoming issues….
Twenty-one hours. Dark. I am walking through Rhodespark to see a friend as an officer comes up to me. ‘Stop.’, he says. ‘Why?’, I ask. ‘It is night and I am an officer’, he replies, ‘where are you going?”Í am on my way to see a friend’, I point in the direction. ‘You have lost your friends?’, he asks, nodding at a group of people going down the street. ‘I don’t know them’ ‘So you are on your own’, he concludes. ‘I am on my own’, I confirm, ‘why are you stopping me?’ ‘I want you’, he whispers. ‘I thought you were an officer’, I say as I turn around to proceed. ‘He!’, he shouts,’Í am serious!’ ‘I’m sorry’, I say, ‘Goodnight’.
Abuse of power. So common a phenomena one almost forgets to do something about it. Why didn’t I ask for his name, for his badge, for his registration number? I was happy to be out, it didn’t occur to me till I was gone. I was lucky, others are less fortunate. Kambisa! would like to hear your stories.