Magazine nr. 4

KAMBISA!

Volume 4, August – October 2004

Poems and stories on prostitution, politics & religion, HIV & steady relationships, streetkids, smiling, stigma and soccer.

$ E X

THE OTHER SIDE

Rabecca Ngoma – Emmanuel Makasa – Herbert Mwiba Jr.
Liswaniso Kabwela – Matongo – Bellah Zulu – Timmy Hara

BE HEARD.

 

We call them ‘bitches’
(editorial)
The Prostitute and the Judge

by Rabbecca Ngoma

Something is Wrong in our Nation

by Herbert N. Mwiba

 

Seven  nice  bitches

 

Religion and Politics

by Bellah Zulu

 

FIFA should be impartial

by Timmy Hara

 

A cold June night

by  Matongo

HIV and steady relations
by Emmanuel Makasa

Nocturnal Temptations
by Matongo

Zambezi the drum
by Desh
Mrs. Chifuwe Banda, former prostitute
by Klaartje Jaspers

A cry for help
by Kababula Bupe

 

A Smile
by Liswaniso Kabwela

 We call them ‘bitches’, yet we are not too judgemental too pull out our wallets to pursue them into a mutual set of actions we like calling ‘making love’ when we perform them with our husband and wives. Capitalizing on our hypocrisy, it’s not so surprising their profession has survived centuries of insults, attacks and welfare-projects. Prostitutes.

In this issue Mrs. Banda, currently a married mother of four, explains how she got involved in sexwork and how she eventually got out. Rabbecca Ngoma tells the story of Ade, a young prostitute who reveals some of the inhumanities her profession exposed her to. Thirdly, an anonymous customer gives us an insight into his encounters with seven nice bitches that were using the benefits of their nightly jobs to help others.

All of these reality-based stories seem to carry the same message: stop judging. Or like Herbert Mwiba puts it in his analyses of the current Zambian nation: if we can fold our accusing fingers, make strong enough fists, and take our positions as positive minded citizens, we can make a difference.

 

It’s not a new message at all. Even in the bible, the book so greedily quoted by many amongst us, Jesus (regularly surrounded by befriended prostitutes himself) is found saving the life of a woman accused of adultery. She’s put in a circle, ready to be stoned, when the prophet approaches and is asked what to do with this woman. ‘Let the one amongst you who is without sin, throw the first stone’, Jesus replies. We all know the story, yet we seem to have forgotten what it means.

 

The woman is lucky; she appears to be surrounded by men brave enough to see their own mistakes and read the wisdom in his words, and gets her second chance unharmed.

Unfortunately, looking around, there seems to be little of their courage remaining; Ade and Mrs. Banda, like most of their colleagues, have had to face so many insults, so many attacks one wonders where they got the self-respect to even care about their lives. Let alone to try and make a difference.

 

In that, they have lost something many of us have, Emmanuel Makasa argues. How come we don’t care enough about ourselves and our partners, to go for an HIV-test before banning the condom from the bedroom? We are careless and malicious; we get carried away by the false sense of security of a so-called ‘steady’ relationship and the desire to have sex without barriers, the UTH-employee answers, in the end we are not strong enough to stand for what is right.

 

‘What ever this is’, Mwiba writes, ‘our society is sick and urgently needs absolute healing: morally, politically, and economically.’ He suggests we get back to the bible, to ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ and reflect on our Zambian identity, not bluntly copying ‘Western’ lifestyles.

 

Mrs. Banda, Mwiba and Makasa urge us to reflect upon ourselves before judging, to focus on whom we are and what we want rather than just following fashionable images, or chasing some seemingly easy way out.

They ask us to take responsibility, if only we dare to care.

Kambisa!BeHeard.

Real life with real people in real situations:  the Prostitute and the Judge

by Rabbecca Ngoma

WARNING FROM THE EDITOR:

THIS STORY CONTAINS SOME VERY UPSETTING FRAGMENTS, SENSITIVE READERS MIGHT WANT TO RECONSIDER BEFORE THEY CONTINUE READING

 

Married women out there: as much as you would want to deny it, you do despise prostitutes, you insult them and you curse them.

I do not blame you for your deeds, Ah Ah!! But have you ever tried to see the person behind the whore? – No. Have you ever tried to dig into their pasts? – No. Or have you ever called them and tried to help them?  – No.

This is sad indeed. I confess I was once that judge, but talking to one prostitute changed my attitude towards them. Listen to this story and imagine yourself as the victim.

 

Ade was the only daughter of Kadita, a farm worker with a husband – Ade’s stepfather – that depended on the little she earned. Ade’s mother was an Angolan girl running away from the fighting in Angola. The father of her only child was an unknown rebel who raped her before she escaped Savimbi’s war. She had become a mother at fifteen and she resented her daughter for all her misfortunes.

 

Ade grew up in a loveless shack that she called home.

 

Ade grew up in a loveless shack that she called home. The only person who could have loved her, treated her like a rival: her mother. But all the same – who could blame Kadita for her behaviour? Fifteen years old, homeless, desperate, immature and alone in a strange country: she was also a victim.

 

When Ade was five years old her only relative, her mother, died from cancer. The only guardian she had was her ruthless stepfather, who saw her as the answer to his pervert fantasies. When he remarried three years later, Ade thought it was the end of her trauma. Unfortunately it wasn’t: her stepfather continued his dirty deeds.

Trouble shot when her stepmother discovered the little events that happened behind her back: instead of comforting the young girl, she pushed the blame on her, called her all the ugly names Satan could produce and gave her a beating so vigorously Ade was still bearing the scars when I met her…

All this happened on a small farm where people could not notice.

 

A year later a 21 year old relative of her stepmother joined them on the farm. He took sexually advantage of Ade. Unlike the last time, she confided in her stepmother. She was rewarded by being thrown out of the house.

 

A destitute at twelve, with no education, no dignity and no money. She joined some prostitutes in a small dirty room. They were the only friends she had.

‘Chi hule, chi hule, chi hule’

 

Fifteen years old, Ade was picked by a customer and driven to some isolated farm in Chamba Valley. What was supposed to be a trade, turned out to be a gang rape. She endured the pain; raped by twelve men, huge wooden sticks inserted into her private parts she was dumped by the roadside with no money. She made it home anyway.

After this event, she decided to quit and give her life more meaning: she went to church. However, the moment she walked in, heads turned. ‘Chi hule, chi hule, chi hule’, the so-called Christians whispered. They stared at her like dog droppings. She never went to church again. That day a soul was lost to prostitution.

 

Among the other terrifying misfortunes Ade encountered, is the time she hooked a white man. A white guy for a prostitute means good business and enough cash after the trade. ‘My friends envied me when he chose me and the other girl from the group. Mmmh, if only they knew what we had saved them from’, she said through her tears.

After reaching the white man’s house, Ade and her friend were offered drinks. Ade says she does remember drinking Coca-Cola which had a funny taste, but she nor her friend were not bothered by it. She also remembers feeling drowsy, then her world was dark..

When Ade awoke, she found herself stark naked. Recalling how they had gotten there, she stood up and found her skimpy clothes that were bundled in the corner of the room. She went in search of her friend. When she was in the corridor, she heard dog sounds. She got curious and peeped through the slightly ajar door.

 

Ade saw herself in the most insulting way she could ever see a human being.

 

What she saw, was the most terrifying thing she had ever seen. Sprawled unconsciously on the floor was her friend. On top was a German Shepherd, mating with her friend. The white fellow was busy adjusting a camera. On the screen of his television Ade saw herself in the most insulting way she could ever see a human being.

She felt weak but she tiptoed out of the house and climbed the wall fence. She never even thought of getting the payment for the services she had offered the dog.

 

Hey friends, I know you are saying ‘but why didn’t she do this or try that?’ But we are talking about a small girl, who was traumatised. Who would want to walk through this dark past?

Believe me, I shed tears when Ade was narrating her story to me. And if you had to hear it in her own words, I know you would weep rivers too. I’ve never seen somebody find it so difficult and painful to narrate their history.

Now readers, what’s the little that you could do for such a victim? Victimize them more? To tell you the truth, I think if you were in her boots, you would have picked suicide. I think the best we can do is just to treat them like humans too – show them a little love and respect. And, please, stop pointing fingers at them because you are not a Saint either.

It’s very easy to say ‘I would just pull its tail and fight it’ when you are not the one facing the lion yourself. But when you are the one facing it, you go numb. Indeed you never know the pain in your friends path until you walk there yourself.

 

Something’s wrong in our Nation.

by Herbert N. Mwiba Jr., Nov. ’03

Something if not everything is absolutely wrong in our mother country and worse today. What ever has or is happening to morality and sound norms once appreciated in our community set up, I keep wondering.

 

Child security

By all means possible, we should patriotically do something to win back immediately child security in terms of food, shelter, and education.

As people who are concerned, responsible and change oriented, we don’t need to attain a special kind of education or have special skills to secure our innocent children from possibilities of being molested or abused in any way.

With regret, it scares me to mention that; ‘Gone are the days when dear children were considered vulnerable, when every girl child was a daughter of any elder of the community and boys were every elders sons’. A time in our community when children would be left safely in the care of a neighbour without the fear of them being abused sexually, physically or otherwise. Every child was a cherished treasure of the whole society. Children were a blessing and not a society burden.

 

Girls have stopped cooking like their mothers to start drinking like their irresponsible fathers

 

Well, I write not to say that former days were the best and there were no people with deviant behaviour – NO. But at least, I can boldly confess that I have been a witness of days when orphaned children weren’t mostly destined to roam the streets and beg for a leaving. Children, especially the girl child, being defiled wasn’t an every day issue like it is now.

AIDS and poverty

The number of orphanages rising quicker than the number of public recreation halls or schools surely explains something fishy about our changed life. We are facing a growing enemy within and that is, ‘AIDS and poverty’. Growing like cancer of the blood, treatment seems almost impossible. ‘AIDS has already orphaned more than 11 million African children under the age of 15, and the worst is yet to come’ – so warned the report issued in November 2003 by the UN children’s fund.

We can’t afford to site back and hope all will be well with time. We should revisit the policies that address the needs of orphans. Otherwise the failure to immediately and efficiently respond to the orphan-crisis, jeopardizes not only the future of the children, but also the development prospects of the community and the country at large.

 

Defilement

The issue of defilement is one scaring development too. To a certain extent, I’m made to think that defilement and rape cases are an on-going thing, regardless of where it takes place, regardless of the relationship between the culprit and the victim. Something regularly happening in our communities, but rather kept secret – just like incest.

Could it be that we hear and read more about molestation cases because people have now seen the light of human rights concerning these issues to a point that they come out in the open to state their cases? Or have things gone to the worst to keep quiet any longer? What ever this is, our society is sick and urgently needs absolute healing: morally, politically, and economically. We truly need to get back to the, BasicInstructions Before Leaving Earth (BIBLE) – the human manual.

 

Super natural healing

I think we as a nation, are missing something somewhere. Our national problems stretch from budget over-run, corruption, defilement to all that hinders development. But they have a solution written in 2 chronicles 7:14. We need some super natural healing! Unless we change our life style, turn to God and take the responsibility for the decay of our society with the undying spirit of; “One Zambia One Nation,” nothing will change for the

better.

If we can fold our accusing fingers, make strong enough fists, and take our positions as positive minded citizens, we can fight poverty and AIDS, our development obstacles.

 

Sodom and Gomorrah

Defilement is sin and an abomination apart from it being a shame. I have been trying to figure out what could be fuelling our generation’s sexual recklessness because this is the major way HIV is transmitted. The first thing noticed, is people’s drift from Godly set morals of living. We aren’t getting better than Sodom and Gomorrah in our family values and sex life style.

 

Marriage

Co-habiting seems convenient and referred over the institution of marriage, which is a primary foundation of a stable society. Sex before and outside marriage is seen ok as long as you use a condom.

Boys become reckless men at the age of 10 and girls have stopped cooking like their mothers to start drinking like their irresponsible fathers.

 

Dress code

Our compromising dress code, which is said to be modern, is one other fuelling factor surely.  Whatever has happened to the at least descent dress code in our nation, only the Channel O spirits and Jezebel of the bible knows. These days, it’s like the more revealing an outfit is, the latest it is in the fashion world. The tighter; the better, the shorter; the most selling.

I wonder what will be left of our sound Zambian culture and norms by tomorrow. I can only imagine. It is quite unfortunate to see that this flimsy fashion wind has spared no age group, not even the once reliable ‘alangizi’.

 

Parents

To a certain degree, I put the blame on parents. Most parents are not very responsible for the right and descent upbringing of their children.

A culture, which offers a standing solution to fight AIDS, defilement or encourages norms is not taught in most homes these days.

Parents compromise their stand in the name of trying to narrow the generation gap in this first changing world. But on whose expense?

 

Politicians, like other Zambians, are good at shifting blames and criticizing without giving workable solutions

 

Adopting completely the western culture and lifestyle is without doubt eroding our values and cultural identity as Zambians. Guys will wear anything to reveal their muscle and girls don’t mind even abide to show of their pants when they wear those waist less jeans and show off in belly tops. Justified or not, this is a ‘notice how sexy I look and can be. I’m not old fashioned’ statement.

Things are truly falling apart because even old ladies show their bellies and now find it ok to wear crystal clear see-through dresses. One wonders who will teach whom. And who will lead by example? Parents, take up your family positions and be responsible!

Now I see why wisdom is not about age but God-given. Really, it’s not how old one gets that they become wise and full of understanding to be part of the mature age group that will help to solve the problem of human moral decay in our nation.

 

Corruption and plunder

Other issues of great concern are corruption and plunder. The two words that rarely miss on the headings of our Zambian newspapers. There is too much politicking without putting promissory words into beneficial action.

Politicians, like other ordinary Zambians, are good at shifting blames and criticizing without giving in any workable solutions that will benefit people – especially those below average income.

This is one thing we Zambians have now gotten used to. After casting their vote eagerly, we wait with great expectations for a better tomorrow always anticipated, but it seems beyond reach now more than ever.

We’ve lost focus in a way and have no defined priorities now as a government.

 

No defined priorities

Is it giving more money to the task force so that they can be efficient and bring the plunderers to book, construct more stadiums that will cost us millions because South Africa will be hosting the World Cup, or we should concentrate on improving the education and health structures and facilities?

I hope the fight against corruption doesn’t smoke-screen national development in the education-, health- and agriculture sector.

 

empower the unemployed

I think the priority now is to empower the unemployed, like street kids. Vacation colleges suiting all age groups need to be built if not extending the current ones. The set up should be like the way the ZNS (Zambia National Service) is, that is self-sustained – at least food wise.

The government should accept investors who are ready to build their own infrastructure. Not a situation where Shoprite comes and paints red the then ZCBC blue buildings. When they are gone, what benefit is there if they even carry home all the profit made in Zambia?

The government should remember to employ on time. Not that the ministry of education has employed more than needed teachers – if anything, there is a deficiency. There are hundreds trained, yet not employed.

 

Never wait to act as a group or look to the government to turn things around for the better –  change should start with individuals.

 

Lack of money for salaries is a lame and an unrealistic excuse the government can ever give. It’s just a question of priorities and fare distribution of what is there.

 

love your neighbour as you love yourself

To see a better Zambia, we don’t need donor funding, the IMF or the World Bank for a billion dollar loan. All it will have to take is a change of our hearts, minds and attitude while we pursue to live a ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself’ life-style.

This might seem a slow process, but it is the only way out of dependence. Change should start with individuals. This time, we should not wait for evolutional change. We need a radical change to redeem ourselves from this poverty and AIDS situation.

 

individual action

Never wait to act as a group or look to the government to turn things around for the better. I think we have waited for the government long enough. Well, aren’t we the government any way? If as individuals we have realized that corruption brings about poverty, which encourages prostitution hence, AIDS and street kids, then as individuals, with the spirit of patriotism and for the sake of our better tomorrow, we should stop this act.

 

Stand for clean and straight-forward engagements and discourage deviance of any form. This will pay as fine as a nation – no matter how minimal our efforts may seem.

Unless we bridge the class-gap by teaching the hungry to fish, poverty can’t find its exit out of our landlocked country.

> Herbert Mwiba Jr. is an author and a painter, currently living in Botswana. His painting ‘Reading in the moon’ (pencil on canvas, 2002) is found at the back of the printversion of this magazine, whilst ‘Girl insecurity’ (mixed media, august 2003) is found at the printed cover.

 

Seven nice bitches

anonymous

 

Let me tell you about bitches. I’m gonna give you seven instances.

No gas to get our money

We were sleeping at the RPS bus park in Chipata. We had done some work, but they hadn’t paid us yet so we were waiting for our money. There was this old bitch, mid-thirties, who said she was a nurse. My friends had told her I liked bitches, so she came and started buying me beers, and later also my friends.

The guys who owed us the money called, but we didn’t have money to put gas in the car to go and meet them. My friends couldn’t ask her for the money, but me – being a bit close to her – I could. She gave us. None of us slept with her that night, but she kept on keeping us without demanding anything.

 

‘come and meet my parents’

 

The second night, when I had gone to sleep very drunk, one of my friends slept with her. The next morning she came and asked me to join her to her village to see her parents. I accepted, curious about the village. Once there, she introduced me to her parents as being her boyfriend. They liked me very much.

We spend our Chipata-days together, she even gave us money for gas to go back to Lusaka. This was a bitch who knew how to spend her money wisely and who didn’t mind helping others.

 

 

stranded in a strange town

The nicest bitch, we met when we got stranded in strange town. Our job had failed, we didn’t have money for a hotel or to take us back to Lusaka. Five of us without any hope of where the help was going to come from.

It was when I met this physically-not-very-impressing midaged girl whom I happened to have spoken to on my way to buy a cigarette at a kantemba. She asked me if me and my friends could come and have a look at what was considered  to be the best night spot in the area. When I told her that we were as broke as a church mouse, she promised to sponsor everything – which she did.

she took care of five of us for about a week

 

She took care of five of us for about a week. During the first two days we stayed with her, two of us slept with her. Eventually our business worked out and we found some money. We offered to pay her for accommodation and other unmentioned services, but she refused.

 

 

keeping up with grandmother

I went to Club Zone and I saw a very nice looking girl. She said hi and asked me to buy her beer. I did and I left.

Next time I saw her with a group of men buying her a lot of beers. When she saw me, she came and asked me to join them. I refused, thinking they also wanted to sleep with her. I went to Mr.C. from where I bought some eggs. The same time I saw her coming. She said she wanted to go home but didn’t have money for transport. I told her I only had enough for a taxi to my own home. She suggested instead I should use the money to bring her home, sleep there and proceed the next morning. I was scared, as she lived in Lilanda – known to me as a place for burglars. I told her I would try to talk to some of the taxi-drivers and see if we could make up a plan, maybe I could pay them later. Being too drunk, she vomited. Now she was weak, so I bought her a ginger ale. Meanwhile I found a taxi-driving friend who trusted me. I told him to take us to Lilanda and pick me up after two hours.

 

I asked her if she was married. She refused.

 

She was staying with an old lady, but I didn’t see her the time we entered the house. I had seen some male trousers in the bedroom, so I asked her if she was married. She refused.

 

After doing the doings, I heard footsteps of a group of about ten persons approaching. They stopped in front of our door. She told me to open. I was asked who I was and returned the question. They mentioned her name, saying they were looking for her. She refused to open the door, to which they found a concrete block and rammed the door.

They got into the first room, where the old lady was sleeping. I heard her crying ‘who are you?’ The girl went into that room, trying to talk to them. She failed and got beaten. I couldn’t stop them. There were four of them in the house, and more outside. The girl got many cuts, then they came to me. I was ready for anything.

 

‘Who are you?’

 

They said I had been boasting in the club and asked me how much money I had. I had 25 pin in my trousers and had kept more separated in my jacket to use the next day, but I told them I didn’t have anything. They searched me but didn’t find it. They took my shoes and jacket, and told me I was lucky. Then they left.

 

Initially, I thought it was a set-up although the girl was beaten badly. So I told her “Let’s go to the police”. She protested. The more she protested, the more I felt it was a set up. But when the taxi came, the driver told me he’d been there before, but had left in fear when he heard the screaming and saw the men outside. They carried weapons. This was his second time to come and check on me.

 

When she saw that there was transport and realized I was going to the police even without her, she agreed. We went three of us and reported. When the police threatened to put her behind bars, she started crying and told us she knew one of the guys. It was a friend of a friend of hers, and she knew how to trace him.

I decided to tell the police to just leave her, I would deal with her. The taxi driver took her back to her place and brought me to a friend in Matero East. After driving that much, he wanted more money – but my friend said he didn’t expect any money until the next day. However, I found a relative in town to pay for everything and things were ok.

 

Afterwards, I think that was a nice bitch, she was just innocent. As the guys got in the house, the grandmother complained about her taking so many men home, and she had replied saying ‘Now how are you going to eat, if I don’t?’. She was just a hard working girl, providing for her grandmother.

 

 

Cynthia, the queen of town

Cynthia was a  known bitch, but when I met her I didn’t know. As a stranger in a small mining town, I was just there to visit a friend who was working there as electrical engineer. Not knowing exactly the name and the number of the flat he was staying in, for he had only given me his cell number to which I was failing to get through, I decided to kill some time in one of the night clubs that was where.

There I had a glance on this sexy Cynthia. Her clothes were exposing her body, but in a stylish way – I thought she had just watched too much MTV. She hanged around with the fancy guys in the club and appeared to be very much exposed. She seemed to be the queen of the club, the one everybody looked at.

It seemed to me, everyone there knew the other. They were all greeting and talking to each other. Cynthia peeped at me, she noticed that I was a new guy in town. She walked over to me and posed some few friendly questions. I told her about the person I was looking for, she seemed to know him quite well. She told me to stick around, then she would take me to his home.

 

I thanked her for the lift and said goodnight.

 

When she dropped me there, my friends told me she was a bitch – I shouldn’t get involved with her. I thanked her for the lift and said goodnight.

Next time I saw her, she was in company of her family. She introduced me nicely. Neglecting my friends’ advice, we started going out.

 

One night, I got home early in the morning and knocked at my friend’s room, the same guy who had warned me she was a bitch. As I entered, I found him with Cynthia. They appeared to be a bit shy with the situation, but as I had known all along, I didn’t mind. I continued dating her, and she was treating me and my friends nicely.

The next day we were out, drinking beers with the officer in charge.

 

Then we got arrested. We were in the cells and needed some help. Cynthia stepped in, using her contacts with the high-up guys she used to sleep with. The next day we were out, drinking beers with the officer in charge.

 

Sick and aborted at Penelope’s

Penelope showed me something about solidarity amongst the bitches. I had used her sexual services once before. She had refused to take my token of appreciation – which to me was a bit strange, having looked and judged her appearance. The kind of clothes she wore looked rather cheap so I thought she needed money for her wardrobe or maybe just food.

The second time I met her she proved herself (playing fifty-fifty) as an independent woman; we bought drinks for each other and so on. When we reached her house, we found her two housemates were sick. We took them to UTH, where one of them got admitted – it appeared she had been trying to abort. Penelope was complaining, but was taking good care of them and paid for all the bills.

Although I still meet her doing what she does in the night, now I can’t look at her like a bitch anymore.

 

 

She knows what she wants

Then there was Mwamba, the free-minded bitch. When I met her she was about twenty years old, already a widow. From the benefits her husband had left her, she had bought two clubs. She made money sleeping with rich guys, but enjoyed having sex with little boys – younger than myself.

One night, me and my cousin had gotten drunk in one of her bars. When we wanted to go, she said ‘stick around, I have some spirits’. After getting too high, I told them I wanted to go and sleep. Instead of letting me go home, she told me to go sleep on the coach in the office.

 when I woke up, I was alone

 When I woke up, I found I was alone. I entered the bar to find Mwamba alone, crying. I didn’t know what had happened and told her to go and take the coach, I would sleep on some tablecloths in the bar. She refused, and we both ended up sleeping in the bar.

Around six in the morning, when I got back to some form of consciousness, she asked me if I could have sex with her. I agreed, providing we used condoms. She got some from the counter and we did what we had to do.

From that time onwards, the club was mine. I could go there and do whatever I felt like doing or drinking, no one would bother me about anything. Mwamba knew what she wanted. She had her own likes and dislikes, and regularly ended up fighting those who threatened to oppose that.

When her two younger twin-sisters, whom she was keeping, showed interest in me, her answer was a very clear ‘NO’ – they could eat from her fridge like I could drink from her bar, but we were to do so on her conditions. She told me they would never be able to buy me a beer like she was doing: she used her money to remind me of her wishes, and succeeded.

7

Bitch number seven – up to you. Just open your eyes and see the niceness in her.

 

 

Religion and Politics

by Bellah Zulu, 02/03/03

The pastors, the deacons, the elders, the apostles, the shepherds;

The whole clergy nobility;

Where do they stand?

Do they practice what they teach?

Are they really messengers of God?

Or, as Karl Marx puts it, do they use religion as an opium for the people?

As a way of amassing wealth for themselves?

The ministers, the deputy ministers, the permanent secretaries, the MPs;

Are they really voted in or appointed to serve the people?

Or do they use religion to blind the people?

To make them believe that their heaven is yet to come.

Or according to Animal Farm, that their Sugar Candy Mountain is coming – while they enjoy theirs here on earth.

From times immemorial, or so I believe, Religion and Politics have co-existed. Politicians have benefited from the church and likewise did the clergymen, from state funds.

But then, what happens to the flock or the ‘electorate’ us politician like calling them?

Who should they believe?

Who should they trust?

Are we getting back to the times of Nazi-Germany under Hitler?

Or fascist Italy under Mussolini; the Vanguard  of Russia under Stalin?

Or yet some other name for Spain under Franco?

Where your closest friends turn out to be your waste enemies,

where those you confide in spy on you.

Why should I trust the politician with my life, the clergyman with my soul?

Won’t they just lead me to an abysmal collapse?

They have done that in the past. Just how do I get to trust them again?

The answer is NO!!! I will not juggle my life for any piece of silver or any fake promise for salvation, not when I still have a choice; even if I had none, with the given alternatives, I would still choose none.

Understand me, I’m not trying to be blasphemous.

Only we are living in a world that does not accept debate, which does not Condon Criticism, a world where profound cogitation is considered blasphemous and coined as moral decay – as immorality.

 

 

   > Karl Marx was a Russian thinker and politician. His teachings are known as Marxism, a form of communism.Marx liked describing religion as ‘opium for the people’, used to keep people from thinking for themselves, so they would not rebel.
   > Animal Farm is a novel by George Orwell, the famous writer of 1984 introducing the concept of ‘big brother is watching you’ in which citizens are destructively subjected to a totalitarian state.In Animal Farm Orwell describes the struggles between the power-hungry pigs and the other animals, referring to human politics like Roy Clarke later did in his controversial article in The Post.
   > Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and Franco are all considered dictators, serving different convictions.Especially Hitler and Stalin are known for the number of systematically murdered in their politics resulted. 

(on the picture: Adolf Hitler – wanting to guarantee a pure race of blond blue-eyed ‘upper’-people, he created a system which killed millions of Jews, gypsies, gays, disabled and politically opposed)

  > Bellah Zulu, born on the 28th January 1982 as the second in a family of 11, is DJ and co-producer of the weekly Kambisa!-radio show, every Tuesday 15.30 at UNZA 91.5 FM.He’s a third year student of Mass Communication at UNZA.

 

FIFA should be impartial.

by Timmy Hara

Soccer is a game that brings a lot of people together, in that it is a common sport. It is being run by FIFA, the federation of International Football Associations, which monitors all football associations in different countries. Recently the organisation commemorated a century of existence.

 

Taking a step backwards into 2003, in the month of June to be precise, France hosted the Confederation Cup, contested by continental champions from all the 6 continents. As its champion, Cameroon represented Africa. Unfortunately, one of the players met his fate during the semi-finals match against Colombia.

The fate of the Cameroonian player Marc-Vivien Foe grilled FIFA to release 750.000 US dollars to sustain and upkeep the late Foe’s family; a wife and two children. This act by FIFA compelled CAF, the Confederation of African Football, to disburse 100.000 US dollars to the same family. A noble cause which is necessary, called for, and important.

 

On the 28th of April 1993, the entire Zambian National Soccer Team perished off the coast of Gabon, including the football association’s officials. Not even CAF thought in the same line as in the case of Marc-Vivien Foe. But this partiality was not extended to Zambia.

In November, a memorial match was played in honour of Foe. All the proceeds from the gates went to Foe’s family.

 

FIFA has got all what it takes to settle the disputes between the Zambian government and the families of the victims of the Air Disaster. If the FIFA body can medal in this matter and abandon its partiality, it would prove its love and care.

 

A Cold June Night

by Matongo

 

Night had just dawned, the streets were empty and there were no cars on the roads. The cool evening breeze had turned to a harsh freezing wind. I had been working late, and walking down a town corridor to the bus station, I kept snarling at the chilling air. I should have taken something warm, I thought.

I was just about to turn a corner when a faint cry of a child reached my ears. I stopped and looked around. It seemed to come from a depression in one of the shop walls. I couldn’t see clearly in the pitch darkness, so I moved closer and strained my eyes for a clearer view.

‘Help me’, a voice begged. It was weak and faint. A closer view revealed a figure of a little girl in torn clothes, covered in dirt and blood – from head to toe! ‘Help me’, she said weakly in Nyanja, clutching her small body against the cold. I carefully pulled her out of the depression and covered her with the laboratory coat I sometimes take home. I asked her what happened to her, how she got all the wounds and bruises. She explained that she had been beaten and whipped by a couple of bigger boys when she failed to carry out her duties. When I asked her what duties she explained that she belonged to a group of street children and that each member of the group owed a duty to find food or money, or anything that could help keep them going, and bring it at the end of the day. The leaders of the group provided shelter and protection in return. Jane, as she had told me her name was, didn’t bring anything that day.

I dismissed the idea of taking the poor child to the hospital, hailed for a taxi and took her to my place. On the way, I was bothered by the driver’s nervous inquisitions but I brushed them aside and offered to pay him more money.

When we got home, I took her out of her dirty clothes and gave her a warm bath. Since I didn’t any fitting clothes for her, I washed her dress and put it out to dry. There was a spare mattress so I laid it for her in my small living room, promising to take her to the orphanage in the morning.

Her wounds washed and bandaged, using some material from the first aid box I keep in the house, I put her to bed, making she had eaten and was warmly covered. I locked up and went to bed.

 

Next morning I was up early as usual. I went to check on the girl first thing. I was startled. The girl wasn’t in the living room. I quickly looked in the other rooms but she was nowhere in the house. The front door was open so I checked outside but she wasn’t there. When I saw that the gate was open, I was sure she was gone. But why? With all those wounds, so early on such a cold morning? After closing the gate, I went back into the house and started preparing for work.

Looking through the clothes I wore the previous day, I found that my wallet was gone, including all the money and my national registration card. My bank card too! She took the whole wallet – my God! I had been robbed! No, I couldn’t believe it. Such an innocent looking little girl… and after all the help I had given to her…? I sat down helplessly on the bed, my shoulders slumped. I wondered…

Thinking about it later that evening, I realised how much help the street kids need, and that the little girl, Jane, was blameless.

 

HIV and steady relations

by Emmanuel M. Makasa, UTH

 

It’s a known fact that HIV in Zambia is mostly transmitted through heterosexual relationships. Research has shown that multiple sexual partners and casual sex greatly contribute to the spread of the virus.

One aspect that hasn’t received much attention though, is the role that steady relationships have played in contributing to our current HIV-statistics.

 

After the initial scare and condemnation of promiscuity as being the main contributor to the spread of the virus, condoms and abstinence were promoted. This campaign achieved some behavioural change; some people stopped whilst others reduced risky behaviours like having multiple sexual partners, infidelity, casual sex, sex before marriage and ‘live’ sex.

We are not careful in ‘steady’ situations

 

When it comes to steady relationships however, HIV has continued to spread unchecked by most people. We might be more likely to get infected from our husband, wife, boy- or girlfriend than from a one-night-stand because we are not careful in these situations.

Though the campaign has educated us on the dangers of risky sexual practices, when it comes to steady relations, people have felt safe. We discard all the protection to live out their fantasies, like having sweet ‘live’ sex or even dry sex.

 

Let’s face it, no one – men nor women – likes condoms: there is nothing like sex without a condom. But in my opinion, this should only be practiced by those who care for each other and show it in their actions.

 

Live sex should only be practised by those who show their care for each other in their actions.

 

Even steady relations in their early stages go through the unstable, suspicious phase. As most of us are not virgins, we have a history that links us to a big web of sexual contacts with the rest of humanity. This sex web is wider and bigger than an African family tree.

 

Quite early, most of these relationships of ‘going-out’ turn sexual. Partners agree to start off with ‘maximum’ protection, but sooner than later ‘no condoms in the bedroom’ becomes the new song.

 

We feel ‘safe’ too soon because they think we know each other better after they exchange notes about our Xs and their health. If these didn’t die of frank AIDS, then iliche!

Thinking the other one has been faithful this far, unprotected sex is erroneously used to measure mutual trust. Partners get rid of the condom to show their trust or assess the fidelity of their partner.

The false sense of security coupled with the desire to have sex without barriers, makes most people bring out the snake and let it lose after three ‘steady’ months.

 

The grave mistake we make, is by not confirming our trust with an HIV test

 

The grave mistake that we are making at this stage, is not confirming their physical and emotional safety with the scientific proof of an HIV test. Though it would have been wiser to take the test before any intimacy started, it might not be too late too take the test before banning the condom from the bedroom.

At this stage, most people still have some insecurity and doubt about the HIV status of their partner or themselves in the back of their minds. Though some try to suppress it, it never goes away, making us live in constant fear of the unknown. We know we took the easy way out by not taking the test when we should have.

 

There are so many broken hearts in this world. They go to show us that many relations don’t last so long. Soon we find ourselves in the hungry arms of another ‘stranger’, and end up in the same ‘steady’ relationship – giving each other HIV… with love. ‘Sankio mukwai!’

 

Deep down inside, you know you can only blame yourself.

 

One day, you wonder what hit you. You don’t have a clue when or where you picked it up, but deep down inside, you know you can only blame yourself. You were not strong enough to stand up for what is right.

 

Please, don’t be fooled by your ‘steady’ relationship. Don’t be scared of hurting his or her feelings by suggesting an HIV test. Anyone that would leave you for insisting on that, is not worthy of your naked unprotected body…. your life. Don’t be blackmailed by partners that would question your trust in them when you insist on HIV testing. Don’t trust anyone, not even yourself, without the test.

Knowing your status, your spirit will flow freely

 

If you test and know your partner’s and your own status, your spirit will flow and your life will have a new meaning. Whether positive or negative, you will have a good reason to start taking control. After knowing their status, people change their lives from being careless to being more focused, feeling empowered and free to really enjoy sex for breakfast, lunch and supper… to ‘live life at full crush’.

The only condition that would remain then is that we remain faithful to each other. Probably, the partner who is concerned, careful and caring enough to test for HIV, will not be unfaithful because he or she has something to lose.

Only those that don’t know their status can afford to be careless and malicious as to trap others into the insecurity of exposing oneself to unprotected sex without knowing the HIV status of themselves and their partner, then worrying about it and being scared of testing.

 

Our next step in the fight against HIV/AIDS will have to address the false security of steady relations and the fear to test. Emancipate yourself from mental slavery of HIV and God bless you all.

> any reactions to this article can be sent to bwambabutali@yahoo.com

According to the National Aids Council, in Zambia about one in every five adults is HIV-positive. Off these people, about 830.000 have developped AIDS. Drugs suppressing the virus are available at several clinics and UTH, at a fee of 40.000 K a month from which you can be expelled if you are unable to pay. Beware the drugs come with risks and side-effects and have to be taken every day for the rest of your life. They don’t stop you from spreading the virus to your partner when having live sex. If you life healthy, exercise a lot and eat properly, being HIV+ does not necessarily mean you’re sick. Quick, anonimous and voluntarily testing is available at several places – like New Start, next to Shoprite Cairo Road, above Bata, at K1000.

 

Nocturnal Temptations.

by Matongo

 

Last night I stood at an empty bus stop waiting for what would probably be the late bus. I usually get home late, so it wasn’t unusual that there was no one else around.

 

There came a woman clad in a short black dress that was so tight it fitted her body like a glove. For about a minute or two she seemed to be waiting for the bus as well.

Then she came over and said hi. I responded politely without giving her further attention. She moved closer and said ‘how would you like to take me with you for the night?’, smiling seducingly. I looked at her, my eyes straying down to her chest and thighs. Her breast was unusually full and she had good-looking thighs and protracting hips. I wasn’t sure what to say so I took time to respond.

she had good-looking thighs and protracting hips

‘Two months ago I would have. No thanks.’ I said, and looked away. She didn’t move, and she kept looking at me in a way that finally turned into a constant stare.

‘I’m going home to my wife’, I said. ‘I’m married, I can’t do that.’

When she saw that she was not going to get anywhere with me, she walked away and disappeared into the darkness. Probably to look for another, more willing, customer.

 

Lying in my bed later, I looked at my lovely wife, sleeping soundly, unaware of the rest of the world, I thought about the prostitute at the bus stop earlier. What if I had given in? My wife wouldn’t have known about it. Still, it would have endangered both our love and our lives.

Zambezi the drum

by Desh

Zambezi the ancient drum
the massage of black mysteries
gathers friends and families
strangers and enemies
the old drum of our forefather
the drum of our ancient culture
the tam tams of our ancestor

(Zambezi the drum)
Zambezi the rhythm
the rhythm of our new born nation
it sounds the cycle of birth and death
the drum for yesterday today and tomorrow
it sound the joy and it sound the sorrow
its true we have history
now we want our destiny

(Zambezi the drum)
Zambezi the drum of glory

 

Mrs. Chifuwe Banda, once a prostitute.

interview by Klaartje Jaspers

 

WARNING FROM THE EDITOR:

THIS STORY CONTAINS SOME UPSETTING FRAGMENTS, SENSITIVE READERS MIGHT WANT TO RECONSIDER BEFORE THEY CONTINUE READING

 

 

It all started when she left Petauke. Five years old, her parents had divorced and her father took her to Lusaka, where she was to meet her new stepmother. She wasn’t nice.

 

‘stay home and work’

 

‘I started school, but when I would come home, she would beat me and tell me the next day I would not go to school, but stay home and work.’, Mrs. Banda remembers. ‘She had two children, and used  to use me as a servant. I was washing plates, sweeping, cooking…’

 

She managed to attend school until she reached grade 5, then the young Chifuwe dropped out to work for a group of prostitutes. ‘I must have been ten or eleven years old, the prostitutes told me to work for them as a maid. They paid me and life got much better. After some time they told me to join them.’

‘At first it was difficult for me to sleep with men. I used to start crying. The men said “She’s still a child”, the ladies said “you’ll get used”. The queen mother of the group used to make a lot of money out of me; she charged the men 200 thousand and gave me five or ten pin. She didn’t feel pity, I used to have three or four customers each night. When I refused, she said she would chase me. I had nowhere to go.’

 

a queen mother without mercy

 

‘After some time, I started suffering from STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases). I told her to bring me some traditional medicines as she had told me not to go to the clinic. However, the diseases kept on coming. When I would tell her I was sick, she would just tell me to keep on doing my job.’

 

‘After eight or nine years, I ran away and joined a group of five age mates I had met in the street. We made our own money and employed our own servant.’

As her previous workmates had told her, Chifuwe did get used. ‘I used to smoke (weed), and limit drinking to two or three. Like that I would get a bit confused… Enjoying? No, the first two or three maybe, but the others are boring.  I had around seven customers each night. After the first I would wash myself with Mosi, to make it tight again.’

 

‘I fell pregnant, but I continued working. The men seemed to like my fat belly. I delivered in a bar.’ Luckily, Chifuwe’s friends took good care of her: after she came home, they send her to hospital. Then they put her on pregnancy-leave for three months, providing for her needs.

 

‘I delivered in a bar’

 

When she returned to the nightclubs, a white man and four black men invited her and a friend for a job which they said would not involve sex, “just sucking”.

‘We got into their car and they drove us somewhere into the bush, far away. There they told us “Now you are dying, we don’t want sex – we will just kill you.” I started crying for help.’

‘One of the black men saw milk dripping from my breasts. He started feeling pity since he could see I had a baby. He told me to run away, he would tell the others he had killed me. I reached the road, hiked a car and got home.’

 

‘Run away! I’ll tell them I killed you.’

 

‘The next morning, my friend came. She told me “Look.”. They had put a stick into her vagina, she was bleeding. We took her to UTH, but the doctors told us if they removed the stick, the rest of her insides would also come out. She died the following day.’

‘We had a funeral. Her mother refused to believe she had lost her daughter, she said “My child is still alive”. After we buried her, I thought now it was time for me to stop.’

 

 

Previously, Chifuwe had run away from the ‘night watchers’ of the Tasintha-programme,

people who address prostitutes at work in attempt to interest them in their aid- and reform-programme. Like many others, she considered them people that were disturbing her business.

Now, she joined their programme and received money to pay for rent and food so she wouldn’t have to engage in sex-work anymore. However, being used to making 200 to 300 thousand a night, she found it difficult to really stop prostitution. Though she joined the programme at daytime, she continued working in the night.

 

Another group of men presented themselves as customers. They took Chifuwe and a friend to another bush, somewhere near Kafue. Again, they were told they were going to be killed instead.

‘They killed my friend with a knife, then they took her heart out. As everybody was concentrating on her, I was proceeding slowly backwards until I fell in a kind of pit behind me. A big stick  pierced my backbone. I was bleeding, but I kept quiet.’

 

‘I was bleeding, but I kept quiet.’

 

‘After they finished, they started asking each other “where is the other one?”. They started looking for me. When they could not find me, they got scared I had run away to get the police and they went. I remained in the pit for about four hours, then I started calling for help. I reached the road and went to the police. They returned to the place I had described them and found her body.’

 

‘The third time I will die, I was sure now. The Tasintha-people convinced me to marry a customer that had tried to pursue me into marrying him before. I had told him the time wasn’t right, but he had insisted I was going to die if I continued living like that, I would be better off in his home.’

‘Initially, I was still escaping the house at night, but after our first baby was born, I gave up. I had lost those two friends, plus a lot of them to HIV. Sometimes I charged more for live sex, but I still did it. I considered myself already dead. If I count, there were maybe a million times I could have gotten infected, but I didn’t. They days, maybe 3 out of 5 are sick; I was very lucky. I did not know what I was doing, but now if I go back, I will know, and God will punish me for that. It is better we sleep with hunger.’

 

‘I was lucky, very lucky.’

 

Nowadays, Mrs. Banda works as a night watcher and peer-educator for Tashinta herself. At the same time, she has joined lessons in business-skills, tailoring, making blocks and keeping poultry, in which she wants to set up a business after finishing the programme.

She’s still married to the concerned customer, a marriage recently blessed with twins. Her eight year old daughter is going to school. Her former queen mother has died. When she meets ex-customers, she just says ‘hi’, and explains she’s now a married woman. Most congratulate her. Mother to a family of four children, and a faithful attendant at her Pentecostal church, she now receives the respect she was denied for so long.

 

‘Don’t judge.’

 

‘Sometimes in church, I get annoyed. They don’t know the problem. I tell them “Don’t judge, it’s only God who knows why people do the things they do.” People like judging prostitutes, but they don’t know why they are working like that: some do it out of peer pressure, others have problems, some do it because they enjoy it. I know some who are staying well in Roma, but they still go…’

 

‘I want to prevent my children from doing the same. I pray and teach them the word of God. Now they are still small, but if they start going out I’ll be very strict. I want my daughter to have a white wedding. ‘

 

***

 

> Mrs. Banda  (real name known with the editor) and her Tasintha-colleagues Macnicious Mwimba and Mwila Chilakata were interviewed by Desmond Mumba on Kambisa! radio programme on the 22nd of June 2004.

Contrary to its journalistic guidelines, for the interview printed above, Kambisa! paid K10.000 (a bit less then 2 Euros). Attention was paid her story remained authentic.

 

A Cry for Help.

by Kababula Bupe, grade 12 Lwitikula girls high school, Mpika

 

It happened to be on a Sunday evening, when my parents sent me across the road to buy bread. On Sundays people are usually indoors.

I met this irresponsible man who raped me. I told my parents and was taken for an HIV test. I tested positive and I was shown the other side of the coin.

 

My own parents rejected me, I was to stay in the servant’s quarter all by myself. When relatives came, I was locked up in the wardrobe. It all seemed as though the world had turned its back on me.

My grade twelve results were out. My father refused to take me to UNZA though I had obtained six points. The doors of happiness were shut in front of me.

I was not allowed to go out of the wall fenced yard but one bright day, I managed to escape their eyes. After four months I saw the feared road. I closed my eyes and threw myself on it. I thought death was the only answer to my cry of help.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I was not bashed but found myself in the hospital. I told my sad story to the good Samaritan who had picked me up. He took me to UNZA. Now I am a qualified doctor.

 

stop discrimination of the HIV infected

 

My fellow friends, stop discrimination of the HIV infected. You never know who is going to help you in the future. I am an HIV positive doctor and believe me, I saw my father almost dying in UTH and I helped him.

 

Let there be love amongst us for this is right in God’s sight.

 

 

Kambisa!BeHeard

$EX

 … was made by:

Kababula Bupe

Desh Chisukulu

Timmy Hara

Klaartje Jaspers

Liswaniso Kabwela

Emmanuel Makasa

Matongo

Herbert N. Mwiba Jr.

Rabbecca Ngoma

Bellah Zulu

&

the anonymous customer

 

 

Thanks!!!

to them, their many helpers and those who agreed to be interviewed or photographed, like….

Ade

&

Mrs. Chifuwe Banda

 

 

Historic comments and reactions

can be sent to:

 

Kambisa! Be Heard.

c/o Klaartje Jaspers

p.o. box 37657, Lusaka

or:

KambisaBeHeard@hotmail.com

 

Kambisa!BeHeard.

$EX

published by

C.J. Jaspers Media, Lusaka

 

 

A Smile

by Liswaniso Kabwela

 

I did not choose to be where I am, an outcast, not wanted where ever I go.

I look and search for love but no one wants to show me where it is.

So many empty promises of a better life – but I still have hope that maybe, just maybe, today an angel will smile upon me just for a change.

Every night I count the stars and wonder if whoever made them loves me.

I guess He does because at least someone blessed me with a smile.

A smile so little to give but worth so much to me.

 

> Reactions can be send to liswanisok@yahoo.com


Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑
  • New sounds, new visions

    Wij leren door te delen. Door onbekenden met elkaar in contact te brengen en hun verhalen onder de aandacht te brengen, hopen we nieuwe visies te inspireren. Samen werken we aan sterke gemeenschappen voor een duurzame wereld, gebaseerd op wederzijds respect.

  • Categorieën

  • Sharing is caring!

  • Promo

    Transit

    Independent Living

  • Soundcloud

     
  • YOUR SUPPORT

    Your support is very welcome, and may be tax-deductable. You can check the '6 ways to support Kambisa' page in the menu or use the PayPal button below.

  • Follow us