Independence Day reflections

Dear Editor,

No man should put another man in shackles ever again, because of greedy –so the saying goes. My hands and mind are unbound. So I sat down, took a memory walk down the lane of our History as Zambia, and then my spirit compelled me to pen this. On behalf of all well-meaning citizens, who understand that life is NOT worth living without freedom, and would love to broadcast their gratitude but have neither art nor platform, and on my own behalf, I send this direct message to you, all our good great freedom fighters, buried or breathing: We greatly thank you for the gift of political freedom given us! We will remember you. We will pray for you. God will save your souls! Now, let me bite the bullet. If they could see how we are now living and running our nation, I am convinced that our good dead freedom fighters would be turning in their graves. The state we are in as a country is heart-breaking. This is not how things were supposed to be. Our freedom fighters fought and died for our freedom, what are we doing now? We are slowly giving back our blood-earned freedom to our colonial masters. Save, unlike the whip, beat, and blood of yore, now the colonisation is being executed in the economic and mental mode. Not all blacks are blind. It is sad. We are throwing our freedom to the dogs. As if that’s not a whale on its own, now we have to worry about puppets and internal traitors. Our freedom fighters risked their lives so that we, the modern Africans, could live peacefully, in harmony and freely! What are we doing now? Every day we are shooting each other; (who is funding the bloody wars? Where are we getting the high-tech weapons from?) We put leaders in power who want to have the whole Africa in their pockets for their families, which is absurd and utterly impossible. The few true African leaders we have, leaders who speak up, high and loud and act for Africa, we allow greedy white powers to brain-wash us and murder them using our own hands. Let it be on record: God save Gadhafi’s soul; God save Lumumba’s soul; and God save Mugabe’s soul too, the last of the true modern African kings’ status quo. Most of us Africans have been sleeping for a thousand years now. When will we wake up? What will it take for us to build another Timbuktu, walls of Zimbabwe, another Zulu kingdom, or the pyramids? Our continent is filthy rich, why then on earth are we starving to death? Freedom days should be remembered always, and by all citizens. Freedom days must remind us that not all that glitters is gold. I am not talking about the USA, Europe, the World Bank, The UN or IMF. Freedom days must remind us that not all who come with a Bible in our house mean well for us.  Therefore, I now address our leadership. We often have independence activities for civil servants, companies, churches, and schools. That is good. But what independence activities do we put up for our hundreds of street kids? Is freedom only for the rich and educated? What independence activities do we put up for our prisoners (deny them other things not the remembrance of freedom)? What freedom activities do we put up for our poor citizens in deep rural areas? I was recently near Zimbabwe but within our borders. There I found citizens who think the President of Zambia is Robert Mugabe. Can you blame them? What freedom activities do we put up for such citizens in hard-to-reach places? Not all Zambian citizens can afford a newspaper; not all Zambian citizens have a phone or a radio; not all citizens have a television, and not all citizens can afford a computer. How do we share with such citizens the nation’s visions? Not all Lusaka residents will make it to the National Heroes’ stadium. Not all Ndola residents will make it to Mwanawasa stadium. What independence activities do we put up for our citizens who are stuck deep in our ghettos and in our sinking streets, places like the heart of Kanyama, Chibolya and Misisi? All citizens, even patients in intensive care units and babies sucking milk from their mother’s breasts, must have serious independence activities lined up for them, why not? We would all be slaving, wasting our lives sweating blood on plantations and mines for a white man right now, if it were not for independence. So God bless our Freedom Fighters! And God bless all our independence days. And may God help us religiously observe them all. Do we have such methods as a nation to secure our independence days in the hearts and memories of our youth and posterity? If the status quo remains, we should not be shocked when a day comes where most of our youths will not know what Independence Day is, nor celebrate it! If our youths and children, as is currently happening to us, forget where they are coming from, nothing can or may stop the second coming of the scramble for Africa. It is not freedom, we must never forget, as long as we are still receiving orders, conditions and directions from without! Having discharged one of my greatest duties as the daughter of Africa, I wish you a lovely independence week! Grace Ganizani, Lusaka.