I am older than Zambia by five years. I have vague images floating in my mind of the political campaigns for independence. Someone must assist me with the latest methods for “memory recall” for me to bring to the front of my mind Zambia’s struggles for independence as I saw and experienced them, please!!
I am a father, uncle, grandfather and granduncle to many children. Sadly, my mother and father are both dead (so when you insult me on social media please do remember you are hurting an old orphan, you rhino!). Only a brother and two sisters have survived out of 7 children (so, when you make those hurtful comments on social media kindly remember I am in permanent mourning mode, it is bad manners to offend one in mourning, you crocodile!).
Every grandparent has a moral and cultural duty and responsibility to tell stories to children. This could be just for entertainment because who does not like a good story, especially if you are sad, hungry, cannot sleep and it is late at night!
Yes, don’t lie, everyone loves to talk about themselves, and to embellish stories of their exploits. I too love to do this, I want to do it, using News Diggers! When I tell my stories though, I will try very hard to remember things as they happened and only rarely improve the story if it makes me look really very good. Generally, I am happy with the truth.
Grandparents tell stories for serious reasons too. To teach, to warn, to caution, to cause young people in particular, to think carefully about what they do with their lives. More than anything else, it is this last reason that compelled me to beg News Diggers to give me some space to talk to young people, in their newspaper (so, please, I beg you with bent knee and my hands clasped together in front of me:avoid saying too much rubbish to or about me on social media, you good for nothing pumpkin, News Diggers may take away this space, you hear me? I need it!).
I finished primary school. I even went to a boarding secondary school. And believe it, I actually ended up at the University of Zambia, and briefly toyed with student politics (ah, those were the days when I too was called not just “Mr. President” like HH, but actually “President General (PG in short – not PIG, you clown!) Because I had two small presidents behind me, one from the medical School in Lusaka at the University Teaching Hospital and an even smaller president from “UNZA in Ndola” but physically located in Kitwe actually, properly abbreviated as UNZANDO).
I have travelled. That has taught me things I cannot learn in Zambia. I want you to hear these stories.
Politics. I have dubbed in politics all my life. I have been elected general secretary of some very small party in my absence (while working on my experiments in a lab at UNZA actually), and then Derrick Chitala decided it was better for me to work with Dean Mung’omba and foolish me I jumped on the possibility to work with these clowns. That was fun. I travelled throughout Zambia and got very educated about Zambia’s physical and social geography.
Most crucially I have travelled outside Zambia. Deep into Africa and Europe I have been. Even to England, that horrible place that gave us capitalism and classical colonialism, and still controls us and our minds, off I went!
But, most importantly, when some fools decided to scare then president Chiluba with a coupe, I knew I would be made a guest of the government of Zambia, in anyone of its horrible prisons. I am not made for prison, you see. I decided to skip the country, and run away to somewhere safe, and settle my children (yes, dearest reader, I was not married but already had children, you have some beef with that? I know it is better to marry first and have children latter, but not all of us are straight lines you know, some of us are circles!).
It is to South Africa I ran to, where I have worked for and with trade unions for more than 22 years and so the bulk of the stories will come from this “Rainbow Nation”!
What then is the simple purpose for this space the editors of News Diggers have been so generously unwise as to offer me? To tell stories that should enable me to quench my thirst for talking about myself, while you, the young reader hopefully does not just run away with the entertainment in the story but hopefully learns something and also you say something about your own life and ideas. And I discuss your ideas with everyone.
Simple structure of the column: I tell a story or say something. You write back to me on the story or anything you want. I decide how to deal with your story or idea (trust me I will be gentle with you, after all I am dying for your admiration, dear young reader, I really do!).
No insults, no bullying, no intimidation, no “cut and paste” stolen lines and sentences from elsewhere – and we shall be friends and News Diggers will be happy with me, and the column may last long.
Life and living, politics, youth alcohol, drugs, and crime culture, human sexuality and actual sex (stop giggling, at 5 years older than Zambia, trust me I know quite a bit about human sexuality and loads of sex too), the economy and young people – everything that I and you, together, want to talk about is fine with me, as long as we are well behaved and don’t offend anyone, seriously.
Again, it is because the joy in any story is in the telling of the story, that this column is born. I want to talk to young people of the ages between 13 and 40 – who are fit to be my daughters, sons, nephews and nieces only. If you belong to the people of Zambia who are above this age you may find this column nice, useful and perhaps even entertaining. Please know I am not sweating to write it for you. There are too many books and newspapers that contain your old stuff, and much of it not useful even to you. So, read it if you want, but don’t bother to participate in our youthful discussions!
Next time I want to talk about me, alcohol and young people.
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