Iris Kaingu, the daughter to former Higher Education Minister Michael Kaingu is making an earnest appeal to people in Zambia to move on from the pornographic video she produced while in college five years ago. She is not happy that critics always focus on negativity when discussing her, even when she does something with good intentions.

It seems Iris is eager to close the page and open a new chapter in life. She wants bygones to be bygones so that she can join other people who want to contribute towards Zambia’s development. She is also concerned that there is too much cyber bullying in the country and goes further to brag that most people who insult and say bad things about her on Facebook, cannot do so if they met her in person.

“I would like to say publicly that most people are focused on my past which was five years ago since the sex tape happened. We are all just human beings and we all have feelings, so in as much I don’t come and say that I don’t like what people say about me, I think that I want to champion [the fight against] cyber bullying. It needs to stop, you hide behind your computers and you say what you have to say but if I had to meet most people that say negative things about me in person, they wouldn’t say it, they just hide behind Facebook,” says Iris.

“I really want people to move on from the sex tape. I would like to just highlight that because my family is so affected by most of the negative comments. It was not a nice thing, I apologised and I went to prison for it, I also paid a fine and I think that many people make mistakes, so I would just like people and the nation at large to move on from that scandal and focus more on my future.”

We need to take a moment to speak to Iris on this issue because it is of great concern to youth-driven organisations such us ours, which seek to promote positive change and youth empowerment among 21st century citizens of this country.

Dear Iris, to start with, we are surprised that your parents are actually affected by the ridicule that you continue to draw upon them. We say this because if you belonged to a standard family with entrenched African values, if you had a God-fearing father who values discipline among his children, you would never ever again flaunt your nakedness to the public. In fact, you would never have been allowed to appear in public again until your so-called sex tape was completely forgotten about.

We are not here to condemn you Iris, for the mistake you made at a tender age. What you did happens all the time in colleges and universities, even as we ‘speak’. Very few people are innocent when it comes to issues of morality and promiscuity; and even those who are innocent are not so clean in the eyes of God. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, one way or another.

The problem with you Iris is that you seem to enjoy this negative publicity. You may disagree with us, but that is what people who were not involved in that sex tape think about you because of the manner in which you carry yourself, years after that scandal. You were not the first person to be involved in a sex tape and you were not the last, but no one is talking about other offenders – not even the man you were groping. Zambian rapper Bobby East, for example, was also involved in a sex tape, but when one googles your two names, the results tell a different story about you. Why is your name synonymous with pornography? It is because you have continued to show your unsolicited nudity to the public. Your friends have vanished from the public eye; they are redeeming themselves and soon, when they decide to seek public office, no one will remember what they did. But you seem to want to ride on that negative publicity so much.

You want Zambians to forget about your nudity, but you keep providing them with X-rated attractions. How can men in a country, already so low in its moral fabric, forget about your sex tape when you are busy flaunting the same instruments which you used to produce it? You want people to focus on developing the country but your contribution to the private sector is your Public Private Parts? It does not work that way. What you are doing is promoting moral decay and expecting the public to buy into it, just because “we all make mistakes”.

What worries us more is that Iris Kaingu wants to one day lead this country; and make no mistake, if she stood as member of parliament somewhere, she stands a good chance of winning. Not because voters would believe in her as a good leader, but for the same reason that Donald Trump is President of the world’s most powerful nation. Clearly, for those who join politics, no publicity is bad publicity; they play the victim card until they get what they want. So Iris can claim that she apologised for her past mistake, went to jail and even paid a fine for it, but she certainly seems non-repentant.

In fact, we would like to ask the Minister of Religious Affairs Rev Godfridah Sumaili to take a break from quarrelling with false prophets and sit down with Iris Kaingu because she has such a huge following in this country. Many young girls admire Iris’ fame and they are bound to follow her example if she does not condemn her past and present behaviour. If the Minister really cares about ending moral decay in this country, let her ignore the fake anointing oil for a moment and speak to Iris – as a mother who truly cares.

We are not asking for too much from Iris and her family. She is a Zambian citizen and has the right to participate in any area of human endeavour, but our demand is that she must show remorse and move on, before asking others to do so. What we are asking for is a changed Iris whom we can proudly support as a young aspiring leader, not one whose phone number you don’t even want to save for fear of your wife.

If Iris wants to support the cause for prisoners as she claims, let her show us pictures of how the inmates in prison are starving, and not how the inmate in her underwear is starving.