Dear Zambian Youth

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Dear ZW,

Compliments of the season. I hope this letter finds you in great health and …*laughter*. When was the last time you wrote or received a letter? Oh that’s right, you probably don’t remember and if you do, it’s ages ago. Boarding school people of 2010 and earlier should really relate. Hillcrest, Ibenga, Lwitikila, Fatima, Banani, Ndola Technical, St Mary’s, St Paul’s ,Simba, Njase, Lwengu, Kasisi, are we here? Remember the thrill of receiving a letter, especially from your boyfriend or girlfriend? The excitement it brought when you would make yourself comfortable just to read those words. Do not get me wrong, I do appreciate the modern days of instant messaging, but you will agree how special receiving a letter made us feel. The 2000s really missed out. 🙂

Anyway, I decided to do a letter for every Zambian youth. Ironically, it’s not in a sealed envelope to be delivered to your doorstep by Zambia Postal Services, it’s hosted on a blog site, to be delivered to your phone. At this point I realise that even if this post went viral, I wouldn’t reach many other youths because they have no access to the internet, let alone a smart phone. So my friend, count yourself to be blessed.

My friend, I understand reading is boring, but just stick a little longer and if you may, please share this link to the next youth. I will really appreciate. I just have a few points to share with you and I’m done.

I always say there is so much history to be made in Zambia by us the youths because a number of ventures remain untapped and a lot of irregularities like inequality, corruption, intolerance, etc are yet to be rectified. In short there is a lot of fields with empty tittle slots for first Zambian because, well as you understand the proverbial, we are backward in myriads of areas.

For example, the Zambian sound is yet to be sold to the world.  Young musicians have a better chance to be the next Wizkid in the near future because a number of factors are changing to their favor with time and also because they are creative. We are yet to see a National Team that will qualify for the world cup, let alone win it. We are yet to see Zambians making a break through in Scientific and economic research. We are yet to see  Zambians building Multinational Corporations and covered on Forbes.

We are yet to see a Zambia where eating healthy, efficient transportation, dressing well, efficient and affordable health care and WiFi will not be a privilege, but a right at least for the majority.  

I am convinced that if there is any real and long term change to be made, be it social, economical or political, it will be instigated by you. You and I are a generation of potential. We are hopefuls, dreamers. We see a lot of things differently, we have better solutions to problems, we are more sophisticated, more exposed and most important to note, we have grown in the errors our parents have made in our nation  and so our hearts scream change and therefore we badly want to become it. We are going to make great leaders as men and women.

The Zambian youth of today have powerful ideas, they are exposed, they are very tolerant, they do not see tribe, they believe in women empowerment, they care about the future and, they appreciate the arts, they are creators. We have people with interests in Science, Economics, Engineering, Medicine, Politics, Photography, Music, Modelling & Fashion, Developers, people with T.v shows on YouTube. They will create great things and they will make great leaders in the future. It’s all evident in some recent occurrences. The football level exhibited by the under 20 football team is something new, the work of the current Kitwe Mayor, activism of people like Brian Bweembya (B-Flow), the applicants for the EMpower 100 and many more underground creatives and young Zambian leaders around the world who never see the light of publicity.

Dear friend, to be a part of this history creation will not be accidental. You have to start now, with the first thing being the change in mindset. To prevent Cholera, you first need to clean your environment. Similarly, you need to rid your mind off thoughts that impede evolution.  You will need to eliminate negativity, be kind,and most of all to be able to see yourself as a person of value.

When you realise your self-worth, you will never allow anyone to take advantage of you and you will never allow yourself to settle for less.

Today we need to realise as Zambian youths that we have a future to lead. You owe it to the motherland to contribute something that will allow for the growth of our country. Where our country will stand tomorrow is highly dependent on how much we evolve today.

However, it breaks my heart to see youths indulge in activities of self destruction.  Youths studying abroad  are forgetting their purpose there and screwing up great opportunities that took enormous parental sacrifice. In the country, youths have found alcohol to be a great sport and are wasting time by involving themselves in illicit activities with unemployment being their favorite scapegoat. It is time we looked less to the government and made things happen on our own. A lot of success stories came from unemployment. It is all about trying.

If you will have to sale charcoal to support yourself, do it. Do not be ashamed of anyone. Yes you will say, ”Aquila, you want to make it sound easy”. Of course, mate nothing is easy. The world is hard,  but with a positive mind and resilience, you are unstopable. Kindly look up mother to son by Langston Hughes.

Learn to save, learn to invest, do not waste money to impress anyone. The most important person is yourself, my friend. Nothing matters more than your happiness. Be patient for your time, do not let Instagram posts put you in unnecessary  pressure, people just show you what they want you to see. We are all taking Ls. Be humble, learn to love, give more and take less. Read more and Spend less time debating whether or not Modric deserved the Ballon D’or, or if your crush will like you back . Begin to transform yourself into a valuable human being who will contribute greatness on our quest to see a developed Zambia.

I am a firm believer in ”nothing is impossible”. As we go into the new year, I wish you financial break through and your dreams transformed into existence and mostly your happiness. Let us be the better politicians, parents, clergy, and generally citizens we hope to see. Leave toxic associations and habits and see your level elevated.

Yours faithfully,
Aquila Ng’onga
Fellow Youth

 


Thankful to all the youths  below for accompanying this post and making it beautiful and many thanks to the beautiful Bwalya Mapesa for being the article cover model. You can follow her on instagram by clicking here and her blog site by clicking here

  1. Kabwe Mponda ”Life unfolds wherever you are, and now you’re here. Live and make the most of every opportunity”

kabwe mp

2. Natasha Ng’onga. ‘Do something today, that your future self will thank you for”.

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3.  Samuel Chibwe “Always be at your best in all that you do and keep the same energy, because what you give out is what you get back from this world more often than not”samg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Dalitsotwirrabud

5. Jane Mvula ”We should work hard, start our businesses we shouldn’t depend on the government and other people, let’s not wait to be employed we have to utilize the little knowledge we have to develop our country. Imiti ikula empanga”jane

6. Sandie Mulungushi Dreams do come true, you can win if you want to.

sandie

7. Abednego Chiyesu ”The moment we keep looking behind is the moment we continue remaining behind”

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8. Nicoletta Katulwende ( Journalism and communication Student) ”Tomorrow is never certain.. so Carpe diem (seize the day)”

twirrabuddd

9.  James Millerjamesmiller

10. Bwalya Mapese “If you want to see change start with yourself and don’t let your current circumstances dictate or define you because even they change.”bwalya

11.  Tyson What ever you can do ,do it with excellence ”gerald

12. Tsion “trust yourself, you know more than you think you do”tsi tsi

13. Simwenya Simwaka (IT officer) ”Always stay positive and work hard while at it, it’s starts in the mind”tiwwa

14. Desbourne deszb

15. Sarah Agape Phiri ”Be negative about Negativity”sarah

16. Joel Mfune The youths need to reanimate their unleashed potential into a productive one.

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17. Bwalya

bee

18. Emmanuel Simusokwe ”we need to put in much in our Education for it is an investment in knowledge that pays off”

emma

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The World: Some countries are equal, but some are more equal than others.

In high school I studied English Literature. We analyzed a number of books including the Government Inspector, Things Fall Apart and Animal Farm. In retrospect, I feel my level of analysis was yet to grow. I noticed this when I went further with the subject at Advanced Level.

Recently, I got a hold of my old Animal farm book. When I read it afresh, I saw it in a completely different light. I was able to relate a lot of parts in the book to what is happening today. In its simplicity, there is a myriad of points the book has tackled. George Orwell was easily a genius. All of us are very much alive in this book and anyone who claims they aren’t is very likely to be in denial.

To begin with, when Old Major begins to articulate his vision and the status quo, I feel his audience is African countries.

“Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short.”

He goes on to say, “But is this simply part of the order of nature? Is it because this land of ours is so poor that it cannot afford a decent life to those who dwell upon it? No, comrades, a thousand times no! The soil of England is fertile, its climate is good, it is capable of affording food in abundance to an enormously greater number of animals than now inhabit it.”

Today we could ask similar questions. It is a no brainer that Africa is the richest continent with unimaginable resources. Diamonds, gold, sugar, salt, petroleum, copper, uranium Zinc, woods, tropical Fruits and the listing could go on and on. However, the average inhabitant has a miserable, laborious and short life. Why is a continent full of potential under backward conditions? Are the resources not enough to eradicate poverty?

Indeed globalization has brought remarkable results that have benefited many countries. Countries now favor opening up since seeing the importance of free trade. All this is meant to be a zero sum game and theoretically it is beautiful, but in reality it isn’t. It is dangerous, it is scary, and it poses drastic threats to the future- the future of Africa. The process has made some countries to become ‘more equal than others more than it has ever been.

According to Honest Accounts 2017,about $162B was pumped into Africa and $203B left. This shows $42B was extracted in profits. This may look like fair profit, but it includes tax evasions, corruption, illegal fishing, hunting, and trade, forcing poor conditions on local labor to cut costs among many others. Multinational companies pay very little tax to our governments who only benefit marginally. The taxation policies are not exactly designed by Africans, but by Western governments and these policies advocate for lowering taxes.

Old major goes on to say “Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself. Our labour tills the soil, our dung fertilises it, and yet there is not one of us that owns more than his bare skin.”

Africa is a pawn in the hands of man which is the Western world, and recently, China. In what is supposed to be fair exchange, some countries are benefiting way more than others. The aid, loans, grants, donations and other funding keeps us in a poverty cycle. It is a marvel African leaders still do not practise what Dambisa Moyo said. It is so sad how we are giving a lot of our power to these countries. The future is really scary if we do not wake up. We can’t keep being fooled by these countries .We need a revolution.

In this daylight robbery, we cannot overlook the role a few of our very own brethren play. The elite few simply allow wealth to flow out of Africa and this way they become wealthy at the expense of their own blood. Judas Iscariot surely never died on that tree. If those with authority and in positions to make it hard for our wealth to be stolen lost their greed and realized they have a future to protect, we could have solved a huge puzzle on our way to development. We can’t keep obtaining bribes, gifts and other short term benefits just to unlock access for foreigners to steal our land, our minerals, and our children’s future. Our politicians need to truly have love for the people by eliminating corruption and by putting us first. Even a maniac like Trump puts his people first.

George Orwell also brings Moses in the picture. Moses represents organized religion and the typical sermon of the flowery place on the other side. Today religion is one of the factors why we can’t progress as Africa. Fake prophets, and money centered religious leaders are reaping from the poor while imparting laziness and irrationality into their heads through dogma. A lot of people want the easy way out and will not take action to change or develop their current poor state when they are totally capable. They would rather pray.

We get to see how the pigs change a lot of rules to justify a lot of their wrong deeds, but because animals, e.g. boxer, won’t read or pay attention to what was prior, they are blind to see the amendments. Also they are gullible. Today a lot are bound in the chains of ignorance. They do not know exactly what to stand for. They will support a political party like a football team at the expense of their children’s future. They have no idea what the constitution or the fundamentals that would show how valuable they are and what rights they possess. I wouldn’t blame them though, their woes are circumstantial. Boxer is the uneducated poor man on whom politicians thrive daily. He will sale his vote for temporary pleasure.

Even the educated that do not stand up against the wrong are as good as boxer. Former late Zambian President Michael Sata used to say the greatest cowards are the educated. At least boxer is given a little leeway because he is ignorant, but the educated who know how they should be treated are expected to protest when the government takes advantage of them or asks them to pay a funny tax. The attitude to fight for our inheritance has died out. The true government is the people and we constantly forget that.

We could go on and on with the symbolism in animal farm, but the most important thing is to realize our position and act. It is for Africa to stand up and realize that there will never be Africa if we keep selling it for coins. We could also hope to see the light in Africa- to eliminate the backwardness we suffer from and to stop tolerating neo colonialism. We can change the game; the power has always been with the people.