That date marks three things for me. It happens to be Zambia’s independence day, My small mum’s memorial but also happens to be my cheeky young sister’s birthday. That I think is the best part of it and I will talk about that last (always good to end on a high)!
Our independence day for me sort of leaves me feeling a lot of things. While I am glad that we are no longer under British rule, I see things that go on in my country and I’m saddened. What sort of country will my grandkids live in? Is this all we have to offer our kids? Corruption and misplaced priorities? I often ask myself, “what did our forefather’s fight for?” Did they just fight to break the power of one oppressive force to have their children shackled by another? Seeing the state of my country leaves me thirsty for change and hopeful that one day, we will get there. I am reminded of a story I have been told about a man who went to a shop and was told he couldn’t buy the tea pot he wanted because he was black. Only white people were allowed to buy it. He didn’t leave without the teapot.
That man was Zachiluka Phiri, my grandfather. A man who refused to believe he was less of a human being than a white man. I think even that small action was a step in the struggle for liberty; if not for the country then for our family. He was saying to me generations later, years after he died that I was equal to a white man, that the shade of our skin was skin deep. That we were created equal. The fight for freedom from Britain ended 49 years ago for our beloved country but the struggle for liberation hasn’t ended. Corruption holds us down and is choking us. Its time for us to fight so that we can say to our children and theirs after them that they can achieve all that they set their minds to. That when they apply for a job, that they will be picked on merit and on a level platform with everyone and that corruption does not pay!
As for my small mum, she passed away in 2006 a day before I started my grade 12 exams. I generally don’t do well with death, I just crumble to pieces and I remember being unable to stop the tears for days even though I had exams. At school, on the bus, etc. Bana Bwalya was a woman with a lot of fight! She worked hard and she fought for what she was entitled to. You could not defraud her. She also had a sharp tongue and said what she meant! There was never a time when I had to guess where I stood with her. I guess it’s safe to say, she picked her battles and fought them well.
Then there’s my little sister who turns sixteen today. She has my small mum’s sharp tongue and I pray that God will use her to ignite a fire in our family and country that can’t be tamed. A good one that will purify our gold. She is beautiful and intelligent and my prayer is that she sees her worth and sees her gifts and uses them for such a time as this; for our season. I see a fire in the two that have gone before and I see the same fire in her (among others). Yes Mwaba my sweet, you think you know better than me today but I love you all the same and I see you beautiful. here’s to celebrating a beautiful soul. I still remember a little person in nappies 🙂 and can see a beautiful life changer ahead ! Happy birthday my sweet!