Samora Machel; Freedom fighter or terrorist?


I wonder what people think when the hear the name Samora Machel. For many, the Machel part is easy to link with the late President Mandela’s wife, Gracia Machel. For the greater number, I assume, the name doesn’t evoke any thoughts. There are some however, who might link the name with Mozambique and specifically a turbulent time in Mozambique’s history. Samora Machel was Gracia Machel’s first husband and Mozambique’s first president. This is an attempt at discovering and celebrating who Samora Machel was and answer the question, was he a freedom fighter or nothing more than a terrorist?

Samora Moises Machel, was born in 1933 in a Southern African country called Mozambique, at a time when it was under Portuguese colonial rule. The natives of Mozambique, suffered under colonial rule, pretty much as they did in other parts of Africa and some parts of the world, in some regards worse than even the natives of its neighbour, Zambia. They were treated like commodities, and not like humans, subjected to humiliation, violence and exploitation, some forced to work for peanuts, their land taken from them, some experiencing life in concentration camps and some dying purely because they were black. Mr Machel himself, was not immune to the inhumanity and injustice of colonialism; his own people, forced off their lands by the Portuguese. His great-grandfather, a part of the army that, as part of the Gaza empire, fiercely resisted Portuguese occupation, President Machel was very probably influenced by the stories that were told to him.

Not only were people denied the rights of a citizen, things like religion were also imposed on the people, to an extent that Mr Machel converted to Catholicism in order to write his grade four exams. The Portuguese, provided very few education facilities for the African population and at the end of it all, only three career paths were available to them; you could chose to be a nurse, to become a priest or be a labourer. Mr Machel, chose to be a nurse.

He became involved in politics when he attended a meeting and heard Eduado Mondlane address the group in 1961. A meeting that sparked interest, in him, from the Portuguese Secret Police (PIDE). They interrogated him that year, and in 1963, he was forced to flee via Swaziland to Botswana, after being tipped off to PIDE’s intention to  arrest him. He travelled to Tanzania with ANC militants and joined Frente de Libertação de Moçambique, aka The Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO). In 1970, he was elected the President of FRELIMO, the year after Mondlane was assassinated by a letter bomb, possibly due to internal divisions, or as an attempt by the government at destabilising the movement, the former, stated as being more likely. President Machel believed the latter to be true.

In 1964, FRELIMO launched major military action against the ruling Portuguese and gained popularity among the people as they attempted to instil a sense of worth and a different identity than the one that they held due to colonialism. After the Portuguese Coup of 1974 , Portugal had no choice but to grant independence to Mozambique in 1975, as FRELIMO had no interest in any solutions that meant anything but independence, and was relentless in their pursuit of that cause. FRELIMO, being the major political movement at the time of independence, formed government and Samora Machel became president, a position he would hold for close to eleven years.

The government embarked on ambitious health and social reforms; bringing in a socialist style government (a style they would eventually start to abandon). They had  nationalist policy, that might have been milder than Zambia’s, in that they did not nationalise businesses. However, the remaining settlers, understandably so, left the country, and with no qualified personnel to run the different businesses and industries, and with Mozambique experiencing natural disasters, the country plunged into economic crisis.

Civil unrest soon followed with The Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) being formed, most likely from waring factions within FRELIMO and possibly with the help of the Portuguese and Rhodesia. FRELIMO’s hostility towards local traditions and religion, as well as its agricultural policy did not help matters, as it caused the build up of resistance in rural areas and momentarily, measures similar to those used in colonial Mozambique were employed, only inflaming the situation further. Despite his view of African traditions, you see themes central to most African societies flowing through his speeches; those of oneness, and putting the community before oneself, and sharing.

During FRELIMO’s fight against Colonialism,  Mr Machel made it clear that colonialism was race-less, and talked of the need to differentiate between friend and foe, regardless of their cover, and saw racism, tribalism and false loyalty, among others as part of the enemy that needed to be fought. The government he led managed to incorporate the different races and tribes that made up Mozambique’s population in their government as well as civil service. He is said to have believed in the use of persuasion and not making administrative decisions, as this was the recipe for dictatorship,  and tried to instil a sense of initiate, believing Colonialism, traditions, and superstitions to be crippling to peoples sense of initiate and hence leading to a lack of responsibility.

FRELIMO, not only advocated the right to self govern, but was also very loud in advocating for women’s rights and stated that the fight against colonialism was a fight against exploitation and that the fight would be incomplete if it did not include fighting for women. It is important to note that the government did imprison some of its political opponents, despite Samora Machels’s views on democratic rule, though, it is hard to determine if this was justified by RENAMO’s insurgency or not. Most of those imprisoned were released by 1980

Samora Machel and FRELIMO believed international cooperation was essential to Mozambique’s growth and in line with that, supported the rest of Southern Africa’s struggle for independence and allowed the ANC and ZANU to carry out their operations in Mozambique. They also imposed UN sanctions against the Rhodesian government, to Mozambique’s peril. Destabilisation from RENAMO continued and even got worse after Zimbabwe was granted independence, with increased help from the South African government. In 1984, Mozambique agreed to reduce the number of ANC members who were allowed to operate in the country in exchange for South Africa withdrawing support for RENAMO. It is believed that South Africa’s Aid for RENAMO did not completely stop and the destabilising effects of RENAMO were still present, and would have probably been present without South Africa’s help.

On October 19th, 1986, the plane carrying President Samora Machel from Zambia, back to Mozambique, crushed in South Africa, killing the majority of its passengers, the President, crushed beyond recognition required the use of dental records for identification. The government of South Africa and forces within Mozambique at the time, have been blamed for the accident, with investigations apparently revealing that radar manipulation by South Africa caused the crush. No one has been found responsible for the crush and the then government of South Africa denied any involvement in the incident.

More than being a military commander or head of state, President Samora Machel was  husband, a man who loved his wife dearly, a father who is said to have always had time for his children, regardless of what was going on. As for the question of him being a terrorist or a freedom fighter, it depends on which glass you stand behind when you look at the happenings in Mozambique. Throughout history we see war and fighting, for the cause of freedom. The colonial government in Mozambique made life impossible for the people, concentration camps were present, people’s quality of life was poor. It is important to remember the importance of diplomacy, but that just as the Americans fought for their independence, the situation in Mozambique may have warranted the picking up of arms.

Like any other leader, President Machel made mistakes, some tremendous, but the majority of his views, his relationship with his family, and his role in the fight for Southern Africa’s freedom, leave a celebratory trail. I leave you with this quote as we seek solutions for our continent’s and world’s problems

“Leadership is collective and although each member of the leadership has a specific task, there are no hard and fast compartments. The duty of every member is to be concerned with all the work, see that it is carried out and put forward ideas and criticisms. Leadership is collective and responsibility is collective.”  ~Samora Moises Machel 1933-1986~

 


References

Cheers, D. (1989). Jackson confers with new Mozambique Leader After Funeral of Samora Machel. Jet, (Vol. 71 No. 10), 24-27. Retrieved from http://books.google.com.au

Machel, S. (1981). Mozambique (1st ed.). Harare, Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe Pub. House.

Martin, G. (2012). African Political Thought (1st ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mugubane, V. (1997). Gracia Machel. Ebony, (Vol. 52, No. 7), 118-120, 122, 124, 162. Retrieved from http://books.google.com.au

Poddar, P., Patke, R., & Jensen, L. (2008). A historical companion to postcolonial literatures (1st ed.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

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Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula and the One Party Participatory Dictatorship


We have discussed how Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula influenced the struggle for independence and how it was rooted in a belief in human equality. Mr Nkumbula’s, and indeed the ANC’s fight did not end at independence. They were committed to the achievement of freedom from all forms of slavery, and in the case of Zambia, power was transferred from the white elite to the black elite. Reading the writings of Hitchcock, you get the impression that the first president, assumed as the colonial rulers had, that Zambian’s did not know what they needed or wanted. After Independence, UNIP started on a trajectory towards a one party state, a dictatorial form of government that was hidden behind the words “participatory democracy”.

As early as the day that President Kaunda returned to Zambia after signing what declared Zambia independent, declared that the government would rule strongly and put down trouble makers. Mr Nkumbula, warned Zambians of the dangers of a one party state, calling into question the claims by UNIP, that a one party state was a continuation of the traditional forms of government, and when they tried to strangle and control the media, warned Zambia about where the country was headed; and when UNIP repealed a 1962 bill, that made it illegal to request party cards in public, Mr Nkumbula saw it as a means of forcing people to join UNIP. Later when government introduced the Mulungushi reforms that gave it controlling shares in major companies and restricted the types of business that individuals could enter into, Mr Nkumbula rightly predicted it would result in disaster; Zambia today is still suffering the effects of that disastrous undertaking.

Mr Nkumbula’s belief that people had a right to choose their thoughts and associations, expressed itself in his defence of the Lumpa, a great number of whom found themselves exiled from Zambia, as well as the Jehovah’s witnesses, who, due to their choice to not sing the national anthem, found themselves as UNIP’s target. The ANC, as a whole, saw government and the laws of the land as a way of defending individual freedoms and not as a means for control, and when the UNIP youth went around terrorising people, called for the need for them to be disbanded. They also advocated a foreign policy that put Zambia’s economic interests above Pan Africanist solidarity.

Mr Nkumbula’s ANC, despite facing great financial difficulties and destabilising forces from within its ranks was still able to provide the people of Zambia with a better sounding form of governance that, while at the time was scoffed at by many, finds greater popularity among Zambians today. It is important to note that the political future he offered Zambia, grew out of political views that were influenced by his Methodist background and norms of his initial constituents, the Bantu Botatwe, and further developed as a reaction to UNIPs dictatorship.

When UNIP raised the cost of being in opposition to its governance, the ANC still stood its ground and maintained its stronghold in Southern province. Its members had trading licences revoked, property taken from them, were refused travel and suffered beatings, among other ills. In 1966, UNIP was so brutal in employing intimidation as a campaign tactic, that only a third of Mazabuka’s population turned out to vote the following year. That same year, an ANC-MP for the North Western province of Zambia, from Mwinilunga was arrested for high treason, and when he was released, returned with a compromised mental capacity. The same year, when four ANC MPs from the South of Zambia joined UNIP, and were forced to resign their seats by law, the ANC’s new candidates still managed to hold on to those seats, proving that it wasn’t mere tribal alliances that caused them to follow the ANC. That year, Mr Nkumbula and his deputy were jailed for insulting the president during their campaign; the latter pleaded guilty and was given eighteen years with hard labour. Mr Nkumbula was released and it was proven a fraudulent police report was used as evidence against him.

Discontent was building within the ranks of UNIP, with people resigning in large numbers, and by 1967, United Party (UP) was formed by Lombe and Mumbuna, taking a lot of members with them. Despite UP’s more radical stance, Mr Nkumbula managed to negotiate a merger. This did result in the radicalisation, to an extent of the ANC, but also lead to the doubling of the seats in parliament in 1968. The following year when UNIP went on a rampage, taking homes from ANC members and subjecting them to beatings, violent clashes became common place and the ANC found itself banned, on the 17th of June, the same day that the referendum—that saw the government taking power from the Zambian people, in regards to making constitutional changes and putting them in the grips of the government—was held, which gave UNIP the power to pursue a One Party state.

Two years later, the United Progressive Party (UPP) was formed and it was Mr Nkumbula, who despite the history between them, allowed Mr Kapwepwe to use the ANC headquarters for UPP purposes. They tried to negotiate a merger, but decided in the end, that it was better to work alongside each other. Legal action was launched by Mr Nkumbula and Kapwepwe to try to stop the inception of the one party state, but the UPP, found itself banned in 1972, and their leader, Mr Kapwepwe, who is said to have been the president’s biggest threat, spent the rest of the year in jail. That year, Mr Nkumbula is said to have helped the cause of those detained. Mr Kapwepwe issued a directive for UPP members to join the ANC, however, by then, it was too late. On December 8th that year, UNIP won the two-thirds it needed, in the National Assembly, to put in place a one party state, and six days later, the ANC’s lawsuit was dismissed. THE ANC, WAS LEGISLATED INTO NON-EXISTANCE!

 

The opposition leaders were given a short period to either join UNIP or leave political life altogether, and Mr Nkumbula, is said to have stated, he would not be joining UNIP, however, he and Mr Mungoni Liso, his deputy, signed the Choma declaration between 1972 and 73 and joined UNIP. There have been reports that he was bribed or promised a high position in UNIP, however, it is hard o imagine that a man who fought so hard against UNIP, even when the slogan “it pays to be in UNIP” rang true, would in the end take a bribe then, and if a high position was promised, it never materialised. The other line of thought that could explain his change of mind, could be that he thought that he could bring reform from the inside of UNIP. Yet the difference in ideals that had become ANC, were different to those espoused by UNIP, and as such, Mr Nkumbula is said to have never fit into the party. In the mid-1970s, Mr Nkumbula started thinking of challenging Ba Kaunda for the highest job and joining hands with Mr Kapwepwe announced, at different times in August, their intentions. This was despite Mr Nkumbula having a stroke and his health starting to deteriorate in 1977.

UNIP acted to stop their intentions by amending the party constitution and using intimidation, and was successful; Ba Kaunda was left the sole candidate of the elections, which he won. The two individuals came together in mounting another fight in High court, stating the election was unlawful but it was thrown out, and so was an appeal to the Supreme Court. This is said to be what convinced the former ANC president that reform could not be achieved by being a member of UNIP. While Mr Nkumbula never incited it, former ANC members began to campaign for a ‘NO’ vote and were highly successful, as Southern province recorded a majority ‘NO’ vote.

Evidence exists that there were efforts to revive the ANC, with Mr Nkumbula stating it was still alive and Mr Japau, an ANC member still loyal to Mr Nkumbula, was detained in 1980 when he tried to get a permit to hold a rally. He was tortured for three days and tortured, in order to get him to admit that he had been printing ANC cards and trying to hold meetings. Another man was arrested in Monze for selling old ANC cards. Mr Nkumbula, was readmitted into hospital in 1981, after which he maintained he would still try to get his seat of Bweengwa the following year. Mr Kaunda, honoured him with a first division order of the grand companion and allocated him a house in woodlands near state house. He lost his battle with cancer the following year. He is said to have had Zambia on his mind even as he breathed his last, a family member stating that he was in anguish over the state of his country.

It is important to point out that the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, the party that won the 1991 elections that saw the end of the dictatorship, may have its roots in UPP and the ANC. Mr Nkumbula’s son is said to have funded a substantial amount of MMD’s activities and Mr Kapwepwe’s daughter was also a part of the movement. There are many others who had been members of these two parties who were part of the team that toppled UNIP. That being the case, Mr Nkumbula was not a failure as a lot of literature has stated, but that he lived up to his vow to challenge President Kaunda even if he lay in a coffin. Though the Lion had fallen, his legacy still goes on. He challenges us to fight till our last to bring freedom to the masses, to free Zambia from the chains that hold it back. He inspires flawed men to keep walking, at all costs, to achieve freedom for


References

Hitchcock, B. (1974). Bwana – go home (1st ed.). London: Hale.

Macola, G. (2010). Liberal nationalism in Central Africa (1st ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mwangilwa, G. (n.d.). Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula (1st ed.).

Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula and the struggle for Zambia’s Independence


Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula is a man whose name many Zambians will recognise, but as much as I recognise his name, I mainly remember him being briefly mentioned as a freedom fighter, sometime in Primary school. His name, was attached to a small paragraph in a social studies class and he now seems like the classic example of how “history favours the one who writes it”. Despite the United National Independence Party (UNIP) treating the ANC like something of no significance except tribal allegiance, and despite their attempts at discredit Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula, the truth was not totally quenched. It is important to note that Mr Nkumbula was by no means a flawless man, something he himself is said to have admitted, yet I believe, that it is despite these flaws that he should be celebrated; after all, we are all on a journey, with flaws that we wouldn’t admit to.

Mr Nkumbula was born in 1916, (sometime at the beginning of the year, most likely in March, but no exact birth date exists on record),  to parents in a village called Maala in the Namwala district, who were members of the Ila, a tribe that is part of the Bantu Botatwe (three peoples), the other two tribes being the Tonga and Lenje. These three are said to have been the first of Zambia’s seventy-three tribes.

Mr Nkumbula was a student of the Methodist mission and this upbringing may have had a significant effect on his views on racial relations and the equality of all men. The Methodist missionaries are said to have viewed the Ila people, as well as other Indigenous Africans as human; with one Reverend Edwin Smith writing about how he endeavoured to see things through their eyes and referred to them as his people. It is interesting to note that Rev. Smith had great influence on Mr Nkumbula’s first teacher, Rev John W. Price who believed that it was never okay to assume a white man was right all the time, missionary or not . This man also opposed, Northern Rhodesia’s (now Zambia) informal colour bar and put people’s abilities and character above their race.

Mr Nkumbula was under Rev. Price untill he completed Standard II in which time he worked for Dr HS Gerrad. He went to the Kafue Missionary Mission, which was probably the most advanced missionary education institution to be enjoyed by the natives of Northern Rhodesia (NR) and it was there that he was to become one of the first Natives of NR to pass his standard IV exams in 1934, after which he taught at Kasenga mission in his home town for a year, and like Smith collected information about the norms and practices of the Ila–studies that together with his Methodist background, would later influence his ideals in politics. He was transferred to Kafue, where he taught till 1937 before being transferred to Kanchindu in the Gwembe Valley. Things did not go as well for him there as he suffered health problems and differed with his overseers, the clash most likely starting when he requested a salary increase. Mr Nkumbula showed a great awareness of his rights, but he ended up being dismissed for indiscreet conduct.

The dismissal did not last however, and Mr Nkumbula was sent to Mufulira on a probationary appointment in 1940; this would prove to be the beginning of his involvement in politics. throughout the 1940s, Mr Nkumbula lobbied against “settler nationalism” and the Central African Federation, on the basis that he believed it would prove catastrophic for the indigenous people of Zambia as Southern Rhodesia had a native policy that sought dominion over the natives. He was the founding secretary of the African Teacher’s Association of the Copperbelt which was aimed at increasing the level of cooperation between the African Teachers, Missionaries and the department of African education; they also sought to foster unity among the teachers and look into the problems that came with being African and work with any organisation that was interested in creating better lives for Africans. As early as the 1940s, Mr Nkumbula recognised the need for educating young girls and understood that their education would improve outcomes for all Zambians as they had great influence in the formative years of children.

In 1943, Mr Nkumbula moved to Kitwe where he became Secretary of the Kitwe African Society, representing them on the first Copperbelt Regional Council, which later became the African Provincial Council. At this time, he was making the authorities anxious due to his more active role, alongside Dauti Yamba, in challenging the unofficial colour bar, speaking against federation and defending the right to form trade unions. In 1944, the District Commissioner of Kitwe expressed his misgivings about Mr Nkumbula in a confidential report, suggesting ways of stopping him from spreading his views among the teachers and pupils, but concluding his suggestions to make him a government employee in order to control him would probably make Mr Nkumbula harder to deal with. Mr Nkumbula resigned and went to study in Uganda that same year and at the time was convinced the greatest hurdle for the African was the lack of leadership and unity.

In 1946, the Foundation of African Societies in Northern Rhodesia was formed in Mr Nkumbula’s absence. While in Uganda, he experienced life without the colour bar, with people interacting across cultures and races, before going to London where he was drawn into political activities even further, and developed a socialist view of politics, to the dismay of the Northern Rhodesian authorities, who became very anxious when in 1949, he wrote a letter to a Southern Rhodesian newspaper called the African weekly, opposing federation. When he failed his exams, unlike other students who were given a second chance at the exams, his scholarship was withdrawn and he had to go back to Northern Rhodesia.

While the authorities probably thought that Mr Nkumbula being sent home would reign him in, he became even more involved in politics. He rose to prominence between 1951 and ’53 after being elected to the Northern Rhodesian African Congress, and aligned himself with the people of the Southern Province, who funded most of the ANCs projects, more out of need of funding than tribal affiliations. In opposing the federation, they launched the lands rights case, which they lost, and while it seems like a defeat, may show a man who made calculated moves and understood the rights provided under the law.

He was the first ever politician to bring the chiefs together to fight federation and is hailed for bringing order and organisation as well as better methods of record keeping to the ANC, as well as made membership easier to acquire, leading to an increased membership from the hundreds to probably the thousands in 1952,  It was during this time that the ANC brought in provincial organising secretaries, the first President of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda being one of them, stationed in Northern province. All the provincial Secretaries were picked by Mr Nkumbula based on the qualities they possesed and how commited they were to the fight for independence. Ba Kaunda was elected to the executive of the ANC in 1953, and together with Mr Nkumbula, spent two months in prison for the possession of banned printed material, relating to the freedom struggle. Despite once referring to Mr Nkumbula as a National builder and liberator, their friendship soon became strained and eventually, Ba Kaunda and others left the ANC to form the Zambia African National Congress (ZANC).

There are claims made by Ba Kaunda and Sikalumbi that after the stay in prison, Nkumbula became less committed to the cause, however, the ANC leader’s speech upon release and events at the time paint a different picture. Mr Nkumbula left Ba Kaunda in London on a mission to meet up with the Colonial secretary, Ba Kaunda stating that Mr Nkumbula gave no explanation and was in a bad mood, and that his move, left Ba Kaunda unable to speak to Boyd who would only speak to the ANC president. Upon his return, he would not discuss matters with Mr Kapwepwe, who he had left in charge. Later Ba Kaunda would claim that their leader, while on a solo trip to meet Mr Boyd again, preferred to rest in his hotel room rather than meet the Colonial Secretary and instead sent the memorandum intended for the Colonial Secretary via post.

After the stay in prison with Ba Kaunda, Mr Nkumbula stated that they would not give up and were more determined to fight for freedom and encouraged others to keep fighting. Hardly a speech by a Lion that had lost its teeth. It seems more likely that he was willing to pursue diplomacy as a means to independence, something that did not suit the  members of the ZANC, a more militant party than the ANC. Also, considering that his party insisted he go to London, then in his absence allowed a violent protest to take place, his mood when he left Kaunda in the UK and his refusal to confer with Mr Kapwepwe are given a different perspective, especially when you consider that the ANC believed in non-violence. As for no meeting Boyd on his second trip, it could possibly have been a protest. It seems more likely that it was tribalism and destabilising forces within the ANC that led to the split and not Mr Nkumbula’s shortcomings. ZANC later became UNIP, and though Mr Nkumbula was never actively tribal, he never discouraged other members of ANC from using tribalism to discredit UNIP, to a point that they even took on an anti-Nyasaland stance.

Due to the financial problems that plagued the ANC after the ZANC split, Mr Nkumbula turned to Tshombe over the Congolese border for help; an alliance that he broke when, after convincing the United Federation Party (UFP) to endorse his candidates in the 1962 elections, was left in a position to choose between the UFP and UNIP as to whom to form government with. He chose UNIP; leaving the ANC in financial difficulty again as UNIP was anti-Tshombe, and adding the UFP to his list of enemies. What his choice meant however, is that the Central African republic that he had fought so greatly against became history. The UFP worked with Michelo, an ANC member to create the People’s Democratic Congress (PDC). This haemorrhage of members did not help the ANC and added to their administrative and financial problems. Michelo rejoined the ANC but still worked as a destabilising force and after the loss of the 1964 elections that saw Zambia gain independence from British rule, there were more people, including Michelo who left to either join UNIP or form the United Front (UF).

It is clear that Mr Nkumbula was had an extraordinary influence on the fight for independence, rising up and seeking to instil a sense of worth in his fellow Africans. He fought while still respecting the rights of all men and without considering himself above other races. The fight for Independence had ended, the fight for Zambia’s future had started.


References

Hitchcock, B. (1974). Bwana – go home (1st ed.). London: Hale.

Macola, G. (2010). Liberal nationalism in Central Africa (1st ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mwangilwa, G. (n.d.). Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula (1st ed.).

 

 

Angus Buchan


Finding information about this man proved harder than I thought. I was so sure he would be one of the easiest but I was wrong, and thats where procrastination bites. You leave things late and then a deadline is approching and you can’t find the information you need. Quiet interestingly, I did find some controversy over Mr Buchan’s preaching style and his beliefs and thought that I would mention that. However, I still think he is an outstanding man and share some of his convictions. Some of the arguements leveled against him are by non-Christians or people who don’t subscribe to the ‘men are the heads’ view, which in my opinion is a compliment.

Angus Buchan is described as a Zambian farmer of Scottish decent…yay to the Scottish! My great great grandfather was Scottish and I’m Zambian so I guess I have ended up with more Zambians on the list.  Angus was born in Bulawayo in 1947 to Scottish parents, only moving to Zambia, which was then Northern Rhodesia when he was 6 years old, where he stayed with his family until he completed year 10 of highschool and then went to Scotland where he completed agricultural training.

Before returning to Zambia he travelled through Australia where he worked on farms and did “blocky” stuff like ride horses. It was after his return to Zambia, while working as a farm manager that he met and married Jill. Not long after that, they bought their own farm land that they later sold in 1974 due to the change in political climate in Zambia. They moved to Swaziland, living there for 7 months before heading to the land of the Zulu’s, KwaZulu Natal where they bought a bushveld and had to start from scratch; no electricity or running water, they had nothing!

It was in 1979 that Angus and his family gave their lives to God and ten years later that God, through his word, placed ministry on his life.

Here is a man, according to wedding magazine who wakes up each day excited about the day ahead because he can’t wait to see what God will do in his life that day.  Even when he speaks, his passion is evident and as a Christian he encourages me to speak with boldness. He believes he is called to reconcile men with the Father, and also reconcile fathers and sons as well as preach the gospel.  Regardless of what you think of Angus, he is a fearless man and of action and not only has he raised his own children well, he now runs an orphanage where the fatherless are cared for.

His views on marriage cause some controversy but I don’t understand what the fuss is about when he asks women not to chastise their husbands in front of their children or in public; doesn’t it only make sense that parents sort out their issues privately and away from the children? Does every person on the street need to know about it. Or when he asks men to pay for dates, or open doors for the ladies…them doing those things doesn’t make me a weakling and I don’t have to prove a point and maybe I’m just sick and tired of hearing men swearing at women and calling them bitches that a voice calling for men to be gentlemen just appeals to me.

This man has proven himself worthy of some respect, not only because of his beliefs and I’m sure some would say, despite them; He has worked hard all his life, building his farm from nothing and overcoming obstucles and living his life for the good of others. I love that he wants men to rise up and lead, statistics are quite clear on the effects absent fathers have on the lives of children.

And now I end with part of what he said in his interview for wedding anthem magazine when asked about what he learnt after suffering two heart attacks, and hope it will touch people as much as it touched me. I’m an offence magnet and I know that it limits me so this was a good reminder. “What I learnt from God through that devastating experience is that life is but a vapour…we must not waste time, holding offences, having unforgiveness in our lives. We must press on and live life to the full.”

 

Zambian breakfast…porridge


This is a recipe for a porridge that I used to love eating as a Child. Still do 🙂

You can edit it to suit your tastes. I know there are people who add egg or soya but my family doesn’t. This recipe contains pounded groundnuts, aka peanuts; so for those with peanut allergies, you can remove the groundnuts. I guess the general idea is that you can tweak the recipe to suit you.

You will need*:
3 tablespoons of mealie meal (maize flour)
2 tablespoons of groundnut powder
cold water
a cup of boiling water
salt
sugar
milk
a bit of butter (or not)

Method:
1. Add the mealie meal to a pot and add the cold water (enough to make a light paste) and mix until all the mealie meal is mixed in then add the boiling water. switch stove on and stir until thick.

2. Cover with a lid and allow to cook for about 3-5 minutes, splutter can burn so make sure pot is covered

3. add groundnuts, milk (if too thick, the milk will make it lighter) and salt (about four pinches) to taste and mix it all in. Too much salt will leave it tasting like ORS. Cover again and allow to cook for about 5 minutes or until groundnuts are cooked (you can taste the difference).

4. If salt is needed add a bit more, then add sugar and turn off the burner. Add a bit of butter if you like and mix. You can use honey or any other sweeteners you prefer. Serves 3

*all measurements are estimations

Home…A reminder of God’s grace part 2


Okay so last post was a bit heavy. Here’s a lighter one, one telling you what was so good about Zambia. There’s something about being home that is liberating, maybe because I’m the kind of person who loves being around people (Not huge crowds) and in Zambia, people were plenty. Before leaving Zambia, I hated, crowds, still do, but having been in Perth for six years and not seeing as many people out and about, I didn’t mind the crowds of Lusaka at all. maybe after a while, it would have bothered me, but for three weeks, it didn’t. I enjoyed being around family and we did rub each other the wrong way once or twice, but there was plenty of joking and laughing. I am truly grateful because our family has something that most don’t. We have unity that most families don’t and we are far from perfect but we are truly a unique bunch.

We managed to see at least seven of my grandparents  and unfortunately only two of my great grand parents, plenty of mothers and some aunts and uncles, one of them being my Uncle who passed away last week, siblings and cousins and a few friends.

After spending time in Zambia for three weeks, we headed to Zim, where the hospitality was beyond words. We attended my elder brothers wedding – I have a Zimbabwean brother 😉 -and boy was it fun! Its funny because generally, I hate it when people speak in a language I don’t understand but this time around, I quiet liked it and by the end of  five days, I was beginning to understand Shona.

The food in both places was tasty and coming back here, the difference is noticeable. The weather was very mild and the scenery was just lovely. Generally, the trip home, has left me even more unsettled in Perth but for now, this is where I am meant to be. The trip was definitely a God given gift and I am grateful!

things I like about Zambia


We all have to admit that there is no perfect country, and I think I have written a post too many about the things in Zambia that don’t quite fit. Time to celebrate the things that can be celebrated.

1. The family system

Okay, so I, like many Zambians grew up in a large family. Culturally, the notion of extended family for us is none existent, or at least, used to be. With us, your mother’s sisters are your mothers and your dad’s brothers your fathers, and their children are your siblings. To put things in perspective, growing up, I knew I had more than one grandmother (sisters) but I never actually knew which one was my mother’s biological mother, nor did it bother me. That was just the norm, they were, plain and simple, mum’s mums. The interaction of the siblings was one where no lines were drawn between children belonging to one person or the others and for me they were all just siblings. My childhood was so much richer because I had the privilege of having met five great grandmothers, One great-grandfather (they were siblings); numerous grand parents, numerous mothers, Aunties, Uncles and a lot of cousins, sisters and brothers. I remember one of my great grandmothers telling me, when my daughter was born, that a child only belongs to the mother before he/she is born, after that, she belongs to the family.

2. The people

Zambians are some of the most beautiful people I know. If you’re in crisis, there’ll be family and friends to help. I think we can be a bit placid at times, but when you cross the line, we’re generally sure to put you straight, that’s usually after you have really pushed it. I think that no one person is perfect, and yes, that goes for Zambians too but what I love most I guess is the sense of community.

3. The food

My sister refers to me as “Kawa mwana wa bwali”, meaning “Kawa the child of ubwali”, ubwali being the food most of us eat. It has many different names but I won’t get into those. Its made out of mealie meal and water and to be honest is “tasteless” but there’s something tasty about it…That doesn’t make sense, but you would have to taste it to understand.

Then there’s the wide variety of vegetables, my favourite being Kalembula, a.k.a sweet potato leaves. There are Casava leaves, Bean leaves and pumpkin leaves, the latter, in my opinion, only tastes great when cooked with groundnuts; and many more. There’s also Chikanda (yum yum, my mouth is watering just thinking about it) which is cooked using groundnuts, water, soda and the main ingredient being the powder form of a certain tuba but I wouldn’t be able to give an English name.

I could never forget the variety of fruit and mushrooms…then there’s delele/umulembwe, in which category, okra would fit. The general point is we have a lot of good food.

4. The climate

It doesn’t get too hot, doesn’t get too cold! Yes, we Zambians love to complain about how hot it gets but seriously, until you’ve experienced Australian summer, you cannot appreciate just how blessed we are…Our temperatures are mild. It does rain cats and dogs though, but I have to say, I actually do miss the thunder storms. It was in those times that we got to share a lot of folk tales, a.k.a utushimi.

5. The land/environment itself

We’re a landlocked country, but we have sandy beaches in the North of the country on the banks of lakes. I have never visited them, however and hope to soon. We are the home to the mighty Mosi oa tunya, commonly known as the Victoria falls and many more other falls that are not as known like the Chishimba falls and Mambilima falls. We have amazing animals, landscapes and a lot of tourism potential. Even our back yard has a “mini falls”. That’s how amazing this country is

6. Ama pinda and Utushimi

Amapinda are proverbs. My grandmother uses them mid sentence and they just fit. I’m more familiar with Bemba sayings, but I have heard some in other Zambian languages too.  They are used to teach and correct. One of my favourites would be “imiti iikula e mpanga” translated “The trees that grow become forests” meaning, todays children are tomorrows leaders/future.

7. Simplicity of life

We are very laid back in the way we live. We don’t complicate matters that need no complications. If it requires the use of common sense, by all means it doesn’t require legislation. “Balanced” laid back is always a good thing. We don’t have people dragging each other to court at every turn. We don’t mind sharing our homes with uninvited guests, or even sharing a meal with them. You go to someone’s house while they are eating, you pull a chair and join them.

Zahara


one of the best musicians the world has seen

one of the best musicians the world has seen

Zahara; there’s only one word to discribe her voice: WOW! This woman can sing! She’s a South African musician and even though part of this blog is dedicated to teaching people about Zambia, just had to share because I can’t get enough of her. So here’s a video  of her song Ndiza, posted by Rocky12345 on youtube, complete with Lyrics . I do not know how correct the lyrics are as I am not Xhosa nor South African, but from searching online, they seem pretty correct. The same channel has more of her songs with the lyrics so happy listening 🙂

Perfecto by B1…a review…sort of


B1 is a Zambian musician who from what I’ve seen of him, likes to sing about life issues, though some of his songs fall into the “rather” category and as such, this post shouldn’t be considered an endorsement of his music. In the song Perfecto, he sings about women being picky in regards to relationships. Basically he starts off by saying congratulations to a 30-year-old woman who has managed to stay a virgin. He then goes further and talks about how “virgin nkote ilibe maketi”- old virgin has no market…directly translated.

The message he’s trying to push forward is that women shouldn’t be picky and shouldn’t be “fault finders” because there is no one who is perfect and that all guys have faults and are fools in one way or the other and that if we keep finding faults, we will end up old virgins.

I agree with B1 in that we women can be very picky but I don’t agree that an old virgin has no market. A man of virtue will see her character and loves her regardless of age. A lot of us turn down guys because we’re scared and rather than face our fears we hide behind “no guy is good enough”. Face your fears, but don’t settle. Better a virgin at 50 than married to useless man. Decide what the nonnegotiables are but don’t be shallow. better a man who’s not good-looking but has a heart of gold, than a self-centred Mr Good-looking. Decide what the essentials are.  Whatever you want, only you know it. My aunt always says, if you want chakolwa (a drunk), tell God and He will give it.

Problem is, a lot of us don’t even know what we want. We’re serial daters, dating anything male, without considering the character. Some of us are willing to give ourselves to any man in the hope that he will love us? But why pursue something that’s out for the taking, with no cost to him??? In the end we lose out because men like to pursue and no man will marry someone they don’t respect. Cross your legs, or be content with losing out. If you chose to wait, know that “virgin inkote” (old virgin) is a very likely possibility, but be willing to carry the label proudly, because at the end of the day, not everything is about sex and not everyone is meant to get married.

Lastly, once married, it’s for life, so yes, I’m picky about important things because I know what I want and will not settle for less. You can watch the song at this link: